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A Beginning

For now. call me Cocoa. I am 47 and have been dealing with depression for the last 17 years. When I turned 30 I found my self coming home from work and crying all evening long. It would get to around bed time, I would stop crying, get around for bed and go to sleep to repeat this day after day. Usually crying was a release and I could face problems/make decisions/continue living.

I was aware of the signs of depression. Some of my father's siblings were under treatment, although I heard more about them when they were not taking thier medicines and ended up being institutionalized. For some reason my aunt and uncle thought they were healed and did not need to take the meds any longer. So LESSON #1 is to seek treatment and STAY ON YOUR MEDS. If it is not the right med(s) for you talk to the doctor(s). I have stuck by this all 17 years and have never once been committed or felt I should be committed. I have had side effects and will get into that later.

My depression seems to have a very direct harmonal component. One of the meds I take is a birth contraceptive. It is to regulate my cycles. Until I started taking the Pill, I never had 2 months in a row where I was on time or regular. It was sometimes 40 to 45 days between cycles and the longer it was the worse the emotional rollercoaster it was for me. I could go from being exceedingly happy to feeling like no one in the world ever cared about me, just in a seconds notice. There were no enviromental components to cause the change it was all as they say "In my head".

The thing that is most difficult to assess, treat and come to grips with about mental illness is that it can not be seen on an Xray or found in a blood test. Yes there are behavior changes and the emotional scars the person and surviors have, but you can not remove it like a cancer, you can not treat it directly like penicillian in an infection. For the person with depression the best, the only tool they have is actually thier worst enemy.

Here is an example. One of the main symptoms of my depression is I find myself telling myself that I am worthless. I can not do anything right and I can not make a difference. Thankfully, my faith, my upbringing and my personal experiences show otherwise. But it is still an exteme battle to overcome that simple insidious thought that I am worthless. Our brain is the seat of our emotion, intelligence, personality, common sense, problem solving and so much more. My brain is one big chemistry problem and thanks to getting older the chemistry problem is getting worse. That is part of why I am writing this blog is to document for others my struggles and to share with out making others feel guilty that they can not help me. Can you tell I just had a mental gear shift and have dropped out of gear (track of thought)

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