Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Everybody Hurts

depression, teens and depression 
I take Lexapro for depression.

I've been on it for about fifteen years now and it's the best thing I've ever taken for my own health.

It started looong ago when I was living a fairly strange and disconnected life.  It made sense to be depressed then.  Everything sucked so much during my teens and twenties.  But the depression continued on into my thirties, after I had had many years of great therapy and after I had made many changes in my life, healthy changes with significant impact on my quality of life.  It continued even after I met Jerry and we were just great together, after finishing grad school, after getting a great job, and after creating a life of which I was proud.  At some point, I realized that I wasn't depressed about any thing.  It was a feeling completely disconnected from my life.

Taking Lexapro was wonderfully freeing!  Feeling good and healthy and centered and authentic and myself; it was GOOD.  Unfortunately, if I stop taking them, I can tell after two or three days that the crazy is coming back.  By crazy, I mean, the emotions that don't relate to real life.

So, I admit that I am an advocate for anti-depressants when everything else doesn't work.  But, being the child of a hypochondriac makes it very difficult or me to determine when medications are necessary.  I often defer to my husband for help in knowing when to get into the medicine cabinet.

Wearing ear buds,
hating everyone
Well, my daughter Elizabeth has a bit of a reputation for being, shall we say, moody.  We have worked together to try to find a "solution" to her unhappiness for many years now; all to no avail. When we look back at pictures of events, almost every single memory contains extreme anger or unwillingness or sadness or general unpleasantness on the part of Elizabeth.

Finally, about six weeks ago, she and I were sitting here on this very hideous orange couch in our living room talking about how helpless we both felt in finding her relief from the heavy and dark moods that she experiences.  We talked, for the first time, about antidepressants.

She was thrilled to try them.

Loving on sweet Mathilda
Now, fast forward six weeks, she has now been on them for over a month.  The improvement for her is REMARKABLE!!!!!!!!!  She used to describe herself as "hating everyone", "feeling like she is beneath the ground in the dark", and "not enjoying anything."  Today, she has taken up some cool new hobbies, she enjoys our adventures, she willingly goes outside, she has made friends, she often says 'YES' to suggestions, and she is actually HAPPY.  She hugs and loves on everyone in this family every single day.  She feels joy!  She feels affection!  She glows, I tell you!

I'm not saying she doesn't have her moody days.  I'm saying that they are few and far-between.  I'm saying that she feels, in her words, like herself!  I'm saying that, we took the leap, and are very happily watching our daughter BLOSSOM.

"I'm The Doctor and I approve of this message."

P.S.  "Everybody Hurts" courtesy of R.E.M.

If you like this post you may enjoy:
Do You Know Why I Started Blogging?
How I Planned to be as a Parent


  1. this is wonderful news! So glad for her! I took Zoloft in my 20's for mild depression - helped greatly. I now take Synthroid for my low thyroid which made me feel like a new person! I am all for medication support if it is needed.

  2. What I've heard from the SSRI's is that(if you need them) it just makes you more who you really are. Ups and downs are normal. A dear friend of mine felt like he actually felt *right*(not correct)for the first time in his life after taking Prozac. We are meant to be happy and vibrant beings. I'm so happy for you and Elizabeth!(and the whole family)

  3. Hi Karen,
    Been reading your blog and was reminded of a time when my little brother asked mom "Mom can't you just let me stay at home and you be my teacher?" "What about social life? You need friends from school." "Well, just invite them over to play!" Mom wasn't convinced. :(
    Anyway, antidepressants have helped me through a lot, and also mood stabilisers. I had to discover them myself, only a few years back, and what a relief. Since I moved here I've been way more productive as well, and university here is far more forgiving than back home and they're aware of my needs.


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