Let The Truth Be Known: I am clinically depressed


As the darkness started overshadowing the light.. I knew it was time to admit there was something wrong.. something very very wrong…  Kim 

2 years ago, I fell to my knees.. I was in the shower getting ready for work and for a moment everything stopped .. I couldn’t hold on any longer..  I dropped in fear.. calling my partner for help. This was the beginning of a long rollercoaster ride to myself… and I am still riding!

I am writing this post today because I think the world needs a crash course in depression. It affects many of us, men, women, children and teens.. yet I feel there is still a stigma attached to it. Those who have never experienced depression, cannot understand the challenges our minds and bodies experience. Not all people share the same symptoms of depression, and to the eyes of some, a depressed person can be judged as lazy or just fearful. This is not truth. The truth is, depression is an illness and there are several symptoms attached to it.

Here are some of my symptoms:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty doing ordinary things like: showering, getting out the door to do groceries, reading, focusing, even doing the dishes can be a HUGE mountain to me.
  • Anxiety and panic (borderline agoraphobic)
  • Ruminating and worrying (a gazillion things go through my mind)
  • Crying, hyperventilating
  • Not recognizing myself in the mirror (self-image)

According to Deborah Grey, in her article, Top 10 Depression Myths Debunked, she states: “For all the misconceptions about clinical depression, it seems that there’s a depression myth for every truth — and this makes it difficult to get a real sense of the illness and its capacity to be treated.

Perhaps part of the problem stems from our vocabulary for moods and mental illness: We use “depression” to describe so many ranges of experience that the meaning of clinical depression can get lost in the mix. Furthermore, because simple bad moods are a universal experience, many people think if they’ve had the blues, they know all about depression.”

Judge of your natural character by what you do in your dreams. –Ralph Waldo Emerson

In the past couple of months I’ve been judging myself! These are the old tapes which run through my mind trying to tell me I am lazy (for not working) I am slow, and if I could just “snap out of it” all will be ok. However, depression doesn’t work that way. Lately (due to the onset of the meds) I’ve been reading EAT, PRAY, LOVE by Elizabeth Gilbert, I really love the way she explains her depression, and I want to share a few excerpts here.

“When you are lost in the woods, it sometimes takes you a while to realize that you are lost. For the longest time, you can convince yourself that you’ve just wandered a few feet off the path, that you’ll find your way back to the trailhead any moment now. Then night falls again and again, and you still have no idea where you are, and it’s time to admit that you have bewildered yourself so far off the path that you don’t even know from which direction the sun rises anymore…. “

She continues:

“I took on my depression like it was the fight of my life, which, of course, it was. I became a student of my own depressed experience, trying to unthread its causes…. …. What a large number of factors constitute a single human being! How very many layers we operate on, and how very many influences we receive from our minds, our bodies, our histories, our families, our cities, our souls and our lunches!! I came to feel that my depression was probably some ever shifting assortment of all those factors, and probably also included some stuff I couldn’t name or claim. So I faced the fight at every level.

And here is where I am at: (same time frame: 2 years)

“The last thing I tried, after about two years of fighting this sorrow, was medication. If I may impose my opinions here, I think it should always be the last thing you try..” she continues “Those drugs were part of my bridge to the other side, there’s no question about it, but I wanted to be off them as soon as possible.”

The part can never be well unless the whole is well.  ~Plato

I could excerpt more, because I totally identify with this whole discussion on depression in this book! I felt as if I was her. The truth is, this part of the book, confirmed I did the right thing by starting on the meds. I want to Attraversiamo (Lets cross over) to the other side of the bridge!

So as much as I would like to say to my friends and family: Please be patient with me… What I really need is to be patient with myself. I need to give myself as much love, compassion and gentleness at this time.. because frankly, depression sucks!!! I wish it would just disappear, and I can continue to move forward better, stronger and faster! Yet, it is not the will of God right now. My choices may have led me to here (but I know there are medical factors involved too) and I must make myself no 1 right now. Moving forward, always, today getting out the door to go shopping is moving forward.. cooking dinner = moving forward, taking a bath = moving forward, writing a blog post = moving forward. This is NOW! My now.

Thus I am

Kim

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39 thoughts on “Let The Truth Be Known: I am clinically depressed

  1. Thank you for bravely sharing your story. Depression is very real and it upsets me when people who don’t understand are insensitive and think it’s something we can magically snap out of. I’d like to see more and more of us come out (it’s happening) in an effort to educate those who don’t understand, and support each other knowing we’re not alone in this.

    The key is gentleness and compassion toward yourself. Know that I’m here to hold you in love and light as you cross the bridge

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  2. Thank you for sharing! So many people don’t understand that it is a lifelong battle that takes lots of time and patience to get through. I’m here if you need anything, I’ve actually been through it all myself (meds and LOTS of therapy). Kudos on your strength Kim! xox

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  3. Blessings to you Kim, facing what is within and without is not easy, keep pressing through and forward, I know you can do it I believe in you.

    May you find peace within as you go through the valley of the shadow and may joy spring forth anew.

    Bless you for sharing so others can learn and grow and face theirs as well.

    Cheers
    Sherry

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  4. “…you can convince yourself that you’ve just wandered a few feet off the path, that you’ll find your way back to the trailhead any moment now.” That is the truth! Great article, so true every bit of it. I didn’t realize that not recognizing yourself in the mirror was part of depression! I actually wrote a story a couple years ago called “Who’s this guy?” about that very phenomenon. Keep up the superior writing!

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    • ZDude!!

      I appreciate your comment very much. :)

      Actually not recognizing myself scared the Sh!t out of me! I think its part of the Anxiety I feel.. I get this “disconnected” feeling.

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  5. I think I’ve been depressed since I was in the 3rd or 4th grade. I was diagnosed with ADD. I’ve read ADD doesn’t just go away when ur an adult.
    Symptoms of depression and ADD are similar lack of focus, isolation from groups, mood swings, and daydreaming or disconnected from reality. I never saw a therapist as a child even though many horrible things happened to me. I was tested for a learning disorder, labeled, and fed ritalin. By the time college came around I’d attempted suicide and begged to just die! It’s interesting I also took antidepressants in addition to ritalin. Now I’m not on anything, but I’m very excited to make my first therapist visit once I get health insurance!! Also Reiki saved me, or I’d be dead without it.
    I read that in your blog about your son’s stuggle with ADD. One day I’ll have a blog telling about how important it is for people to really do their homework/research before trusting or just doing what a doctor says and not evaluating the whole person being treated. I look back at my own experiences as a child and how the adults handled it… which was poorly, like they were to busy to care. I’m really angry about it, which is why I need therapy…I want answers damnit!
    I feel like the whole situation wasn’t evaluated (my home life, being bullied at school & by family members, not having a consistant schedule, my grandmother was exteremly ill & we lived with her practiacally, and my parents took out their childhood drama/anger/ and wounds out on me). I was so young and couldn’t defend myself…my parents didn’t either. I know it’s apart of my drama that my soul needs for growth…but it still hurts & sucks a lot of ass.
    Honestly your blog and interpreting my dreams is a major undescribable healing impersment for me Kim thank you so much!! Love you! :-)

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  6. bravo. well said and good for you … and … if you need the meds for the rest of your life, so be it. you are here and courageous and strong and taking charge of your metal health. and this is joy :)

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  7. I reached a point where I was playing FarmVille and all those other games on Facebook and setting an alarm as a way to convince myself I had to get up to harvest my crops or serve up my food, because without that I had no reason to get out of bed. The only part of Elizabeth’s quotes I don’t agree with is “Those drugs were part of my bridge… but I wanted to be off them as soon as possible.”
    I hear this from her as if she’s saying being on medication is something to be ashamed of. That is a stigma that needs to be altered. There is nothing to be ashamed of with taking medication to help yourself be well. We don’t shame cancer patients for taking their medicine to get better, we don’t shame people with diabetes for taking insulin to stay healthy. Why should we shame anyone for taking medication to fight depression? Depression is a physical condition that seriously alters your ability to function. If you need to take medication for the rest of your life to function properly there is no shame in that.
    Depression is a serious illness and needs to be treated as such. Thank you Kim for writing this.

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    • Thank you Pattie and you are right.. I think in her personal experience she was not sure when she was going to get off them.. in context.. she stopped taking her meds in Italy.. but that is her story.

      I do not know how mine will proceed.. but I do know that I will take my meds as long as my therapist and doctor think I should be on them.. Again. .In time, my own body will tell me.
      :)

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  8. Dear Kim,

    I feel very privileged that you are sharing your story with me. You know I’ve been battling with depression for the last 4 years and i’ve been through hell.I suspect the huge amounts of anti-depressants i’ve been talking for the 4 past years have contributed in creating obsessive-compulsive behaviour which lead me to drug and alcohol abuse… I’m presently awaiting for a place in detox. The meds can be so dangerous as they have different effects on different patients. The fact that I was without a family doctor for almost 2 years did not help.but the thruth of the matter is getting help in our Health Care System is so difficult. Even after witnessing what i’ve been through for the last 4 years, family members and friends still don’t agree that a person suffering from depression requires as much care as a patient suffering from cancer and that kills me to hear that. If you haven’t suffered from depression, you just can’t understand how horrible it is.

    Thank you again for sharing your story and please know you’ll always have a special place in my heart… Mxxx

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  9. Kim, I thank you for digging deep under the fear of exposure and letting the truth out.

    I know I was personally saved by exercise daily and why it is so important to me that I not get lazy because of the endorphins released with exercise really did help me be able to release the sucidial tendencies and give me my life back.

    I pray you find peace within and use the meds as your bridge and not your dependant.

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    • Thank you Laura,

      One thing leads to another.. first the therapist, then the meds.. and yes more and more movement on my part!
      :) Today I went for a walk and I felt envigorated! Love those endorphins!

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  10. Kim, thanks for sharing your story. I suffer from depression as well, and it’s something that is so hard for others to grasp and understand (who haven’t been through it), but I feel like this post will help many people come to terms with some of the emotions they’ve been too scared to recognize.

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  11. Love this post my friend. I learned to look at my depression as my Black Dog (to use Winston Churchill’s analogy) and sometimes it’s with me and I just try and stay with it. Acknowledge it, pat it on the head and walk as it stays by my side. When it leaves then I notice it, nod and carry on with my life. There was a long time when I was sooooo bloody scared of it coming back and every little blip would make me rush around madly, thinking I was in the midst of it again. I decided to change my outlook and not see it as a tornado that I got sucked into but a dog that walked alongside me from time-to-time.

    Also totally agree with what Pattie says. Medication is just medication. Many meds have bad side effects but we don’t tell people they don’t need it, we try and help them find something else which works for them.

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    • Thanks Mel!

      Your continuous support and love is part of the “bridge” that is helping me get through this.. and it is what gives me the strength to believe in myself and my truth.

      xxoo

      Like

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