Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and any information you read is not meant to be a diagnosis.
Sadness and grief are normal human emotions. We all have those feelings from time to time, but they usually go away within a few days. Depression is something more. It’s a period of overwhelming sadness. It involves a loss of interest in things that used to bring us pleasure. It affects people from all walks of life, no matter what their background. It can affect people of all ages as well. Unfortunately, there’s still a stigma that surrounds mental health issues, and some people view disorders such as depression as a weakness. But, similar to the way anyone can develop certain physical health issues, mental health issues aren’t always preventable. Today I am telling you my story on depression.
Back in 2005 I became pregnant with my first child. I was 23 years old at the time and had been married for one year. I was excited, but also very nervous, as I was going to become a young mother. Fast forward to the birth of my son. May 17, 2006, he was born 4 weeks early. I began to have feeling of severe panic. As if something were going to happen to him or he would get sick. I loved this little boy with all my heart and the thought of anything happenning to him made me obsess over his health. I remeber one morning at 3am, I thought he was breathing too quickly, so I packed him up and had taken him to the hospital just to get peace of mind that he was ok. He was 4 days old. Yea I was obsessed! I felt an overwhelming sadness and I had no idea why I had these feelings. I would sit and cry while rocking him to sleep. I thought I was going crazy. However, once the 2 week mark had passed I started to feel myself again. Thank goodness! I wasnt crazy! Everything was good once it passed. I realized later that I had a very mild case of postpartum depression.
Skip ahead to 2008. I became pregant with my second child. I had a fairly easy pregnancy, no sickness or other major pregnancy symptoms. My second child was born on August 18, 2009. He was perfect! He completed our little family of four. Unfortunately, my symptoms started returning the day after delivery. I fought the feelings as I knew that with my first pregnany it only lasted a few short weeks, and I had returned to a normal state of mind. Two weeks went by with no changes. A month went by, and then 2 months. By this point I had days where I could not even care for my children. I was completely taken over by thoughts of sadness and hopelessness. My amazing mother would come to my home after work and care for my children as I was mentally, not able to at this point. I cried every waking moment. I couldnt sleep, I wasnt eating, I was just a very sick individual. By this point, I knew I had to go see a doctor as I could not fight this alone anymore. He diagnosed me with depression. He prescribed me a medication, but warned me it may take weeks for the meds to start working. The weeks ahead were hell. My depression seemed to be getting worse, and the meds did not appear to be working. I was looking for an instant fix, which isnt possible. I would wake each morning praying my life would return to normal and that I would become the person I once was.
Finally about 4 weeks into taking my medication, I awoke one morning and the storm had passed. I was feeling a little better as each day passed, and I became the mom that I always thought I would be. I was so thankful. My life was returning to normal!! I could enjoy things that I hadn’t enjoyed for months. My storm had finally passed. This was a long process and definitely not something was was fixed overnight.My children are 12 and 8 years old now. This is the first time I have spoken out in public about my illness. Even today I have good days as well as bad days, but the good days are in a much greater number than the bad. I still have days where I fear my depresion will return, but I have learned to live my life one day at a time.
If my story can help one person, it was worth it. I hope read my personal experience and take something away from it. Depression is not something that should be looked at as a bad thing. It’s an illness that one cannot control. Some of you reading this may be able to relate, and for some its just a story of ones life. If you fell the way I did, just know there is hope and help available. After the storm theres always a rainbow.
Until next time…
Sheryail Marie xoxo