Depression doesn’t mean you can’t be happy

I want to stress this so much. Depression doesn’t mean you’re unhappy or sad. Yes, it can be a symptom… and yes, you could easily get depression due to something that happened… but it doesn’t always mean you are not happy… It doesn’t always mean you’re sad. I do apologize ahead of time that this isn’t a super organized post. It’s somewhat my thought process and just trying to explain my own experience.

Depression can happen to anyone… at any time… for any reason…
I knew I struggled with anxiety, but nothing was ever done. I just tried to deal with it. I started having a lot of mood-swing sort of issues. I was so irritable and I overall just felt like crap but I was happy with my life.. so what was going on?
I ignored it. I thought it was all just anxiety and birth control issues and so on. The last time I had something happen this severe was when I was on the depo shot years prior. Most of those issues had been fixed once I swapped to the pill. But I still had some of those feelings and just felt off… I got used to it. So now, years later, when everything is getting “worse” in that department of not feeling myself and always feeling just bad… I just assumed it was birth control again.

How did I realize it was depression?

In July, Zach proposed (You can read the engagement story here). I started a brand new job that was in my field of study in August. Everything was actually going up. Everything was going great. I was absolutely happier than ever… but I felt like crap. How can that be?

Up to this point, I completely denied the possibility of being depressed/having depression. In reality, i didn’t know what it actually meant… That’s why I’m writing this because most don’t. Now, I do… It’s different for everyone, just like anxiety and any thing else. For me, it is just the feeling of dread. The feeling of waking up and not wanting to do anything… Little things that once put a smile on my face no longer did, it might even have made me irritated. The small things in life that usually would make my day or keep me going no longer did and the big things in life that made me happier than anything else didn’t change that I felt just horrible about myself and quite frankly, everything.

How did I “fix” my depression?

Honestly? My depression not actually completely cured… I don’t know if it actually can… but it can be managed. I’ve tried about every “home” remedy that I could find or think of… Nothing was helping and the little things that used to help just didn’t help enough anymore. As much as I didn’t want to, I somehow finally got the courage to go to the doctor. I made an appointment and other than just a general check up, I admitted that I needed help. I just couldn’t get my depression and anxiety under control anymore.

I never agreed with being put on medication. I was actually completely against it, probably due to how I was raised. For some reason I thought it was horrible to put chemicals in your body and drugs in your body for no reason. However, I was finally done. I wanted to try anything to feel better. It wasn’t effecting myself, my life, or even my relationship in a good way at all. I wanted to fix my depression. now.

My experience with SSRIs and fighting depression

My doctor prescribed me 50mg of Zoloft. The first few days I was pretty nauseous but other than that, I didn’t have any negative side effects that were noticeable.

In a few weeks, I didn’t really notice it, but Zach did. It was slightly helping me. I made tea. I know that doesn’t sound like much, but it is. I used to make tea once sometimes twice a day. A full gallon of tea and we would finish it up… I brew my tea at home and it doesn’t take that long to make but I just didn’t have the motivation to do it in the last probably 8 months or more… I couldn’t remember the last time I made tea… and I made some! Zach also tried to test my reactions. He’d ask things that some days in the past would really irritate me or make small comments. I wasn’t taking things he said as offensive or brushed off little things that might have annoyed me a few weeks prior.

I still had some down days but definitely not every day or majority of the week like I thought.

Month check up came in and I got bumped up to 100mg of Zoloft. Again, I had a few days of nausea and then I was fine… This seemed to be the nice balance. However, this was closer to holiday season. Holiday season always hit me hard for some reason. 2014 was the first time that was absolutely horrible and I noticed it… It was the first year that I had no reason to hate the holiday season, so it was the first time I actually noticed it. So this year, I was on Zoloft and I noticed that I started getting really down days again. So even though I didn’t have a monthly check up, I did end up scheduling an appointment for a little after a month.

I was then prescribed 150mg of Zoloft. I had really really bad nausea this time but still only for a few days, maybe close to a week. The bad part was that there is no 150mg of Zoloft, so I had to take one and a half 100mg a day. I had to cut a pill and I think that the slight difference day to day (so 148mg to one day at 152mg the next, etc). There was no guarantee that I was getting the exact dosage everyday. I was really dizzy all month. Every time I laid my head back, the whole room would spin.

I just got put on 20mg of Celexa instead of Zoloft. Zoloft goes from 25 or 50 (I don’t remember which is the lowest) to 200mg. Generally, 50mg, 100mg, 200mg. Celexa, on the other hand, goes 10mg, 20mg, 40mg. I just wanted to point out that no, they are not exact conversions. So 20mg is the middle dosage of Celexa. I’ve only been on it for a few days now but so far, I have had only slight dizziness and I actually haven’t had any nausea. So far, I’ve not had any noticeable side effects. I did notice that I’ve been a little up and down mood wise… but I think that would be the drop in serotonin levels that I’m experience.

I’ll definitely keep you all updated, especially if I find something that works amazing for me.

Regardless, depression does not mean you are sad. Depression doesn’t mean something is wrong with you. Depression is just a chemical imbalance and it is okay to try to fix that imbalance. Your serotonin level, when you’re depressed, is lower than normal. There is nothing wrong with fixing that imbalance.

 

I hope you all the best and please feel free to ask me any questions.

 

Best,

Epic.

PS. I don’t know why… but I didn’t even get severely deep but this was actually a little difficult for me to write about. One step at a time I suppose.

  • Pamela Thompson

    Kayla I think what You wrote about depression is good therapy for You and at the same time the info that You provided may help someone else. Alot of people have Anxiety Im one of them, and so is some of my family ,Again its a imbalance and sometimes, You need Medication to control it and Depression .Keep up the good work.Proud of You

    • Thank you! I definitely appreciate the feedback. I’m finally trying to get a hold of my depression and anxiety. I know there’s a lot of people that don’t have anyone to turn to… or they don’t think they do. I know I turned to the internet. Not everyone can go to the therapist and not everyone even wants to get help or knows they should get some. This is something I want to do to help myself and others. Going into psychology, I think it’ll help. (:

  • Lisa Williams

    Kayla first off I’m very proud of you. The first step is the hardest. Many yrs ago I went to the doc . My kids were still young and at home. Marriage wasn’t great I felt like my life was so messed up. I went the doc and got put on a mild depression pill. I took them but never saw a difference in my situation. Then my oldest daughter a young teenager came to me and told me their told them that I was sick and crazy so I was taking meds for it. That angered me so much so I quit taking them. I assured my 5 kids that mom wasn’t crazy or sick in the head by no means . So I just lived with . My kids all grown and families of their own . My life was Topsy turvy alot. My marriage failed several yrs ago. I was blamed for it all as usual. I could not hold back my depression my anger I cried all the time. I felt like my life was over. I even tried to commit suisse in front of him . I put a handful of pills in my mouth in front of him. His only response was a cold hard stare. So I spit out most of them and slept the rest off for several days. I got help once again but so no change and stop taking them. To this day I still struggle and feel worthless. Your story touched me very deeply. I guess I should let my doc know that behind my smile their is depression anxiety and sadness. Along with lots more issues. I love you I’m proud of you I know your story will help others. Stay strong in every thing you do.

    • One of the worst things you can do is actually stopping cold. What happens most of the time is Serotonin sickness. Since any SSRI (what’s usually prescribed for depression) raises your serotonin level, when you stop taking them, it drops drastically back to your “normal” which is lower than average… This causes everything to spiral even worse. No medication can work over night. It usually takes a few weeks and if you’re still having issues, the doctor will normally up the dosage… or switch the medication due to it not being strong enough. That’s what happened with me. I kept upping the dosage and then switched, which I also am dealing with a drop in serotonin levels due to the dosage change, meaning I’ll probably have to go up in this one as well. It’s not an easy journey, as you know. Just don’t give up! I’m so happy that this has touched you and many others. One of the hardest things is to get help, much less talk about it. It definitely doesn’t make you crazy! Love you too! I wish you the best and stay strong. I hope this can help many others as well!

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