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When I Thought My Depression Was 'Cured'

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When I was diagnosed with depression, I’m not sure why I was so shocked. I knew in my own mind that I was depressed, but having the actual diagnosis carried so many other things with it. When I knew I needed something to help me with this deep depression I was in, I wondered, “How am I going to tell my parents? Will they be supportive or brush it off like it’s something I can just ‘get over’?” The anxiety was overwhelming.

After I learned my family was very supportive, I made an appointment with a local psychiatrist, and she immediately prescribed some meds. At that point, I was all for it; I just wanted something to relieve the deep depression I was in. To make a long story short, the medications were working wonders. Each time I went to see my psychiatrist, she increased the dosage until I was “maxed out” because that was what I needed. I realized that with SSRI medications (selective seratonin reuptake inhibitors), the dosage had to gradually increase to allow my body to get used to the chemicals. I really started feeling great! I thought, “Wow, this is really working. I’m finally cured.”

Well, not so fast.

When December 2016 came around, I was feeling down, and I thought it was just because of graduation stress. However, I noticed suicidal thoughts creeping back into my mind and feeling so extremely sad all the time. At the turn of the new year, I realized my medications kind of “pooped out,” or stopped working as effectively as they were. Was this normal? I didn’t know. But when my January appointment came around, I was prescribed Wellbutrin on top of my Paxil and Ativan to help alleviate the depression. The Paxil was working nicely for my anxiety, as well as the Ativan. However, depression crept back into my life and nothing made me happy.

People could take a look at my life and say, “She has a nice boyfriend who loves her, she has a supportive family, she just finished college with a bachelor’s degree, she’s going to job interviews, she has a brand new car… Others have it so much worse. There’s no reason to be unhappy.” You see, that’s the thing. Depression doesn’t care that you have all these wonderful things going on in your life. Depression takes over and makes you feel like those wonderful things will soon leave you or not work out in the end. Depression messes with you and can turn happy moments into deep sadness.

I have learned to accept my depression, as well as my anxiety. It’s who I am, and they are a part of my story. It’s not easy going through the treatments and thinking they’ll never work or that they’ll eventually stop working, but knowing my experience is unique from everyone else’s is what keeps me going. I have really good days, but I also have really bad days. I hope any of you reading this who do struggle with anxiety and depression and are on medication(s) realize that nothing is typical when it comes to these conditions. Finding what works for you takes time, and believe me, it’s worth the wait.

Stay strong, you can do this.

Image via Thinkstock.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741.

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Originally published: January 27, 2017
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