My first episode of depression occurred at 15 or 16. It did not get diagnosed and I was perplexed by my behavior. Shortly after I began to drink. I know now I was self medicating.
By 19 I was finally diagnosed with depression by a local MD. He put me on Prozac 20mg. Not a therapeutic dose. As I found out a few years later when I applied for the CHP and was denied due to taking Prozac. They asked me to get off my med and reapply. I was devastated that now this condition might keep me from my goal of being a police officer. Up until then I had received no information on depression and I was unaware I had a mental illness. The 80s wasn’t as enlightened.
It got worse. Yet no psychiatrists helped. I could not find help with what I didn’t even understand. So I kept drinking and added speed to help with down times. It was an addictive marry go round for 20 years of my youth with no real professional help.
I managed until I hit 41 when I was flat lined and could no longer hold on to my job. At that time I went on SSD and am still disabled today.
The solution for me has been to quit alcohol and drugs. Join a support group. I finally found a wonderful therapist and shrink who have been with me 18 years now. It’s important to seek professional caring help.
I have gone thru the gamut of medications. I’ve had my ups and downs finding the right combo for me. Yet we did do it after years of adjustments. I will always be on an anti depressant as I have never done well when we tapper off. And at times a new med must be added or taken away. It’s a balancing act.
My secret is attitude. If I can be grateful and accepting of the good and seemingly bad. If I thank God for my daily condition. If I keep up a healthy mental conversation while monitoring my negative inputs I do better.
Over the last 40 years my depression has not left but I am able once again to enjoy what I have. Life can be doable and enjoyable with time and lots of effort. Best of healing to all. It can happen. I’m happy today. Looking forward to life.