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Thank you for writing this. I took the exact same medication as you and it helped so much. AD's do have a stigma that they don't deserve. The only people that I ever told I took AD's were my sister and mother. Even now it is uncomfortable to talk about that time in my life with them. Anyway, good read. Thanks again.

What a brave, moving, and important post. Beautifully written. Thank you so much for sharing this. There is no doubt are helping other women by telling this story. Thank you Tertia!

I can totally relate, Tertia. I never felt so helpless and hopeless than when I suffered from PPD. If it weren't for Effexor, I'm not sure I'd be here today.

I'm so glad the meds helped bring you through an INCREDIBLY rough time in your life, and equally glad that you no longer need them. A&K are a drug in themselves, eh? Utterly intoxicating!

Thanks for bringing this subject to light.

Nicely said girl, nicely said.


Thank you for writing this post Tertia.

"Black, oily monster" is the best description of depression I've ever come across. Mind if I borrow it?

THis is an awesome post. Thank you so much for putting your story out there for everyone to read.

I would add a category to your poll on ADs...how about those of us who have never taken them but know we probably should have at some point (in retrospect)?

Great post, Tertia. You will no doubt get tons of comments about how evil AD's are. Sure, some people can't tolerate them, and need to be watched very closely, but they save many others' lives, and thank goodness we have them.

I took them for about a year before I was married or knew I was infertile, and I'm so grateful, they gave me my life back, when all I could do before was cry... and cry... and cry.

I'm glad you wrote about this topic.


You don't want to know me if I am not taking my pills. *I* don't want to know me if I am not taking my pills. The dark and scary places are one place that I never want to experience again. Unless you've sat in that place you cannot know what it is the live your life there. The sad thing is that for the first 21 years of my life I thought that was normal. Now, 14 years alter, I know that to be anxious all the time and to feel sick with an inner sadness that nothing can dispel, is not normal. Thank you, pills.

Thanks for sharing your story and helping spread the word about depression, PPD or otherwise.


Thank you.

Thank you for posting this. Hugs.

Thank you! I have not read a better description of depression anywhere. I know a lot of people refuse to take the pills because it perhaps means failure to them. Or weakness or because they refuse to believe they are sick. But those who have used them all say it helped them get through so maybe some of us should listen!

Your post struck home with me. I too used to be that bubbly, almost annoyingly happy person. I don't even know where she is anymore. The tough thing for me is I have a BA in Psych, so I knew I was depressed this past winter. Did I go get help? Of course not. Starting my IVF cycle pulled me out of it because I had hope again. All winter long we couldn't afford to do any ART and it was killing me. I've decided that if this cycle doesn't work, I will go see someone, b/c I don't want to go back there again.

But thank you for sharing your story. It is important for people to hear that ADs can help.

Thank you for talking about this.

Unfortunatly ADs made me paranoid and violently ill so I had the pleasure of going straight onto lithium (it's a mood stabiliser rather than an AD). After my last miscarriage it saved my life and my marriage several times. Now I only take them when I feel myself sliding and I've learned how to manage the minor ups and downs I have without drugs.

I think it's awesome that you can talk about this Tertia, to show people that there is life after depression and if you just keep going one day at a time you will get through it.

Thank you, Thank you Tertia for posting this. I'm not an infertile (as far as I know), but I do battle depression. I found a drug that works for me, and it took trying quite a few, but once I found the one that worked - wow. Amazing difference. I know the drugs are not for everyone, but neither is therapy. Both work for me.

Tertia, thanks for that fantastic post, and for the poll, both of which made me feel much more normal! I think that if people see that even Tertia, bubbly positive Tertia, had depression AND took ADs, anyone could. I'm another person who should have been on them since, oh, about age 8, but didn't discover them until I was in my late 20's. I tried to go off once, and remembered, oh right, that's the BAD place. Anyway, thanks.

You've got such a talent with words. Thanks, and I wonder if Tom Cruise would have an opinion on this post? Just began taking AD's after my latest diagnosis of Diminished Ovarian Reserve and High FSH back in March. I am so very glad I did...because last week, I had to have my ovary and tube removed..and Im not so sure Id be sitting here typing today, if I hadnt had the AD's in my life already. Sweet blowing kisses to you, my dear :)

Great post, Tertia!

I agree totally. It's people who are just having a bad month or two and go to pills before trying to work their problem out themselves that I worry about (often the problem is not as out of the person's control as yours was).

Thanks Tertia - really helpful post,

You really captured what depression is like.

I did want to say though, last time I checked, in the US Prozac is considered Category C (may cause harm in the baby, should only be used if risks clearly outweigh benefits). However Wellbutrin is category B, but for me increased my anxiety. Sigh.

love heals.

30 weeks preggo and on Zoloft 50mg. Safe for pregnancy and breastfeeding. ADs do help.

Great post!

I wish I had been smart enough to realise I was depressed after we lost our first baby. Looking back, I think I probably had PPD after our son was born too. Well, I'm older and wiser now (or older and greyer at least) and I think I would recognise those feelings if I were to have them again and I know I would get help fast. Tertia, I’m not sure if you realise how helpful this post will be for so many people. It really is time for the stigma associated with depression and mental illness of all kinds to be lifted.

Thank you so much for posting about this - there is a lot in the news over here from "celebrities" that trivialize the realities of PPD and Depression. It is a disease and an overwhelming one at that. Thank you for being so brave and speaking out about your situation. I think that the more people talk about it, the more people realize that they are not alone and that there are things (AD's) that will help. Thank you :)

Tertia, I haven't commented in a while, but I still check your site every day, to see how you're doing and get a glimpse of those beautiful babies.

You have no idea how timely this post is for me. I started on AD's exactly two weeks ago, after being depressed for over a year, and finally spiraling downward to the point that I was suicidal. Finally admitting that I needed help was one of the hardest things I've ever done. Even though I know that depression is a disease, part of me still feels like I should be stronger than that; I shouldn't have to ask for help.

But it is such a comfort to hear from people who've been where I am, and lived to tell about, women who've been consumed by this same black cloud, and are finally basking in the sunlight. I'm really looking forward to feeling the sun on my face again.

Thank you for sharing your story, Tertia.

Kudos to you for your honesty. You are so inspiring...really. I had been on AD's for years and went off of them to do IVF's (my idea...not my doctor's). What a mess I was. But I was also in denial and trying very hard to remain in control (or maintain the appearence thereof). I knew I wasn't OK even after the birth of the trips. I finally realized on Mother's Day...when it wasn't the be all and end all that I anticipated...that I was indeed suffering from PPD. I am now back on AD's and feel like a better woman, a better wife, a better mom. I hate the stigma. But I hate feeling paralyzed by depression, too. I'd rather have the stigma. And I continue to hope and pray that the courage of folks like you (and Brooke Shields...poor dear being blasted by stupid Tom) will help lift the stigma eventually.

Thank you.

Thanks so much for this post. AD's saved me 5 years ago and like you I eventually stopped taking them. I believe it is so important to talk about this subject openly and not stigmatize it in anyway. I have sat back in stunned disgust lately over Tom Cruise's vehement opinions on the matter. Thank you for voicing your experience and explaining it so clearly.

I love hearing stories like this, where ADs really helped and people get off of them and are still the same people. During my PPD I felt like I was the worst case they had ever seen, uncurable, and now I know that most severely depressed people feel that way. It is a black cloud that completely consumes even those of us who are normally happy, upbeat, well-functioning, emotionally stable people. I never in my life expected to feel suicidal (I didn't quite get there but I was headed there) and Effexor gave me my life back 200%. I am going to start weaning in a few weeks, but if it turns out that I need to stay on it for the rest of my life, I will gladly pop that pill every morning knowing that it can save my life. And a big shout-out to an old friend who also pulled me from the depths - God.

I read a great comment about taking drugs (for ADHD, but applies to depression to)--you wouldn't hesitate to use corrective lenses if your eyesight was impaired. ADs are just like glasses--they simply bring you back to a normal level so you can function like the rest of the world.

Great post. Makes me wish I had had the courage (yes, I said courage) to take the ADs back when I was diagnosed with CD. At the time, I resisted, and refused to take any pills. The idea of taking pills for a "mental condition" really terrified me. Well, I was depressed! Everything fucking terrified me. I suffered for a couple of years, using only cognitive therapy, and finally pulled out of it. This was in my early 20's. At the time, I thought, "I'm glad I didn't use drugs, because now I know exactly what depression is, that I can work through it, and how great it is to come out of it with awareness." Now I look back and say, "Jesus, have some compassion for yourself! Take the meds, feel better! Don't be a stoic!"

I'm finally back onto something resembling a normal menstrual rhythm after birth and boob stuff. My most recent period put me into such a tailspin, I worried I was lapsing back into depression again, after all these years (in my mid-30's now, and haven't been CD since age 22). It didn't scare me, because I knew there was relief available should I need it. I think I'm all right now, but I would have no hesitation going straight to a psychiatrist and making my case to go on ADs if I should ever need them.

Depression is a brain disease, and can be fatal. Not something to take lightly, and certainly not something to suffer if there is help available.

Thanks again for writing this, T, and glad things are going so very well for you and your health!

Thank you for sharing, Tertia.

Thank you , thank you, thank you. It could have been me writing parts of this post. You have confirmed for me something that I have thought for many months...I need to see a professional and start taking something to even me back out. I have been living in a cave with a happy front for the rest of the world, and a black hole of sorrow and anger in my soul for entirely too long. Believe that I will be calling up the doc for a referral ASAP. Would love to get closer to being the "old me." Many thanks for being forthcoming once again on an important topic....

"Depression is not about being ungrateful..."

Thank you

Thank you for sharing this important topic. I was prescribed ADs once when I had an IUD that released hormones into my body. I naturally have very high hormone levels, one of the reasons I am sick for all 10 months of every pregnancy I have, and the extra hormones put me into a place I had never been before. I was a lunatic. I can admit that now. I gained 35 pounds in 3 months without changing my eating habits and turned into a monster. I had no patience with my children, no ability to curb my emotions and I became someone I never wanted to be. They put me on Prozac and told me that would help regulate my emotions somewhat when really I just had to remove the IUD. It didn't help that when I went in to remove it, they told me I was pregnant. The likelihood of becomming pregnant with an IUD is slim to none, but there I was pregnant. The IUD HAD to come out and so they removed it after notifying me that I would probably lose the baby. I'd already lost one and couldn't imagine losing another. I took the ADs for a time until I realized that I wasn't going to miscarry. Sure enough, after taking myself off the ADs, things were okay and in the natural time, had my son Joaquin. Now what are the odds of that? I agree that there is a time and place for ADs and that you have to be willing to accept the help they have to offer in order for them to be affective.

This is a great post, Tertia. I think, even though my experience with them was not the same, that monster can show up in many different ways for everyone. It was a wonderful thing to say goodbye to the monster. I hope it is as good for you.

Thank you for this post, Tertia. Like you, I was really worried about taking medication and felt like a failure for having to do so. I had mild depression, but SEVERE anxiety after secondary infertility and 2 miscarriages. Zoloft was a wonder drug - within 2 weeks I could be a mother to my daughter again. It helps with the PMS, too, which was always my worst time. If I ever do get pregnant again, my intent is to go off it, but who knows, my psych says it is safe in pregnancy. Thanks for sharing your story, it does give me something to think about.

Tertia, I'm not sure you know what a huge service you just did for your readers that haven't yet realized that what they are feeling isn't "normal" and it's okay to seek help. Your description is clear enough that even someone who has never experienced that feeling of despair may better understand better what a loved one is going through. Thank you for being so G&D. :)

I'm also glad to hear that you are in a place in your life that you feel well without your meds. Good for you.

I don't know- I'd go more for "howling void".

I've always "surfed" my depression (all 18+ years of it), since I haven't actually been depressed since I got pregnant at 24 with my first child, which was 13 years ago -ie pre modern anti-depressants. I don't think they even treated children for depression in the 70s and 80s, did they?

I can't tell you how nice it was to read this post and all these comments today. I am meeting with a phsychologist for the first time next week and a psychiatrist a few days later to hopefully get a prescription for Antidepressants. I have been depressed for three years. I was too ashamed to admit I needed help. I am still too ashamed to tell anyone except my husband about it. Every couple of weeks I would have a really good day and get hopeful again and convince myself that this was the new me, that I was really okay and would pull out of it on my own. But the good days never turned into good weeks.

I think what made it so hard for me to recognize what I felt as depression was that it wasn't at all what I thought it would be based on other peoples descriptions. I'm not sad all the time. I'm not angry all the time. For me it isn't a monster it is a void. I don't feel anything at all. I don't cry but I also don't ever laugh. When my husband told me a few days ago that he has thought about leaving me becuase he wants his old wife back and he is starting to wonder if that will ever happen I just felt numb. God I hope these pills help. I don't want to live like this anymore.

I had been on Prozac for 10 years after being suicidal in high school, then tried to go off when I had Lucy...it didn't work and I am not back on Zoloft. I tried all kinds of counseling, praying (many said I just didn't have enough faith), and lots of exercise for my OCD and obsessive worrying, and always thinking about death. For me the AD's have been so awesome...like my mom said, "It's like we have the old Rachel back..."

You are so right...if you haven't had depression, you just don't know. Like so many other things, I suppose.

don't let Tom Cruise hear you saying this blasphemy.

He's studied psychology you know.

You are, as always, G&D!

What a great way to describe depression, that it's not about being ungrateful. I never thought of it exactly that way but it totally makes sense. I took AD for about 9 months to get me through the end of university, graduating and moving on with my life did a lot to alleviate the depression, but the AD made the graduating part possible!

I stil have problems, but the beastie (I call it a beastie instead of a monster) isn't taking over my life any more. My husband helps a lot. He's learning that sometimes I just feel shitty and SAD, and that there's nothing that neccesarily needs to be fixed, but that hugs always help.

Tertia darling, thank you so much for posting this. I have been on ADs on and off for years, and know unequivocally that I would not be where I am now without them. I am also so glad that you posted about taking them during pregnancy--there is so much misinformation out there about this. I stayed on them during my last pregnancy, and after my miscarriage had a very old and uninformed psychiatrist tell me that I shouldn't have been on them while pregnant. When I told him that my doctors kept me on them because of the risk of PPD, this man said "Of course you won't have PPD if you take them, because you won't have a baby!"
Since then multiple psychiatrists have assured me that many ADs are extensively tested as safe during pregnancy.
I hope the stigma of being on medication for so called "emotional problems" diminishes soon...thank you for the lovely post.

I could have done with some in my late teens and early twenties but I never thought of going to the doctor and asking for help - instead I found my own medication in booze plus a little bit of this and a little bit of that. I went to a therapist thinking that may help but she just sat there in silence waiting for me to say something WTF. As I didn't say anything, for the whole session we just sat there saying nothing to each other and then I had to pay her for that!! Never went back. I am glad to say I don't need anti depressants now but would consider it if I felt bad enough.

Very well said my dear.

your depression was situational. the situation has changed. hence, the depression is gone. makes sense to me. doesn't make it any more or less valid than anything else.

i would never say that infertility was necessarily a "way of making sure you never said stupid things again" (because that would imply some kind of cause / effect punishment thing i just don't believe in); rather look at your thoughts now as you having the maturity and grace to see others' situations more compassionately. this is neither a requirement nor an inevitable side effect of pain like you've gone through. in fact, quite the opposite is often the case.

Thanks for sharing this . . I'm on antidepressants, and am very scared about being "a bad mother" if I don't wean off before TTC. Thanks for telling us that it can be done. K & A are awesome proof.

My ex-boyfriend, ironically the person who led me to needing the damn paxil in the first place, used to tell me to think of my anxiety and panic as a disease, no different than heart disease. No one would tell you not to take heart medication, or expect you to feel guilty about it, so why should an anti-depressant be any different? Unfortunately not everybody understands that and are eager to tell you that you shouldn't need chemicals to stabilize your mood. My response to those people? Quit smoking, drinking, coffee and eating processed foods and THEN talk to me about mood-changing chemicals.

Please keep writing these kinds of posts! It's so nice to know that there are people out there who understand.

When I was in the throes of infertility, I was soooo sad, and I went to see a therapist for the first time in my life, but I never really considered taking antidepressants. I felt sad, but I still felt rational. When I got pregnant with my son, I was so incredibly anxious, worrying every single minute if I would lose him. But I still felt in control. I could still put those feelings aside on occasion, when I spent time with friends, or watched a funny movie, or allowed myself to fantasize about the future as a mommy. When I got pregnant with my twins, after doing IVF two more times after the birth of my son, however, I completely lost it. It was the most terrible feeling in the entire world. People don't talk about it much, but depression during pregnancy is common, and very similar to post-partum depression. I didn't want to have twins. Not the normal anxiety associated with the idea of multiples. No, I felt my life was over, that I'd never be solvent, happy or free again. I felt guilty because after suffering through infertility, how could I feel this way. I felt absolutely hopeless and filled with despair. I was afraid that I wouldn't love my own children, that I would resent them for the rest of my life. This was all so unlike me. I am usually pretty tough, and handle life's problems as they come. It didn't help that I had many physical discomforts associated with the pregnancy -- severe morning sickness, joint problems, etc. I could barely take care of my son, and felt no joy. I couldn't read the paper, because everything depressed me, I couldn't watch movies, because they were too sad. It was unbearable, and I thought I was going insane. Finally, I got the courage to tell my OB how I was feeling, and she immediately sent me to a therapist who treats many pregnant women. She sent me to a psychiatrist who also is an OB. Between the two of them, I had therapy, and started taking Zoloft. They saved my life. At first, the Zoloft made me feel worse, not better, and I almost stopped taking it. But a friend who had experienced clinical depression before convinced me to hang in there. They finally kicked in after a few weeks. I didn't become myself again until the girls were born, but the Zoloft allowed me to feel hope again. It allowed me to cope when I went into preterm labor and had to be in the hospital. I think I'm allergic to being pregnant. Just as with my son, the minute those babies were out of me, I started feeling whole again. They were born 9 weeks early, but I honestly was happier to have them out of me, and in the NICU, so that I could start loving them. Within a few months I, like you, had sort of accidentally weaned myself off the Zoloft.

When I hear Tom Cruise say that there is no such thing as PPD, or that you can treat it with diet and herbs, or whatever crap he has said, it makes me seethe. The depression I felt was nothing like anything I'd experienced before. It was worse than the worst grief. It was so much deeper than sadness. It really was like this black oily monster. No amount of exercise or herbs would chase that monster away. I wish so much that I could let him spend a day in the head of someone suffering from PPD, and watch him scream for drugs!

Thanks for being honest about your experience. As someone who's been on and off AD's, I've had to straighten out other's misconceptions: AD's don't "change your personality," make you happy, or space you out. Taking them is not a sign of weakness. I think it's important to tell others my experience in order to demystify the whole thing. When you're depressed the last thing you need to hear is that you "should exercise more," "eat more fruits and vegetables," and "stop being so negative."

Tertia, thanks so much for writing about this. I was on and off of AD's and anxiety meds during the heart of my infertility battle. I went off of them when I got pg in December with the understanding that I could go back on them if I needed and definitely if PPD set in.

I have been AD free since December. And I feel like myself again. Without the meds helping. I never thought it would be possible, but just staring at my little girl grounds me.

I know that ADs are there, and I know my signs now so if I ever needed them again I would immediately call my doctor. I think there is too much of a stigma and people that could really benefit from them are afraid to take them. They really, really help. And it doesn't mean a lifetime of meds. Normally just to help you through the rough spots.

Thanks again for sharing!

I wish I could take them, I really do, but I can't, they don't work for me, even though they make me terribly ill.

More power to those who can tolerate them, but don't forget your talk therapy!

Thank you SO much for this post. Having struggled some with depression, it's so annoying to me how hard it is to find real-life insight on therapy and anti-depressants. This was really great, thank you!!

This post is great, and all the supportive comments so far are great, too. One of the greatest regrets of my life was that I did not seek help for PPD, and I will never get those early years back. Years later, I took Paxil for a few months to get me through a short-term rough spot (severe anxiety about an overseas relocation) and I realized how much it could have helped me, if only I had been more open to it after my kids were born.

I told myself at the time that because I never, ever had any thoughts of harming myself or my babies, I "must be all right." But you don`t have to have such feelings to fit the definition of "not all right."

excellent entry. it's sharing things like this that will help people to really understand about depression, and you explain it so well.
i also took happy pills through my pregnancy and am glad to see someone else talking about it, as there really isn't a lot of useful information around about the effects of many medications during pregnancy.

T said: "It was also then that I understood for the first time why people commit suicide. Previously I had always thought it was the ultimate cowardly act, and perhaps it still is, but when you are in such debilitating pain, you reach a point of such desperation that death seems like the only way to put a stop to the hurting. I used to fantasize about it, about how wonderful it would be to no longer be in pain. What would happen if I just carried on driving straight… "

I felt this way after my IVF failed and knew that I would never be a mother. After 5 years I was just so tired and felt like I just wanted the pain to end. I was at the mall coming down the escalator watching all the people thinking to myself if they only knew what I was thinking they would have me committed to a hospital. Fortunatley the feelings didn't last long. My father comitted suicide when I was 19. Knowing what that did to those of us left behind would keep me from ever following through. But, through this expereince I really began to understand the hopelessness one must feel in order to do it. Although, I do beleive it is an act of cowardness and selfishness.

Thank you for being so honest.


Hey T, great post. I may well be one out of the bag, reading the comments. I took ADs about 6 years ago on the heels of ditching my parents religion (one I had been brought up in), weathering the shit storm that followed, 6 years of Anorexia (which "we won't talk about because people will think we're bad parents", and my personal favourite "there is nothing wrong with you. We won't mention this again"), my first real boyfriend sexually mistreating me .. bla bla bla. Anywho, I started the ADs reluctantly, tried about 3 different sorts, and finally spiralled so far whilst on the last type that I was suicidal. They just didn't work for me, at all. I remember sitting on the floor of my bedroom with every pill I could find in the house spread around me, thinking 'this should juuuust about do it' and then suddenly I was watching myself, thinking 'oh, SHIT'. So, I flushed the whole damn lot (much to my doctor's displeasure) and that was the last I saw of ADs. My husband will confirm though, that it was a hell of a long and bloody battle to get to where I am today.

Thank you for posting this, to de-stigmatize depression as well as AD's. I have suffered from depression a few times, notably while struggling with infertility, and post-partum. For me, weekly counselling sessions were very helpful, and I did not go on AD's, but I was considering asking my doctor for them if the counselling didn't help.

I would encourage anyone reading this, if you are wondering if you might possibly be depressed, to ask your closest friends and partner, and to see your doctor. They have short questionnaires to identify possible depression, and can direct you to counselling or medication or both if warranted. Don't be afraid to look for help, it could be a life-changing solution.

Thanks, Tertia.
(mom to 5 year old triplets)

Oh Tertia, I *heart* my antidepressants. They are *wonderful*. I have gone from a terrified, hysterical mess to someone who *can be happy*. I would not have believed it possible even a year ago. It's *wonderful*. A friend asked me if I could do without the medication. My answer? "No way in hell."

I'm in my second year of law school. I'm up to my ass in work, and for a career I'm not entirely sure about. But am I happy every damn day to be alive? Abso-fuckin'-lutely. It is *lovely*.

I loved my ADs too. To start with. But both times I tried them (a different type each time) I gained weight horribly and blew up like a balloon. And so I wound up being miserable about my weight and back in the clutches of the black oily monster despite the ADs. So it's a catch 22 situation for me. Am currently in the pit of despair, but the relief of ADs is tied to the agony of enormous weight gain and the need to buy an entirely new warddrobe, for which I don't have the money, especially after having just been forced to buy an entirely new warddrobe to accomodate my post-pregnancy proportions. Did no one else experience weight problems?

Thee is, despite the readily available fount of information egarding depression and other mental disorders/illnesses, still a huge stigma attached to being on AD's or other meds.

People who have been blessed to never know first hand the depths of despair or chaos such an illness can bring to ones life have no clue. They often say things like, "Jut buck up, it isn't that bad!" "Quit feeling sorry for yourself." "You don't have any reason to be sad." "Those pills will just fuck with your mind." Blah blah blah.

Depression and other disorders are nothing to scoff at. They can be, and often are deadly.

My daughter is proof of that. 16 years old, she had bipolar. One morning, she, for whatever reasons, snapped. She dressed in her finest clothes, did her hair and makeup, went to school and hung herself from the football field bleachers.

Think the fuckers who taunted her and called her crazy finally got it then? Some did. But there were a few select assholes that did not.

The aftermath of her suicide still is rippling through our family. Her close friends, still are in agony. Those who worked with her at school, in therapy, at hospitals, still cannot make sense of it.

Marrissa lost the battle with her demons. Every 17 minutes so does another struggling soul.

We fight for proper diagnoses, fight for the right meds and therapies, fight stigmas and assholish comments from people as stupid as Tom Cruise. We sometimes fight family members who say and do things to underimne treatment and medications.

Vitamins will not cure mental illness. And yes, depression is classified as such.

Get diabetes, take insulin everyone cheers. Get cancer and go through chemo, everyone cheers. High blood pressure, take meds, more cheering. Get depressed or have another type of MI and people think you weak and spinless.

Only by speaking out and trying to educate others can we help reduce the stigma.

Thank you Tertia for this post. Thank you for trying to bring to light the devastation that leads one to seek treatment.

Girl, you NAILED it. I've been down this road and I really feel you captured when this is necessary and when not. I'm also very, very happy to hear you're doing well without!

I tried talk therapy on and off for years, helped a bit, not much since they either a) talked more than me, b)listened but did not seem to have any empathy at all, c) actually told me to lighten up and quit being so sensitive already(!). I finally was assigned (not chose,thanks HMO, don't get me started.) to a wonderful therapist I felt I could trust.

In conjunction with indiviual sessions, she wanted to have me join a group she led with other women who had stories similar to mine. At the time I could not see the point of spending my money to listen to a bunch of whiners carrying on when what I needed was help with MY situation. I just could not cope with any one else's problems as mine took up my entire effort each day to handle.

By the time she suggested medication I was ready to try anything that would allow me to feel something, anything besides the choking black thing bottled up inside me. (Excellent description T.!)

The prescibing psychiatrist told me that while they were anti-depressants, they were NOT anti-miserables. He said that they would not make me happy-all-the-damn-time; I would have ups and downs. Just no dear-lord-just-let-me-drown downs and no the-top-of-my-head-will-fly-off-any-second ups. He was right.

The meds gave me enough relief from "just fighting to survive" to learn new skills to cope with all the crap that was pulling me down in the 1st place. I even gained the strength to go to the group and what a wonderful place that was, not a whiner in sight. It helped so much. Bless bless my gentle kind insightful patient therapist and the funny snarky psych she worked with.

After about 18 months I felt like I was ready to try it "on my own." The psych told me that folks who take ADs fall into 3 roughly equal groups: Those who can take them one time and be done, those who will need to take them on and off through out life and those who need to take them all the time. You don't know who you are until you try to go off.

I seem to be in one of the 1st 2 groups, that is, it has been 3 years off and I am doing fine but I will not hesitate to run back if I see the sypmtoms again. Given my geneteics/history I don't see that as unlikely.

Getting to the point, finally: 1)There is no shame in needing medicaton for a medical problem. 2)ADs are not happy pills, they are a life-raft to get through the rough surf to shore. 3)T. is wonderful to speak about this positively and publicly. 4) So happy T. is feeling healthy as well as G&D.

Oh Tertia - I love you. Thank you for this post. I'm on AD's, and often fight with the stigma attached to them and depression/anxiety. I have so much to say about this post, in relating to you and the other commenters, but i'm at work right now and really shouldn't even be typing this ;) Thank God it's Friday indeed! I will come back later tonight and add, or perhaps email you directly with in-depth thanks. I just had to say THANK YOU for this post, and I am just so grateful to 'know' a popular (hehe), smart woman like yourself. Every time someone attacks the stigmas of depression and AD's, I feel a little less alone - and a little more like I can cope.


You are a goddess for writing that post and freeing so many of us.
BTW... as soon as i got some daycare arranged for my 6 month old twins i started having my first panic attacks... not because they were in daycare, but, b/c i finally had the TIME to feel my PPD!!!
I just started Paxil 3 days ago and cannot wait for it to kick in!!!!

As you can see with all these comments, what you said rings true with so many people. I have suffered with anxiety and a couple small bouts of depression and you described just what I felt. I didn't want to be labeled, I didn't want to walk around in a haze on meds and I didn't want anyone else to know I was on an AD. I still have some problems talking about it, but I also realize I am NOT the only one with this illness and getting help was the most important thing I ever did. Thank you for writing down what so many of us feel in our own lives.

Thank you, Tertia, for sharing your story with such vulnerability. You are helping to destigmatize depression and AD's and, hopefully, giving people who have never been through the hell of clinical depression a chance to understand what it is like for those of us who have.

I was on AD's for just under 5 years and am crossing my fingers that I'm done with them. While they literally saved my life by shrinking the "black, oily monster", I also dealt with unpleasant side-effects. Without a doubt though, I will go back on them should depression descend again, because the side-effects are NOTHING compared to depression.

Tertia, thank you for sharing this part of your story. As we pass our two-year mark of trying to get pregnant, with only failures and miscarriages, it's wonderful to know there is a safety net to catch me if the black box I sometimes feel I live in threatens to swallow me up. (OK, it's not a very elegant metaphor, but I'm sure you know what I mean!) You rock! Keep sharing!

I can relate to almost everything you said.

I just linked to you because I like this. A lot.

http://principal.descom.es/denmark/homemade.html clungglisteningkeyboard

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