I thought I would write about something that is close to my heart, really close. I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety issues 13 years ago after I had my second baby. I call it a really horrible case of postpartum depression that never went away. I get sad now when I think about going to my doctor for help all those years ago because he told me I had to stop breastfeeding my son because he was putting me on Prozac and Xanax. I had to quit cold turkey nursing my beautiful son and it still hurts my heart. Doctors just didn’t know what was safe for mothers and breastfed babies while taking certain medications thirteen years ago. I understand but back then it totally broke my heart and it tugs at my heart now when I think about it.
My sanity was more important so I trusted my doctor and started the medication that was supposed to save my life.
They didn’t. I started having major OCD issues and cleaning was my drug. I found that my house had to be immaculate every day and I couldn’t rest or go to bed at night unless it was. I also found myself in bed wondering if I’d locked the front door even though I vaguely remembered locking it. I would have to go check the door so my mind would stop or just move onto another thought that was bothering me.
My depression and anxiety was my private prison that I had no explanation for and was unable to express to my family.
It turns out Prozac was not the drug to save my life, it made me a very angry person and I’m not an angry person so my doctor had to try drug number two.
It’s such a hush hush topic which I think is totally ridiculous. Being depressed and having anxiety issues isn’t something to be ashamed of or a topic you feel you can cannot talk about or get help for.
Thirteen years ago when I hit rock bottom, no one understand around me. They thought I just needed rest or to get out of the house. But, I couldn’t get out of the house because I would go into full blown panic attacks and cry because I needed to be in the comfort of my home, my space with my things. There is no logic explanation of certain systems or habits that a person with anxiety and depression may find themselves in. It just happens and we really cannot express it to those that we love around us.
Over all these years I’ve weaned myself from my medications and there have been times that I have just quit turkey to have awful withdrawals. Being foolish doing it my way only made me end up being put back on them. I once had a good friend tell me, “Michelle, if you had a high blood pressure you’d take that medication to help you or you could die, would you feel guilt for taking that medicine? Just like you need to take this medication to help you, for your sanity”. He was right. If I had other health issues that could make me very sick I’d have no problem taking medicine to help me and I began to think of my depression and anxiety medications that way.
Years ago I begin to think about my children seeing me go through the highs and lows of depression and anxiety and I worried that I was screwing them up somehow. My kids are everything to me. I hate that have seen the highs and lows with my feelings. I have always been honest about when I am depressed. They know I have been and currently on medications. I didn’t think it should be some hidden secret that no one talks about. You don’t have to be ashamed that you are depressed.
Hi, my name is Michelle and I have depression and anxiety issues which in turn makes me very OCD at certain times. I am not ashamed to tell you this and I’m not ashamed that you know that I do take medications. Depression and anxiety is nothing to be ashamed about and just know that you can get plenty of amazing help.
*My recent article for Parent Palace.*