My whole life I struggled with clinical depression. My mother, and the majority of her family all have severe forms of OCD. Since this is hereditary I always knew I would get some form of mental illness. Luckily for me, I *only* suffer from depression. Depression is not a walk in the park, and it CAN be as debilitating as OCD, however, antidepressants are much more effective than any medication/ coping mechanism that has been researched for OCD.
Growing up with depression meant I had a very hard time falling asleep at night. I would lie in my bed for hours contemplating one negative situation after the other, until I would spiral into a negativity party. Once I finally fell asleep, I would rarely wake up with feelings of happiness, or feel like I had a restful sleep.
When I was 16 I was put on antidepressants.
When I was 14 I started dating a guy who was emotionally abusive. He would often belittle me and he cheated on me numerous times to the point where I felt like I was not worthy of anyone’s love. By the time I was 16 years old my depression was so bad that I would barely sleep at night, and when I did sleep it was because I was so tired from crying. I would get into screaming matches to the point where my parents had no idea what I was saying. I would carry this burden with me throughout the day and it ultimately affected my school work.
The antidepressants helped me cope with my depression.
Antidepressants are NOT a cure, but they take the edge off so you can work on yourself. I have always known that, but not until I became a coach 13 months ago did I know HOW to work on myself. When I became a coach I was introduced to the power of journalling, meditating and gratitudes. These three coping mechanisms, along with reading books that actually allowed me to look within myself, and being around people who are also working on themselves, allowed me to create a sense of peace within myself.
About 9 months into practicing these techniques I began to see a major shift in my mindset, so much so that I was able to see just how much my antidepressants were affecting me on a regular basis. Because my eating habits had become much healthier, and I had the right mindset, I was able to see that the dosage for my prescription was too high.
Too high of a dose can sometimes be MORE detrimental than too low of a dose.
In July I started to notice my mind wandering to suicide every time one bad thing happened, I KNEW that was not normal. These thoughts may have been occurring before, but I did not have the introspection to see why. Through research, I began to see two reasons why this was happening:
- I was not eating the correct foods to increase my serotonin naturally
- The dose of my antidepressants was too high
I conquered number one first. I fixed my nutrition plan to decrease carbohydrates and proteins, and increase fats and vegetables. I could see a change within a couple of weeks. My body was responding very well to my change in meal plan. Then I took the leap and decreased my dosage. I went from 100mg to 75mg. The first few days were rough as my body adjusted to the lower amount of serotonin, but it quickly compensated and I felt so much better. No longer was I having suicidal thoughts, and the fat on my stomach was decreasing (antidepressants cause you to retain weight in your stomach).
I stayed on a 25% reduced dosage for 2 months.
Once the two months were up I decreased another 25% to a 50mg dose. I have been on this decreased dosage for just under a week now, and I am struggling. I am having negative thoughts spiralling through my head as I drive to work, I am struggling with getting a proper sleep, and when I am awake all I want to do is go to sleep. I am using my holistic techniques such as crystals, affirmations, gratitudes, journalling and meditation, as well as increasing my serotonin during my bad times with a work out. They ARE working, but this adjustment has been much harder on me. I want to cry at least 3 times a day. When something goes bad it feels like the world is collapsing, and I am having a hard time sending out messages to prospective clients because I just don’t want to talk people.
It would be easy for me to lie on the couch all day long. Fuel my bad moods with television shows (as I have in the past), but this is just not going to get me anywhere. I know that by doing my to-do lists, getting in my workouts, and meditations I am making a move in the positive direction. I also know, however, that I cannot do everything I was doing before. I know that my days may not be as productive, but when I focus on my wellbeing I know my future will be brighter.
I will continue to strive to bring joy and happiness into my life. I will continue to fuel my body with nutritions that will give my body with natural boost of serotonin that it needs, because I deserve the best.
This is also a reminder for those of you who are struggling with a mental illness. If you have to take a day, do so, but always work towards making your days better not just tolerable.