into the maze...enter the medicine handed down

Tuesday, November 18, 2008 / Comments (3) / by elizabeth

yesterday, Anne mentioned her struggle with depression and it struck a chord with me.

i can talk about my depression but it's harder to write about it. i'm not sure why, but i feel more exposed this way i guess. and i prefer to not bare my soul in such a public forum.......................................but on the other hand, reading blogs -- blogs of Christians, even --of people who struggle with this helped me a lot when i first started taking meds. so, here i am, talking about my depression on my blog. um, where do i start?

looking back, i think i've struggled with depression since high school, but not to the extent i do now. and i combated it by staying busy. i don't think i slowed down from my freshman year of high school until i graduated college. i do know that for those 9 years i hated being alone, hated staying at home by myself, and if i didn't have any plans i made some.

but after college and China and teaching 8th grade and moving to New York, my life did slow down.

When I moved to New York, I didn't really have any friends and I didn't like my job and I wasn't involved in my church and I wasn't sleeping and life wasn't fun anymore. i went to the doctor for something seemingly unrelated, and when i told her all of this she put me on Zoloft. And i felt bad for taking it, like i wasn't praying hard enough or my relationship with God wasn't what it should have been and i probably didn't need meds. but one day in my blog readings i came across someone who struggled with depression and struggled with taking meds (can't remember whose blog it was now). and after reading the comments, i realized that if i had diabetes, i would take meds. if i had cancer, i would get help. there is something wrong with my brain, and it can be helped with medication. why wouldn't i take it?

i stayed on zoloft until april, when things miraculously got better - i made some friends, i quit my job, and life was fun again. i thought that it was just my circumstances making me miserable. but this past january i started feeling sluggish, sad, not sleeping, wanting to stay in my bed all the time....and i realized though my circumstances had completely changed, i still felt the same and at the same time i did the year before. that's when i realized i probably had seasonal affective disorder, and went back to the doctor. she confirmed my suspicions, and also did a blood test which showed that i have an extreme vitamin D deficiency, which probably plays a role in the SAD (ironic, yes?!)

in my research i found that SAD (haha) begins, for most people, when the time changes. so this year, i went ahead and got a prescription for meds last week and have officially been on them for 5 days.

one of the commenters at flowerdust said, "having faith doesn’t make it disappear but it does make it different…different enough to step up and admit it, deal with it, talk about it, share with others..."

in the past, my thinking was skewed - my relationship with God allows me to talk about things, to admit them, to tell my roommates and other friends. more than that, my faith allows me to accept my struggle and share it with you in hopes that somehow it can help you either understand depression a little better or maybe compel you to get help if you need it.

For You are my lamp, O LORD; And the LORD illumines my darkness

- 2 Samuel 22:29

3 comments:

Anne Jackson @ November 18, 2008 at 7:33 PM

great great great post! THANK YOU for sharing.

joy @ November 18, 2008 at 7:58 PM

ah thanks. you just made me feel a little better about the doctors appointment i made yesterday.

sash @ November 20, 2008 at 12:03 AM

Yay!!! Celexa!!!