Confessions of a depressed special needs Dad: Update 9/28/2012

It’s been awhile since I really spent any amount of time talking about my battle with depression. As some of you already know, I’m battling depression. This has been a war of both wins and losses, progress and setbacks.

However, I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m depressed and on medication for it.

There is a huge and I mean huge stigma attached to things like depression. I don’t know if most people even understand what depression is. 

In its simplest form, it’s a chemical imbalance in the brain and can affect different people in different ways.  However,  the point of this post is to share my personal struggles and update you all as to how I’m doing. 



Having said that,  I will post a link at the bottom of this post that will provide you with more information on depression. 

You may or may not recall that I’m currently on a medication called Paxil to help manage my depression. Periodically, I like to update you all as to how I’m doing and what I still need to work on.

I don’t think many of you would be shocked to find out that I’m depressed. Let’s be honest, my life is not easy.

I’ve been told by a few people, including family and friends that they don’t like to even read this blog because it’s way to depressing for them to read.  I’ve never really been offended by that but I always laugh and say,  “imagine actually having to live this“.

I digress….

Back to how I’m holding up.

To put it simply, some days are better than others. Overall,  I think I’m hanging on but I do have my personal struggles. 

Right now,  this whole mess with Gavin is just eating me up inside. I’m torn between guilt and responsibility.  Guilt is such a difficult emotion to cope with and it never gets any easier,  at least for me.

Read This  It's gonna be one those days

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I think right now,  in this moment,  guilt is probably the biggest thing, weighing me down.

No matter how I try, I can’t shake all this guilt and it just keeps feeding the depression, so to speak.

For me personally,  I’m over eating, especially at night.  It’s become a very unhealthy coping mechanism I’ve developed recently and it’s making weight loss extremely difficult.

This whole thing becomes a vicious cycle because the overeating or stress eating, makes it nearly impossible to meet my weight loss goals which in turn is depressing for me. I’m very uncomfortable in my own skin at times as I’ve become overweight.

For me,  it’s really hard to stay motivated to do anything but that doesn’t stop me from trying.

I think that overall, the medication is helping but it’s either not as effective or things I my life have just reached a point where my current management plan needs tweaked.

Something that I think really does help me is this blog. Writing has been a way to help me stay centered and keeps me moving forward.

Another thing that I do is maintain an open line of communication with my wife so that she knows where I’m at, emotionally. I also don’t let what other people say about me being depressed, bother me.

That about sums up where I’m at right now.

I’m taking my medication every day and doing my best to keep moving forward. 

I hope that my story helps anyone else out there battling the same thing to realize that they aren’t alone…..

Depression

This was posted via WordPress for Android, courtesy of Samsung’s Galaxy S III. Please forgive any typos. I do know how to spell but auto-correct hate me.

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  • Grace says:

    Thank you for your honesty.  It takes courage to admit your weaknesses and fears.  It would be easier to tell us how great everything is.  I am glad that your blog is therapeutic for you.  I find it inspirational that you and Lizze keep fighting for your family every day.  You are absolutely right that victories are in the little things.  🙂 

  • Grace says:

    Thank you for your honesty.  I'm glad that sharing your feeings is therapeutic.  I understand how some people could find your blog "depressing."  However, I find it inspirational because you and Lizze keep fighting everyday to take care of your family.  You are absolutely right to find victories in the little things.  🙂 

  • A mom of 2 says:

    Here are the few things that have worked for me. Being around people helps a lot. I stay in the house with lots of sun light. Consider joining a part time job, a volunteer work, that gets you in touch with different people and gives you a distraction from every day life. Focus on something positive.
    To avoid the overwhelming stress, compartmantlize the things, such as 1st hour spending only on phone calls, 11-12 making  lunch. Make a list of things to do, so you donot worry too much, when you are working on one things, we tend to get overwhenlmed by next.
    Make a routine for kids (I know it is hard), and do things when they  sleep. Things get done faster when no one is interrupting. Such as start laundry during day, and keep shuffling it and then fold all once at night, once kids sleep. I also finish kitchen work in the night, so that I have my day free to take care of the kids. It usually takes 1.5 hours in the night before I sleep. Keeps me worry free during the day. Also you can use this tme to keep house in order, it takes me usually 15 min every night. But mornings starts much better this way.
    Take care and keep in mind that it will get better.
     
     

  • kat13 says:

     @Mary Franzen Costello  Yes, we all are so desperate  for that deep breath and I am not sure what I would have done without a redbull sometimes…. 

  • kat13 says:

    It is not easy to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but just take one day at the time.
     
    I am glad to hear that people's opinions don't bother you, but I think it comes with age (at least for me it did). And keep on writing not because it helps you, but because it definitely helps me to see that I am not the only person in the world facing these challenges! 

  • Mary Franzen Costell says:

    You are so right, celexa, not Celebrex, although I'm bout ready to add that one into my pill box. 🙂

  • SheldaRaymonvil says:

    You will get through this. If you're not already part of a support group, join one. Link up with other parents of autistic kids because they will know what you're going through. I actually studied autism, ADHD, depression, and other related issues in college so I can only imagine what you're going through. 

  • themomjen says:

    I deal with it too, for about 10 years and more so over the last 5-6.  Fall and winter are the toughest, but yes meds can help, talking about it can help.  Often I talk with other friends/family that deal with it and sometimes talking about it does have a reverse effect, but you can't give up, putting it out on your blog gives people a chance to listen or not, but most often they are.  We are.  And, nodding our heads that we've been there.  Make sure that while on meds you are getting better because so many can make you feel bad or worse.  Hugs to you, glad I'm a part of a Triberr with you!  Keep your chin up! 😉

  • AnnMarieHakeHughes says:

    @Mary Franzen Costello Celebrex is a pain killer. I have tAken it for my knees.

    • KathyBrower says:

      @AnnMarieHakeHughes Maybe an auto-correct from Celexa? My husband takes Celebrex for his arthritis and it certainly does nothing for his depression.

  • KarimanElgoharyShama says:

    It is good to talk about it. Taking care of ourselves is often at the bottom of our lists. Im on Zoloft for major depression/anxiety and not ashamed to say it. I think in addition to chemical make up, our situations have a lot to do with it. Thanks for posting.
     

  • lostandtired says:

     @SarahBolier Thanks a lot Sarah 🙂

  • lostandtired says:

     @AlanaJulianaSheldahl Thank you 🙂

  • lostandtired says:

     @Mary Franzen Costello  Very well said 🙂

  • lostandtired says:

     @dotdash Thanks dot 🙂

  • lostandtired says:

    Thanks for sharing. Stay strong. 🙂

  • SarahBolier says:

    I agree that talking about it is a good way to blow off frustration. I have battled depression for years and it sucks when you feel like you have to hide behind your smile when you are feeling down…And even worse when you are trying to keep everything else together for family, I feel that way to so I understand how you feel and thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings!! I think you are a great dad and husband you should be proud, and even when you feel weak, strength comes out of nowhere and you realize how strong you really are 🙂

  • AlanaJulianaSheldahl says:

    Me too, Rob. 

  • Mary Franzen Costell says:

    I have found that my needs change and med changes have made all the difference. When my stress level when off the charts a year ago My dr. changed from Prozac to Celebrex and its made all the difference. When necessary, I explain to people that the meds don't miraculously make my problems disappear. It simply allows me the ability to take a deep breath and deal logically with what I'm feeling and dealing with. I'm not weak, it's still hard work.

  • dotdash says:

    Well, there may be a stigma, but half the adults I know are taking Wellbutrin or Paxil or something.  I did for years and I'm thinking of going back on.   If you have kids, you have to take care of yourself and avoiding depression is one of those things you have to do.  Getting up in the morning is a hard thing when you are depressed, but if you have kids, you have to make it work.  It is hard, it is lonely, it is debilitating.  But you strike me as a person of enormous courage.  I'm sure you are fighting.    
     
    The weight gain?  One relatively easy thing (well, depends on your life) is to try to get more sleep.  If you don't get enough sleep, you try to "energy up" your body with food to cover the deficit.   Since depression is also "energy down", food is really a kind of self-medication that can be somewhat effective (but produces its own downside).   For years I had success self-medicating with a lot of coffee, which is also somewhat effective — depending on your level of depression.  If you are talking DSM major depression, it's a different story of course.  Not to preach here or offer solutions, just to say, hey, I've been there, almost everyone I know has been there, and you'll get through it.  If the Paxil isn't working, *definitely* try something else.   It's a person-to-person thing what works and sometimes it changes.  Doctors totally understand that calibration process.  

  • Septicgirl says:

    Rob, I think it's very brave of you to discuss depression so openly on your blog. And it's good, because I imagine that many of us who read it are probably feeling the same way but not honest enough to admit. Modern life is difficult, and then add into the mix special needs children and it becomes even more so. I've suffered on and off with depression since my son was diagnosed with a rare genetic syndrome 3 years ago and I've been off and on medication. I finally admitted to myself recently that this was a long term change i needed to make and have agreed with my doctor to start and stay on medication for at least a year. Well done for sharing and don't think you are alone in suffering depression.

  • Kathryn says:

    Depression is a tough thing to battle, and you are right, there is a huge stigma attached to it.  I've been on some type of medication for depression for the better part of my adult life, and don't anticipate ever being able to get off of it.  That coupled with a bad case of fibromyalgia, and some sort of undiagnosed neurological problem and I'm a hot mess.  I feel the same sort of guilt because I don't think that I'm being the best mom that could I be.  I'm not able to work because of the health problems, and being single mom, our finances are in a sorry state.  I think that we all do the best we can, and it's all we can do.  I don't know if this makes sense or not?  I'm sorry it is late, and I've taken my ambien for the night, so I have a tendency to ramble on.  Keep up the good fight Rob!