My Mental Health Story – Living With Major Depressive Disorder

Living with Major Depressive Disorder

Hi friend! Long time no talk! If you’ve been keeping up with me on Instagram then you would know that I’ve been traveling Europe for the past few weeks and it’ seen a blast! I am making my final travels home (in fact I’m sitting in the Atlanta airport now!) and wanted to get a post out there. Today is a bit of a heavy post. Note: This story may cause triggers in people who have struggled with similar difficulties. If you are in need of help, please contact a professional. I can not and will not provide medical help.

Many of you may have seen the recent news about Chester Bennington from Linkin Park committing suicide. This is very sad news and hard to see someone so successful that helped so many people with his music take his own life.

I want to share my story today regarding my struggling with my mental health because:

  1. I believe the stigma surrounding mental health is still TOO real. Mental illness is like any other illness that can be treated. We can still live functional, productive lives even with our condition.
  2. Samantha from The Life you Love Blog shared her story, which you can read here, and I felt inspired to share mine too.
  3. I hope to inspire you that there is hope no matter your situation. I want people to seek the treatment they need and deserve without being stigmatized.

While I shared some of my story a little while ago, I wanted to update it to what has happened in the recent months.

Living with Major Depressive Disorder

My Story Recap

As you will know if you read my other post, about a year ago I had a tough time. I lost my mother, broke up with my boyfriend of 3 years, was struggling to finish my master’s degree and generally broken. I had always struggled with depression as I had been on anti-depressants for about 2 years at this point, but this was the most severe depression I had ever faced.

Fast forward to this year and I’m now in a new place with my first job and for the first 6 months, things were going great. I was fine. 

Really I wasn’t fine, I was just able to push all of my feelings down for some time. When the 1 year anniversary of my mom’s death rolled around, it hit me harder than I expected. I could not move, I couldn’t get myself to work, I was sleeping all the time, and would ditch hanging out with people often. I hated myself and felt burdensome to my friends and family

At this point, while I was struggling to be a functional human, I was also having severe suicidal thoughts. I told my counselor about all of this after discussing with my counselor, she suggested I take some time off of work and go to a day treatment program. I would do intensive counseling during the day, but be able to go home at night.

I agreed, but when I went in for my evaluation for the hospital the admitted me because of my suicidal thoughts. I was terrified. I didn’t want to die, I just needed help.

Hospitalization for Suicidal Thoughts

I ended up spending 5 days in the hospital. We would have breakfast in the morning. Goals group, exercise, other counseling groups, lunch, more counseling, dinner, then wrap-up group and free time.

I was scared at first, but I met some wonderful people in the hospital where for the first time it felt like someone else understood what I was feeling.

Once I was stable on my new medication and found methods for keeping my anxiety at bay, I was released and finished of the rest of the week at the day treatment program.

My Treatment

Now, I have adjusted my schedule and try to focus first and foremost on my health. I go to a lifting class in the morning on Tuesday/Thursday’s, I try to run at least 4 other days of the week. I climb when I’m able. I focus on getting enough sleep and drinking less.

Things aren’t perfect. I’ve noticed that I have anxiety hanging out in large groups sometimes and I still feel burdensome and hate myself at times. But with the support of my friends and family, plus the help of my counselor and psychiatrist, I am getting better.

You are Important. You are Enough.

So I encourage you, if you are struggling with depression or anxiety or ANYTHING. Reach out for help. People care and want you to get better. With the right resources things can and will improve. It won’t be easy and there may be lows, but it’s worth it. Because YOU are worth it.

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