Yes, I Am Depressed, And My Serotonin Deficiency Is To Blame

Yes, I Am Depressed, And My Serotonin Deficiency Is To Blame

My experience with a serotonin deficiency and how I continue to grow from it.

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I started out my life kicking and screaming and bawling my eyes out. Nearly nineteen years later, I find myself practicing the same routine. Only this time, it isn't because I am in desperate need of my mother. Well, only partly. To be completely honest, I'm not exactly sure why my emotions have resulted in this rut of turmoil. Except, I do have a vague idea, all of which is much more confusing than a fussy baby.

I was never considered to be a happy child. My mother often recites the struggle it was to have a baby with colic. Dealing with postpartum and having a howling infant couldn't have been easy. After all, I was a healthy baby, why wasn't I a happy one? This trend was a continuing factor. Although I was no longer a cute little baby, I still showed signs of being utterly unhappy. I had a hard time opening up and making new friends. While the ones I had, I allowed to bully me. I spent my time after school crying. I lacked all signs of self-confidence and self-respect. The times where I was supposed to be happy, I wasn't. And when I was meant to be sad, I was numb. Emotions were not definite in my world.

I never questioned why I felt this way. I didn't understand what it meant to be depressed. I assumed being sad equated to killing yourself. After all, these were the only images I was seeing in the media. I could never relate to characters such as Eeyore, from Winnie the Pooh. He was incredibly depressed and seemed hard to be around. That could never be me, right?

Five years ago I was diagnosed with a serotonin deficiency. For those of you who do not know, serotonin is that little chemical in your brain that is needed in order for certain processes in your body to function. These things include mood, appetite, sleep, memory, temperature regulation, and sexual desire. The main thing my doctor highlighted was the fact that my lack of serotonin could result in severe sadness and depression. This diagnosis shook me to my core. Was this the reason why I had been struggling with my happiness?

Living with a serotonin deficiency has impacted my life in many, many ways. Suffering from this disorder means experiencing generalized anxiety, negative thoughts, and poor memory. These factors have influenced how I live my everyday life. For personal reasons, I have chosen not to take medication for these symptoms. I have had to find alternative ways to ease my anxiety. Essential oils have been my best friend. Lavender and Chamomile are my go to. These oils have helped ease the constant nervousness within my life. For my negative thoughts and poor memory, I have found solace in journalling. This method isn't necessarily restricted to pen and paper. From a pad of Post Its to the notepad feature in my phone, anything can be a way to document your thoughts and feelings. Although it hasn't cured my symptoms, they have given me an outlet to reflect.

I have started to learn what it means to live a healthy and happy life. Although there are still moments of struggle, being able to understand why I feel the way I do, makes the journey that much easier. It is a learning experience, to say the least. Life is worth living, I understand this now.

If you feel as if you are suffering from serotonin deficiency symptoms, please see a doctor.

If you are feeling suicidal, depressed, or just need someone to talk to there are resources to turn to. Here are two:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741

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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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11 Things You NEVER Say To A College Girl Trying To Get Into Shape

Just never talk about a person's weight.

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When my family and friends joked that I was going to gain 15 pounds in my freshman year of college as a result of the "Freshman 15," I thought it was what it was supposed to be: a joke. However, as the year has come to an end, I realized that I actually did put on a couple of pounds, albeit it wasn't the predicted 15.

As I told those that I wanted to get into an ideal shape for my body, I was met with some insensitive and ignorant remarks. Everyone thought that I mean just losing the weight I had put on.

1. "You walk to all of your classes, why aren't you losing weight that way?"

My legs are more toned than they ever have been before. However, most of the weight I have been gaining has gone directly to my gut (annoying!) and walking does not remedy that. Unfortunately, I have to stick to ab workouts.

2. "But you look fine to me!"

I don't feel healthy to myself. I'm not trying to stay in shape for anyone else, just myself, thanks. I appreciate you trying to make me feel better about my body image but I know something has to be done.

3. "I didn't gain any weight in college."

Good for you. I did. I'm trying to do something about it.

4. "Just stop drinking."

I don't drink. Really, the only liquid I consume is water or iced tea. I don't like soda and alcohol makes me nauseous way too easily.

5. "Isn't the gym free on campus for students?"

Yes, but some people don't like working out in front of others. I am one of those people. My friend lives in an apartment complex that has their own gym and almost no one is ever there but not everyone has that luxury. Also, some are busy and do not have time for a quick jog or to stretch.

6. "You should try this diet/pills/exercise routine."

I am thankful that you are trying to help but my diet is just eating healthy and having a few cheat days in between. I know what exercises work best for me and I am just not taking pills. Bodies adjust differently.

7. "Don't starve/force yourself to throw up."

Trust me, I know. I'm trying to lose the weight healthily. If you do find yourself practicing unhealthy eating habits or realizing your body image is deteriorating, the NEDA Hotline is (800) 931-2237. Please reach out if you are going through hardships.

8. "Won't you have to buy a whole new wardrobe?"

If I drop (or even add) a size or two. We grow out and grow tired of clothes on the regular, what's the difference if you have to buy some because of a weight change? Plus, who doesn't love buying new clothes?

9. "Just eat healthier."

Didn't think of it! Options are limited at college where the dining halls don't offer all that much that is actually good for your body. Now that I'm at home, it's easier. But I'm already trying to eat healthy.

10. "You've evened out since the last time I saw you!"

This is code for you've put on some weight. I hear it mostly from older relatives because my friends will flat out tell me if I've gotten a little chunky.

11. "You're just stressed."

Personally, this one gets me livid. I do admit that when I am stressed or anxious, I do turn to food for comfort but when I am delighted and genuinely happy, will my body magically revert into a fit state?

Sadly, no.

Honestly, I am just trying to get my body back into shape. For me, that means cutting back on greasy foods and kicking a bad habit of sitting on my butt all day. For others, it could mean more or less. As long as your body is in good physical condition and you are content, the number on the scale and others' thoughts shouldn't matter. Take care of yourself.

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