Depression,  Lessons Learned,  Life,  Medications,  Mental Health,  Popular

It’s OK to Need Help

In previous blog posts and conversations over the last two years, I’ve made no bones about the fact that I’ve battled with bouts of depression and anxiety since I was diagnosed with congestive heart failure and type 2 diabetes.

The daily routines of medications, blood sugar testing, meal planning, and other related bullshit, combined with the constant worry of trying to figure out how to pay for all of those medications and testing supplies, are simply overwhelming at times.

Add to that all of the typical stuff that goes along with every day life, you know… work, bills, chores, relationships, etc… and you’ve got yourself a great big barrel of fun.

Then top that off with dealing with a loved one being diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and going through all of the activities and emotions that go along with that, and being forced to put a near 9 year relationship on hold while your best friend becomes the primary caregiver for that loved one, and that great big barrel of fun transforms into the biggest clusterf*#K you’ve ever seen.

It’s all enough to destroy someone mentally. And the extreme mental hurt quickly manifests into extreme physical hurt. And you eventually reach a point where you just can’t take it anymore, and feel like throwing the towel in.

As difficult as it is for me to admit, I reached that point in the early part of February.

And the hard part is that I know it didn’t have to happen. I had a little bottle of “happy” pills in my possession that my doctor had given me the month before. I just wasn’t able to take them immediately, because I was starting a new blood sugar medication and had to get through the side effects of it before starting the other medicine.

And then when it was time to start the Celexa, I kept putting it off and putting it off, because of the fear that I’d have the same problems with it that I had with similar drugs years before. When you’ve had a bad experience with medications, or anything for that matter, you tend to shy away from them. It’s perfectly normal to have those feelings.

Things finally reached a point in early February where I knew I needed help, and knew that I had to take the plunge into the world of anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications again. And so, on the 21st of last month, I broke the seal on the prescription bottle, cut the little pill in half as the doctor had instructed, and jumped.

Tomorrow, March 21st, will mark a month since I started the medication, and I can honestly say that I’m glad I did. I’m not nearly as edgy as I had been, and feel quite mellow most of the time. And mellow is a good thing.

The moral of this story is this: It’s OK to need help; You just have to ask for it!

Mike

Living with a Confusing Pancreas and a Broken Heart at age 34 #Diabetes #LADA #CongestiveHeartFailure. #MakeDiabetesVisible Creator, Advocate, Blogger, Nature Photographer.

14 Comments

  • Rachel

    For other reasons, I’ve been through the wringer this winter, too. I hate when people tell me (or tell the world at large) that psych drugs are a crutch. They have no freaking idea.

    • Mike

      Mike

      Rachel, I hope you don’t think I’m saying psych drugs are a crutch. I don’t believe they are at all.

  • Scott Strange

    Been right there. my friend. Depression had been the very old friend who just wouldn’t go home until very recently.

    I’m glad you posted this, proud of you brother

  • Michael Hoskins

    Thank you for being brave and writing this, Mike. You’re right that it takes a lot to admit this and it isn’t easy. I’ve been struggling with some hardcare depression and likely thyroid issues in recent months, to the point where I don’t even feel like the same person and just want to withdraw from everything. But it’s a work in progress, and seeing posts like this make me see the benefits of stepping forward and doing what’s needed. So again, thanks my friend. Glad to hear things have evened out in the past month and are going OK so far.

  • Jess

    mike-

    you are my new hero for posting this. thank you.

    remember you are never alone, no matter how you feel. hugs!

  • Martin Wood

    You’re a champ Mike, and I’m proud of you for sharing this. It takes courage, and you have that in Spades friend. And please know, you’re not alone in any of this.

  • Wendy

    Thank you for this. I was dx with PP Depression after I had my last baby in 2007. After that 1st year, I struggled feeling as if I was “supposed” to magically feel better. The truth is the, while a dx may have evolved from having a baby, the depression symptoms had been there for a long time. Depression continues to be an uphill battle for me, but one that I’m committed to conquering so that I can enjoy my life before it’s too late.

  • Bob P

    The use of meds for depression or other mood/mind disorders is an intensely personal decision.. I myself use such meds, and have no reason to believe that I won’t need to do so for the rest of my life.

    Admitting you need help is a victory. Even KNOWING you need help is a victory: I lost chunks of time over to decades because I hadn’t yet gotten there: I assumed that I was miserable because I was inadequate, and that I’d be fine if I could just shape up. I sometimes wish I had some of that time back.

  • Yelena R

    Thank you for posting this Mike! I’ve struggled with asking for help for many years – it’s an ongoing battle… It helps to know I am not alone…

  • Sarah

    Mike, you did the right thing to ask for help. So many people don’t because we feel like it labels us as incompetent or weak. You, my friend, are not weak. You are a very strong person who I love to death and I am so proud of you for taking that step and getting help for your depression.
    I know what it’s like to juggle a lot of things, as I am doing now. I finally hit a breaking point yesterday and sobbed worse than a baby… worse than I have ever cried before. I’m not in your exact situation, but I know it’s not comparable to what you’re going through. Just know I’m here for you. It’s ok to cry too every once in a while just to let it all go. Prayer helps too…. a lot!
    Love ya lots, big bro. 🙂

  • Karen

    I too know how hard it is to struggle with depression, and to admit it to the world. I’m so glad that you did – and I hope it has helped make you feel better. And I agree, there is nothing wrong with admitting you need help and with doing what you need to in order to start feeling better. That’s a very brave thing to do!

  • Jaimie

    Great post Mike…bookmarking it for others in the future … very important message and proud of you for writing about your experience…

  • Carl

    I take Lexapro which is a new version of Celexa. There is no shame it taking them. Our bodies dont do what others do. Same as diabetes, same as any disease. Take what you need to and feel better. I did.

    Take care,

    Carl