What happened after my depression post went viral? Today I’m talking about My Depression One Year Later – The Follow Up So Many Asked About. I was compensated by Med-IQ through a grant from Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A., Inc. and Lundbeck to write about depression awareness. All my opinions are my own.
My Depression One Year Later – The Follow Up So Many Asked About
It took 3 months to finally write down a title, 2 weeks to draft and another 7 days to hit the publish button. I remember the day so clearly. It was a Friday in December. While everyone seemed so busy focusing on the holidays, I remember crying horrible ugly tears. I sat in anguish, arguing with myself back and forth on publishing a post so raw, so honest, so life-changing…knowing that I had to do this but too afraid to take the leap.
I couldn’t hide behind my depression any longer.
Putting a face and name to how I was feeling for months – I had to do this for me. It was the last thought in my head when I clicked the button, closed my computer and walked away, unsure of what would happen after that. I had no idea that within a day, my depression post would go viral. But what happened after that day? It’s the story I haven’t told yet: My Depression One Year Later.
Reflecting on the Past Year
Has it been a year? It’s hard to believe that almost 1 year ago today I took that fearful leap of exposing my true self to the world. And I can honestly say that my life has never been the same since.
Within hours, my Facebook messages, texts, voicemails and emails had blown up. I had people sharing in groups, tagging me on social media and applauding my courage to post something so real and raw. I had 100s of invites to meet for coffee, get togethers, dinners, hugs. That also came along with unsolicited advice, medication recommendations and therapy tips.
Within 2 days, I made my first public appearance at church. There, I had a very uncomfortable moment when my post was talked about openly during the sermon. Embarrassed, fearful and paranoid, I crawled back into my shell – hiding once again from the world.
Within 7 days, I had a break through. A stranger and fellow mom emailed me to let me know that my post “saved her life.” SAVED HER LIFE. I was in shock, letting that sink in for weeks – a post meant as therapy for myself ended up impacting a mom in a way I could have never imagined. It was humbling, amazing and heart wrenching at the same time. I wasn’t alone in my “secret” depression. Not even close.
In the months that followed, I’ve had a crazy series of ups and downs. My post was picked up by multiple well-known websites and reshared. Up. It took 6 months for me to get enough courage to make a doctor’s appointment to be seen for my depression. Down. I’ve been making conscious decisions about seeing people in real life, getting outside of my comfort zone, and opening up to my family about my mental health. Up. I continued to battle my demons every day. Some days still driving me to inconsolable tears in the fetal position. Down.
What Has Changed?
But almost 365 days later? I wish I could say that I’m 100% cured. I am a long way from being “well.” I’m working up the courage to schedule consistent therapy with a psychiatrist. I’m finally realizing that medication is unavoidable. Progress is slow. Change is slower. And what I thought would be a miracle fix – it continues to take effort on my part and a desire to get better.
“Liar. Fearful. Failure. Loner. Broken. Faithless.” I just reread my post this week, each word still stinging. But I look at my old post and realize that while the foundations of my depression are still there, I’m no longer rock bottom. Depression is a biological brain disorder, not a personal failure. It’s a mental health issue, not a stigma. It’s taken a year for that to really hit home with me. And now, it’s time.
It’s Time to Look Forward
Last year I had no answers, for myself or for anyone. I needed help, but didn’t know where to start. But this year, I’m ready to take control of my depression. That’s why I’m excited to partner with Med-IQ to help educate, treat and support those battling depression like me. Med-IQ is an accredited medical education company that provides an exceptional educational experience for physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals. Expanding their educational services beyond professionals, Med-IQ is looking to help those battling depression in their own lives with tips, facts and resources. With the holidays here (irony since that’s when my depression post went live), now is the time to review these important facts, seek help for loved ones and most importantly end the stigma for depression.
Feeling alone? I am here to remind you that you are NOT alone. I have depression and so many others are affected daily.
- Depression is common, affecting 1 out of 15 adults every year.
- 1 out of 6 people will experience depression at one point in their lives.
- Women tend to have higher rates of depression, as many as 1 out of 3 women experiencing depression in their lives.
What Causes Depression?
Depression can impact anyone; it does not discriminate. People who have depression do not always have an outwardly obvious reason to feel sad. Although negative life circumstances certainly may play a role in depression, researchers have identified a number of other risk factors, including brain chemistry, environment (regular exposure to violence, poverty or abuse), genetics (something for parents to be aware of if they suffer from depression), personality and drug or alcohol abuse. Those with PTSD have higher rates of anxiety, are more irritable and have more difficulty sleeping. PTSD often travels together with depression.
Depression Signs and Symptoms
Depression is a serious medical condition characterized by feelings of sadness and loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed. It can negatively influence the way you think, feel, and act. But depression isn’t a cookie cutter disorder. Signs can look different from person to person. Worried about you or a loved one? Look for these common signs and symptoms.
- Symptoms can range from mild to severe and may include feelings of sadness, loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed, changes in sleep patterns (too much or too little), unintended weight gain or loss, fatigue or difficulty concentrating, increased feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness or entertaining thoughts that life is not worth living. An important distinguishing point in the blues vs. depression is that the feeling of hopelessness is not part of feeling “the blues.”
What Can We Do?
Education is good. But what else can we do for people with depression? Start the steps towards treatment. And that begins here with the Med-IQ Depression Survey. In this quick and anonymous 10-minute survey, you can help uncover your own depression journey. Is it the blues or depression? Are your symptoms depression symptoms or something else?
Upon completion, you will be entered into a drawing to win 1 of 10 $100 VISA gift cards. No personal information will be kept, sold or stored, in the survey completion process. Upon completion of the survey, just email firstname.lastname@example.org and indicate that you have taken the survey to be entered to win a VISA gift card.
I’ve never had a chance to say thank you to everyone who has supported me this past year. Depression may be a part of me, but it doesn’t define me.
I am so much more than my depression. And you are too.
While this post is sponsored by Med-IQ, all opinions and thoughts are my own. The links in this post are being provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only; they are not intended and should not be construed as legal or medical advice, nor are they endorsements of any healthcare provider or practice. Med-IQ bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality, or content of the external site or for that of subsequent links. Contact the external site for answers to questions regarding its content.Follow Raising Whasians via Facebook, Twitter, Google, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube for more of our honest family moments, recipes, crafts, and travel tips.