I hate belonging to this group.  Nothing personal against the other 7,523 group members (at last count).

I hate the realization that this is a battle I'm likely to fight the rest of my life.

I hate knowing I will probably be on some kind of medication the rest of my life.

I hate the beginning of one of those bleak, oppressive episodes, knowing how much energy it will require to beat it once again.

I hate the fact there is still such a stigma against mental illness, in all it's various forms.  How many people are embarrassed about or even feel guilty about taking medications to lower their cholesterol or control their diabetes?

I hate belonging to this group, but I won't quit.  I'm going to keep fighting right along beside you.

SeriouslySappy SeriouslySappy
51-55, F
21 Responses Jul 6, 2009

Dirk...sorry I missed your comment earlier. It's quite an appropriate quote for the topic. Thanks.

Hawk, thanks for the reminder. Incredible, I just checked and we are over 9000 strong now. Strong is an apt description because it does take strength every day to fight it. Oh those triggers....I know mine well, yet every once in awhile they sneak back in when I'm not watching.<br />
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You're right too about what you discover when you begin opening up to people. It seems as if every time I have, that person has their own story to tell. How common it is and still such a well kept secret. Thanks for your comments.

There's more than 9,000 of us know, SS - and all those things you hate?<br />
Be grateful that you recognise and acknowledge them?<br />
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You may hate them with a passion, but these are the things which signpost your years, your months.<br />
Knowing little triggers, knowing where they can lead - the physical ans emotional triggers which, if ignored, will take yo places you have been to but never want to return to.<br />
I am open about my battle - not evangelically so; but I found that once I had mentioned it to a couple of friends, lo and behold - they had (to a greater or lesser degree) been there too. I have a little network of angels - like a recovering alcoholic might? People I can turn to with a question, comment or a scream, at any time day or night. I will do the same for them. It's an early warning system, a problem shared and a form of support that no partner can offer (unless they are an angel too)<br />
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That's why this group is here. I read your entry here and thought Oh yeah - PRECISELY so, but you wrote it and we understand it.<br />
And your support is vital too - so thank you.

WG... while medication helps clear our minds, it's the support that begins the healing of the soul. Seems to be an ongoing process for me. Thanks for the comments.

Hi SS.<br />
This story reminded me that depression does sap much energy from you and that without medication I might still be in "that hole" that we all have come to dread. I don't read stories from this group often but from time to time it is good to read some of the wonderful comments of support and understanding that are written by its members.

Life begins on the other side of despair. J.P Sartre

I have a friend I would consider a serious long termer, but when she does call me, she either criticizes me, or has something negative to say ... I worry she's having Bi-polar, but can't bring it up to her ... She has noyjing good to say, and I've stopped taking her calls, because she can destroy my weekend, and I think is trying to do it again ... She has no idea how deep it hits when she accuses an honest man ... She's not happy unless she depresses me ...

Thanks so much for your comment. You're absolutely right, we should feel proud of ourselves for stepping up and admitting we're ill and accepting treatment. It's just a battle I wish I didn't have to fight. But support helps tremendously. There's much we can do to help ourselves also and willingness to do that will help so much.

I understand what you said, I do. But I feel proud of myself for coming here and going to the shrink and getting help. I think we all should feel proud, we aknowkledged our diseases and our weaknesses.I'm on meds, I'm completely alone and some of you, with just a few words have made feel that I was worth something.I'm new here but I feel better when I post a comment that may help someone. I spent years of my life saying I'm sad because I'm fat and then, I'm sad because I'm fat and I have MS. I decided to change my life: I'm going to the gym, reading self-help books and coming here, and everything helps. We had the courage oto dstep up and say :"I'm depressed". Just think of all the millions that live all their life with this disease and no help... It's sad...You know what, I really hope I'll be free from depression really soon, but when I am I'll still be here because there's nothing better than to feel that you helped someone, and isn´t that why we're here?Kisses.

Thank you GottaB. It means a great deal. : )

If my admiration for how you fight your daily battle means anything, I would hope it would stand as a vote for you to feel more understood for your words, as well as mental illness at large :) ...

AGT, I totally agree with you. I'm glad you've found what works for you. It certainly is not the end of the world. Thanks for the comment.

Dear SeriouslySappy,<br />
<br />
I thought I had depression, turns out I have Bipolar 2. And like you I have to take meds everyday, for the rest of my life. I struggled with this in the beggining. I went through a whole cocktail of meds to find one that works for me.<br />
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It's tough, but I'm tougher. Looking at me, no one would think I'm a little different. I combined medical science with holistic therapy, and I see a counselor/therapist along with my psychiatrist. My episodes are less frequent and less intense. I am more focused, organized and responsive. What's hard is that during my manic moments is when I am the most creative, and my livelihood depends on my creativity. So you see, we have to give up something to gain something. I still strive to be creative everyday, but I see the difference in my work. It's a small price to pay...<br />
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It all depends on how you see it. For me, I see it as "small pill, big difference."<br />
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Smile, its not the end of the world.

My, you are more than welcome. I've come to accept it will always be with me but I won't let it define me. <br />
Mostly, I would like to remove the stigma that exists. People are afraid of what they don't understand. They also have no idea just how lucky they are not to understand it the way we do.

Ten more people have joined this group since you wrote this story. I'm a member, too, and I don't carry the card proudly, but I do accept it. I'm no longer on meds and I hope I never will be again, but I know that it could become necessary again. My medicine cabinet looked like a pharmacy. Ugh. I never want to go back there, but depression doesn't just disappear. I have low places and I crawl in that hole sometimes still, but I try very, very hard not to let things get that far anymore. It's a vigilant battle, to be sure. You said, "I hate the beginning of one of those bleak, oppressive episodes, knowing how much energy it will require to beat it once again." That spoke to me the loudest. It's so hard sometimes! Thank you for writing this.

Dgrayson thank you for your thoughtful post. I've also found the more I speak about my depression and meds the more people I find are also dealing with it. It bothers me when I hear someone adamantly dispute the need for medications. There are so many different types of illness, different degrees. Some are short-term or situational and may only need a brief period of treatment. Others are chronic in nature and therefore require stronger, long-term treatments. I'm very happy for those who have managed to defeat the illness on their own. I just don't want to be condemned by those same people for choosing my own treatment path.

MissKim, I am proud of you for making that post. We have to give ourselves credit for each step we take. I have seen a few different therapists in my time and I can tell you I know it was beneficial to my recovery. I have a psych doctor. I don't know why it should be any different than saying I have a gynecologist. The thing about shrinks is they are pros with the meds. This is not the easiest illness to treat. You can't go in and take a blood test to figure out what's lacking or overloaded in your brain chemistry. They are just now studying brain scans to determine how useful they may be diagnostically. If we could break the stigma, perhaps more would be done to develop a more definitive way to diagnose and treat the problem.

I used to feel ashamed that I take Prozac, so much I was constantly trying to define a timeline to myself when I would go off of it. When I found out after several years of therapy that mental illness ran in my family's genes (suicide through generations, mental institutions, etc.), I knew that even though I had dealt with my past, the illness was still there. I only take 10 mg a day, and though the doctors say that that shouldn't even make a difference for me, it makes all the difference in the world. It allows me to still cry when I need to, but it also allows me control when I cry, whereas before I would bawl my eyes out for no reason in my front of my boss at work or while I was driving on a beautiful, sunny day. Thankfully I had an understanding boss who told me to look into getting on medication and that his wife was on it also. I had talked to my mom, my husband, and my close friends. I found out that some people I worked with were on it just to maintain a normal life, and they had no shame about it. That inspired me. Now it's just another pill to take along with the others and I don't need to apologize to anyone or be ashamed of it.<br />
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I remember during my speech class a few semesters ago an older lady gave a speech on why depression shouldn't require medication. her speech was painfully biased and she was obviously against the use of meds. I felt a pit of rage in my stomach as she insisted that people who take it use it as a crutch and will never recover if they don't give themselves the chance. She had never been on meds, and she said through her church she was able to handle the 13 deaths that occurred in a month's time in her circle of family and friends. Now that I'm older and more mature, and more comfortable in my own skin, I realize that everyone feels passionately about something, and just because they feel it in the opposite direction we do and insist that we feel that way as well, it doesn't make our choices wrong. It just proves that they are oblivious to the fact that our paths are all unique and that our choices will lead us in different directions.<br />
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More power to those who choose to do what is best for their own life no matter the opinions of others.

Justa, I appreciate your congrats, it doesn't sound weird. I was just thinking how big this group is and wishing people felt more comfortable talking about it. Maybe then it would't feel like such a "battle".

I understand how you feel. It sucks to acknowledge that we need help, and that we belong to such a group. But you've got such courage for wanting to help yourself, and see it through. I know "congratulations" sounds kinda weird, but congratulations for having that courage.

Thank you. It is a grudging acceptance indeed. : )