Thursday, September 12, 2013

National Suicide Prevention Week 2013 - My Story

So today I'm going to share my story because its important for society to realize that its ok to have mental health problems, and its ok to talk about them. And that it is also more than ok to receive treatment when its needed.

If you've followed my blog, (or know about this part of my life) then you know that my freshman year of high school was really difficult for me. Well in 8th grade my parents took me to a psychiatrist and I was diagnosed with A.D.D but also they found that I had another problem. I had what is called Oppositional Defiant Disorder (O.D.D). It is kind of hard to wrap your mind around it unless you've really studied it or have experienced it. But basically you are stubborn but you don't have a choice in it. You HAVE to be stubborn. You HAVE to object to what authority figures tell you.

At first my mom thought it was just normal "teenager rebellion" behavior. But then it got really bad. And nobody else seemed to have as big of a problem with their kids as my family was having with me.
Every single day was a battle. Everyday we fought. And it was all because of me. But I wasn't aware of it.

So I would continue going to the psychiatrist and when I started having hardships in high school, I was then diagnosed with clinical depression. And I was really really depressed.

And for some reason when all my high school drama started, I began to to see that I was this difficult child. And I started to feel guilty for how I had been treating people. I still had some O.D.D - I couldn't control it, but I hated what I was doing to my family.

I have never once had thoughts of self harm, and I have never been suicidal. But I have had an overwhelming feeling that I was a burden to the people around me. That maybe my family would be better off if I wasn't around. I didn't want to make it so I wasn't around, but I did acknowledge that I was causing struggle within my family.

So with depression you aren't always depressed.  You can have phases. Sometimes, yes you will just be depressed for no reason. Other times, its just when sad things happen and you just get really really sad. Ive cried to the point that I threw up. I had days where I just couldn't stop crying. All I wanted to do was sit and cry and be sad about life.

Over time when you have depression you learn ways to help yourself out. It doesn't mean that you aren't as effected by the hard times that life brings, it just means you know how to get yourself out of you black hole of sadness.

Eventually I wasn't allowed to be in my room unless I was sleeping. My mom realized that I would go in my room and just cry. All day long. And when she figured that out my room became off limits. Because I needed someone to hold me accountable - someone to tell me to pull myself together and calm down. And left to my own devices, I would just dwell on things and become more and more depressed.

My O.D.D went away - it tends to do that as you grow up, and with some behavior therapy.

I took medicine for clinical depression up until my Junior year of high school, and then reduced the dose so now it is only treating anxiety. (Ive probably had anxiety since I was in elementary school, because I remember having times where I would be sick from worrying so much; but I only started getting it treated in high school.)

As of right now I am on a 30mg dosage. My junior year  in high school it was at 20mg. And when high school ended and I started college the dosage was at 40mg. All of those are considered anxiety dosages, when it goes up to 60mg that is considered a depression dose.

My freshman year of college was hard. And I probably did get depressed. But it wasn't clinical. I started having sessions with my psychiatrist more often, but I wasn't re-diagnosed because I had learned a lot through my past experience with it.

When I was most recently broken up with, I spent three days crying on the couch at my parents place. But that was it. Just 3 days. After that I forced myself to be bigger than the sadness. I knew life would go on, and that I was wasting away the precious time we are given to live our lives.

I know I was made to be happy. I am a very happy person when life is going right. But when it gets hard, I change. I am visible sad. And I know that it effects the people who care about me, so I have decided that I need to hold my self accountable so I don't make the people around me sad.

I am not ashamed or embarrassed by it. I am proud to be who I am and I am forever grateful for the treatment I have received and continue to receive.

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