I am a mother, wife, woman. I work full-time outside the home and I contend with many things each day. Like many other women, when my alarm wakes me each morning, I pray it is a mistake and I am just dreaming. It is a chore to get out of bed but even more of a chore to contend with the schedule of my day. You would think I am a high-powered business person with this stress, but I am not.
I am living with clinical depression.
When you are clinically depressed, your worldview is skewed. This includes how you see your relationship with your spouse, child, other family members and friends. You feel slighted by the smallest things that never would have bothered you months before. Your thoughts don't feel like your own and you literally feel like a stranger in your own body. You can be with friends and be at work, but it is as if the world is happening around you, without you in it.
You also feel completely overwhelmed with daily mundane tasks. For me, the 5:00 p.m. hour is torture. I pick up my 4-year-old daughter from preschool and as we walk into the house, a wave of panic overcomes me. I list all I need to do in my head: wash daughter's containers of food, wash my lunch containers, start dinner, spend time with my daughter, etc. While many people feel this stress each day, imagine it doubled or tripled in your head. It truly can feel like torture.
My depression grew worse after failed fertility treatments to try for a second child, though I didn't immediately recognize this.This is how depression can affect your cognition. Even though I have a history of depression and anxiety and my husband kept telling me to call my psychiatrist, I was in la-la land, otherwise known as denial. The moment I knew I had to call my psychiatrist was when I truly realized how I was treating my wonderful husband. My moods with him would vary from cranky to nasty -- not the way one wants to treat her life partner.
Now I am fighting my way out of this depression, although its grasp is quite tight. Many medications have been tried, but my doctor and I think we are on the right path now. This is not just about popping pills, though. Most of the work is pensive and verbal. I need to talk, not just in therapy, but with my husband. He needs to hear how I feel and he wants to hear from me. He wants to be involved and comfort me, but I need to let him in. This can be difficult for me since I am feeling extra vulnerable as a result of the depression. This is work, not just in that 45-minute-hour, but every waking hour. I need to utilize all of my resources in order to be pulled out of this depressive abyss. This includes my psychiatrist, husband, daughter, family and friends. I have never been one to ask for help. I have always been strong-willed and independent; therefore this is a whole new chapter in my life. It is scary but it is necessary. I need to come to terms with the fact that people really do need people and individuals do not function in silos separate from one another. I will use the treatment, as a result of my depression, to claim myself in my relationships, be present with others, as much as possible, and most importantly, ask for help when it's needed.