I am not "depressed".

I am not "depressed".

I am "struggling a bit".

I am "having a hard time".

I am "in a down phase".

I am "dealing with a lot right now".

I had a baby, moved across the country, lost two loved ones, and I am in year three of my dad's battle with cancer. Feeling sad is normal in any one of those stressful circumstances. Try adding up all four at once. So I'm a little cranky? I can still get out of bed and live my life.

But I'm pissy and over-reactive, all the time.

It seems the world is always against me.

When I don't feel an undercurrent of sadness, there's an undercurrent of pissiness. When I don't feel an undercurrent of pissiness, there's an undercurrent of sadness.

Okay, but I don't need an antidepressant. I'll take more fish oil. I'll exercise more. Sleep more. Drink more water. I'll go to therapy more.

Yes, do those things.

Those things are helpful.

Those things are not enough.

Antidepressants are serious drugs that should be reserved for people who are mentally ill or suicidal. Even at my worst, I've never felt suicidal.

At my worst, I felt worthless.

At my worst, I felt unlovable.

At my worst, I lay in bed at night and fantasized about running away. I never thought about where I'd go or what I'd do; I imagined how much better off my husband and girls would be without me. CG would get over me and marry someone nicer, happier, prettier, better than me. The girls' new mom wouldn't ever yell or cry or need her own time-outs. This fantasy brought me relief.

But I'm afraid antidepressants will turn me into someone else. I don't believe we should medicate away our bad moods, temporary life-crises and uncomfortable personality traits.

If you don't like who you are right now, would it be such a bad thing to change a little?

If you're going through a particularly rough time in your life, don't you want to make it easier on yourself if you can?

If your bad moods and uncomfortable personality traits make living with you less than pleasant, don't you owe it to yourself and your loved ones to try something that might help?

But I'm scared I'll start taking the antidepressant and find I have to take it for the rest of my life.

Let me get this straight: Now you're worried they will work so well, you'll never be able to go off of them?



I have depression.

Major or minor, clinical or sub-clinical, episodic, circumstantial, fleeting or permanent, intrinsic, here to stay, it doesn't matter.

I have depression.

I take an SSRI.



Swistle said...

They can REALLY HELP. And it's so hard to get over the hurdle of getting on them, especially when you're in the circumstances that require them. In short, those are little waves of admiration you are feeling from me.

Marie Green said...

Very well said, m'dear! I'm so glad that you were able to recognize that you needed help and then GET IT. It took me YEARS of being miserable to follow those 2 simple steps.

Lora said...

I rarely comment, but read your posts all the time. I just wanted to say: Good for you!

I hit bottom before my husband (not even myself!) got help to come to me. I didn't even realize it wasn't normal to feel that bad.

You are amazing. Thank you for sharing, you are helping people every time you do.

charming gardener said...

Better living through chemistry.
They raise the bottom up a bit. And so so so OK, yes? Nice honesty. And you have many many friends and fans on your team.

Anonymous said...

I've been reading your blog for two years and every time, I relate so strongly to where you're at, it's such a comfort to know you're out there and that I'm not the only one. I've never had the courage to comment until now. I've seen your depression in your writing... I've wanted many times to write back, to let know how much I GET IT. You are NOT alone. There are five moms on my block including me, all with kids between 1-5 yrs old. Four of of us are depressed. Three of those drink every day to get by. Surely, there must be some BIGGER REASON we are all struggling so desperately??? What the $%^#! is going on out here in motherhood???

B said...

You can't see me, but I'm applauding you!

Whimsy said...

Kudos, cbhm. If the Internets are for anything, it's this: to cheer you on and tell you you're doing the right thing, even when you yourself worry about it. I think you're brave.

Kathi McCracken Dente said...

Big hugs from CA! We miss you and love you! I have moved somewhere new and struggled to fit in, I've lost someone close to me, I've struggled being a "good mother" but never all at once (you have A LOT going on). And I have taken an SSRI to feel better. And now I don't. I don't need to. The best thing about them is that they help you change your patterns of thought. You get to develop new healthier habits. But with everything remember you are fabulous and we love you! I so wish we could sit and chat over coffee and have the girls play so I could tell you that in person. Big hugs!

Craftstress Kira said...

Just sending love from one (happily, after much of the same self-argument) medicated lady to another. xoxoxoxoxoxo p.s. try to be a little easier on yourself, pleeeeaaaaaase, because you are a WONDERFUL and AMAZING person, and I admire you, as always, depression or not. smooch!

Cortney said...

I know I have commented before about how much I can relate to you, someone I've never met in "real life".

I'm one of those "I do everything naturally, stay away from medication, work through with therapy and meditation, etc" kinds of people.

Sometimes it's not enough. Sometimes you need more help. When I did, I took (and still take) an SSRI.

You have a LOT on your plate. Hugs to you. And thanks so much for your honesty.

clueless but hopeful mama said...

Thank you all for your support on this post. Your comments and emails mean the world to me.

And to Anonymous: I don't know what the deal is with so many of us mothers feeling depressed. I'm not sure it's just our generation. I imagine women have struggled for centuries to handle the incredible challenges of motherhood. Maybe we are uniquely stressed now, or maybe we are finally realizing that we don't have to just accept feeling crappy about ourselves and our lives.

In any event, thanks for commenting and letting me know you get it. It helps me. It really does.

grammalouie said...

Speaking as a member of another generation, I know what we are talking about here has been experienced by women worldwide - forever, probably. Sisters, you are not alone, and the internet is one way to let you know that and one way to communicate support for each other. The world wide web is unique in human experience, and I think it's worth noting and taking advantage of. Let's support each other and move forward.

Amy said...

This is a wonderful post. Thank you. I've talked a bunch of times in my blog about how going on Zoloft made a huge sea change for me and literally swept me up over the waves that were drowning me so that I could swim ashore. I am no longer on it but looking back, wished I had started taking it sooner.

I had no idea from reading your blog that you were dealing with depression. Please know that you have support out here in bloggyland!

Anonymous said...

I read your blog from time to time and just wanted to say, I'm a normal (classify normal ha) wife, speech language pathologist, and stepmom, who openly "loves" my lexapro (for anxiety). Three of my good friends are now on it because of my open endorsement. Honestly, I shouldn't have to pay for it (especially not 85$ a month)... They should sponsor me.

Anonymous said...

Thanks CBHM. I'm glad we all can give a little bit of encouragement and support to you after all the help your blog has provided me (and all of us out here) these past two years. Your words inspire me, your honesty humbles me, and your talent and courage to put your thoughts/feelings/worries on the "page" so eloquently have been my antidepressant many a time when these four walls seem all too isolating. Even with four other moms only steps away, depression keeps the door shut. You're right grammalouie... the internet is an incredibly powerful network of support, thanks to dedicated, thoughtful and generous people so willing to share. Thanks. I suppose I should make myself a username one of these days...

mrschicken said...

Been on them on and off for 13 years. They help right the ship. Taking them makes you strong. Deciding to take them is the strongest decision you can make.

This, from the woman who sat in the office of yet another new therapist yesterday and described all of these symptoms you outlined here. I'm going on them, too.

Be good to you.

Sam said...

I love drugs. *hugs*

Anonymous said...

I've struggled with depression for decades.... on and off, up and down. It was just this past year that I started taking something (a death in the family set me off). For me it came down to drinking or drugs. Because of my family the drugs were the best choice! I'm now closer to "normal" and that's best for everyone.

miyoko said...

you're taking CARE of YOURSELF. Good for you!!! :D :D
for some really destructive, strange bizarro human reason that acknowledgement and decision to heal can be the hardest part of getting better. being able to step aside and decide to finally absorb the help from yourself and others. It's the biggest part of the rock to climb. but then each day gets easier.

I'm happy for you.
ANd yes, there are so many reasons that motherhood is difficult. We are all drained but for a good reason--- the unmeasurable amount of wonderful non-stop LOVE that is constantly flowing out of us.


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