The first step to getting out of my depression was seeing that I needed help. Once I finally accepted the fact the I couldn’t overcome this alone and that it was okay to ask for help, I could start healing. The actions I took once I realized that I was experiencing true depression were ones taken for good reason. They did, however, leave room for improvement.
Let me back up and say that I grew up in the church and for a long time I felt like if I was just closer to God and did certain things right that my depression would lift. And maybe that does work for some, but after quite a while I came to the conclusion that this was probably not going to work for me. One thing that really pushed me toward seeking the help I needed was Beth Moore sharing her experience with depression. To sum up one of the day daily devotionals from her book, she said that she finally accepted that her depression was a chemical imbalance and it was more than okay to seek the assistance of medical professionals.
I got the message. It was time to seek help. I was ready. I gave my mom the okay to make an appointment for me. He confirmed that I did have mild depression. I was given the option of medication and seeing a counselor. I knew what I needed: a pill. So, I walked out with a prescription and some business cards for a few counselors – that I never saw.
In the beginning those pills did give me the boost I needed to kick the apathy. Let me tell you, when you don’t really experience emotion, there is not much of a drive to do anything. After I started taking the pills I began attending classes again, getting better about being on time to work, and making new connections with people. It was good.
Things were really looking up. I found an educational path that really excited me. I started getting more involved in my church. There was one issue though. I stayed on that little pill much longer than I should have.
After my uncle died, I almost got moved to a higher dose of antidepressant. But my mom intervened. She got me an appointment with a counselor. This was what I needed the whole time. Really, I was telling anyone who would listen that they should see a counselor. It was so helpful.
My counselor saw that I had my emotional bucket hooked up to a lot of hoses that were drawing from it and not many that we pouring back in. He suggested that I give myself and break. That I should get myself refueled. He reminded me that I don’t have to be involved in everything, serving in every capacity.
This wise man also told me to stop doing things because I feel like I should. Do things because I want to. This one was harder because I was currently in classes that I didn’t love and holding down a job that was pretty much just a paycheck, but those things sorted out eventually.
Seeing how much talking to a counselor helped, I decided to see how I would fare off of the antidepressants. I have written a little about why I chose to get away from taking pills and what I did to keep the depression off naturally here. If you are struggling and feel like the pill is the only way, at least walk away knowing this: physical activity gives your body the same effects as taking a low dose antidepressant.
* I am not a doctor, nor do I pretend to be. If you want to start anything new and you have questions, consult with your doctor. Don’t do anything that will not work for you.
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