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Suffering from depression?

You’re not alone!

I’m a Doctor of Pharmacy. I also was bi-polar. Yes, I said was. I learned about bi-polar in school, but didn’t think I had it. I was bi-polar, not like the bi-polar you know, but a different type. I didn’t have the type of bi-polar that requires scary medications and some trips to the Behavioral Health Unit. I had a milder type of bi-polar. I was either on top of the world, or I was angry. Yes, I was a little depressed about my life, but I wasn’t moping about it. I WAS LIVID. I’ve always been angry…since puberty. Birth control pills were just gasoline on the fire. I have an incredible husband who stuck with me through that time.

And then it got worse…

I was done with school and working when I was blessed with my first child. I stayed home most days. It was a hard transition when being valued, needed and appreciated at work changed to being needed but un-appreciated at home. Does “I hate you, mom!” sound familiar to anyone? I was trapped and depressed. My good days were scattered and sparse. Debt, work, sleeplessness, responsibility, they all wrapped around me, CONSTRICTING MY BREATHING. I felt as though there was a rock on top of my brain. My head felt HEAVY…especially during the winter.

I coped.

I didn’t lay around and mope, although that is certainly what I felt like doing. I worked; I found an obsession in keeping my house clean (I thought maybe that would keep me happy). Instead, I could only see the wrong in my house: the old carpet, the weeds in the flowerbed, this room needed paint, etc. I worked hard because that’s what you did—work fixes everything, right? I “beautified” my environment only to have some new fault magnified that I just had to fix. My FAVORITE thing was to go to bed at night. I had no freedom. I had no vision.

Did other people know I was struggling?

No. I would laugh and joke and put on a happy face when I was at work, with my extended family, and at church (along with trying to pretend to be perfect). At home, I got to be ornery. I thought that’s how it was supposed to be done.

Made it worse.

I would add to my feelings of in-adequacy by comparing myself to other women around me, “She always keep her cool. She never yells at her kids. Her house always looks perfect. Her kids behave so perfectly. She is so kind and patient with her kids.” The biggest irony? Because I felt trapped, I resented being a mother…and THEN I FELT GUILTY BECAUSE I FELT THAT WAY!

I started changing what I was doing.

I had some health issues I was working on, and I used my training to change my food and my lifestyle. I practiced breathing, improved my sleep, and tried to exercise regularly. I avoided foods that could make it worse. I took the right kind of multi-vitamins and fish oil. I started training my mind and my thoughts. Did I do these all at the same time? No, that would have been overwhelming. I worked on one at a time until I could do it consistently and not go OVER THE EDGE.

I changed how I was feeling.

I started having more great days and the angry, dark days were less and less often. The transition was so gradual. I didn’t realize how changed I feel now. I woke up a couple of months ago and the rock on my head was back; I felt frustrated, angry, and blue. I recognized this feeling, and at first, I kind of wanted to feel that way for a bit…anger is very exhilarating. I chose to start using mind-training tools and changing the way I felt. By 1 in the afternoon the rock was gone. What would have taken weeks to get rid of before now was gone in just a few hours. Instead of a dark, pressing weight, now I am filled with joy, purpose and passion. Does anything I’ve related sound familiar? Maybe anger and heaviness isn’t how you feel; maybe the words you could use to describe your feelings are: jittery, anxious, heart racing, sweaty, paralyzing fear, black, hopeless. Would you like to learn more about controlling your mood, and having less episodes that last a shorter amount of time? I’m not telling you to stop taking your prescription medications cold turkey. I’m talking about making a choice everyday to work on one thing…to start on your path to purpose and joy. I’m talking about feeling joy. Want to know more? First, start with the 3 tips to improve methylation. Visit the Methylation and MTHFR page if you don’t know what methylation is and why it is so important.