holistic treatment for depression and anxiety
I told you in the last post that there was a silver lining, but before the silver can be seen, life just had to totally shake me up (kinda like shaken baby syndrome) and throw me down. So, now I have been hit with the horrible word "depression" and I didn't know what to do with that. After all, my body is falling apart right before my eyes, so now I have to deal with the mind?? You're kidding, right? My therapist is telling me stop going to the doctors, the doctors are telling me I need more doctors, they are diving deep! What do I do? Who do I listen to? I just want to jump under the covers and declare it a dream, however, I can't even sleep so that's not possible. Also, Ms. Holistic over here hates medication so every medication they tried to give me for depression or to sleep simply didn't work. Nothing worked!
My concentration level is so off, I can no longer work and I go on Family Medical Leave. That just added to my "depression." My friends are trying to reach out to me and I simply cannot reach back. I did, however, have two tenacious Christian friends that just wouldn't leave me alone during this deep, dark period and they snuck around my house sprinkling Holy water from the church (of course, I find this out later)! They were aiming "high" so to speak. I was on every prayer chain at every church across Virginia, possibly the United States - they were really working it! No one knew what to do for me. My husband, having just come back from almost 7 months away, didn't recognize me (well, he did but instead of a healthy 122 lbs, I am a whopping 99 lbs). He gave it a good try in the help department until he just lost himself in his job to not have to think about it. My boys continued the havoc in the household as they didn't understand what is wrong with mom and, and my mother, who also lived with us, had back surgery and I was her caregiver (a true joke as I couldn't really take care of me!).
Where does all of this lead, it leads to me feeling useless - as a wife, mother, family member, friend, employee and human being. I am telling you, if you don't sleep for over five months straight, you simply lose your mind. Now, would you think these doctor's might figure some things out on their own? Yeah right! I finally ask them to test my cortisol level - a simple 24 hour urine test that could save your life! Doctors should know that when a person presents as I did for so long, to check the cortisol. You know - the stress hormone in your body. Do your realize if your cortisol is off your whole body is off? If it is too high it could be Cushing's Syndrome or Depression. HELLO! So, here I am - exhausting the doctor with my "lets try this one more test" and he reluctantly gives in but when do I find out those results..... when I am in the hospital already! So you ask, how did you end up in the hospital, what happened? The simple truth and hard to face facts are, I was so exhausted, sick and useless, I just wanted to "sleep." That's right, that is how I could justify in my mind the simple act of wanting to take my own life. There, I said it, I was suicidal!
This is a simple blog so I cannot tell you all that was happening in my life to take me down this path. That would be a book, however, I am hoping someone, at least one person reading this, can be helped or knows someone they can help through what I am saying. Yeah, I had five minutes I am told before "that's it".... but, call it what you want, God, the Universe, Spirit, a Higher Power, whatever... came in and plucked my butt right up and let me know that I wasn't going anywhere. I had things to do here and people that were counting on me. So, I end up in the "hospital" (a nice way of saying psych ward) for 8 days and that's when I find out about cortisol. My level was skyrocketing high. If they had figured this out earlier, perhaps the right meds could have helped level me off. If you know anyone in this severe state of depression, please have them get their cortisol level checked. Also, any signs of anxiety that is out of control, get help, sometimes we can't do it on our own no matter how much we try. Being in the "hospital" was an enlightening experience. Once I got past the fact that there were some pretty crazy people there, I also realized there were many people just like me and I learned about myself. That I am not "Superwoman," I couldn't keep up doing everything I did, helping everyone and taking life on full force. Sometimes you simply break.
The silver lining is the fact that through this horrible experience, I came out stronger than ever before. I learned that the little word "stress" has huge repercussions if not kept in check, that our mind is so powerful we can create anything in either direction, that you have to be your own doctor and that we simply cannot control everything - just let it go. I have given my testimony in front of churches and to many people along the way. I am never embarrassed or ashamed. It was something that happened in my life and now I am on a continual healing path. People need to speak up and talk about their experiences. If one life can be saved because someone listened to me and knows that "yes, life IS worth living" then that horrible journey was worth every step. It wasn't a death but a rebirth. "Just when the caterpillar thought she was about to die, she became a butterfly."
P.S. I also want to thank the people who literally saved my life, I can never take back what you experienced but I can live a great life to show you how much I love you!