Posted 3/25/2010 10:38 PM (GMT -7)
My name is Sarah. I'm 24 years old, married to a U.S. Air Force sergeant. I have two kids, aged 3 (my son) and 4 (my daughter). I have had depression issues since I was 13, when I had my first noticeable episode. By the time I was 17, my parents had kicked me out of the house for dating a guy they did not approve of (my now husband). He joined the Air Force soon after we got married, and 7 months later, I was pregnant with my first baby (I was age 19 when she was born). While I was pregnant with her, my husband had to go to a separate base for training. He was gone for 6 months, and got back a week before Emilie was born. By that time, I had already been hit hard with depression, at which point my doctor put me on Zoloft. It did nothing. I had some insomnia while I was pregnant, but was so exhausted all the time after she was born, I the insomnia went away.
When Emilie was 7 months old, I found out I was pregnant with her brother. The depression that started before I had Emilie was triggered by my husbands absence, and subsequent issues caused by that (not PPD)... it never went away. I had Jack when in December of 2006. I was switched to Prozac, but the side-effects irritated me. Dry mouth, insomnia, no sex drive, a general feeling of indifference... I decided to fight my depression by boosting vitamins and exercise. That plan failed. The insomnia, sex drive issues, and depression lingered. Then came a new symptom... I couldn't talk to anyone except my husband or brother on the phone. I found I would have anxiety attacks when I had to use the phone, and knowing I was being irrational about something so silly, I sought out doctors.
Depression runs in my family, but they live under the stigma that depression is an "excuse" and not a valid medical condition. For years, I avoided really tackling my issues until my OCD kicked in. My type of OCD is as follows:
OCD without overt compulsions
OCD sometimes manifests without overt compulsions. Informally nicknamed "Pure-O", OCD without overt compulsions could, by one estimate, characterize as many as 50 percent to 60 percent of OCD cases. Rather than engaging in observable compulsions, the person with this subtype might perform more covert, mental rituals, or might feel driven to avoid the situations in which particular thoughts seem likely to intrude. As a result of this avoidance, people can struggle to fulfill both public and private roles, even if they place great value on these roles and even if they had fulfilled the roles successfully in the past. Moreover, a sufferer's avoidance can confuse others who do not know its origin or intended purpose, as it did in the case of a man whose wife began to wonder why he would not hold their infant child.
My depression feeds off my anxiety, which feeds off my depression, which causes insomnia, which causes depression/anxiety, which causes insomnia... You can see my point.
I have been on Zoloft (no effect) Wellbutrin (no effect), Prozac (no depression, but no other feeling either) and most recently Lexapro. The Lexapro is doing miracles for my depression with NO side-effects...my OCD is another story, and my insomnia is never ending. So far, no doctor has really been able to help much, however, knowing what I have, and recognizing when I'm about to have an OCD situation REALLY helps me recognize what's going on and mentally put a block on the problem. I still have pretty continuous anxiety, but my meds have made it manageable, at least until I can find a better remedy. My doctor(s) have advised me though that my depression/OCD/insomnia is probably hereditary, and most likely permanent.
Knowing I'll be on meds the rest of my life used to add to my depression, but now I try to remember it's like any other chronic issue... diabetes, heart disease, and any number of other problems that are required to have life-time treatment. Getting past the stigma other people hold for me of being the "crazy person with depression and weird OCD" is tough though.
I'm depressed. I have OCD, insomnia, TMJ (resulting in chronic teeth pain and headaches), tendinitis in both arms, and migraines. Many people have it worse than me, but even so, I want to share what I've learned during the last 6 years+ I've dealt with this.
I am Sarah... mother of two great kids (who drive me up the wall, but the good times make up for that)... and wife to a military sergeant.