Depression and Anxiety -- You Aren't A Weak Person!

Jenn Greene

I am usually funny, witty and happy go lucky (most days) however there is a dark side. I suffer from depression and sometimes panic attacks. I feel the need to share because I realize I am not the only one out there, especially this year when life keeps attacking from all sides. When you suffer from depression you tend to lock it away until it rears it's ugly head then you just hide away until it passes. Don't be ashamed! If you feel like something isn't right seek help, talk to someone.

My depression hit really hard after my 2nd child was born, like I didn't want to get out of bed to take care of her. As a mom the depression is then compounded with guilt, this was more than post-partum, I needed to seek some help and fast.

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You CAN Win The Battle

You see, people who don't suffer from this awful disease don't understand what's wrong. They think you are crazy and can't comprehend why you just wont stop crying and get up to join the land of the living. Depression is debilitating, it can stop you from being a functioning member of society. This is NOT OK, you can fight back with professional help and medication. I have fought this monster for 12 years and I have learned to fight back. Fighting depression does not make you weak, it makes you stronger and stronger every day that you win that battle against it. It takes a strong person to fight this and keep it away! Don't ever let anyone tell you that you are weak if you fight depression, everyday you get out of bed and make it count is another battle won! Depression is a battle of the mind, and you CAN and WILL win the battle.

Because fighting depression isn't fun enough I was also fortunate enough to be struck with panic and anxiety disorder. This is a whole other bottle of meds and a little more difficult to figure out, but it is manageable! Eight years ago I walked into the Macy's in Herald Square ready to shop and instead I freaked out. Literally could not get out of there fast enough, and no it wasn't the price tags. The crowds on that particular day triggered a panic attack/anxiety attack. After that I figured out that large crowds and very unfamiliar places (places where I had no control over the environment) were setting me into a state of anxiety. Were talking I want to crawl into a corner and disappear. Ugh what fun is that! I love to travel and visit new places, this clearly was something I needed to figure out. Another co-pay and I get my magic bottle of anti-anxiety meds. Take that panic attacks, I can go anywhere now you wont stop me!

Nothing to Laugh About

Depression and Anxiety are no laughing matter, some people can't get out of the dark place and choose to take their own lives. I can't imagine how dark that place must be, I have been in bad places with my depression and that has NEVER crossed my mind. “When you’re in the grip of depression and anxiety, it can feel like the misery will never end, that you’ll never recover,” says Dean F. MacKinnon, MD, an associate professor at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. “But people do recover. You just need to find the right treatment.”

I can attest to the fact that your doctors may not get it right on the first, second or third treatment but once you get the right meds and levels balanced out you can live with depression and anxiety. It wont cripple you for life if you seek the help you need! Do I still suffer from this, YES of course it's going to be with me forever. Do I have control over it and know my symptoms so I can stop them before they get too far, YES I do!

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Here are tips on dealing with this monster:

  • Give medicine time to work. Many antidepressants also help with anxiety. You might need other medicines as well. It could take time for the drugs to work -- and time for your doctor to find the ideal medicines for you. In the meantime, stick with your treatment and take your medication as prescribed. Don't skip a day of meds, they don't work that way as antidepressants are meant to balance the chemicals in the brain triggering this.
  • Make some lifestyle changes. As your treatment takes effect, you can do a lot on your own to reinforce it. Breathing exercises, muscle relaxation, and yoga can help. So can the basics, like eating well, getting enough sleep, and exercising. This sounds ridiculous but it works, a few changes here in there in your current routine will help you find a new one that works well for you.
  • Get a second opinion. When they're combined, depression and anxiety can be hard to diagnose. It's easy for a doctor to miss some of your symptoms -- and as a result, you could wind up with the wrong treatment. If you have any doubts about your care, it's smart to check in with another expert.
  • Focus on small steps. If you’re grappling with depression and anxiety, making it through the day is hard enough. Take small steps in the right direction, you wont be cured in a week it's not like the flu, it takes time to fight this one.
  • Be an active partner in your treatment. There are many good ways to treat depression and anxiety. But they all hinge on one thing: a good relationship with your healthcare providers. Whether you see a GP, psychiatrist, psychologist, or social worker -- or a combination -- you need to trust one another and work as a team. Be honest about your bad days and excited about your good days. Put in the work and you will feel better.

You are absolutely NOT WEAK if you suffer from depression and anxiety. You will be strong by fighting the battle against it and becoming the best version of you that you can be while you fight this.

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Enjoying Life One Trip At A Time… Jenn is a mom, writer, marketer, small business owner and social media influencer. She loves to travel- solo, with her family or with a group of friends. No matter where she is, she is always making an impact and sharing her journey. She is also the co-creator of We Grow Retreat, an annual blogging conference helping other bloggers while showcasing a destination.

Pylesville, MD
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