"He is there not only when we cry out from the burden of sin but also when we cry out for any other reason." -Bruce D. Porter

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Anxiety and Depression

For the past year I have been struggling with anxiety and then depression reared it's ugly head and decided to join the party. I went to a mental hospital last year to get help. I spent 10 days there and then 3 weeks in outpatient therapy. The whole time I was thinking, all this therapy is nice, but the medication I'm taking will take it all away so I don't need to worry. Boy was I totally wrong! Does anybody else think like me? Take a pill and all your symptoms will magically be gone! Like there's some happy pill out there.  I was told after I left the outpatient clinic to get a therapist. Well, I really didn't need one, my medicine was going to do the trick and I'm not so bad off. So six months pass and I am still suffering with anxiety off and on. Each time it would flare up, I run to the doctor asking for help. She just tweeks my Meds. Finally, she suggests I go see a physciatrist.  So I go to him thinking he will have a magic pill for me. He diagnoses me with Bipolar 2. Ok, whatever, give me your magic pills! You know what, I started taking the new medications and immediately felt good! (Placebo effect? How does a medication that's suppose to take a few weeks to kick in make you feel so good right away?). I felt great for six weeks! Best I had in a while. It was great! Then my friend commits suicide. Holy cow! What?! He was suffering worse than I with PTSD, anxiety, and depression. This sends me into a troublesome depression. Am I next? Is this what's eventually in store for me? Why go on living then? Why even try? So what do I do? Run back to the doctor. He just prescribes me more pills. I look at him and ask, what am I suppose to do? I'm so depressed, what do I do now? He tells me to get a therapist. My bishop had given me the name of an LDS therapist several months back, you know when I didn't need one? Haha. So I call this lady up and get an appointment two days later. This began my journey of recovery. During the month of December, I tried Wellbutrin twice and was put on lithium. What the heck?! Worst side effects ever! Where is that magic pill?! Reality check: there is no magic pill. Medications may or may not help to stabilize your moods to a certain extent, but they don't cure or take things away. No matter what, I've learned that I have to accept what I have and do all I can to get myself better. It is the hardest thing I have ever done. I have wanted to die so many times in the past three months. I have wanted to go back to the mental hospital. All these things because I am seeking peace and relief. But do you know where that peace comes from? Acceptance. I am struggling with this. Like I said, hardest thing ever. But today I am feeling ok. Tomorrow I may be a mess again and have to start the whole acceptance process over. I cannot fear it, I cannot wish it away. Will I ever have a day where I will just need to drug myself up to get through it? Sure. But things will get better. I'm past the point of wanting to die, at least for now. I feel stronger.  Maybe I'll regress, who knows. Why haven't I taken my life yet? Because I can't stand the thought of the hurt I would cause my family. I can't stand the thought of thinking I sold my birthright for a mess of pottage.  Plus I realize that I am a daughter of a Heavenly King. He loves me more than I can imagine! I am of great worth and have a great purpose on this earth. Does this always make me feel better? No, but it helps to bring hope. I think this whole process is compare able to the grieving process. There's denial, there's the sadness and despair, there's the anger, and finally when I get to it, acceptance.  I will have to deal with anxiety and depression (heck, maybe I really am bipolar too! Add that to the list.)  for the rest of my life. I am going to have to accept this somehow. It's no different than accepting that you may have cancer or another chronic perhaps life threatening disease. It doesn't make it go away by accepting it. It just brings peace, and you can deal with things better. So when anxiety knocks at my door, I welcome her in. She's a girl. We are best friends. She likes movies. Depression isn't my best friend yet. Still working on that relationship.  She's the one who will probably send me back to the mental hospital. But wait, if I try harder to let her be my friend, I could avoid going back forever.