Wellness Wednesday #21: Depression

buttonSo you know that metaphor I used, about edging over the peak of a mountain? Well. I kept feeling that way, until ten days ago, when I suddenly fell into a deep crevasse. Dazed, I spent four days just trying to make sense of the situation, before coming to the conclusion: I’m not getting out of here alone. Then I called for a ladder.

Out of metaphoric terms? I’ve been fighting depression for months. The main reason my physician took me off my anti-anxiety meds in September was that they were working too well, causing the depression to worsen as my anxiety sources disappeared. I put up a good fight, but last Monday, I was hurled into the worst kind of depression. The can’t-focus, no-energy, can’t-even-basic-hygiene kind. It took four days of wading through this to capitulate and call the physician. They got me in right away, and back on (a different) medication I go.

True Confessions
I hate medication. I grew up in a family that taught me to strive for absolute, total independence. Dependence on anything, including medication, makes me very uncomfortable. This is the second time in the last fifteen months that I’ve had to surrender and say, Nope, can’t do this on my own! My brain and hormones are completely off-balance, and I have to trust my doctor, therapist, medication, and support system to help me get back to Manda-normal.

I don’t know how long that will take. In the meantime, just to note, I may be a bit more absent from the blog (and social media in general) in the upcoming weeks, depending on how quickly my brain improves. I’m in good hands, though, surrounded by people who love me and will help to rescue me from the crevasse and get me started on my way again.

About Amanda

Agender empty-nester filling my time with cats, books, fitness, and photography. She/they.
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8 Responses to Wellness Wednesday #21: Depression

  1. RR Gilmore says:

    My sympathies, Manda … Not much to say, but that it SUCKS! The good news is that you were paying attention and found people and tools to help. (You have said that you hate the meds, so I hope you don’t mind me sharing my personal experience: I do think of my meds as a tool – not a solution. The pills help me have a choice – I still need to decide to take care of myself every day. It’s still hard!) I hope that you feel better soon! No worries about the blog – I enjoy your writing, but you can always write later.


  2. “I hate medication. I grew up in a family that taught me to strive for absolute, total independence. Dependence on anything, including medication, makes me very uncomfortable.” I’m of the same mindset, although my upbringing was split. My mother was (and is) totally dependent on medications, while my father is the type to absolutely never, ever go to a doctor or therapist or anything else. So, I had the extremes of both worlds. I typically hover somewhere in-between, but when it comes to my mental health I find it very difficult to admit that I need anything. For me, I think it’s a combination of pride + fear of turning into my mother.

    I hope you get the help you need, though, and accept it. I think you’re very brave for doing what you feel you need to do in order to make yourself and your life better. And I’m sure you have much support from family and friends (online and otherwise!), too. Don’t forget about us. I always shied from asking for personal help or telling anyone I was struggling, but a scene from The West Wing many years ago, where Josh is struggling with severe PTSD, really got to me. It went something like this:

    “A guy is walking down the street when he falls in a hole. The walls are too steep, so he can’t get out. Eventually, a doctor passes by and the guy shouts up, ‘Hey you. Can you help me out?’ The doctor writes a prescription, throws it down the hole and moves on. Later, a priest comes along and the guy shouts up, ‘Father, I’m down in this hole can you help me out?’ The priest writes out a prayer, throws it down in the hole and moves on. At last, a friend walks by and the man shouts: ‘Hey, Joe, it’s me can you help me out?’ The friend jumps in the hole. Our guy says, ‘Are you stupid? Now we’re both down here.’ The friend says, ‘Yeah, but I’ve been down here before and I know the way out.'”


  3. Shaina says:

    Good luck, friend. I’m so glad you’re surrounded by people who love you, and know that that circle is ever-wider with online friends, too. We’re here for you! ❤


  4. Michelle says:

    Yet again our personal struggles intertwine. I finally went to my doctor and told her my current anti-depressants aren’t working anymore. Every day I get up and go to work is a hard-won battle that leaves me with little room to do anything else. I get to spend the next month weaning myself off of one medication and onto this new one. It won’t be easy, my friend, but we can and will get through this together!


  5. Amanda says:

    Thank you all for your support! ❤


  6. kay says:

    Hi Amanda!
    I know I haven’t commented much on your blog lately, but I’ve been reading, especially your Wednesday posts. I guess I just wanted to stop by and tell you I admire how honest you have been about your struggles here on your blog – it’s not something I’ve ever been able to do. And while my struggles differ from yours (it’s mostly general anxiety, complex ptsd & OCD these days), I at least can understand how helpless it can sometimes feel, and how hard it can be to reach for help. I’m really happy to read that you have though, and I hope you can find what works best for you soon. Take care of yourself, you can get through this, and don’t stress about the blog, it can definitely wait! *internet hug*


  7. Just wanted to reach out and say that I know from personal experience how difficult depression makes it to function, and also how difficult it can be to reach out and accept that you’re not really coping and need medical intervention. I went through a similar phase while we were living in Nashville where I dealt with the twin troubles of depression and anxiety, and wound up having to take medication for both for a while. I still struggle with each at times (though anxiety tends to be my more persistent issue, which is a different kind of beast) and still vividly remember how hopeless and sluggish I felt when I was in the real depths of depression. I remember the not being able to get out of bed, the neglecting personal hygiene for super long stretches, the feeling I had lost myself. Going to a psychiatrist felt shameful and yet I eventually hit a point where I realized I wasn’t able to handle things on my own and need medical intervention; I honestly think my brain needed to be kicked out of the neurotransmitter slump it was in and that those pills were necessary, though happily, they were also not a long-term requirement.

    All to say that I have been there and some times we hit dark periods where we need some extra support and assistance. I’m glad that you were able to reach out and have a support system in place to help you get through this and I hope you continue to heal and be gentle on yourself.

    Out of curiosity, have you read or watched anything by Jon Kabat Zinn? He is one of the leaders in mindfulness-based stress reduction and has published a lot of work on the benefits of mindfulness meditation. I consider a therapist introducing his principles to me as one of the major turning points in my life and have found it immensely helpful for living a happier, less-judgmental life. There are tons of videos on YouTube in which he talks about the basic principles and even the science behind meditation—I’m not sure if you’re at all interested, but I thought I would mention it as I have found it so useful in “managing” my own mental health.


    • Amanda says:

      I haven’t read/watched anything by him, but I’ll look him up. I’ve been looking for quite awhile for a mindfulness program that will work for me and have yet to find it. 🙂 And thank you!


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