the most objective description of depression I can give
Mental health is everything.
This issue is so complex that I must offer my apologies in advance if this is a bit confusing. I’m having a hard time organizing it.
Essentially, you cannot take care of your physical health if you don’t have a baseline of mental health. I know a lot of this seems awfully presumptive. I thought of an analogy:
The symptoms and duration and of a cold vary slightly, but are fairly consistent: runny nose, aches, mild fever, etc.. Similarly, the symptoms of depression, despite incredible variation in the psychologies of different people, are pretty consistent.
Similarly, they both are very common and tend to reoccur. — The cold virus stays with you forever, and the depression bug stays with you forever. You can fight it, and live a totally normal life.
Colds and Depression are omnipotent in the population. One of these things is recognized as the most common illness, but the other is “laziness?” “stupidity?” “weakness?” [yeah, I was labeled as all of those things Senior year]
— > It is so clear that depression is an actual illness that needs to be taken seriously. It is an imbalance of neurotransmitters in the brain. Simple as that. I’ve been given two antidepressants, amitriptyline and sertraline. Both were initially given to me in March of Senior year by a team of neurologists to treat migraines. The former made me suicidal and psychotic within two weeks of starting, and the latter felt like I had finally put glasses on when I didn’t realize I was blind. They had very real effects on me. They were not “sugar pills.” My neurologist decided to take me off both.
Fun Fact: I used to have such severe migraines I wondered how I could ever function in the real world. Since re-starting Zoloft (sertraline) in late September 2016, I have had two migraines, and they didn’t even seem like normal migraines [including all the other stuff that happened on Inauguration Day, I suspect I hit my head REALLY hard when I kept falling. Concussion?].
Anyways, despite being in the scariest and most eye-opening period of my life, Zoloft has given me the ability to: think, stand up for myself, have friends, and, most important to me, have a sense of humor. Despite everything, I am very excited for the future.
The following are resources I weighed heavily in my decision to see a psychiatrist:
The scientific evidence alone is incontrovertible. Help is available, and is revoltingly under-utilized. I sure as hell am not going to let this ruin or run my life.