Somethings I cannot put into words they are just there.

I have blogged about depression, anxiety and PPD several times before. It's something that is hard to explain especially when others haven't had do deal with it before.

Here's a private battle I deal with. I have been dealing with it for 10 years. Maybe even more. Who knows. After I had B2 it hit me. I really thought I was losing my mind. I sure did feel like it. I tried various medications and eventually found something that worked for me. It made me feel more like my old self. I was able to get out of bed. I was able to leave the house. I was able to stop some of the OCD tendencies I had developed. My OCD was aimed toward cleaning. It was really weird. Even though I knew I just mopped the floor if the thought came to my mind I had to mop it again to make the thought stop.

My mind wouldn't shut up.

After my divorce I got the wild idea of stopping my medications and seeing how things would go. I found that I had to go back on the medications. Did I feel like a failure for not being able to cope without medications? Sort of. I had to do whatever it took to feel good.

I was working a full time job managing the drug store. I was raising two wonderful kids. I was dealing with depression and anxiety. It had become part of my life.

Then I met a man. Let's call him Superdad. He knew I was taking a certain medication that people can be addicted to and abuse. I wasn't one of those people. I used it to stop anxiety attacks. So, here I thought, I have met this wonderful man. What if I don't require these medications anymore. The mind works in mysterious ways!

I stopped my meds and had the worst withdrawals ever!!! OMG!!! It was torture. But I did it. I wasn't living off a pill everyday to get out of bed. Life was good.

Then it came back. My doctors said I had PPD after having Baby M. I felt that feeling creeping back and I was terrified.

Even though I still have OCD tendencies that revolve around cleaning, I know I have them. They are just apart of my life. So what if I keep a clean house. There would be worse to deal with I am sure. I am not up in the middle of the night organizing the kitchen cabinets or mopping so I don't see a real problem with them.

So, I started taking medications after Baby M. I eventually weaned myself off of them. Then the anxiety came back. I was jumpy. I was moody. The kids made me edgy. I went back to my doc and we talked. He put me back on medication.

Superdad has never liked me being on medication. Depression and anxiety is apart of my life. Getting more rest, exercising or changing my diet isn't an answer for me. I am pretty sure it isn't. I need that little dose of Celexa to make it through the day.

Is there really anything wrong with that???

Last week I got a wild hair, as they say, and stopped taking my meds. I wouldn't recommend this to anyone without talking to your doctor!! I am just telling you what I did. It was stupid of me.

Day four of NO medication it hit! OMG, it was awful. I wanted to curl up in a ball and cry. I really wanted to disappear. How can one do that with four kids running around? You cannot. I secretly cried on the phone to a friend. She was upset that I quit my meds and encouraged me to start taking them. I had another friend be upset too that I had stopped my meds. Her example was,

"If you were diabetic would you stop you insulin because you felt better?"

I told her I cannot die from depression or anxiety.

To which she said, "You may think it would be okay to jump off a bridge without your mediation."

I am here to say that I have never had suicidal thoughts on anyone. I am asked that all the time at the doctors. I would never hurt my children or myself. I love living TOOOOOO much.

So, Sunday afternoon I took my meds again. Then I rested.

I woke up Monday feeling extremely better!!! I was able to rest. I didn't have the urge to clean the house with the baby toothbrush like I had had the day before!

Then I told Superdad to pick up my refill. He gets upset that I am back on the medication. He said I didn't give it enough time to get out of my system. That if I exercised. Etc...

So, here I am feeling like I have to defend my depression, anxiety and taking medication. Something that a depressed anxious person doesn't really need.

Right now I need encouraging words. Not judgmental suggestions. I am in a mood over this.

Comments

Monica said…
Something you have to realize is even though you are supermom and we all love you and feel like you are perfect does not mean you are or anyone else in this world. If you did not need the meds you would get high each time you took it. All the meds are is a chemical that your body is lacking to keep your mind at peace. Many peoples lives have been destroyed because of feelings they can't control. You will say things you don't mean, act on things you really should not(like the trooper I had a word of prayer with) You wont try to kill yourself but you will not be as patient with your kids you will get mad more easily at superdad. And it will be because you will have these tons of self doubt going through your mind you can not control. Millions of people have these problems. When you see the hundreds of thousands of homeless people on the streets they have issues most times with their mind beating them up. So why work? Why have a family? Why would someone love me? Why try to have a warm home?

Your feelings of doubt can make you physically hurt inside where no one can see your pain but it is real. I have it too. I have the feelings of not wanting to go outside and want no one to see me. While I was at my sickest the past few years I got really bad. And pushed most if not all my friends away. I mean why would someone want to hear day after day about my pain and my headache not getting any better. Why would someone want to really be bothered with my problems they have their own life. But with finding the medicine I needed I was able a few years ago to reach out to you. And it was so amazing. The constant thoughts I had were wrong. You were there and did care and that gave me a bit more courage to see it was my mind making me pull away.

The med you are taking is very mild compaired to others. Like I told you if you did not need it you would get a buzz or a high when you take it. Staying stressed can cause people to have strokes and heart attacks... My grandfather was a very high tempered man. When he finally had to go to the hospital in the last days of his life scans and test showed he hadhad multiple heart attacks. My uncle died at 49 because of the same think. Stress can kill you.

You have beautiful children that need a happy mom and you need to enjoy them not be stressed every time they get too loud playing.

Superdad,I know you are reading this, men don't have the same issues that women do because you don't have all the hormon changes with aging that women do. No offence superdad you just don't understand how bad the feeling hurt. I do...
Red Neck Diva said…
honey if they make you feel better and at peace in your head by all means take your meds it's nothing to be ashamed of i take them myself as of three weeks ago i know how you feel and it's not somthing you can controll as you well know. you have a beautiful family to take care of and if this medication helps you feel 100% so that you can care for you home and family thats all that matters i hope you feel better soon
Monica said…
Superdad... I'm sorry for using supermom's blog to message you. But I am super happy supermommy is happy again.
Kelly said…
Big hugs. I don't feel like you should have to defend taking medication or the depression. Neither one is a personal failing. Your body chemistry is just that.

If the meds are working, use them. Take care of yourself. Your health, both physical and mental, is a vital part in your ability to be Supermom!

Hugs again!!
Anonymous said…
MIchelle by all means take your medications. No one should dicate your mental health, No matter if they feel you need the meds or not . Sorry superdad walk a day in Michelle's shoes, If the meds are prescribed by a physcian and she isnt scoring them on the streets by all means support her decision. These meds are for chemical imbalances in the brain, that is so much different than needing a meds just because, Michelle has quite a big pair of shoes to fill, take care an i hope no one was offended by my remarks, Mary from DE
Supermom said…
Thanks for the comments and the emails I have received today! It means a LOT that you open up and tell me about what;s going on in your life.

I appreciate that.

Superdad has apologized and is being supportive of my decision.

So be easy on him. It's hard to understand something that you've never been around.
jennifersaylor said…
Hello my friend.

As I've told you before, I too am a depression sufferer. And I find that people who have never endured our disease do not understand.

I have a few observations from my own life.

1. I think that clinical depression often springs from a lack of support. I've seen both me and my best friend struggle with horrific depression, only to realize later that it stemmed in part from unhealthy and unsupportive relationships. I didn't sense it at the time, and in fact would have told you that I was the most supported person in the world.

It took me years to find out that I didn't even know what real support felt like.

I think the roots of depression are often in a lack of development in our own lives, and a lack of support.

This is NOT meant as a critique of your life or to secretly point out what I think is wrong with you. It is what was wrong with ME, and my friend, too.

I hope that you might find some help from our suffering.

2. Weaning yourself off meds can be done, but cold turkey is a nightmare no one who has done it can understand. When you quit cold turkey, you send your chemistry into an evil storm of misery.

If the time ever comes that you want to try slowing or stopping your meds, do it with medical support or the support of people who have done it successfully. Cold turkey is a nightmare. It gets you nowhere, and certainly not to a place of freedom from meds.

3. Consider finding an online or local support group for depression sufferers. There are all kinds of groups at yahoogroups.com. There is advice on meds, exercise, diet, probably even on dealing with depression as a wife and parent.

4. Consider educating Superdad about your condition. He isn't cruel, he is just ignorant. You are speaking a language of suffering he does not understand. Help him understand.

5. Diet and exercise made a HUGE difference in managing my depression. I was allergic to ALL the meds (Prozac have me headaches), and had to manage mine with SAMe and St Johns Wort along with diet (reduced carbs) and exercise.

The OTC treatments DID help me. If you ever want to try anti-depression herbs, find a doctor who knows what she is talking about and make all changes in meds under medical supervision.

Good luck my friend! I am so sorry to see you struggle.

Love,

Jen
Penelope Anne said…
Well we all know Im not OCD about anything - I need clean house to visit me but thats another story - one thing I do have to take at the ripe age of 34 is Estrogen b/c - turns out 2 weeks out of the month Im a psychotic B#$%T@! I really thought I would end up in the mental ward before I started the estrogen. I thought I was to young to be going through hormonal changes but after pushing a person (man) who will remain nameless out of a moving vehicle and the next month beating him to the ground with a broom b/c he ask if I was 'in a mood' (snicker - but I know its not funny tee hee) he suggested I get help. And as long as I have my estrogen - Im a butterfly and lots of people tell me its all in my head and Im using it as a crutch but heres what Im saying - it is what it is - and its better than someone else having to use a crutch after Im through with them! SO I know we have two different situations but I KNOW how it feels to not be able to control something that your body is doing to you and 'the feeling' creeping back that you were talking about - I know how that feels to - I to, can feel my 'dark' side creeping up. And it is hard for people who don't 'know' to 'really understand' Super Dad rox! I love you both!
Michele said…
Hi Michelle,

I started reading your blog about a year ago after finding it while searching for info on PPD and Anxiety. My third child was born prematurely last April, and though I had experienced mild PPD with my first child eight years ago, I never imagined I would experience the nightmare I went through last summer. I could write a novel about all of this, but to keep this short(er) I would like to say (1) your honesty about your own PPD helped me immensely during own battle (thank you!), and (2) I found out that, in my case, medicine was a blessing and also necessary. My medicine saved me and my family. I really don't know how we would have made it without it. I was against taking it at first and once I took it and felt better (SO MUCH better), I realized that I wasn't mentally altered by it, just returned to my regular self and able to enjoy my life and be the good mom and wife that I know I am. (3) Another thing I did that helped me a lot was talk therapy. I was also reluctant to do that, but once I did, I was glad I did. My therapist was a lifeline to me. She helped me to change the way I think about certain things, and I still remind myself of what she taught me when I am dealing with a tough situation. (4) My husband, as a physician, has a great understanding of depression and anxiety as an illness, and he supported me through it in a way I'm not sure I could have done for him. So I would say that being educated about the illness is very helpful for not only the person who is suffering from it, but also for the partner and even the rest of the family if they are old enough to understand.

OK, so much for not being too long. I hope this helps. I think staying on medicine is the right thing to do. Why stop taking it if it makes you feel like yourself and you are not having side effects from it? I wish you the best-- I know firsthand how hard it is!
Monica said…
It helped my feelings last night seeing so many other women understand this issue. Even with it being your post I benift form the results. I though of having to have help much like I was a failure. I was in my 20s when I first took something for my issues. And I had always been an exercise attict. I would try to run my stress out. I would run til I would fall up trembling. Exercise gives me energy but not boosts my mood. I remember with in weeks a feeling of the weight of the world off my sholders.
Supermom said…
Again, thank you for all the comments and emails!!

It really made my day knowing that I am not the only one. I already knre this but to have support from you means the world!!!

Michelle :)
I just found your blog and I am so glad that I did. I will have to read some of your other posts. I have had some major anxiety and depression myself and just started medication last month. I feel much better but not perfect. I can't complain though; it is a huge improvement.
I have a blog also that has been following much of my ups and downs here over the last few months. I can tell things still are not right mainly because my creativity (as my blog goes) has flown out the window. Oh well....now I just blog about being insane. :)
http://blahbittyblahs.blogspot.com
Take care and I hope for you that all goes well. Taking medication is OK. The last thing that you need is to have MORE depression and MORE anxiety over whether (or not)you are medicated. If you feel better...isn't that what matters?
Anna said…
It looks like you opened the floodgates girly-girl and kudos to you for being brave and telling it like it is. Thank God we have the technology and know-how to medicate depression and other chemical disorders. It's a welcome change from being burned at the stake.
Penelope Anne said…
Amen and Amen!
Monkey's Momma said…
Superdad needs to be a little more open minded about depressiona nad anxiety. It is a true medical condition and he needs to be educated. So educate him!

You need support at times like this, not criticism and feeling defensive about your decisions. Depression is very hard to deal with. Meds make it better. So what? I am on them too. 90% of my friends (who happen to be in the medical field) take them as well.

As a nurse, I probably know at least 300 doctors. Out of all of them, only one does not believe in the use of antidepressants, but he's a quack, so there ya go!