It is little wonder that people with chronic illness suffer with depression! If you were told that you would regularly endure vomiting and passing out from pain at least once a month for the rest of your life – you, like me, would see no end of pain. No relief. No hope.
Of course in some ways it would be easier if we were bleeding from the eyes because at least then others would be able to easily spot the trouble and treat us with the care and attention we deserve! But I digress…
A psychologist once told me that depression doesn’t occur in people who are assholes: people who are abrasive, rude, self-assured and never seem to have any problems to speak of who go through life saying “Why don’t you just…”
People who endure depression regularly think of others before themselves and care about what other people think. Perhaps we’re too busy trying to live up to the expectations of others to take care of ourselves properly? Whatever the reason, once again, if you’ve got depression brought on by a chronic illness you’re in good company here.
According to http://www.helpguide.org/mental/depression_women.htm The signs of depression are:
- Depressed mood
- Loss of interest or pleasure in activities you used to enjoy
- Feelings of guilt, hopelessness and worthlessness
- Suicidal thoughts or recurrent thoughts of death
- Sleep disturbance (sleeping more or sleeping less)
- Appetite and weight changes
- Difficulty concentrating
- Lack of energy and fatigue
Depression crept upon me slowly. I didn’t wake up one morning with the uncontrollable urge to cry every 5 minutes. There wasn’t one particular incident that made me wish I were dead. The feelings of worthlessness I had stemmed from a number of suspicions and experiences that are too numerous to mention. It stemmed from an unhappy marriage and miscarriages. I felt I was unable to be a woman because I was unable to have a baby. I felt that if I could only have a baby, I would be vindicated because I could finally achieve something. How awful it is that – for a woman who feels worthless – I couldn’t even produce offspring which is something that most women simply lay back and think of England to achieve!
It’s little wonder then that where and when I cried only increased. For years I felt I was totally alone. In trying to find some happiness I made friends but felt empty. In the end, it seemed that the only good thing in my life was my friendship with Helios. When I asked God for a less stressful life, a more simple life, I believe He sent me Helios. I tried a number of things to try and break through my discontent: I wrote a diary, I had numerous sessions with a psychologist, and ultimately I changed my life entirely, for the better.
I addressed everything at once: my health issues, my employment, and my personal relationships. I started taking neural inhibitors for my incessant vaginal pain from bacterial vaginosis. I separated from my first husband and started seeing Helios regularly. I divorced and had my second laparoscopy. I started taking metformin to control my insulin resistance. I started using HRT to control my PCOS symptoms. I started taking St John’s Wort in an effort to stop crying. I divorced and purchased a small flat with the financial settlement. I took the birth control pill and then stopped again – because the St John’s Wort counteracted with my birth control. I took Milk Thistle for my PMT. I rattled with the tablets I was taking. I worried about all the tablets counter-acting with one another.
In the middle of it all, Helios was there and supported me. He looked after be after my second surgery and then my third. He never made me feel weak or guilty. We married despite all the physical problems I have. He was always gentle and kind to me.
Even after my life had completely changed for the better, I was still unable to shake the feeling that my head was still stuck in a dark cloud. I knew I was happy but I just didn’t feel it. I finally gave in and discussed the matter again with my doctor who again recommended prozac. This time I took it. Within the year I was finally myself again – and happy.
Just because I’ve had depression doesn’t mean that I am weak. I am strong because I was able to ask for help. I care about others which means I’m a good person.