My Depression Story
The first (and only time) I told my parents I was suicidal was at the age of 19. The depression and anxiety had been around for years prior to that, but I knew I needed help and told my mom. My father was in the USMC and they took me to see a counselor on base. I remember doing nothing but sobbing, trying to catch my breath, saying I was sorry. I don't know what the counselor told them, but all my father said was that everything was going to be okay, that our family was okay. But no follow up appointments were made and it was obvious that they wanted it swept under the rug. It was never mentioned by either of them again. At that point in my life I realized that I could never share anything about my depression/anxiety with them. So on my own I found a therapist when I was in my early 20's. He referred me to a psychiatrist who prescribed my first round of medication. I was diagnosed as having "soft" bi-polar (now known as bi-polar II) a long time ago and that helped explain some things to me. I am now 49 and over the years have been at the brink of suicide several times, but always managed to pull myself out with the help of my doctors and various therapists.
Unfortunately, my family just aren't sympathetic and I don't share anything with them. It stinks when you reach out for help/sympathy and are told to "snap out of it!" But I think that is when you learn to use all the resources at your disposal. I'm very fortunate to work for a great company with great benefits. I have access to the best medication, doctors, therapists and realize how blessed I truly am. Does that mean that the depression doesn't come back? Nope. I have been on medication my whole life and probably always be, I see a therapist on a regular basis, but I still have periods when the meds stop working and we need to try a different regimen. I guess the gist of my depression story would be that although it is difficult to live with this disease, we all have to try to take it day-by-day and take care of ourselves the best that we can.