life with depression

A Big Thank You To The Antidepressant That Saved My Life

Dear Celexa, I wish you knew what you did for me.

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It was dark and really lonely. I had just experienced the worst event in my entire life, the death of my father. The world was no longer the same. Everything felt cold, dark, and horrible. Even when the sun came out there was something wrong with it. My anxiety was at an all-time high and stopped going to work, stopped hanging out with my friends and I stopped engaging in everyday life. I was a body without a soul, just a piece of flesh breathing and existing, but having no feelings, except numbness to the outside world.

It was the hardest things I had to do, getting help. I thought it was just grief and everyone feels this way. But that wasn't true. My sisters went back to work, started hanging out with their friends, even my mom started getting back into a daily routine. But not me; all I could do was cry and lay perfectly still all day long. Every movement hurt.

The stigma around mental health is such a horrible thing. People nag, pick on and make fun of mental illnesses but it is the purest form of illness there is. My mother kept saying you need to get help, I am worried about you, but I didn't listen. Actually, my exact words were "I don't need therapy I am not crazy" but therapy does not make you crazy.

I had the appointment long before my daddy died. We were going to finally address the anxiety issues I had been dealing with for my entire life, I thought that was a hard conversation to have. Please, that was nothing compared to what followed next. The doctor started asking me about my father's death and at first, I was very tight-lipped, I didn't want to talk about it, I didn't want to even engage with it.

By the end of the appointment I had been diagnosed with GAD or Generalized Anxiety Disorder, no surprise for anyone there, but it explained a lot about the way I think and feel all the time. But the second part of my diagnosis caught me off guard, and it still does when I think about it, I was diagnosed with, Major Depressive Disorder with Anxious Distress.

Depression. The word still rings through my ears when I think about it. But it explained so much. The numbness, the falling into deep pits of despair, the wanting t never move again and just lay there for the rest of my life and let the darkness consume me because it was so much easier than facing the world around me.

I went through three antidepressants until I found the one that woke me from my fog. The first one was horrible. Zoloft left me feeling nauseous all the time, I couldn't eat and there was this constant fog over my body that the professionals call a numbness. Lexapro almost did its job. I started to smile, sing in the car again and was more energetic, but I still had the struggles of getting up and getting moving.

Celexa. The last one, for now. It has been a life changer. Celexa saved my life when I didn't know it needed saving. I smile, I eat, I sing, I go out with my friends, I volunteer to go places when I'm having good weeks I find myself accomplishing more than I ever did, even before my father died.

Celexa has changed my life. My anxiety as at the lowest it has ever been since I was a child, I am not constantly looking over my shoulder. I do still bite my lip and kick my foot up and down, but old habits are hard to stop.

Oh Celexa, if you only knew what you have done for me. The blackness is no longer there. The numbness is no longer there. Sure I still cry but I laugh, and tell jokes and feel other emotions as well. I no longer want to give myself away to the monster that is raging inside my body.

I still have my days, who wouldn't. Sometimes I stay in bed an hour or so longer than need be, but the dark cloudy thoughts are no longer there. It is just finding the motivation to get on with my day that I struggle with now. Maybe Celexa isn't the absolute fix but it gave me my life back. A life I didn't know I was missing until it was gone.

Mental Illness is not a game. Depression is not a joke. Your anxiety does matter. And Celexa saved my life.

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10 Bible Verses for Self Esteem

Sometimes you need to search for inner strength and find your own self worth.
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We all get those days that we just don't feel good enough for anything. Everything is going wrong. For me, I go to the bible to read the words of God. His personal dialog for us is filled with encouragement, hope, and lessons we can learn from. Here are my top ten verses that are uplifting and impacting when at the lowest of lows:

1. Philippians 4:13:

I can do all things in Him who strengthens me.

2. Psalm 46:5

God is within her, she will not fall.

3. Proverbs 31:25

She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.

4. Psalm 28:76

The Lord is my strength and my shield.

5. 1 Corinthians 25:10

By the grace of God, I am what I am.

6. Romans 5:8

I loved you at your darkest.

7. Psalm 62:5-6

Only God gives inward peace, and I depend on Him. God alone is the mighty rock that keeps me safe, and he is the fortress where I feel secure.

8. 2 Timothy 1:7

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline.

9. 1 Peter 2:9

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

10. 2 Chronicles 20:15

The battle is not ours, but God's.

Cover Image Credit: chinadaily

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A Day In The Life Of A Socially Anxious Person

"I better lower the volume of my phone. Someone sitting next to me might hear what music I'm listening to and judge my song choice."

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According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), social anxiety disorder affects 15 million adults in the United States. It is one of the most common mental illness and yet a lot of people don't know what social anxiety disorder (SAD) exactly is and have misconceptions about it. Social anxiety is often misunderstood as shyness. However, SAD goes beyond shyness. For someone with SAD, daily social interactions can be stressful to handle because of fear of negative evaluation and embarrassment.

To eliminate misunderstandings and spread awareness about SAD, here's a picture diary of what a day in the life of a socially anxious person looks like.

8:30 a.m.

"I better hurry and switch off my alarm before my roommate wakes up. I'm afraid she might hate me for waking her up this early."

12:00 p.m.

"I know the answer to this question but I'm too scared to answer. What if it is wrong and I embarrass myself in front of everyone?"

3:00 p.m.

"I better lower the volume of my phone. Someone sitting next to me might hear what music I'm listening to and judge my song choice."

5:00 p.m.

"I better keep practicing my order in my head otherwise I might stumble upon my words and make a fool of myself."

7:00 p.m.

"I am just going to delay answering this call as I'm afraid to answer the phone. I don't know who is on the other side and am not exactly sure what to say."

10:00 p.m.

"I'd rather not sleep, as if I try to, I'll be reevaluating all the embarrassing moments of my day."

Along with these thoughts, a person suffering from SAD might also experience physical symptoms like nausea, dizziness, flushing, palpitations, shortness of breath and tightness in the chest. If your day looks anything like the picture diary above and you have been experiencing physical symptoms, do not be afraid to seek help.

According to a survey conducted by ADAA, 36% of people with social anxiety disorder report experiencing symptoms for 10 or more years before seeking help. If you are someone who is suffering from SAD, always remember that there's hope. Always seek help as social anxiety disorder is treatable through medication and therapy.

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