Depression: Do you ever really recover?

I’m in one of them pondering thoughtful moods today so be warned 🙂 Mainly it’s because I’m feeling a bit scared at the moment.

I’ve suffered from depression since my early teens along with eating disorders, anxiety and self harm, slowly over time between and general life stresses and circumstances, it got worse and harder to mange alone and I’ve been on anti-depressants since my teens. A good decade now I’d say. It took a lot of trial and error to find ones right for me. Some make you incredibly drowsy and not all there, lights are on nobody is home kind of thing, others make you feel worse than ever. Aggressive and give have suicidal thoughts.

It’s a scary road but I eventually found the ones right for me, they still make me feel a bit more ‘slow’ than usual but it’s a better side effect than not being able to get out of the bed right?

In the past I’ve regularly tried to come off them thinking I was ‘better’ and didn’t need them any more only to relapse. The same feelings of despair and gloominess would come back and hit me like a ton of bricks within about a month. Back to not being able to get out of the bed and forcing a smile on my face for the kids sake. Depression is exhausting. It also knocks your self esteem to an all time low.
Sometimes coming off them really messes with your head too and ends up with bad results when you’re not thinking clearly at all so I learned not to do it again and have stayed on them exclusively for years now.

Until now.

Since the beginning of January I have been eating better and my mood swings stabilised as well as energy levels being up. I was feeling the best I have done in years so I thought maybe now is a good time to come off them. So I weaned off them and eventually stopped them altogether about 6 weeks ago now.

I was feeling good, really good actually and very proud of my self thinking maybe finally I can function like a ‘normal’ person without tablets….maybe my brain imbalance was finally sorted once and for all! Maybe I’ve finally ‘recovered’

Over the last few days though I’m thinking I was very naive yet again. My anxiety feels heightened, I’m teary and very tired, generally just not feeling very good in myself mentally and for no particular reason at all?

I am really hoping it’s just PMS though and this feeling will pass. I’m probably just nervous and watching my self too closely, reading too much into normal feelings I get when I’m due my period.

There is however still a little voice screaming ‘Yaz you shouldn’t have come off the tablets….it’s coming back, fuck, it’s coming back!! Stop being a martyr and just get back on your tablets you need them to survive, you can’t do it without them!!’

But I don’t want to end up at the start again! Having to go back on tablets. Then the headaches, the sleepiness and all the other side effects that comes with starting on them again. As well as the long-term effects like having slower than normal reactions and not great concentration. I then feel like I’ve failed, like why can’t my brain just be normal without tablets all my life? But I also don’t want to end up in a bad place mentally again, its very very scary and that’s what I’m scared off now. It’s such a catch 22

I’m constantly seeing ads on tv or people in magazines along the lines of ‘I recovered from depression, so can you’ or quotes like ‘You can choose to be happy’  These make me feel like crap if I’m honest.

I feel like then maybe I’m not trying hard enough to be off tablets and that I’m doing something wrong. I really am trying though. I’m thinking more positively, eating better, exercising more so why am I not ‘recovered’. Why am I stuck in this limbo of on tablets, feeling better. Off tablets, feeling disastrous, then back on tablets. It’s frustrating. I feel like I’m going around in circles with depressionDepression is a prison where you are both the suffering prisoner and the cruel jailer

I know that it’s a chemical imbalance in my brain but I thought tablets over time would eventually ‘fix it’ along with a positive attitude and healthy lifestyle. Now I just don’t know. Maybe some people do recover from depression and never get it again but maybe some people just can’t, it’s apart of who we are just like a physical illness that can’t always be cured like diabetes.

Either way I’m not ashamed to have depression, I’m not ashamed to be on tablets.

I would however like to be one of those people who ‘recover’ but maybe it’s not always possible. Everyone is different after all.

Maybe depression is just part of who you are, a lifelong illness that you learn to manage and cope with whether it be with medication, a healthy lifestyle, meditation or a combination or all three.

Maybe it’s time for me to accept I will always have depression but everyone’s definition or way of recovering will different.

In the meantime while I figure out weather this is just a little blip or not I will continue to be positive, eat well, exercise and whatever else helps keeps me manage it better.

Best thing any of us can do is look after our mental health in whatever way we choose, whatever helps us keep it under control better.

Yaz xo

If you need any support with depression there is some brilliant support out there for info or help
Aware.ie
Helpline 1890 303302

Samaritans.ie
Helpline 116 123

Shineonline.ie
Helpline 1890 621 631 (Mon-Fri from 9am-4pm)

Grow.ie
Infoline 1890 474 474.

Seechange.ie
Yourmentalhealth.ie

Comments 8

  • Well done with all the healthy eating and exercise, it’s really good for the body and mind. Hopefully it just pms, but try stay positive. I find I’m a right cranky cow when my periods are due.
    Positive thoughts and hugs xxx
    Kellie Kearney recently posted…Mother’s Day Giveaway #4 | Win €55 of Artistry Make-UpMy Profile

    • Thanks Kellie 😉
      Yeh my hormones go haywire when I’m due! It’s so hard to tell. Hopefully next need I’ll feel good again x

  • i don’t think you ever recover from depression but it can lessen. I’m 5 years off meds but have my bad times sometimes still. I allow myself a bad day or two and if it persists past that I would be straight back to Gp for tablets. Exercise helps me a lot . Stress doesn’t help. It sounds like you are doing every you can be . Be gentle to yourself , don’t panic over blips and if you need meda, as you said chemical imbalance – like taking insulin for diabetes . Be kind to yourself x

    • Wow 5 years off is brilliant! Sounds like you’ve learned how to manage it to suit you. Well done!
      Either way I’ll survive I’ll get through it like always. I think now I’m just more aware of the signs so Im careful to watch out x

  • Coming of these types of meds is never easy, so well done for weaning yourself off them. I’m sure it’s just PMS and it’s important to eat well around the due time, I tend to eat a lot of tomato, cucumber, lettuce, spinach etc in the week before mine, cutting out the fatty foods and red meats, I find it helps me a lot.
    I can imagine you would have ‘what if’s’, (I think that is the body’s way of demanding/craving the drugs back) it is really important not to let these thoughts and feelings take over (can be a big battle at times) and focus on the positive things in your life. An example would be post-it notes with all the good thoughts/things in your life and also some positive quotes. We all have our ‘off’ days, sometimes joined together, and there may be no reason as to why we feel so low, it’s important not to dwell on it and to move forward.
    One day at a time, if you do one, then you can do two and so on. Yes there will be blips along the way, totally normal, it’s important to work through them and you will find that you are a stronger person for it.

  • Well done! You’re doing fantastically, I’m dealing with anxiety/depression at the moment and also blog about it, great way to spread awareness! Good luck for your future recovery x
    Sian Fuller recently posted…DIY rustic wedding invitations.My Profile

  • great post!! and welldone for coming off the meds its not an easy choice to make and takes a lot of courage and bravery to do so. i’m on meds now about 2/3 years but have suffered with depression/anxiety since a very early age it just went undetected alot, having my own GP at the time asking “sure what would you be depressed about ” when I finally plucked the courage to talk to him… to feel like my world crashed around me because he didn’t believe me was an understatement!! So its only since I had my little girl 2 years ago that i then suffered PND that the docs finally took me seriously!! it is an awful thing for anyone to go through and I do believe it becomes something you live with but can control! like my current GP said to me a while ago its like a scorpion in a box, if the scorpion is let out its going to run around and sting all around him, but if the scorpion is in a box it is confined and it cant sting or run free. Depression has to be contained and controlled by the mind and those little voices need to be ignored and stood up against! best of luck on your road to recovery and I wish you all the luck in the world that you overcome this and learn to live in a controlled and happier environment in your mind xxx
    grainne recently posted…My makeup brushes and what they do 🙂My Profile

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