I was looking through April's issue of Glamour Magazine today, and there was a section about Mental Health, and since that seems to be very popular right now, I thought I would go ahead and share some of my struggles with Anxiety and Depression.
My Mom had PPD back before it was even popular. I won't go into her struggle, but I will say that she suffered from it pretty bad. Thankfully, she was healed from it, and when asked, she will gladly share her story with you. I was about 5 when got it after she had my younger brother. Fast forward to when I was 17. I had negative thoughts and what I know now is Anxiety. I had this for about a year, and it was not fun, let me say. I worried..A LOT! I went crazy with it, and I am so thankful that Mom was there to help me through it. I never thought of going on meds...I am not sure that they would have helped at the time, anyway...or maybe they would have.
Anyway...my second bout of it was when I was living in Calgary in the early 2000's. I was in my mid-20's. Again, with the thoughts, anxiety. I ended up going antidepressants/antidepressives, and they did a world of wonder. I started on Celexa, and then I went to Effexor XR, and it worked. Depression was just starting to go mainstream, especially with the internet. I moved back home to BC, and I shortly after, I went off of the meds. I didn't need to be on them, and I was doing well. I got married, we tried to get pregnant, then I got sick, then we found out that we might not be able to have kids. That was in December 2010. It was in February 2011 that things started to get bad again. I tried to stave off going on meds, or even seeing my Dr. I was too ashamed to talk to him about it, and certainly too ashamed to talk to anyone else about it. That was when Facebook and its groups were getting really popular, so I joined a few (I am quite a few MH, and Anxiety groups, though I don't post on/in them often), so being in them did help a bit. It was good to "talk" with people who had been dealing with similar situations as me. I am not sure when it was, but (not sure when I started this, but it is now June 12, and I should probably finish this up! I don't even remember what my train of thought was in/for this sentence!) things got pretty bad, so I decided to go to my doctor, and he gave me the same meds that I was on a few years prior. Well, I guess my body didn't like the medication this time, b/c I had some sort of horrible reaction: I was sick, and way more anxious than I had ever been. I think it was as close to a nervous breakdown as I had ever been. I finally convinced him to switch me over (he told me to just keep on it, and it may or may sort itself out) to my current meds, and I haven't looked back. I am on my meds, just a small dose, and I will probably stay one them for the rest of my life.
The point is, we shouldn't feel ashamed of it. Christians especially feel the stigma of having mental illness, whatever it may be. Christians are "supposed" to have it all. We are supposed to be happy and have it together all the time. Umm...guess what? We don't! NO ONE should feel ashamed to have a mental illness. Should you seek help and treatment? Yes! Do not ignore it. But please, oh please, don't be ashamed of it. Talk about it. Pray about it. Read about it. Do devotions (if you read the Bible) about it. Read the Bible on it (type in Depression in the Bible, and it will tell you where you can read about it). Being anxious can either be situational, or mental/emotional/on going. However you suffer from it, it sucks. Depression is like a black hole that you feel like you can't get out of. I hope that whoever is reading this that make you feel less alone. Get help. Talk to someone. You (and God) got this! You are never alone.