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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Why Having a Pet Can Greatly Help Your Mental Health

Pets may seem like a hassle and not worth it but even getting something as simple as a goldfish can help your mental health and can help you in other ways.

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Pets. They are wonderful creatures that come in a variety of different shapes and sizes. You've got cats, dogs, fish, and more and I believe all of them can help your mental health one way or another.

Starting off with fish, having something as simple as a beta fish can help your mental health out a great deal. Life is stressful and constant, never letting you take a break and having something to care for and talk to (even if the fish can't understand what you're saying) can help you out immensely if you feel are feeling alone.

Dogs are great because it is a pet you can actually hold. Dogs have a variety of heightening senses and one I've noticed with mine is his ability to know when I'm feeling down and he will come up to me and just cuddle up with me and check to see how I'm doing and just sit there with a smile on his face.

Dogs are also great to play with when you get done with a busy day of college or a terrible day at work or when you're just feeling out of it. For those of you who want a more laid back kind of pet that won't be as up in your face, cats are great.

Cats are interested in that one second they don't seem to care about you whatsoever and the next second they just cuddle up right next to you and purr and just want to give you all the love they can muster.

An interesting pet that I used to have when I was younger was a pet red ear slider turtle named Crush (yes as in the Finding Nemo Turtle). Crush was a wonderful companion to have around. I used to have a lot of anxiety and a lot of mental demons when I was younger and Crush would help me through those tough times.

I highly suggest having a turtle if you struggle immensely with your mental health. Watching in their tank swim around and cleaning their shell is some of the most therapeutic things I've ever experienced.

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