Friday, May 15, 2009

Update on Depression

So I just stumbled on this blog today and I've really enjoyed this woman's thoughts on depression. She is actually bi-polar, but many of the symptoms of bi-polar are the same as depression. She has a lot of really great information and statistics and advice to help people to better understand depression. Anyway, check it out - if you look on the right side of her page she has listed "topics" that she blogs about - click on the one that says Depression for the bulk of her posts that I have enjoyed. She is on Cymbalta too and it's very interesting to see her day-to-day documentary of how she did on the drug in the beginning - very similar to my experience. I now wish that I had documented the day-to-day improvements. Oh well. A small warning: she does use a bit of language sometimes and her grammar stinks - but her message is great.

For those of you who have not been following my blog for the last several months click here and here to read a little bit about my struggle with post-partum depression.

Anyway, I haven't said much about it in some time - but I am pleased to announce that I (for now) am officially off Cymbalta. I've been slowly weaning myself (under Dr. supervision of course) for the last couple weeks. I started out by halfing the dosage and continuing to take it every day. Then took it every other day - and it has now been 4 days since I have taken anything and I feel great. Now, 3 days from now I may hit a wall - who knows - I'm totally open to going back on it if I need to because wow - it has made such a HUGE difference! Monday I had a really bad day and I was a little scared that it was because I was not taking the usual dose...but I had to remind myself that even people who are not suffering from depression have bad days - it's ok to have bad days!

I just can't imagine where I would be now if I had not made the decision to see a therapist and get help. Our lives (i.e. Eric, me, and our girls) have improved times 1000 over the last 5 months:

I have a newfound passion for my children that I treasure. Again, this does not mean that we are all giggles all the time - but I am able to be patient with them - and play with them. AND, I'm not sure if I said anything about this before...Haylie's attitude and even some of her potty troubles improved steadily as my mood improved. I did not realize how bad I had gotten - but she sure did. Even today, if I get upset with her for something, she will say "Mommy, are you happy?" She is obviously very in tune with my moods - and notices when I am happy. And because I am happier now - so is she. I have to be very careful with her - she obviously has a very sensitive soul. ;-)

Eric and I reached a new level of understanding through this process that I don't think we could have reached any other way. To have him support me 100% - no matter what - to know that he was totally on board with me and my decisions meant the world to me.

I have more energy than I've had in YEARS...yes, YEARS, people. Now, unfortunately that energy has not translated in me wanting to clean my house any more than before - but I don't think that's EVER gonna change! The point is, when I do decide to clean - I have the energy to do so.

When I have a bad day - like Monday - I don't lie in my bed and cry. I get through it. I deal with it. I do what needs to be done. I go to bed and wake up the next day feeling rejuvenated and ready to tackle whatever else comes my way. You know - one bad day in several months is pretty dang awesome. I used to have one good day in several months. WOW!

I sleep. That was one of the worst parts of this whole thing. I used to sleep through anything - now, of course that changed after having babies, but I still slept well even after they were born. When my depression hit full force - ugh...tossing and turning and WEIRD dreams that made me toss and turn even bizarre dreams...Now...peace. Sleep. Rest. Ahhh.

I feel like such a better person now than I did 6 months ago. I am proud of myself. I am proud of who I have become. I am grateful for my trials because they truly have made me who I am and I wouldn't trade it for the world. Clearly there is still work to be done, but I am so glad that I am mentally and emotionally stable so that I can continue to pay attention to the things that matter - and continue to learn the lessons Heavenly Father is trying to teach me. And because this is my blog - I have to reiterate what I said 5 months ago. Sometimes faith is not enough. Sometimes Heavenly Father asks us to do a little bit more. Sometimes we have to trust our intuition and find a new doctor when the one we have tells us something we don't want to hear. Sometimes we have to put ourselves out there and do something uncomfortable - even if it means that some people might not agree.

I'll keep ya posted. ;-)


hopelesslyharen said...

Kristie - I don't know that you know (not many do) but after high school I suffered from depression and was on medication for a while. I remember weaning off the medication. The hope after taking the last dose, and the fear that follows alongside. I also remember very well the feelings of that first "bad day". I glad to hear things are going so well and things have improved. You're awesome...always have been. And with your AMAZING attitude, I'm sure everything will great. -Kim Hawkins Haren

Jenn said...

So glad you are feeling better! You can always call me when you need to vent and have a bad day! We can share!

Bippert Family said...

Yay! Thank you so much for your posts. I love to read them and see the progress! We'll have to find time to chat again!
ps. I love your family pic on your blog header!

jennifer said...

your update was so refreshing! i'm so happy for you and hope everything continues to improve. it is amazing how much the children can sense about their mommies. those kids are brilliant creatures. thanks again for sharing your journey.

Erika said...

I truly appreciate the courage and strength you possess, in not just the admission of your set backs but in the insight you have obtained from them. Your honesty is refreshing and eye-opening. I too have dealt with depression (like most) for many years of my teenage years and it is a completely hopeless feeling! I am saddened when I hear of anyone else going through this-but I realize this is one of the true challenges of life....and you seem to be defeating this challenge (which is no east feat)! Good Luck always and remember-Happiness is a journey and not a destination!
~Erika Sarinana