Saturday, July 21, 2012

Depression recovery - the long road - Part 1

One of the things I've not written much about is the physical recovery related to my depression. Of course the first step after waking up and realizing I was deeply depressed was to go see my doctor; my OB-GYN, you know, the ones who are suppose to know everything about the female body?  I'll never forget sitting across the desk from him, tears streaming down my face and hearing him say, "I'm not sure what to do.  I've never seen anyone so depressed."  Um, NOT the words you want to hear from the person you thought could help you.  I could write an entire post on why someone like that should not be a doctor, but I'll save it!

After trying a couple of other doctors, I quickly realized I was going to have to fight for my own recovery.  My naivety had me believing doctors knew everything.  I trusted them to fix me.  When they couldn't, I knew I had to become my own advocate.

The problem was doctors looked at me and saw the depression as the problem.  They are then trained to fix the problem.  Their fix for depression was to subscribe an anti-depressant.  As the doctors struggled to find the right medication, I repeatedly tried to tell them the depression was not the problem, but a SYMPTOM of the problem.  They were treating it as if it were the culprit rather than the after-math of something bigger.  They are trained to prescribe put band-aids on gushing wounds.  I wasn't willing to settle for a band-aid.

Let me stop right here and say there is nothing wrong with anti-depressants.  They helped me get to a place where I could function and begin to fight for my own recovery.  Having said that, they are not the be-all, end-all for someone suffering from depression, but I'll save that for another post.

My determination, or maybe it was desperation, sent me in search of answers.  How is it possible to go to bed one night OK and wake up the next morning in a deep depression?  What CAUSED this?  What could be done to correct the root problem, not simply medicate the symptom?  As I sought answers it quickly became clear that traditional medicine was not going to point me to the right solution.

A year after starting my struggle, I found a certified nurse mid-wife who specialized in natural hormone therapy; someone who listened to my symptoms and within five minutes said, "I know exactly what is causing this and we can fix it."  I cried...this time the tears were not from depression, but relief.  Hope shown brightly on this very dark place.  This was the beginning of my recovery from depression.


  1. I agree with everything you just said... After my mom died I just went on like everything was fine only to wake up about 2 months ago depressed and unable to control my thought life. I made myself so busy that I wouldn't deal and then I became so exhausted that I know my hormones are out of control from all my quick fixes. Thanks for putting into words what I have been dealing with... No one knows unless they know... you know?!

  2. Angela, keeping so busy you don't have time to think about things was how I coped for the better part of 30 years! It finally caught up with me and I found that my "fight or flight" cortisol levels were very high, caused by stuffing things for so long! Please let me know if there's anything I can do. Just knowing someone understands can be huge! Hugs!

  3. Thank you so much for your honesty and vulnerability! Praising God that He can bring joy in the morning and use the struggles of our pasts to minister so deeply to others.


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