If I tell you I am depressed, does it make you think less of me?

by Janice

I get out of bed and the waves of depression almost knock me over. I want to give in and crawl back into the comfort of my covers.

depression-anxiety-imageI make my way to my computer and try to focus. The depression keeps crashing over me. I want to give up and go back to bed, but I know giving in isn’t an option.

I phone my husband, just to say out loud to someone, “I am soooo depressed.”

“Why?” he asks.

“No reason. Just chemical.”

And that is the curse with which I live — messed up brain chemistry.

Sure, I am stressed and sad about numerous things. But it isn’t situation that rocks me everyday as I sit down to face my to do list. It is chemical.

Like nausea in the first trimester, my depression simply is.

But want to know something even worse?

Anxiety is waiting inside me too.
Later in the day it will start burning inside my chest, racing my thoughts, stressing me out.

I will have a hard time staying calm when my ADHD, ODD son starts acting out. I will feel waves of panic as my daughter has fits of tics.

SO you ask — are you TAKING anything for all of this Janice???

Yes, the answer is yes. I just started with a new psychiatrist who is trying out a new medication for me. I have been on Paxil for years. I am still taking the Paxil — but adding Seroquel.

It is messy inside me right now as we play with the dosage. I am not sure about the Seroquel. Not sure at all. But, I will give it a bit more time I suppose.

It definitely is reducing my anxiety and evening out my mood swings. But I feel sedated and weak — exhausted trying to work and be creative.

Which brings me back to the title of this post, “If I tell you I am depressed, does it make you think less of me?”

Susan has written about her anxiety and panic attacks, (she is also on Paxil and Seroquel,) and I have written about my postpartum depression, but I still resist writing about my struggles.

I worry that people will read and judge me, that they will think I am weak and incapable of doing my job.

But I refuse to give into those selfish fears.

Those of us who struggle with depression and anxiety need to know we are not alone. We need to know that there are other strong, capable people out there who are also fighting the same battles.

And those who DON’T struggle with mental illness need to know that just because some of us battle it, doesn’t mean we don’t win. It doesn’t mean we are weak. In fact, we are strong. We fight every day.

So, while some who read this may look at me differently now, I need to write anyway.

Not only does someone else out there need to read this, but in writing it, I just beat back some of those waves and I am breathing a little easier…

YOUR TURN: Do you struggle with depression or anxiety? What was your first thought when you read the title of this post?

Written by Janice, co-founder of 5 Minutes for Mom.

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Email Author    |    Website About Janice

Janice is co-founder of 5 Minutes For Mom. She's been working online since 2003 and is thankful her days are full of social media, writing and photography. You can see more of her photos at janicecrozephotography.com.

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{ 123 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Monica January 14, 2010 at 5:28 pm

My mom has struggled with depression, anxiety and bi-polar disorder for years. It is such a hard disease to understand, but it’s because of people like you writing about it and sharing your struggles that it can be understood and accepted. Thank you so sharing so openly.

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2 Cassidy January 14, 2010 at 5:28 pm

My first thought: I’m not alone. Thank God there are others like me and I’m not alone.

I don’t think any less of you at all. I am thankful that you were willing to write this post because it’s a reminder to myself that I really am not alone. It’s sad that there is such a stigma surrounding these things that we can’t speak up about them and find people with similar problems who understand.

I think it is so important for mother’s to support each other. It could be having a 15th child, dealing with depression, experiencing the loss of a baby, or anything else; mother’s need to stand together and offer each other support instead of looking down on a person because of these things.

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3 Beth January 14, 2010 at 5:31 pm

I certainly don’t think less of you. I have anxiety and have battled depression before. It’s a hard road and I hope that you find medication that helps you.

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4 crunchy domestic goddess (amy) January 14, 2010 at 5:32 pm

I think it’s so important for us to talk about these things. It’s one of the reasons I’ve written about my struggles with generalized anxiety disorder and panic attacks on my blog. I almost feel like its our responsibility to let others know we are human and they aren’t alone. We all need to support each other.

I applaud your decision to blog this. I know its not an easy choice. I hope that its therapeutic for you to write about it and I know you will help others in the process.

Hugs!

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5 JulieBouf January 14, 2010 at 5:33 pm

Depression runs in my family. It was the undoing of my father. I see it in my brother. And I’ve always noted major mood swings in my mother (don’t tell her that). I’ve always been the strong one. Everything rolls off me shoulders. I don’t dwell. Until recently. For the first time in my life things just haven’t been going my way. On so many levels. And I just feel like crying all the time. I feel guilty knowing I am so lucky to have my family. Two beautiful children. So much more than so many. I want to hide under the blankets. Stay in bed. So no, I don’t think less of you. At all. You are smart and brave to get yourself help. I still need to make that step.

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6 Nanette January 14, 2010 at 5:37 pm

Janice,

Reading the title of the post made my heart ache for you. At one time in my life, I too struggled with Anxiety attacks. I have been fortunate enough to be able to overcome them. I have a child with a brain disorder. I know you have to have strength to deal and cope with depression and anxiety every moment of every day. My son has to deal with anxieties and the struggles he goes through every moment of every day as we all learn and cope.

Your strength in writing your fears, sharing your depression and anxiety with others, just putting yourself out there shows JUST HOW STRONG YOU ARE. May God continue to give you strength. ((((HUGS))))

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7 Jen January 14, 2010 at 5:45 pm

I am hoping the new medicine combination works well for you. I have Panic Disorder with Agorophobia. I reviewed a wonderful book: Beyond Blue Surviving Depression & Anxiety and Making the Most of Bad Genes by Therese Borchard. I enjoyed it and gained some new insight.

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8 Kati January 14, 2010 at 5:48 pm

I have both depression and anxiety. It started when I was pregnant with my first. It was REALLY hard one week after my second was born. I too wrote about my PPD on my blog. It was VERY hard to write but I needed to get it out and I was pretty sure someone would benefit from it. And people did. I had friends email me saying thanks for writing that and that they had had the same issues and never told anyone. I am being treated for my issues and while there still are bad days, most of them are good.
When I first saw the title of this post in my feed reader I thought- “No, not at all. In fact I feel for you since I have been there.” After reading it I really understand even more. I am glad that you are able to come out with your problems and allow others to help you instead of dealing with it on your own. You never know who will read this and get help because of it.
So, good job. Good for you for getting help and for telling others about. Far too often this is not discussed because we are afraid that people will think that we aren’t good enough or we are failures. This is not at all the case. It is something we can’t help and just need to work through with our doctors and others.

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9 Mary January 14, 2010 at 5:54 pm

If everyone would realize all disease is of the mind manifesting in different ways. Yet it is still all too true that “mental” health is viewed with more suspicion and less compassion than say a flu, broken bone or diabetes.

Writing about depression openly and honestly is time well spent and will encourage more of us to feel brave. I have struggled for 20 years when post-partum depression began and at that time I had no idea what I was dealing with.

Blamed myself for many years and still dislike needing medication but most days I bless the meds and know how much they have improved my life.
I think of more of you for your ability to share. Let’s encourage all to judge less,love more.

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10 queen size funny bone January 14, 2010 at 5:58 pm

I thought me too. I have been taking Paxil and thought its just not doing the trick. Thinking of asking my doctor for something else. Most of my days I don’t even leave the house. I can’t sleep because my brain just doesn’t stop long enough to rest. With all this I am suppose to find a job. My thoughts brave lady is ME TOO and good for her for being honest.

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11 Amy January 14, 2010 at 5:59 pm

My first thought was absolutely NOT! I too suffer from mild depression (usually seasonally). I tried meds while I was in college which was the absolutely wrong time to try to focus on my mental health.
I manage the best I can with exercise. (Today in fact I got up from my desk to do jumping jacks. Having my necklace bang me in my nose lent me the silliness I needed to get thru the moment).

I’m so proud of your strength and am hoping some of it rubs off.

I do think those who don’t suffer (or won’t admit to it) don’t really get it. I pray for their understanding.

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12 Amy January 14, 2010 at 6:00 pm

My first thought after reading this post was “How could I possibly judge you when I’ve been there myself.” I battled depression and anxiety but mine was not chemical. My issue came from the abusive relationship that I allowed myself to stay in a little too long.
I have shared briefly about this on my blog but feel that maybe I should share more. It helps others in the same boat to find someone to relate to. It also helps me to introduce those people to the God who can wipe the slate clean.
You are so brave to share your life. Thank you.

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13 Kim January 14, 2010 at 6:00 pm

I think if we’re honest, we all struggle with depression and anxiety at some point in our lives. Some people have more of a battle than others, but my view is that it is a part of being human. The fact that you are making a choice to fight against it shows the level of strength that you have.

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14 Mom24 January 14, 2010 at 6:00 pm

I don’t suffer, but my husband does, and I really admire people who can recognize they have a problem and get help. It’s the people that know they have a problem and refuse to get help that lose a bit of my respect for them.

Good luck and God bless you in your journey.

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15 Janice January 14, 2010 at 6:07 pm

THANK YOU all for sharing here in the comments.

Boy do I wish I had our nested comments back right now so I could address each comment!

(We had to take out Disqus because it was having problems with our theme – BUT soon we will have our new site design and our nested comments back!!!!)

Thank you for each of your comments and your stories!! They mean so much to me and all of our readers.

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16 Emily H. January 14, 2010 at 6:14 pm

My first thought when reading the title? Hell no! I don’t think less of those who struggle with anxiety or depression–or stress or weight loss or anything like it for that matter. Though I don’t have firsthand experience with depression like this, I know of others who do and I hail them for being strong enough to get up every morning and continue the fight. I’m their biggest cheerleader!

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17 Blessed January 14, 2010 at 6:16 pm

No, I would never think less of you for you being able to say “I’m Depressed” in fact… I think it is admirable when people can stand up and say – “I’m dealing with…” not that I enjoy reading blogs that are all about struggles, but a blog like yours that is mostly sunshine, inspiration, laughs, encouragement… the occasional “I’m Struggling” post means a lot and in fact makes me think a little more of you.

I really appreciate the blog(s) and community you have developed with 5 Minutes for Mom. Thank you.
- Jenn

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18 Amber January 14, 2010 at 6:23 pm

I thought wow, she is human. Not that people without depression aren’t human, but this made me feel like I could connect with you.
I often feel more anxious then depressed, overwhelmed and sluggish. My doctor diagnoses me as having adjustment disorder with anxiety. I take something call citalapram with alprazolam as needed. It helps a lot and I’ve tried to incorporate some activities such as going to the gym and back to college to keep my mind busy. My mood seems to be getting more and more stable but I struggle with a constant lack of energy and not being able to fall asleep and stay asleep. But one step at a time. My doctor is proactive in finding the right combination for me and I’m optimistic that things will get better.
Good luck on your journey.

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19 Nancy T. January 14, 2010 at 6:25 pm

I also would never think less of anyone who admitted they struggle with something – in fact I admire them for it. I have never experienced depression or anxiety so I don’t know what it’s like but I do know that enough people suffer through these that no one should be embarrassed or worry that people look down on them.

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20 Melissa January 14, 2010 at 6:27 pm

I know where you’re coming from. I’ve described my depression in the same way–waves that knock me down. I appreciate your willingness to blog about this. I’ve alluded to it but not written bluntly on my own blog.

Someone told me that, while no one will look down on you when you have a broken arm, some will when you have a broken brain. This kind of depression is a chemical imbalance, not a weakness or a character flaw.

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21 Annette W January 14, 2010 at 6:35 pm

I first thought that I needed to read more to understand you and my mom and sister better. Thank you for your vulnerable openness.

I’m not sure if anyone would admit to thinking less of you, but I certainly think that it shows great strength in sharing! Thank you.

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22 Raul January 14, 2010 at 6:38 pm

Janice,

I didn’t know about your or Susan’s depression. This past year, on April of 2009, Isabella Mori (@moritherapy, http://www.moritherapy.org) and I took it upon ourselves to organize the first-ever Mental Health Camp, with the goal of using social media to erase the stigma that mental illness, like depression, anxiety and other mood disorders, carry with them).

http://www.mentalhealthcamp.org

I don’t think any less of you (or of Susan) for having depression. That’s the whole reason why we started this movement! With 9 cities interested in MHC’s, I think 2010 will be a key year where the pathway to erase the stigma associated with mental health may be finally paved!

Much love,
Raul

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23 The Mom Jen January 14, 2010 at 6:42 pm

My first thought is…it can happen to anyone. I’ve battled since I had PPD when my son was born nearly 9 years ago. I’ve been on and off meds due to doctoring myself and saying, “I can do it without help” and I’ve always come back to at least 10mg of something, in this case Lexapro now. The more I talk to people the more I hear that it is in fact SO very common. As moms we want the best for our kids, and often our expectations are too high, or even the slightest comment about our choice to stay home (in my case) can be affected and it hurts internally that then leads to all sorts of feelings like depression and anxiety. I appreciate you sharing, we often see those that have everything “together” as the first ones to judge in a case like this, but often they are struggling a little too but are too scared or embarassed to share. HUGS!

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24 kd January 14, 2010 at 6:44 pm

I think MORE of you now! You are on the road to recovery when you can admit it and tell others about it. We’re all pulling for you, though you haven’t a clue who most of us are…they WILL find the right combination for you. Don’t give up hope!

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25 Mindy January 14, 2010 at 6:44 pm

Think less of you? NEVER!

Good for you for taking care of yourself.

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26 Barbie January 14, 2010 at 6:49 pm

I would never look at anyone who suffers from depression and/or anxiety differently. I’ve been there myself. Thankfully, I’ve managed without meds for the last several years. But as I am reaching the age of menopause, some days I feel as if I might need to get some help. I appreciate your honesty and bravery about this subject. I believe far more people struggle with this issue than care to admit. So if we who are blogging to encourage others can be honest and upfront, we can help one another.

I am praying the Lord will continue to strengthen you and give you peace and clarity of mind, but most of all the the furious joy of the Lord would wash over you!

You are not alone in this struggle!

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27 Susie's Homemade January 14, 2010 at 6:56 pm

I am sorry…did you sneak inside my head? You are COMPLETELY describing the chemical imbalance that I have managed my whole life. I use the “manage” word loosely. Some days are good and some days aren’t.

So no…I don’t think less of you…I am you:-)

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28 Tyra January 14, 2010 at 7:17 pm

To answer your questions, yes I do struggle with depression, emotional/mental issues, health problems and well…you get the picture. And as for the second, my first thought was why would I think less of someone who is courageous enough to admit she struggles with some of the same things as myself!! I am sorry for all the things you have to deal with, but I applaud you for fighting them and trying to make the best of things anyway. It’s all that we can do really since giving up just isn’t an alternative! (although I will admit that I have a few of those ‘not trying too hard’ days when things are really bad)I think the trick is just to not stay down, you know?! Praying that God will help you as you find what works best in managing everything.

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29 one cluttered brain January 14, 2010 at 7:29 pm

First thought, If I thought less of you just because you were going through depression, that would be really weird. I would never abandon a fellow blogger when they are down. I mean that’s why most of us blog anyway. Some do it to meet people and that’s fun, but another way is through support. And besides, depression runs in my family. I do not currently struggle with the disease, (yes I believe it to be a disease.) but my hubby struggles with depression. We are currently looking at other medication because current anti depressant meds not working with his ADHD meds. *SIGH*

We will get it right. Thanks goodness for medication, right?

And for sunny days.

And for good friends that truly care about the way we feel.

Hang in there Janice. It is bound to get better.

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30 SarahHub January 14, 2010 at 7:30 pm

I have never experienced what you are going through, but my mom and sister both struggle with depression. I have seen a marked change in them since they began taking medication.

Do I think any less of you? Do I think any less of someone who struggles with diabetes? Of course not. This is a chemical thing in your body, not anything you can control, not anything that makes you “weak.”

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31 Amber January 14, 2010 at 7:36 pm

My first thought: I understand. I have dealt with depression in the past, and ever since I have been more moody, more easily upset and not quite the same. Postpartum blues and PMS have been worse after the depression than before, and after the birth of my third I felt like I was just completely messed up in my head for nearly a year. I don’t think less of you, I don’t think you are alone either. I think many women deal with this, and conquer it and succeed, on a daily basis.

Hugs to you, hope you find relief through the meds soon.

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32 Sarah January 14, 2010 at 7:40 pm

My 1st thought when reading the title was… I know exactly how you feel. I’ve never been diagnosed as such. I just know I struggle with it. I think it may run in my family. On both sides, no less.

Some days… like today, I can hardly do anything. Then other days, I feel “normal”, and get lots done, and feel great! I want to feel great all the time. However, I really can’t see myself taking anything for it.

My husband just doesn’t understand depression whatsoever. His main advice to me is, “Happiness is a choice.” Help? Is that true? Like, can I just change feeling depressed by “making myself be happy”??

Hopefully nobody that knows me reads this, because I KNOW that they would think less of me because of it. That’s how it is in the circles that I am in (mostly). And I would hate that.

Thank you for posting this. Thank you for being real. I do not think less of you- only that you are courageous for being honest, and encouraging others like you.

Blessings!
-Sarah

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33 Staci A January 14, 2010 at 7:52 pm

I think you are such a strong woman for posting about this. It takes a lot to put it all out there, but I’m sure so many people need to hear that they aren’t alone. And do I think any less of you? Absolutely NOT-much the opposite!

Depression is something I’ve struggled with for years, but don’t really talk about or even admit to often. It runs in my family, and I try my best to be the “happy” one around most people. But it’s definitely a struggle some days.

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34 Lisa January 14, 2010 at 8:03 pm

My first thought is there is a real person behind this website. We often forget and come on the web forgetting that there are actual real people, sitting behind a desk, writing, breathing and living a normal life like we do.

I think at some point, everyone experiences depression/anxiety. For me mine was more of a post traumatic and not chemical. I still get waves of anxiety on occasion.

I hope this is a passing phase in your life and that your chemical imbalance will be end.

And no, I don’t think less of you – I think more of you and I think it is healthy to speak about it instead of holding it in.

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35 Margaret January 14, 2010 at 8:12 pm

My thought was poor you! I get depressed but mostly around “that time.” It makes me feel so low! I haven’t had to be medicated for it and I hope I never will.

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36 Trudy January 14, 2010 at 8:12 pm

My first thought was, “Oh absolutely not!”
I have been on one form of anti depressive medication for over 15 years. My husband is on anti depressants and anti anxiety medications. He can’t leave the house without being heavily medicated with adivan. But I don’t think less of him.
He now has to take adivan everyday for the anxiety.
Depression and anxiety are part of our lives. What we do is to continue to love and support each other. Just like those of us who come here will continue to do for you.

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37 Carrie January 14, 2010 at 8:15 pm

My first thought was that I am proud of you for blogging about this.

Yes, I’ve suffered from depression- pretty bad at some points in my life. I still fear getting to that bad place again. I think I have a fear of sadness because of that, I’m always scared I’ll go too far down that slippery slope and will end up in the dark place again.

Hope your new medication helps!

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38 amanda January 14, 2010 at 8:21 pm

When I saw the title of this post I was relieved that someone was blogging abut this topic. And relieved that I am not alone in my struggles. I have had ocd since childhood and still struggle with ocd, anxiety and depression. I too feel like people will judge me and think less of me if i discuss it. It feels so taboo. After my last pregnancy things got really bad and I had to start opening up about it but i still dont feel confidant enough to blog about it much. Kudos to you for being brave. Hope the medication helps.

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39 Muthering Heights January 14, 2010 at 8:53 pm

My first thought was “absolutely not!”

I suffer from seasonal depression, and have survived three rounds of PPD. You have my support any time you need it!

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40 Mikki January 14, 2010 at 9:14 pm

Janice~
After having my second child I went through depression. I too went on paxil for awhile while I worked on my health and my issues. Eventually I was able to come off the paxil, but I think no less of anyone that struggles with this.
May God heal you, but as you wait, may you find comfort in knowing God gave man wisdom to be able to make things to help us :-)
Have a beautiful weekend!

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41 Katie January 14, 2010 at 9:20 pm

My first thought was I admire her so much for making that statement. It takes a strong person to admit when something isn’t right and an even stronger person to say it outloud where everyone can hear. Maybe if more of us admitted these things outloud we wouldn’t feel so alone in our struggles. I’m proud of you for sharing your story.

*hugs*

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42 Michelle January 14, 2010 at 9:31 pm

I worked in mental health for nine years with the majority of clients who were well educated – nurses, teachers, bankers, lawyers, etc. The treatment I saw most effective in treating people with depression and anxiety was DBT (Dialectical Behavioural Therapy) We offered a 18 week course for 1.5 hours per session. Clients learned skills – emotional regulation (how to surf your emotions rather than being overwhelmed by them), distress tolerance (how to tolerate an uncomfortable situation – not necessarily make it better, just not make it worse), core mindfulness (acknowledging a thought as just a thought, not needing to dictate your behaviour), interpersonal effectiveness (how to assert yourself and maintain your self respect as well as the other person’s). This is a simplistic overview – it in a nutshell.
Unfortunately, we fell victim to health care cuts. And managers in their offices decided to have groups with a CBT (1960s) approach to anxiety versus the latest research DBT.
My goal, now that I am laid off, is to develop a program for people to readily have access to these skills, taught in a user friendly manner. I don’t know how many times as a therapist I heard, “If only I had been taught this in school, it would have save me so much grief.”

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43 Tiffany January 14, 2010 at 9:41 pm

I actually think more of you for being brave enough to post about it. I have struggled with depression and anxiety for 12 years, since I was a teenager. I never talk about it to anyone, I have always just dealt with it. It has gotten easier though, and I take Lexapro too.

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44 Heather January 14, 2010 at 9:47 pm

Perfectly timed message.
I don’t follow them all, but this one was one I saw, for some reason. And I thank God for that and you for what you wrote. Today was a hugely depressing day for me. Nothing went wrong, I was just in a hole that only got deeper and deeper. Nothing helped except getting outside a bit but it is so cold. I felt trapped because medicine doesn’t work for me, and one left me with a side effect that still bothers me at times 4 yrs later. So… I do what I can when I can and tinker with diet and meditation and sunshine and what not. But just seeing this helped. Seems odd that it did as it offers me no solution but yet it did make me smile. I guess because few people I know struggle with this like I do or understand my debilitation is not something I want or can just take pills for. I fight against it just to do the dishes, and for me too it is an imbalance. I found adding lots of fresh, raw fruits and greens helpful, until I developed a sensitivity to bananas, which are so yummy, cheap, and plentiful. So getting enough calories from only fresh greens and fruits is out of my budget right now though it helped so much!
I wish all who deal with this good luck and lots of hugs! We need one another because unless you have truly lived with depression so bad that nothing makes you smile you can’t understand it.

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45 Ann January 14, 2010 at 9:53 pm

I look at it like this…. if I were diabetic would I take medicine? Yes! So, if I am chemically imbalanced wouldn’t I take medicine? Yes.

Being Real is one of the best things to be. Thanks for sharing who you are!

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46 Amy January 14, 2010 at 10:21 pm

Good grief, Janice. Think less of you? Not at all! Think you’re a crazy woman trying to fit 40 hours worth of STUFF in each and every 24 hour day… maybe. ;) Take care of yourself and know that we love you!

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47 Beth January 14, 2010 at 10:23 pm

You know I do! Its a little liberating to admit it to everyone else though huh? I am here if you ever need an ear.

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48 Sheena January 14, 2010 at 10:23 pm

I totally feel you on hiding things because others will think you are not capable of doing your job. 2010 seems to be the year of honesty, I love it.

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49 Laura January 14, 2010 at 10:24 pm

I would never think less of anyone that shared what you did here. I think that you are incredibly brave to put yourself out there. Since having my second daughter I too suffer on and off with depression. You are definitely not alone.

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50 Heather January 14, 2010 at 10:30 pm

Never would I think any less of you, either. I think all moms need to stick together. :)

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51 Lolli January 14, 2010 at 10:33 pm

My first thought when I read your post title? I know how it feels.

I have always struggled with anxiety, but this past year, since we have started a business and have eaten through a lifetime of savings, credit, family favors, and the kindesses of friends…..well, let’s just say I was hardly functioning. I would have a panic attack every time the phone rang. I finally got to the point where the only way I could function was to unplug the phone all day.

My mom and friends all recommended that I talk with someone and get help somehow. The first person I talked to for help basically told me that “what you are feeling is normal and the best thing to do would be to talk with someone who has had a similar experience.” In other words, “suck it up.”

Luckily, I didn’t listen, and I made an appointment with my doctor (after waiting too long). She recognized what was going on and put me on some meds. I can’t tell you how wonderful it feels to feel like myself again. I can function. I am not paralyzed everyday.

Thank goodness there is help.

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52 Petula January 14, 2010 at 10:36 pm

This may sound totally weird, but I was relieved to see that title. I don’t think less of you at all. As a matter of fact, each time you and your sister open up and share a little part of yourself my heart opens even more. I’ve found myself a little jealous of your success (sorry!) and my image in my mind is how perfect you both are. Yes, I know no one is perfect, but in my mind – where depression and anxiety lurk – there’s always some negative voices ready to make everything worse.

I think you are amazing and I’m even more amazed that you’re able to do so much with everything that goes on inside. In fact, I just had a realization that I should be amazed with myself for the same reason. This post has helped me more than you know. I appreciate you sharing that and in being open, honest, encouraging and raw. It’s often one of those subjects that people avoid. They have preconceived notions about “us.” I’ve never revealed on my blog that I see a counselor and a psychiatrist. That part of the many meds I’m on include antidepressants and mood drugs.

This is getting quite long so I will stop. Once again: Thank you! It’s wonderful to know that we’re not alone and that we can stand together to support each other.

I hope your meds get straightened out and the dosage just right really soon.

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53 Crystal January 14, 2010 at 10:36 pm

I would answer NO!

And yes, I suffer too. I’ve had phobias/anxiety disorder since around puberty (I’m now 29) and in the past few years have added depression to the mix. Panic attacks and the burden of depression are truly awful. I’m sorry you two suffer through them.

I started lexapro last year and it helped even out my moods and took away the despair that was an enormous weight on my shoulders, but I’m still not “me”, and my creative side has seriously suffered. I still have days where I feel “down”. But I’ll take down over total despair anytime.

I’m also seeing a psychologist that has been helping me with the anxiety and phobias. I still have a long way to go, but I already feel like a new person. Not quite me yet, but getting there.

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54 Crystal January 14, 2010 at 10:41 pm

I think happiness is a choice only when depression is not there to rob you of making that choice. Anyone who has ever suffered depression would understand that.

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55 Kimberly/Mom in the City January 14, 2010 at 10:52 pm

It doesn’t make me think any less of you. It makes me admire your vulnerability. Would I think of you any less if you had cancer or any other illness? No. Depression is a clinical illness. The more that people talk about it, the less stigma there will be to it.

I’m a pretty upbeat person by nature but there was a short period in my life about a decade ago when it took everything in me to make it through each day. I think that experience helped me grow as a person.

I’m glad that you are getting the medical help needed. All the best!

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56 Sandra (hicksgirl93) January 14, 2010 at 10:55 pm

I certainly understand and will never think differently of you. I too am dealing with depression and I know the fears of being vulnerable to people who do not understand. Keep pushing on,thanks for sharing your story.

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57 Sari January 14, 2010 at 10:56 pm

Janice,

thank you so much for being honest and open about your struggles! I have been struggling for 6+ years and finally, after hitting rock bottom and separating from my husband this past summer , I started therapy and a regular schedule with medicines (Effexor).
6months later I am finally, slowly, finding “me”.
Anxiety, depression, panic attacks all brought on by miscarriages, infertility, my son who was born with special needs, a radical hysterectomy.. it all just added up and nearly took me down.

I have been blogging about it honestly and openly as well because the struggle that I went through, not wanting anyone to know, not wanting to get on medicines, was insane. There is still a hush-hush mentality that we have to break –

I thank you for letting us in on your private struggle. My prayers are with you.

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58 Stacie January 14, 2010 at 10:56 pm

My first thought was been there, done that! I certainly do not feel any less for you. Im happy that you are trying to control it cuz depression really, really sucks!

I had “issues” in high school and college and then again after my 2nd child was born. I give thanks to zoloft that really helped me.

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59 Forgetfulone January 14, 2010 at 11:04 pm

You aren’t alone! And I’m so glad you’re blogging about it. I see you as a very strong role model for other people here in the blog community, and I also see you as a STRONG person in spite of or maybe because of the issues you deal with. It makes you human. I really do admire you.

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60 Deborah January 14, 2010 at 11:07 pm

Hello, my name is Deborah. My husband suffers from depression. I support him, but I must admit, I don’t always get it. It is hard to understand.

We will celebrate our third anniversary this March. My husband stayed home from work about five months after we married announcing that he was depressed. Wham! What hit me? It was hard not to believe that I was the cause…or our marriage…or well, I just had to fix it.

We married March 3, 2007 in Michigan on a Saturday. We landed March 6, 2007 in Brisbane, Australia. My husband’s home. My new home. My first time setting foot in the Land Down Under. I was exciting about this big adventure of matrimony and a new world. But, I sure wasn’t ready for what came five months down the road.

We are leaning deep into the Lord. My husband hasn’t yet found a medication that works. He, like many of you perhaps, would like to beat this without the help of meds. Well, for me, it is every day with Jesus. Without Him, I would most definitely be lost and drowning in my own downward spiral of depression.

Like you, I find it hard to talk about. It isn’t exactly what you want to write home about. Friends and family want to hear about the exciting life you are living in Australia and the babies that are coming. Ha! Not happening. With his depression it isn’t often that he is “in the mood”. We’d love to have the pitter-patter of little feet. That’ll have to be God’s doing. Hey, don’t get me wrong. I believe He is able. I’m looking to Him.

I think we need to talk about this more. If you think you are alone, that’s a lie. More people are going through the same thing than you are aware, either personally or a loved one. So, let’s talk.

Deborah

find me on Facebook
facebook.com/deborah_brine
twitter: @acupofjoy
comfortjoydesigns.blogspot.com
comfortjoydesigns@gmail.com
acupofjoy.etsy.com

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61 Real Life Sarah January 14, 2010 at 11:13 pm

Janice, You are so courageous for sharing this… not to mention overcoming it every day! I, too have dealt with Anxiety and Depression for years. It is so misunderstood. I wish I could put my arms around you and hug you right now.

I’ll be praying for you, you will prevail! Having gone through several changes of meds, I know it can get really tough. Just remember that this is not “you” as your body adjusts, although it can feel as though it’ll never get better.

Reach out to your friends and supporters- we won’t judge!!

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62 Heidi V. January 14, 2010 at 11:35 pm

I don’t know you but I have a different outlook on this site because I think you just helped a number of people who are struggling with depression realize they aren’t alone, sometimes that’s all it takes to help someone. I applaud your courage…

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63 Sarah January 15, 2010 at 12:08 am

My first thought, “wow, really, me too”. It takes a lot of courage to be honest and I’m glad you were.

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64 Jenny Cheeky and Swank January 15, 2010 at 12:08 am

Janice, look at all these comments! We are not alone. I am so proud of you for sharing. The more we open up and talk about depression and anxiety the more we destroy the stigma. I see you as a more couragous person for being able to open up and let others see the real you. It makes me love you more. I have shared my story too and it’s not easy but we can make a difference in this world….one blog post at a time.

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65 Maryanne January 15, 2010 at 12:09 am

Thank your for sharing. I don’t have diagnosed depression, but sometimes I wonder if I should get checked. Yesterday was one of those days for me. Not too long ago, I discovered something about myself which really helped…I guess I had to be my own psychologist.

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66 Kelli January 15, 2010 at 12:11 am

Quite on the contrary, Janice…I admire and respect you that much more for having the courage to share this. You are an amazing mother, wife, writer, and on and on the list could go…

While I presonally have never struggled with depression, people close to me have. I’ve seen it’s effects. Thanks for giving those who do struggle the courage to face their depression and to know that it’s okay to talk about and they aren’t alone. You are extraordinary.

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67 Nancy January 15, 2010 at 12:12 am

Hi Janice,

You are so brave!, ..I just came upon this blog and read your post, and I can’t tell you how much it has touched me, and how much I can relate to it. You are not alone, ..when I read this post it was like reading about myself a few months ago. I have suffered from severe depression since my mom died from breast cancer, 6 years ago and a little over a year later, after having my first child, a beautiful little boy, who wil lbe 5 in March, I was diagnosed with ppd. I never really got over the unbearable grief of my mom’s passing, and having a child, and all my hormones being all over the place, just made it so much worse, ..not better as I had so desperately hoped it would. I fought to get myself better, not at first, at first I just didn’t want to know anything, I could not even get out of bed and take care of my son at times, ..but after watching Brooke Shileds on Oprah, seriously how cliche is that, I knew then and there that I needed to fight this hard, with every fiber of my being because this bitch was not going to win any longer! ..and I did, I got help, asked for it, got the support, and got better, ..and got all cocky, and thought I would lick this with my second child, 31/2 years later, but nothing was worse than my second bout with ppd after having my daughter. That hit me fast, hard and like a ton of bricks, that very first night I had her, when the doctors were inside me pulling her out, and I didn’t even know they had cut me and were in me, that was the moment that just killed me inside, and again the depression took over hard, and I let it because at that moment there is nothing else you can do, it’s not something you can just make go away without the hard work and when you’re ready. I have clawed and fought my way to getting better again, and it’s not easy, damn it was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and continue to do some days, but as long as there is hope and I have the support, I will get through, slowly, second by second at times, but I’m going to make it. I still have days where I just want to hide and let the depression take over, and this is something I know that I have to live with, but I am stronger now, I can fight now!..Hang in there, Janice! Hugs..

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68 Deb - Mom of 3 Girls January 15, 2010 at 12:33 am

Janice, truly nothing would ever make me think less of you! And certainly not depression, because I’ve struggled with it too. I’ve been off and on medications since Abby was born – currently off, but I’m re-thinking that lately. I’m starting to wonder if I’m dealing with anxiety as well as depression, because I so totally understand what you’re talking about with the hard time staying calm when dealing with an ADHD child, and having mood swings. I guess I need to talk to my doctor again.

My mom actually takes the two medications that you mentioned – Paxil and Seroquel and is doing much better these days too. She went on Seroquel just about a year ago and it took a while to find the right dosage that works for her. It’s not a cure-all, but she’s in so much better of a place now than she was before.

I admire you so much for writing about this and bringing the issue of mental illness right out there. Hopefully you’ve inspired others to seek out help – it’s such an insidious disease because it works against you and keeps you from even realizing that you need help to begin with. You are amazing! :)

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69 carrie January 15, 2010 at 12:45 am

I struggle with depression and probably have since I was a teenager, but wasn’t diagnosed until my early thirties. Every word in your post hits home and I just wanted to say thanks for writing it. You’re an inspiration.

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70 Miki January 15, 2010 at 12:51 am

Thank you for sharing – I really appreciate you opening up about your struggle. I will go back to read your posts about depression, especially postpartum. I struggle too with depression and have felt the sting of judgment by others. But my experience has shown me that so many people do struggle, and I want to be a part of helping and encouraging others. Your courage in writing this has blessed me today. Take gently care of yourself :-) Miki

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71 Cheryl Martinson January 15, 2010 at 1:22 am

I too struggle with anxiety and at one point it really was affecting my life and health. I used The Anxiety & Phobia workbook and it helped me so much. I learned how to control and soothe my anxiety in numerous ways. You are certainly not alone and thank you for bringing this topic up.

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72 Bridgette January 15, 2010 at 1:49 am

I have been dealing with depression for over 10 years. Do I think that makes us weak? NO! Like you said people with depression are VERY strong. We have to fight a constant battle. I know how you feel. I got off my medicine a while back and recently had to get back on my prozac because I could feel the depression and anxiety coming back. To be honest with you, I think MORE of you because you put your story out there. Way to go!

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73 Martha Payne January 15, 2010 at 7:49 am

Good post.
Nope, made me love you more.
I myself struggle with severe depression.
I take Effexor & Vyvanse. I made a dumb decision to eat a bunch of ecstasy pills almost 10 years ago & I messed up my brain. It sucks. We do fight every day. We are strong.
We just gotta remember that & support one another & love one another. :)

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74 Peggy Gorman January 15, 2010 at 7:50 am

I had to read when I saw this post because I know I have dealt with saddness and being depressed. It takes a strong woman to say what she is going through,knowing who you are and doing something to make yourself feel better.
Thanks for sharing because you are not alone in these feelings and we all handle depression differently.
I don’t think less of you,I look up to you!!

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75 Nicole. ModernStyleMama January 15, 2010 at 8:05 am

I struggled with PPD (it hit me more with a lot of anxiety) after my third son & it wasn’t easy. I still have bouts of it for sure but it has improved. I would never think of you differently. And those you do, they are just niave unhappy people themselves. Thank you for talking about it and reaching out! You have build an amazing business and helped many mothers.

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76 Crystal January 15, 2010 at 8:55 am

I don’t think any of less of you! In fact, it takes a very strong woman to let the whole world know of her struggles. I think we all struggle in certain areas of our life and it’s nothing to be ashamed of.

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77 Tracey January 15, 2010 at 10:21 am

Less of you? Never. Actually, MORE of you, as you are actively battling it instead of giving up. I think most people suffer from depression at some point in their lives. Maybe not chronically, but all of our bodies go through changes and our brains don’t always get all of the chemicals they need to make peace and happiness an easy achievement. I am currently awaiting my seasonal depression to surface. I know it’s just around the corner which is depressing in its own right. But knowing that it’s chemical helps a TINY bit. (Tiny…)

Good luck on your new medicine regime. I hope it is the combination that works for you.

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78 Jami January 15, 2010 at 10:29 am

My first thought was: yes! They will think less of {me}. It’s a fear we all have. (a little inside joke for the title of my blog too! LOL) I have been intending to blog about post partum for a while… I have had it with 3 of my 4 kids. I know how hard it is…how weird it is trying to adjust to the new meds. How people wonder where you went when you stop showing up places you used to be. (For me, that is one part stress management and one part PPD.) I know how some people will stop calling because you are no fun anymore.(and what are you thinking having another baby anyway!) It stinks.

I hope you are feeling better. Thanks for your bravery in writing about depression. One of these days I will too. Blessings to you.

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79 Pamela January 15, 2010 at 10:35 am

As soon as I read your blog title my head started nodding YES! That’s exactly how I feel.

I’ve been battling PPD for about 8 months give or take. It royally sucks. One day fine. Next day not so fine. Day after not so fine day = the suck.

One day at a time is all you can do….

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80 Shannon (The Mommy-Files) January 15, 2010 at 10:50 am

Janice, thank you so much for sharing this post. There are many people who deal with depression and anxiety. Thankfully you are getting help with it. I’ve struggled with depression and it’s hard…very hard. If somebody thinks less of you because of this post, then may they be on their way.

I am so glad to have met you in person! You are an amazing and talented young woman and mother. Keep up the good work!

Hugs!

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81 Mary Margeson January 15, 2010 at 11:29 am

Janice,
Reading this only makes you more human to me. Talking and writing about our struggles is cathartic, and we should feel honored that you are willing to share these ever-so-personal feelings with us, your loyal readers. Most of us have never met you in person, and yet we check in on you and your blog every day, delighting in the happy moments that you and your sister share with us. The least we can do is be here to share in the hard times.
I hope you begin to feel better, soon.
Sincerely, Mary

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82 Idaho Jill January 15, 2010 at 11:31 am

It just makes me realize how strong you really are. Thanks for sharing such a personal struggle – it actually makes me think MORE of you, not less.

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83 Complicated Mama January 15, 2010 at 11:35 am

Thank you for this post!

I feel like this so often. I’ve struggled with depression since my bout with PPD after my son was born.

I have good days and bad days. I was on zoloft for a while… and have since come off.

The anxiety started again a few months ago… and again the good and the bad days played with my head… on bad days I wanted the help of a dr.. and on good days I just felt like I was crazy on those bad days– and people would think I was crazy for ever feeling like that because “today feels ok”.

Anyway- in short.. I do not feel less of you… and you are right — talking about it makes us stronger!

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84 Michelle L January 15, 2010 at 11:38 am

I think this is a great post, especially after losing a fellow blogger to suicide this week. I’m glad you are getting help for it and understand what is going on in your body. I’ve suffered from depression for 18 years. It drifts in and out. The meds make me feel crazy and I’d rather face it and talk about it instead of take them. It’s hard to get out of bed some days, but when you have a child, you have to force yourself to live.. because it’s not their fault. When I’m really low, I take a look around me and take stock of what I have. Then I look at the rest of the world and see what they are going through and it changes things. Yes, it may be chemical, but you can change your thoughts when you are in low points. Try to read an inspirational quote every morning and take a deep breath. You aren’t alone!

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85 Angie January 15, 2010 at 11:44 am

I am glad you shared this post and no I don’t think any less of you for it. In fact just the opposite. It’s hard to talk about things when you are so depressed.

I have been dealing with similar issues for over 12 years now. I’ve tried many anti-depressants. Although they do help tremendously they make me so tired that I can hardly stand it. I feel like I could sleep 15 hours a day and not think twice about it.

It’s good to know that I’m not alone in my struggle and it does help to read others stories on coping with depression and anxiety. Thanks for sharing.

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86 Kelly January 15, 2010 at 11:59 am

Think LESS of you?

To the contrary. It makes me think MORE of you. Sharing your struggles and your journey is brave. I don’t struggle with depression personally, but I know many who do. Putting yourself out there just supports the cause to let people know they are not alone and they aren’t “weak” for having a chemical imbalance.

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87 Courtney January 15, 2010 at 12:06 pm

“In fact, we are strong. We fight every day.”

LOVE this.

Indeed, it takes a lot of courage to talk about depression and anxiety because whether we like it or not, there is still a stigma attached for many people. But it is a part of my life that I have no control over (would I choose this?!) other than therapy and medication. Why should I be ashamed of that?

You’ve reminded me that I am strong for tackling my anxiety head-on and for battling through it for the past six years. Thank you so, so much for that.

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88 A Mom Who Knows January 15, 2010 at 12:10 pm

I sure as hell don’t! Thank goodness we live in a time where the stigma for depression and mental illness is not what it used to be.

I struggle with severe postpartum depression. You don’t understand how bad it is until you have experienced it yourself. The weight, darkness and despair of it all. I felt like I was in a hole I couldn’t crawl out of. A deep, dark, echoing hole. And yet, time, medication and awareness can heal even the deepest of wounds.

You are not alone. There is hope out there. Take care of yourself so you can take care of those you love most.

God bless. For surely, He will.

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89 RG January 15, 2010 at 12:20 pm

I am glad you wrote about this. My mom had a nervous breakdown when I was 4 and then another when I was 8, and she has dealt with these same things since. I remember my mom before and after these events, and it is hard through the eyes of a child to sometimes deal with that myself. Yet I am always reaching out to her and trying to help. She has chosen to cut herself off from our family instead of letting us in. When I say that, I am not at all discounting the fact that when you are low, you often just want to be alone or not talk, or not have anything going on – I am like that too – it just goes way beyond that with her. I wish I could be close to her in our relationship and let her know she doesn’t have to be alone. I am glad you are honest about it and also that you have some support around you whom you allow to show you how much they love you no matter what. Seriously, your kids and husband will grow to appreciate that about you. I grieve over my mom a lot, not because of her ‘illness’ but because she chooses to try to walk it alone, and she is missing out on life and a lot of blessings because of it.
On another note, my mom was taking Seroquel and had serious side affects that are in multiple doc’s opinions unalterable, to include loss of memory, halucinations, and etc.. There have been several lawsuits involving this drug as well as a couple of other drugs like it. Unless they have reformulated it in the last three years, I would caution you to really do some research on your own before you begin taking it. Also, it has been proven by western medicine that there are often some vitamin and mineral deficiencies that accompany your very low times (some of these include Bs,D, and E). If you catch them, it can help you pull up more quickly. Another proven help, though it may sound wacky, is to have a significant amount of green in your home, the color, and if you aren’t allergic, live plants – though I am sure your doc has already shared this with you, hope it helps.

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90 Tracy January 15, 2010 at 12:41 pm

I’m right there with you! I’m the mother of almost 2 year old twin boys with developmental delays (they arrived 13 weeks early). My husband is a pilot…..gone half the month. It’s a struggle without depression and anxiety but add those in and it’s amazing that I get through the day. If someone is going to think less of you, you don’t need them in your life. They rob your precious energy! You are a strong woman.

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91 Amy L January 15, 2010 at 12:43 pm

My first thought was “I’m glad depression is being talked about”. I have fibromyalgia and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and have struggled with depression for many years. Medications have been only a little helpful, and the side effects have been worse than the depression, so I don’t take them anymore. I have a Lightbox that is used to treat SAD by simulating natural light. I sit in front of it for an hour or so each morning, and it helps. I think what has helped me the most, is just accepting the fact that I am depressed, and allowing myself to be depressed without feeling guilty. I admire Janice’s courage in speaking up about this issue!

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92 Misty Dawn January 15, 2010 at 1:40 pm

I suffer from what the doctors call “Severe Inherited Chemical Depression”. First, I don’t think it’s too “severe”, because I seem to live with it pretty well… considering. I didn’t say that it doesn’t affect my life, I just said I seem to live with it pretty well if it’s severe. Second, I didn’t realize you could inherit depression, but since it’s a chemical imbalance and the ‘woman who gave birth to me’ had depression and had a nervous breakdown at one point.

I also have Fibromyalgia. So, some day are pretty rough.

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93 Simply Cathi January 15, 2010 at 1:48 pm

Year ago, when I was young and didn’t know much beyond the little bubble I lived in, I thought people who had panic attacks were nuts. I couldn’t for the life of me understand what their problem was. I couldn’t wrap my head around it.
Then my 17 year old daughter was killed in an auto accident. The day of her funeral my husband of 21 years told me he was leaving, he had another house all set up. A week later my youngest son and I had to move from our home of 20 years.
I was suddenly introduced to anxiety, crippling panic attacks, agoraphobia and depression. Was I one of those people I thought were nuts? No! I was nuts when at a young naive age I was narrow minded enough to judge something I was clueless about.
Now that I’m a little bit wiser, I’ve learned that depression is something that almost everyone deals with at one time or another.
Do I think less of you?
No! I commend you for you’re honestly and desire to share and reach out to others!
Hugs to you Janice!!

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94 Jen(Craftymomof3) January 15, 2010 at 2:23 pm

My first thought? You’re brave. I have it too and people are VERY judgmental about it and assume that you can just snap your self out of it. I just wrote a post about it on my blog. My New Year’s resolution is to stop worrying about what others think of me. I am what I am. I have panic and anxiety. Nothing I can do about it. I hope your new meds work. Good luck! :)

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95 Tonya January 15, 2010 at 2:28 pm

Hey Janice! I did for a long time but have figured out what was going on. I would love to talk to you through email and I couldn’t find your email on the site. Mine is attached to this comment. With you and things going on with you kids I might be able to help point you in a direction that could help. The best part is without meds. Please email if you get the chance. This isn’t a spam comment just a mom who is concerned for you.

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96 Dr. Rod January 15, 2010 at 2:48 pm

I am so glad you posted this! Anxiety and depression are Normal aspects of the greater human experience. My first thought was that I was interested in the number of people who responded to you with their feelings. Normalizing anxiety and depression is so important for both genders and all generations. I am often flooded with self doubt and anxiety for what the future will bring. Sadness and depression occur and I work through it by expanding my communication with those I love. I hope more men will share how they feel about this so that boys have better role models.
Thanks,
Dr. Rod
twitter: thenormalmale
Rod Berger, PsyD The Normal Male

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97 Deborah January 15, 2010 at 3:12 pm

It certainly does not make me think less of you or anyone else who suffers depression. I have had my own bouts at a younger age and I know the struggles. Though I no longer go through them. You would be surprised at the number of mothers who do go through bouts of depression. It is unfortunate that more isn’t being done to find a cause and help these women.

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98 Linda Kish January 15, 2010 at 4:08 pm

It makes me think more of you. You are a real person with real feelings and it is so good for you to be able to vent about it here. You should feel comfortable about being honest about your feelings of depression and anxiety.

I have depression from chronic pain but it is usually well controlled now. I am taking Celexa but tried everything before then. Plus I have chemical sensitivity to most meds. Paxil worked for 1 year for me and then nothing. If you have to stop it, do it slowly over time with the doctor’s help because the withdrawal symptoms can be horrid.

My son has ADHD and OCD among other diagnoses and has grown up to be a wonderful man who no longer takes meds but understands his limitations.

There is hope and a light at the end of the tunnel. Just make sure you keep talking, either here or somewhere else to stay on top of things.

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99 Tarasview January 15, 2010 at 4:56 pm

I almost didn’t comment on this post because there are already so many comments… but I just want you to know that YES, I do struggle with depression and anxiety and YES I am on medication. And I know how you feel. And having a kid with special needs doesn’t help. And trying to live up to everyone else’s expectations… even when they say they don’t have any… is impossible.
I am experiencing a day like that today. Actually yesterday too. Some days are just too much.

Hugs to you Janice. I’m with you 100%.

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100 Rachel January 15, 2010 at 5:46 pm

The title of the post is exactly how I felt the first time I struggled with anxiety and depression. I fought taking any medication for months (and lived miserably for months – with no external reason to be so) because I was afraid of what I was “saying about myself” if I took medication.

However, I’m so glad I had a doctor who told me that it wasn’t a judgment on me to take medication, and that it might be the best thing I ever did.

And it was. I’ve had a couple of relapses (one being postpartum), but other than that, I have been fine. But I know that if I EVER need medication again, I most certainly will take it! Because you’re right – it’s chemical – just like any other illness – and there is nothing wrong with us for struggling with those things!

I admire you and Susan for being so open and willing to share your struggles to let us all know that we are not alone.

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101 Sherry January 15, 2010 at 6:10 pm

I definitely don’t think less of you. I am glad you spoke out. I think so many of us struggle with depression, but we are afraid to speak out for fear of what people will think. I came out last year about my depression on my blog and Facebook, and I was so surprised at the support I received. Some women emailed me privately with their struggles, but others spoke up. I am still on medication, but hope after my dh comes home from his deployment that I might be able to wean myself off.

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102 Wani January 15, 2010 at 6:15 pm

This is something so many people struggle with. I’m more of a season depression person myself. My husband is OCD and my family does not really understand his need to be medicated for this disorder. Everyone is different and while I think medications are highly overused in our day and age I do think there are people who need that kind of help to live a “normal” life. God bless you for sharing your struggles!

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103 Rebecca R January 15, 2010 at 6:47 pm

thank you for being honest and putting yourself out there. I too struggle with depression. each day is a struggle for me.

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104 Merry120 January 15, 2010 at 7:57 pm

I definitely don’t think less of you! I struggle with what I think is depression with a sidecar of anxiety. Unfortunately I haven’t had the strength to go talk to anyone about it. The anxiety was REALLY bad after Evan was born and has gotten somewhat better. I admire you for being so honest & it makes me feel less alone. :)

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105 Sharon January 15, 2010 at 10:10 pm

The title of this post brought me to your blog, and no, I do not think less of you. I think you are brave to speak openly about it. I have battled depression for fifteen years, mine too is chemical. I was first put on medication just after graduating high school. It was a time when I should have been on top of the world, getting ready to go off to college, but I was crying all the time, not getting off my parents couch. My mom encouraged me to see a doctor and for the first time I was diagnosed. Since then it has come in waves, after getting married, after the birth of each of my children. I have come to the realization that this will be a life-long battle.

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106 Bailey's Leaf January 16, 2010 at 9:10 am

My brother struggles with bi-polar depression. With him, he will swing and swing hard in one direction or another. I’ve scooped him up. I’ve done the best that I can for him. It is wearing on him. It can be wearing on us, too.

My brother is overcoming an addiction to drugs an alcohol as a result of self-medicating.

I know that it is a struggle that he deals with on an every minute basis. I see what he goes through. I have seen how debilitating it can be.

I’m so sorry.

I know that stress can make it 10x worse for him. I know that Jackson’s anxiety and your daughter’s tics have to be stressing to you in general, but adding to being Bi-Polar, it only makes it that much harder.

Please keep us up to date on your family. We are your prayer warriors. We’re here to wrap your family in prayers and love.

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107 Aisling January 16, 2010 at 3:20 pm

My first thought was that I absolutely do not think less of you. I think you’re brave and strong to discuss this issue and I know there are many people who will benefit from what you say and open up and gain strength from it. God bless!

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108 Teresa January 16, 2010 at 4:00 pm

I was a grown woman before I realized that my mother suffered from depression. I knew it ran in families but I was still surprised to find myself in need of help a few years ago. I have talked with my grown children about this because I want them to be aware that there is nothing wrong with seeking help, it’s when we don’t seek help that we suffer and so do our families. God bless you on your journey!

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109 Heather January 16, 2010 at 9:04 pm

You are definitely not alone.

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110 Organizing Mommy January 16, 2010 at 10:39 pm

I could have written the same post 10 years ago.. So, if you don’t think less of me…

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111 Belinda A. January 17, 2010 at 12:00 am

I couldn’t possibly think less of you; I admire your brave admission. Whether you’re living with anxiety and depression yourself, or whether you’re living with someone who struggles with it, it is a daily challenge. Sending you a hug:)

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112 Christine Jensen January 17, 2010 at 10:30 am

I do not personally struggle with Anxiety and Depression, but I am surrounded by family members who do and feel the effects of this disease daily! My mother began her bout with depression when I was in Jr High, back when we didn’t see ads on the TV for Paxil, Prozac or any other Antidepressant. My husband has battled with depression, thinking he was alone in his family, until a sweet sister called him to comfort him and tell him that including him 5 of the 7 children in his family are now or at sometime have been treated for anxiety or depression. Four years ago we lost my younger brother to Suicide brought on by a long time battle with Bipolar disorder.

I was so glad to see your post. Bringing attention to this frustrating, and often ridiculed disease, helps those who suffer feel less alone and those bring understanding to those who do not.

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113 Stefanie January 17, 2010 at 4:11 pm

I have anxiety and have the bottle of Xanax to prove it :) There is no shame here.

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114 Heather January 17, 2010 at 10:27 pm

My first thought… THANK YOU for sharing – I’m not alone. Too many of us deal with depression; hiding behind fake smiles. No, I could think no less of you – actually this makes me think higher of you for being honest & open, being real. I’ve dealt with depression since my late teens, and both parents deal with it too… I watch both my own children wondering if they’re going to deal with this dreadful chemical imbalance; sometimes I really worry if my youngest has anxiety issues. It’s hard walking a journey with depression & anxiety – but yes; you’re right – we fight everyday to take another step forward!
Hugs & Prayers, HL

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115 Nicole January 17, 2010 at 11:19 pm

No, I don’t think less of you. In fact, I think you’re incredibly brave.

I wrote this a few months back, which explains more: http://resolvingtimelineissues.wordpress.com/2009/08/17/so-yeah-anyways-or-why-this-space-has-been-blank-and-i-havent-been-shredding/

And I feel better than I’ve felt in YEARS.

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116 Marj M. January 18, 2010 at 9:35 pm

Thank you for sharing. Far too often we have no one to talk to and things get really bad. It did, I am just taking stronger doses of Celexa and Abilify, which my therapist says she will probably change all that soon.
I am so sorry you have to endure all of this. It is the pits to put it mildly.
You and Susan write and manage children and obviously push yourselves to do what you must do. I am thankful you share. It helps all of us.
BTW, I take pills and they cloud my head…….I just tell my friends, sorry, I just took my “stupid” pills. LOLOL They laugh.

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117 Jerri Ann January 19, 2010 at 11:11 am

Hey, the Anxiety Captain here…

I’m not an expert, although I do have my M.A. in Counseling. And, I too take a cocktail of medications to counter the depression and anxiety. I thought I would throw in a few things you may or may not already know but….just offering a word of support really.

1. Paxil was the least effective drug I ever took. I took it while pregnant because it was deemed “the safest” if you can consider any of them safe, that is.

2. Finding a psychiatrist and not just a psychologist was key for me.

3. I take a combination of prozac and wellbutrin. Low doses of both but they are made to help with different issues. This happened when increasing one medication and increasing it and increasing it some more simply wasn’t effective. A good doctor knows how to mix you a chemical cocktail to help your chemical imbalance.

4. My life turned around substantially with 2 events in particular. The first one was seroquel. And, depending on your weight, you may be taking too much. I am big and I take a good dose of it but you body type may prevent you from using up the drug at night. I’ve seen you and you are about one person smaller than me. I mean that jokingly but it’s true, I weight enough to be 2 small people. So, be sure you aren’t over-medicating with seroquel but the paxil is probably not an overmedicated issue. But the seroquel will make you lethargic if your body can’t metabolize it all as it should.

And, I went to a sleep clinic. I had sleep apnea. I was waking 16 times an hour. I never entered a deep sleep, even when I returned and wore the CPAP machine the first night. The sleep specialist said that he had no doubts that I was waking exhausted. He said my brain never actually entered deep sleep to rest, I maintained 95% activity in my brain all night (even with the cpap the first night) and my legs were moving 80% of the night (restless leg syndrome).

So, my psychiatrist and my sleep specialist worked through the balance of wellbutrin, prozac, seroquel, provigil and requip.

Sounds like a lot of medication?

Of course it does. But to go from sleeping about 14 hours a day to functioning well on 7 hours and functioning for days at a time (like on vacation) on 5 hours. Do you realize what sleeping 14 hours a day does to your life? Yea, I know you do.

One thing that you don’t actually want to do is find a doctor who is “prescription happy” and gives you medications that you can become addicted to so that you must return to see him because of the addiction. And, some of these drugs are highly addictive.

One thing you do DO want to do is find a psychiatrist who is not afraid to write prescriptions. Sounds counter productive I know but the fact is, if you have someone who has your best interest at heart, being addicted to any of those medications is not the end of the world.

Now, that said, there are rounds of depression that people suffer from that taking medication short-term and then weaning is possible. And, other people, like you and I, have chemical imbalances that simply do not go away just because you will them to.

Now that I’ve written a novel, I would be glad to talk with you more about this if you want. I have wrote about it in depth in the past on a few blogs and I always jump at the opportunity to make sure people understand that depression and anxiety, OCD, ADD, etc are not simple issues, they are diseases, like diabetes, thyroid dysfunction…you wouldn’t quit taking insulin or thyroid medication just because it seems like the thing to do and you shouldn’t do that with medications involving your mental health either.

Really, shutting up now.

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118 Amy Kiel January 19, 2010 at 5:40 pm

I am one for applauding those who speak out about their struggles, especially ones related to mental health issues. (clapping!) So often, I battle feeling less of a person because of my issues with depression and anxiety, etc, but the truth is, our struggle builds muscle. Talking about it in the open let’s others know they are not alone and helps to bring these topics out of the closet, to break free of the stigma that clings too tightly.
It is comforting for others and inspirational, too. For example, knowing you fight through and get out of bed anyways…that you keep moving forward and are able to accomplish things despite the challenges, gives me fuel to keep pushing on and not give up!

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119 Katherine at Postpartum Progress January 19, 2010 at 9:56 pm

You are a heroine by speaking out loud when at the same time deeply fearful of what might happen when people hear your words. That is the definition of courage.

Women who are suffering from postpartum depression, as well as those who suffer anxiety and/or depression outside the postpartum period, will surely benefit from your honesty. If you would be willing to write a piece for the women who suffer from PPD, please email me. I’d like to talk to you.

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120 Angie January 20, 2010 at 1:36 pm

Thank God! Someone as influential in our community such as yourself has come forward! that’s what I thought when I saw the title!

I have suffered from depression my entire life. It’s difficult. And it’s difficult to deal with my ADHD daughter as well!
But… I’m not on meds because I’m scared to be on them and I am scared of the cost of seeing someone.

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121 Lisa Humphries January 20, 2010 at 5:35 pm

WOW! – thank you for such a raw insight and WOW! again for such a spooky sense of connection as I read through this post. I am also working through a medication change for the depression and anxiety I have been living with for more than ten years at the moment, whilst getting to know my first baby (Byron) who is now 5 months old. I appreciate your sharing SO much and cannot agree more that we need to get out there and share despite the fear of being judged. I am inspired to carry on with my mission of connection!!
With gratitude and much encouragement,
Lisa (and Mini Ginger).

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122 Cathy January 22, 2010 at 12:16 am

Janice,

To answer your question, if every post was about how depressed you are, maybe. But when you post to give perspective to all of your posts, then it’s just amazing how much you are able to get done while going through this! My heart goes out to you and I admire and respect you for doing your very best to make a good life for you and your family.

Hugs,
Cathy

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123 Megret March 7, 2010 at 9:22 am

I’ve had this post bookmarked for a while and read it about once a week — including the encouraging comments. I have felt a burden to write about my struggles with anxiety on my blog, and am preparing to begin doing that this very week. It is all a part of a series I began on my site called “The Real Me Challenge.”

Far too many are silent about these issues, and far too many negative stigmas and judgments are attached to them. I am hoping, in my own little way, to shed some light on this topic and spread awareness….as well as let others know that they aren’t alone, just as you have here.

Thanks for your candid post.

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