Wednesday, April 11, 2012
PYHO: Depression Is Taking Over
I don't remember exactly when depression hit me or when I realized that I had a problem. I was an overweight kid and an overweight teenager who was teased and bullied on a daily basis by the other kids around me. This is what I often wonder: Is being fat what caused me to become depressed? Would I have been depressed if I had been thin? Did depression push me into developing unhealthy habits and ways of thinking?
As I teenager, I had my share of friends but was still made fun of almost every day. It was to the point where I didn't want to go to school. I was always extremely shy; the type of shy kid that hid behind my mother's legs. I didn't talk to anyone unless they talked to me first. I walked everywhere quickly with my eyes looking at my feet trying to stay as unnoticed as possible.
I always had horrible self esteem. I felt that I was ugly and disgusting and that everyone was laughing at me behind my back (paranoia?). As a teenager, I often had thoughts of suicide but they were just thoughts. Being an only child raised by a single mother, my mother and I have always been super close and I knew that losing me would kill her.. and besides, I don't think I could have ever actually gone through with it; I'm too chicken!
I remember in my teens and early adulthood always feeling as if I put on a fake face when I needed to face the world. I smiled, I laughed, I made others laugh, but deep down inside, I was full of pain and resentment. No one really knew how I felt inside, they just knew the mask that I hid behind.
I got married at the age of 26 and had my first child 3 months later. I went from having no kids to having 3 within a years time, thanks to birth control. I think this is when I noticed things getting worse. Before I had kids, I worked and was free to do what I wanted to do... then all of the sudden, I have 3 little ones to take care of. I was stuck at home all day with the kids and no vehicle. My husband worked all day and would come home and just fall asleep. My depression became more apparent. I cried a lot more. I've always been very insecure with myself and it has caused problems in my marriage because I always needed reassurance from my husband along with plenty of affection.
I've always had horrible mood swings and a temper. I could go from happy to extremely f'n pissed in 1.2 seconds. I got snappy with my husband a lot and he never knew what sort of mood I was going to be in when I woke up. My insecurities made me paranoid about everything my husband did, where he was, if he was telling me the truth. We separated twice. The first time we split up, I realized that I had some problems that I needed to deal with. I began going to therapy but that was a joke. I also had to go to a psychiatrist to be put on medication. The medication helped for awhile but once I stopped going to therapy and my husband and I got back together, I just sort of weened myself off of it. It wasn't long before most of my old symptoms came back.
My husband and I split up again 2 years later and I thought about getting back into therapy again but never did. We got back together a few months later and things seemed to be going good. I don't even remember WHY or what made me decide to do this but I finally decided to talk to my regular MD about my problem with depression. I was put on Prozac which helped a lot!! I loved it but it began giving me heart palpitations which scared the shit out of me, so he changed my medication to Effexor. That was almost 3 years ago and I'm still taking Effexor; I'm afraid to go off of it. It works, for the most part but has a lot of shitty side effects that I really hate. Even though it is usually pretty effective, I still have my bad days with depression. Some days, I just wake up in a pissed off mood. I mean, I feel like I have horns on the top of my head and smoke coming out of my ear. I get this tension in my chest and feel like I'm on fire. Nothing I do or anyone does can bring me down from this, then later in the day, it's as if someone smacked me with their magic wand and the angry feeling is gone. Other days, I wake up feeling super hormonal (you know, like pregnancy hormonal.. or worse). Everything makes me cry; commercials, text messages, songs, the kids... everything. On these days, I just feel like I am being flooded with emotions and I can't control the tears. Some days, its so bad that I just want to be by myself, so I go into the bedroom and shut the door trying to keep everyone else out. I hate those days. I feel like my head is out of control. I feel like I'm going to snap and have a nervous breakdown. I get tired of crying and my eyes hurt but I just. can't. stop. I hate for my kids to see me this way. I feel like a nut job on these days and worry that I'm messing my kids up by them seeing me this way but I can't control it. I feel like it controls me.
Then, there are the good days. The days where I feel truly "happy". Everything is calm and content in my world. I LOVE these days. I love the feeling of happiness. I wish I could be like that every day. I go to bed at night, not knowing what kind of mood I'm going to wake up in. Will it be a happy day? An angry day? A crying day? Depression sucks ass. I feel like it is ruining my life. Maybe I need to have my medication adjusted. I don't want to be on meds forever but I'm terrified of going off of them because when I'm not on them, every day is a bad day. Before I was on my meds, I hated my life, even though I was married to a man who treated me like a queen (yes, that is past tense), and 3 beautiful kids; I was never happy. At least now I get to experience happy days and those days mean the world to me.