I've been fighting depression since I was a teenager. When I was in my 30s, one of the other students in my master's program told me he had been taking antidepressants. I asked a bunch of questions and finally decided that I had suffered long enough, and trying to get rid of it just with natural means and counseling was just not working for me. (It's on both sides of my family, so a big part is likely genetic.) I went on Zoloft, and I've been fine ever since. Sure, exercise, life experience and a generally positive, calm attitude help a lot, too, so I'm trying to do all that in addition to the meds, but I'm realistic. In my case, it's a long-term medical condition, and I'm treating it just like I would any other condition.
As an added bonus, I noticed I'm calmer. I used to have panic attacks a lot without realizing what they were, especially in a public place like a store - really silly, since I work with the public, but very real. Since I've been on the Zoloft, I haven't had anxiety problems, either.
Bottom line: Do what works for you. Go ahead and try the exercise/counseling/healthy living approach, it does help, but if it's not enough, don't be afraid to add medication. It may take several tries to get the medication and the dosage right, so be patient. It's time the stigma of depression and other mental illnesses disappears. You'd never tell an asthmatic to just take a deep breath, but people routinely tell people with depression to just have a positive attitude. It takes more than that, so don't be afraid to get help.
- 8/25/2014 8:53:41 AM