• R.N.

No Shame in Depression

For so long depression was basically a taboo word, especially for minorities. No one would even admit to having it let alone seeking out help. I was one of them, but to be fair I didn't realize that I was depressed for years. I think that, that is the issue with most people. They just think they are sad, or angry. They don't realize that they have an issue. I know I didn't realize that I had postpartum depression until I had my third son, I finally had a doctor that told me, it's not just sadness, it's not just anger or bitterness it's more. When I had my oldest son, my husband was deployed and missed the birth. He was gone for an additional two months after the birth and honestly I just thought I was missing my husband. I didn't know crying and sadness were a part of a bigger issue.

There were days when I would lay with my sleeping two month old and just cry. I didn't want to get out of bed, I didn't want to do anything. When my husband returned we went back to the base leaving my family behind and that was even harder. They had been a huge help and now I was living over 30 hours away with my husband and baby. I had no support, I had no help and I was sad. My husband didn't get it, he just thought I was being lazy and it made things grow bad between us. The pressures from being a stay at home mom, married to a military man, it was never easy. I was there for him, I was there for my family at a distance but no one was there for me.

With my other two boys, it seemed that my depression only grew, I just didn't realize that is what it was an issue. As life continued to happen I continued to fall into a deeper hole of depression. I ate to mask my pain, my sadness. I yelled at my husband to hide my insecurities and I felt worthless at a time when I should have been embracing my 20's. It wasn't until my youngest and third son was born was I diagnosed with Postpartum. It took everything in my to not feel broken and damaged. Shoot if you asked me, the moment the doctor told me I had it that is what I thought. That I was broken and damaged. I just couldn't admit it to him.

Military One Source is a godsend to people in need. I was so down one day I actually thought about ending it all. My marriage was falling apart, my life was at a standstill and I couldn't breath. I was drowning in my own pain and misery. I remember the night so clearly. I had to work, (I worked from home) and I was stressed, barely sleeping. My husband worked third shift and the base was about 45 minutes from our house. So my schedule looked like this. Wake up at 6, get the boys ready for school and my youngest ready to ride. Breakfast which as much as I wanted to make them a hot one just consisted of cereal. I would wait for my husband to get home which was usually around 7:15am. Myself and my boys piled into the care and I dropped my oldest off, then waited another 20 minutes before I could drop my middle off.

After that I would take my youngest and we would drive around for a while just to give my husband time to fall into his deep sleep. Then I would go home, play with my toddler quietly, take a nap around 11 wake up at 1 to make sure I left in enough time to make it to the front of the line. Stayed in the school line for about 3 hours and picked the boys up from school. We would get home around 4pm and I had to be at work at 5. My husband would be up playing video games and since I worked from home he would guilt me into cooking dinner before I went to my room which doubled as my office. Some nights I did and some nights I laughed in his face and told him to grow up and help out. I would work from 5pm to 12am. Sometimes 1am. My husband had to be at work at 11:30pm so he left the house around 10.

Even though the boys were asleep I had to multitask as a mom and worker for those two hours. When I finally got off of work I was wired and couldn't sleep so most days I didn't sleep until 2 or 3am. Then I was up at 6 and did it over again. On Saturday and Sundays I worked a full 8 to 9 hours and it seemed I never got a break. Then one day I came back early from dropping the boys off at school and my husband was up playing video games. I was pissed. Why couldn't he get the boys ready and take them knowing I had worked the night before then just wake me up after so I could get some extra sleep and he told me "Cause you are the mom". It was then I lost it. I wanted out. I was done.

He ended up being off the next night so I told him he could pick the boys up and make dinner and I called off of work and locked myself in my room. He didn't even check on me that whole time just left me alone. I stared at my pain pills (I had been in an accident years before and my back still to this day isn't right.) and I wanted to take them all and just die. I wanted out. I wanted to leave but my boys were the only thing stopping me. Then out of the corner of my eye I spotted a flyer. And it was Military One Source. So I called just to see if they really would help.

The person I talked to told me that it seemed I was at a breaking point in my life and if i didn’t get control of my issues I would kill myself. Did you know stress can kill you? I didn’t. She told me that I was worth getting help for. That no matter the issue I would be okay. I didn’t believe her but I kept listening. mBy the time we ended the call I didn’t feel better but I was in a better place, if that makes sense. So I put the pills away and just cried and prayed.

I wanted to call them back but I felt embarrassed and at the time when I told my husband what I did he was pissed. What if someone at work found out? What if they learned his wife was telling all their business. He yelled and told me to keep my issues between us but yet he wouldn’t talk to me about it. I had had enough of him and enough of the whole situation. I took a couple shots of Jack Daniel went out to the pull and jumped in. (I can’t swim) I didn’t even fight the water I just sunk. He saw me and pulled me out and when I thought he would tell me that he loved me and he was sorry. He called me weak and pathetic for wanting to die.

When you and your family don’t realize that you need help, it can come across as weak to them, as a cop out. As you are not being good enough because you can’t take care of yourself. The next day I started feeling these palpitations in my chest. I had had them before but it was worse. I was panicky and dizzy, I couldn’t breath. For two years I went to the doctors and they told me it was a panic attack and this day I just couldn’t take it and went. After convincing them to give me a heart monitor they found out I had Ventricular Tachycardia.

Stress, anxiety and holding things in caused this issue with my heart. And now I can’t even take meds to help with my anxiety because of it. I let my sadness go unanswered for so long that I literally could have died. And now it's something I deal with daily. Pills I take twice a day everyday. I can’t say that it gets better right away because it doesn't but just recognizing that you have a problem can make a world of difference. Just knowing that you need help can help you find your way to a better you.

I am finally able to speak up and say that, I let it manifest itself into a bigger issue. Don’t be scared to ask for help. If you feel like something is wrong there are numerous things you can do. Go online and find a therapist. Call a family member or friend to help you find the help you need. Call your doctor that is why they are there. There is nothing to be ashamed of, nothing.

Having depression, any kind of depression can cause issues at work, at home, it can strain and ultimately end relationships. Cause you to find relief in drugs and alcohol or cause you to see no way out and want to harm or kill yourself. Remember depression can be Genetic, Biochemical, Hormonal, Seasonal or Situational.

If you or anyone you know seems down there are many symptoms to look out for. Such as, sadness, tiredness, unhappiness, frustration, craving foods, (mostly unhealthy), no energy, trouble focusing or concentrating, anger, irritability, anxiety, unhappiness, loss of interest of doing things, isolation, worrying, restlessness, poor performance at school or work, guilt, trouble making decisions or thinking clearly, suicidal thoughts or tendencies, pain, like headaches or muscle aches, stress induced palpitations and drug or alcohol abuse.

There are even signs in some people of mania, changes in their ability to speak or move, and psychotic episodes. You can grow angry at the drop of a hat. Punching walls, throwing things, screaming you hate everyone.

There are plenty of things you can do for yourself or others if you think they are considering or you are considering yo harm yourself. Please get help from a crisis or suicide prevention hotline. Try the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.

There is no shame in getting help, let's end that notion right here right now.

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