Here I go again… I had such a wonderful response to this original article and then my website went BOOM! and everything disappeared. So many of you sent me emails and DM’s asking for the link to the article so I decided to rewrite the whole thing. This version might vary slightly from the first one but it’s all along the same vein so don’t worry, you haven’t missed out on anything. If you’d like to read the post where I wrote about being diagnosed with post natal depression and how I initially coped with it, you can do that over here.
I ended off that first article saying that being reliant on medication was something that I was going to have to make peace with and honestly, it’s been way more difficult than I thought it would be. There would be days where I felt so incredibly inadequate because I needed medication to not be an unpredictable, moody person. I would cry and say to Dan, “Why can’t I be normal? Why do I have to be so reliant on medication?” It upset me so much that I took myself off my medication because even though it helped to stabalise my moods, I just couldn’t wrap my mind around the fact that I had to be on medication for an indefinite amount of time.
*Before I carry on, I think it is important to note that my dose was incredibly low, when it was first prescribed to me, my doctor said to me that I wouldn’t have to wean myself off them, I could simply stop.
Coincidentally I started to gym properly at the same time that I decided to stop taking my antidepressants and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that exercise is the reason that I haven’t sunk back into the dark haze that I was in at the peak of my post natal depression. As soon as I become slack with going to gym, I can tell that I become more moody, lose my cool a lot faster and I start to feel like I am not in the drivers seat of my life anymore.Of course there are times that I don’t exercise as much as I should – like right now for example; it’s the summer holidays and I’m having a two week break while we have family over and Dan is on leave. It’s times like these that I have to be extremely conscious of how I react to situations and I often need to take thirty minutes and retreat to my room (while Dan watches Aria) to gather my thoughts and get back into the right state of mind.
Dan has been absolutely incredible through all of this, supportive and loving but will still call me out when he needs to. I asked him to write a quick paragraph on what my post natal depression has been like for him:
“My wife has to deal with depression on a daily basis but that does not rule our life or even vaguely define us. It is simply an idiosyncrasy that we manage along with any other. I’m sensitive to it in that I understand she has days where she might need me around more or less, or that a silly fight might just be because she’s a little irritable if she’s forgotten to take her meds. All these things are completely fine and completely normal. Depression is real and requires some form of awareness or treatment, but it does not need to control your life or the lives of those around you”
Everyone deals with their depression (or anxiety) differently, and different coping techniques work for different people. For me right now, exercise is the answer, and I’m happy about that. Others thrive on medication, someone else may cope by seeing a therapist regularly. What I think is important is that we keep these type of conversations open and flowing, we never know who is struggling on the inside or who needs some reassurance. Depression and anxiety is nothing to be ashamed of (something that I have to constantly remind myself), it ebbs and it flows, some days are better and some days are worse, what we need to remember is that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and that there are ways and resources to help us cope.
Let’s keep the conversation going in the comments, do you have any coping methods or techniques that work for you? What has been your experience when it comes to depression and/or anxiety? Leave your thoughts down below.