Depression: The Descent Into Darkness

The year was 1999. The summer of 1999, as a matter fact. I could not sleep; I was shaking all of the time. What was going on, I asked myself.

I decided to go see a doctor. My primary physician was not on my insurance plan, so I chose to go see somebody who was. He was a very nice man who was spiritual, which made me feel more comfortable, since I really did not know anything about him. After checking me over, his treatment plan was to get more exercise and keep going to church. Being so messed up, I went on my merry way without saying anything.

After a week or so, I was not feeling any better. Actually, I was getting worse. My father told me to go see my primary doctor because he knew me and I could afford the higher cost. So, I did. What a difference. After telling the doctor how I was feeling. he asked me all of the “legendary” questions regarding a diagnosis of depression. I think I answered “Yes” to all of them except the ones related to suicide. I had not gotten to that point, YET!

There I was, diagnosed with major depression. Since I had the lowest opinion of myself that anyone could possibly have, the question I asked myself was “What else could possibly go wrong in my life?”

The doctor prescribed anti-depressants and sleeping pills. I cannot remember which one because there were so many over the years. (I think it was Paxil.) God, was I happy, or so I thought. I asked him about therapy, not telling him that I had made an appointment with one already. Being the great “pill pusher” that so many medical professionals are, he said the anti-depressants would probably take care of about 90% of the depression.

Off I went, not able to get to the pharmacy fast enough. Give me the drugs, please give me the drugs. The euphoria over getting medication that might help me lasted just a short time.

I started learning about the Internet-it had so much information, I did some research on the anti-depressants and sleeping pills I had been prescribed. I learned about the possible side effects of psychotropic drugs, and guess what! Those drugs have the possibility of making you worse off than you already are.

This was perfect for me. I could focus on what could happen to me rather than what the “benefits” of the drugs might be. I mean, “Worry” was my middle name. I worried about the side effects of the anti-depressants and becoming dependent on the sleeping pills. Talk about a recipe for disaster. It was the main course.

Let us not forget that I started therapy the day after I was diagnosed with depression. Now, you see, I had to be a total “whack job” because therapy was for the total losers of the world. Could I put any bigger stigma on myself than being on anti-depressants and going to therapy? I think not!

pjh nash Depression: The Descent Into Darkness

spent 10 years struggling with major depression. After realizing he had the knowledge and strength to rise above the illness and stigma associated with it, he created to help others who are recovering or desperately want to recover from depression. He hopes you will join him on the journey and use the inner strength to free yourself from the bondage.

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Elised01 December 20, 2010 at 12:40 am

Just in the same way that every individual’s brain chemistry is different. So is the right medication. I started on an SSRI (Zoloft) and had to have the dosage adjusted every few months. Also, Ambien for the months of insomnia. That atleast got me sleeping again (but I told my husband to hide the car keys…those stories you hear!). I was nursing at the time and Ambien was very effective, even though I had to get up in the night still. No problems. I most recently switched to an SNRI (Cymbalta) which is more expensive (insurance!) but after about 6 wks on, its FAR more effective and I’m feeling like I’m readjusting or re-entering life and things are going well. Medication is a blessing but I believe whenever possible should be combined with some sort of counseling. Hope this is an encouragement for your readers. The “right” help is out there. You just have to be patient, that it is a process and not a fix all.


Elise Dalton9 December 13, 2010 at 10:28 pm

I really appreciate you sharing your story! It is rare to get to hear a male’s perspective on depression! Thank you!


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