I'm 40. I've been married for 22 years, and dh and I have 5 kids. I'm a homemaker, though I have worked part-time a few times over the years.
My depression problems began about Fall 2002, 6 months after the birth of our last child. I learned that my father (who had left my mom when I was 12), was planning to move across the country, so that he and my step-mom could be close to my half-sisters as they started college there. This news seems to be the trigger that sent me spiraling down into the nightmare that is depression.
It started with rumination: ( Then came the mood swings. Insomnia became my new "friend." I found myself crying at commercials. Then, just thoughts and occurences would have me crying. I noticed that, alone in my car (with only the baby), I would have angry emotional discussions with people that weren't there.
One time, during a particularly angry moment, while stuck at a light, I found myself waving my arms and crying, and suddenly realized that other drivers could see me...
I did my best to hide my problems from the kids. And, to my credit, I did this fairly well. Still, I soon needed drugs to help me function. And then, I needed more drugs, a cocktail of Lexapro and lithium.
I wouldn't take the drugs the way my pdoc wanted me to. I never took the full dose of the one. I tried going off each of the drugs, to do just one alone. I even tried going off both for a couple months. That was a disaster.
I was doing OK on just Lexapro, until this summer. In July, I began to struggle. I wasn't ruminating so much now (my main symptom in the past). Now I found that I felt cloudy-headed and sluggish, heavy, as if someone had slipped lead weights into my clothing. Every movement was harder. I couldn't concentrate. I felt aggitated, restless. I was barely able to make decisions. My short-term memory was really bad. I wanted to relax, but I couldn't. I tried watching movies, and couldn't take them in. Reading was totally out, as I had to re-read each paragraph so many times, I just gave up. All my self-soothing activities did nothing for me. I stopped being a "morning person." It was like my brain was marinating in watery oatmeal.
I called my pdoc and he called in 600mg lithium to be taken in two doses each day. After just a few days, I felt better. By the two week mark, I was MUCH better. Now, about a month later, I'm finally myself again. Really - like the person I was 5 years ago, before it all began. I'm so thankful!
I'm a Bible-believing Christian, and I know God works all things together for good for those who love Him. I don't know why God allowed this, but there have been some benefits. I'm more thoughtful now. I'm less impulsive. And of course, I have more compassion for others who struggle with mental illness. So, I'm just believing that my Daddy in heaven knows what's best for this kid. And I rely totally on Him. And I thank Him for the earthly substances He made, that scientists can use to help me through this.