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Day 175

Updated: Jun 26, 2019

I don’t understand the stigma often imposed on those with mental illnesses. I would never feel ashamed if I had to wear glasses or contacts, so why would I feel bad if my body needed more or less of a chemical? If the choice was between instantly improving my life by wearing contacts/glasses or not, then I would choose instantly improving my life. The insidiousness of depression is that it often immobilizes people to the point they can’t act in their own best interest and get help.


Our grandparents’ generation didn’t have the benefit of birth control pills. As a result, they likely had significantly more children than they might have preferred. Our parents’ generation got the pill but was well into adulthood before a wide range of antidepressants/anti-anxiety medication was tested and available. We are lucky because we get to be adults at a time when we can have both if we need them. All we have to do is go to our physician and ask for them. That’s it.


I received a call from a friend who has struggled with depression. They felt guilty for mentioning it to me because they thought I “had a reason to be depressed” whereas they didn’t. This is nonsense to me for two reasons:

  1. I was on antidepressants before Constance passed.

  2. Giving your body what it needs, whether it is a vitamin/prescription/exercise/meditation/sleep, should never be something people feel they need an excuse for.


Medication is in no way a panacea but I can say that it has helped me and others. I was prescribed medication in January of 2015 to treat IBS after being hospitalized for stomach pain that prevented me from eating. Fortunately, the medication also treated anxiety and depression. I continue to take it to this day.


To the objection that this type of medication requires that you take it daily, I would simply say this: I take birth control pills daily and I can assure you that is an act of extreme optimism, as I certainly don’t need them that often.


Before I took anti-anxiety and anti-depression medication, I thought about the things I said and did imperfectly over and over, dissecting them and using them as fodder for self-recrimination. I can still recall the meanest thing I ever said. I was in the parents’ room at Cherry and the moms were discussing cloth diaper services. In a generous effort to include me, one of them inquired as to the service I used for Constance. I looked up from my phone and said, “I use the biodegradable disposable ones. I don’t use clothes diapers because I have a job.” Of course, I immediately realized what I said and apologized profusely. It was a cruel thing to say and, typing it now, I’m still filled with shame. The moms accepted my apology and probably don’t recall it. Before I took anti-anxiety medication, I would think about that stupid, idiotic remark over and over again while heaving insults at myself like slaps across the face. How could I be so mean? Why would I? I was chemically incapable of showing myself the same gracious forgiveness the other mothers did.

In an effort to do my part to reduce the stigma of depression, I’m sharing my story and two text messages. The first is a text I sent family members I’m genetically closely related to. I thought knowing what was helpful to me might be a helpful shortcut in learning what is helpful to them, if they ever need it.


The second text message is a script I recommended to a friend whose mother is extremely depressed in addition to other health issues. They found it helpful in getting their loved one the help they need.


If you are experiencing depression or anxiety, please consider treatment. If you need help getting treatment ask for help as many times as it takes. You can’t get the days you lost to that terrible disease back but you can improve your future.


If you have never needed to take any medication for neurological purposes, I hope that reading this helps you feel some empathy for those who do.



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Unknown member
Sep 08, 2018

From https://www.twitter.com/rachellejervis:


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Unknown member
Sep 08, 2018

From https://www.twitter.com/rachellejervis:


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Unknown member
Sep 08, 2018

From https://www.twitter.com/rachellejervis:



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Unknown member
Sep 06, 2018

Day 176 is at https://www.wantmybabyback.com/blog/day-176.

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Unknown member
Sep 05, 2018

Ditto

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