Depressive Disorder is More Major Than You May Realize
If you think Major Depressive Disorder and Serotonin Cocktails Every Day isn’t all that common, I’m going to cause a shift in your thinking, right now. I’m officially out of the dark closet of depression. I’m apparently in great company and so are you, if you have depression. However, I’m here to tell you that you should not suffer needlessly.
Here’s a short list of A listers and other famous people who suffer from Major Depressive Disorder – There are hundreds more famous depressed people. Check out Wikipedia if you are curious about who the suffers say they are
- Alec Baldwin – Well known TV star and Big Screen Actor
- Julian Assange – he’s famous for being editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks. Big time publisher.
- Amanda Beard -An outstanding American Swimmer and Olympic Gold Medalist.
- Halle Berry – Famous Actress
- Beyoncé – Famous pop Artist – entertainer
- Kristen Bell – well known Actress
- Terry Bradshaw – Former NFL quarterback and sports TV host
- Wayne Brady – Hilariously funny guy, game show host.
- Jon Bon Jovi – Famous 80s rock star, reinvented as a country artist
- Courtney Cox – TV sit com star
- Johnny Depp – Huge Movie Star
- Kirsten Dunst – Movie Star
- Hulk Hogan – Wrestler
- Angelina Jolie – Movie Actress
- Billie Joel – musical artist
- Demi Lovato – musical artist
- Alicia Keys – musical artist
- Jim Carrie – Comedian / actor
- David Letterman – Talk Show host
- Heather Locklear – TV Actress
Help For Individuals Suffering from Depression
I don’t want to be the spokesperson for drug companies. I really don’t want to be known as that depressed guy who writes, either. On the other hand, if I can inspire someone who needs help to get it, or someone who is contemplating quitting their medication, doesn’t (quit), I’m glad to be a part of it.
I’ve been on antidepressant medication since I was 24, off and on. It wasn’t until after my fist marriage ended and I took to heart what my ex-wife had told me. She said,” Eric, you need help.”Tweet This
Like many people, I fought tooth and nail, at the idea of taking drugs to correct my feelings. It felt like I was giving up, like I was admitting that I was too weak to make a positive change in myself.
I subsequently lost friends, my first wife (she was a demon anyway), and acted like a complete ass, unable to combat the illness on my own. Why was I stubborn? What was I afraid of? These are questions to ask yourself if you’re suffering and you sense something isn’t right with how you feel.
Antidepressants My Way
Major Depressive Disorder and Serotonin Cocktails everyday, creates a bit of imagery that’s not entirely accurate. The serotonin cocktails actually aren’t either. That’s right, the medication isn’t serotonin and it isn’t generally a cocktail, although that can temporarily do wonders, if you’re so inclined. You may be sad to know, but alcohol is bad for depression, because it is itself a depressant.
My Turning Point to Consistent Happiness
I had to learn, even after I started taking the meds, that the reason I felt better was because of the meds. Looking back, its clear to me know, that there was a cycle of happy followed by a sad, dark place in my mind. The medication would start to make me feel subtly well. Then, I would wrongly believe I didn’t need my medication and skip it or just abandon it altogether. Each time I did this, I sank back into the quagmire of hopelessness and despair. Sometimes it took a few weeks, other times months or even a year at one point. But, the result for me each time was fighting a demon that had a hold on me beyond my control.Tweet This
The Real Scoop You Can Swallow
It’s just one little pill each day. if you are diagnosed with major depressive disorder or something that sounds similar (aka depression, clinical depression), you will be prescribed a drug that is generally known as psychotropic. Specifically, you will take a Serotonin-Specific Re-uptake Inhibitor (SSRI) aka Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitor. Essentially, it corrects the chemical inbalance in your brain so you get more of the natural chemical, serotonin, produced already in your brain.
Serotonin is really your body’s own happy drug, but its the Serotonin re-uptake inhibitor that is so aptly referred to as a “happy pill”. If I had a nickel for every time, as an adult, that I’ve been reminded “don’t forget to take your happy pill”, I would be very well off indeed. I admit, that still bothers me to this day.
It’s as though I will most certainly become Mr. Hyde if I fail to remember my meds. Well, I doesn’t work that way. As I alluded to earlier, it takes time to slip back into total darkness. For me, the transformation back was so subtle and gradual that I couldn’t always detect the veil moving over me. By the time I recognized that people were being real with me about being on edge and quick to snap, I was well on my way to deep depression and a melancholy state.
This is a list of some of the more common SSRIs. Some are household names, others not so socially well known:
- Prozac – I took this for many years. This one is probably the most well known.
- Effexor – tried it, but don’t remember how it was. I apparently didn’t feel it helped
- Wellbutrin – Didn’t work well for me, but I know people who found it very helpful.
- Cymbalta – Not my favorite. I recall vertigo and a sensation of my brain rattling in my head.
- Celexa – Among my faves, oh goody. I’ve been on this for 3 years and I am even keel almost always.
- Lexapro – I’ve never tried this. It’s a newer drug among SRIs as far as I know
- Paxil – Really can’t recall anything about this
Note that these are all SSRIs, but this is just a partial list, for no particular reason other than these are ones I’m familiar with. Just as with any prescription meds, there is a list of side effects. None of them are brain tumors, which was always my concern. In fact, no doctor or medical professional has ever said anything alarming about SSRIs when I’ve asked, for what its worth.
I consider sexual dysfunction un-alarming, however, you may not. All SSRIs have the effect of lowering a male’s libido quite noticeably, if my own experiences and here say reports from others are any indication. I’m confident its just a fact and downside. When compared with the ability to be happy, I chose and still choose meds.
Viagra or a low cost Imported generic blue pill work wonders on the erectile dysfunction caused by SSRIs. Fun, no, but worth it and functional, hell yes!
A word of warning: Don’t ever decide you don’t want to take SSRIs and go off cold turkey. It’s unhealthy and very dangerous. You can crash and be much worse than if you had never taken the med in the first place.
Simply Recognize You Have a Chemical Imbalance and Forget Social Stigmas
Look, I don’t expect to change the world, but I can tell you unquestionably and without hesitation;
- If it comes to me being happy or my ego saying I’m something less than I hoped, My happiness Wins Out.
- You will feel so much better than you ever thought possible if you suffer from depression and get on the right SSRI medication and the correct dose.
- The undereducated state of society shouldn’t affect your decision to help yourself if you need help.
- Listen to people who care about you. If they find you edgy, short or difficult to be around, that could be an indication you need help. Seek professional guidance. You can’t always fix yourself.
- Depression is tricky – people are affected in different ways. Always sleeping, lack of interest, hopelessness and haplessness are indicators you aren’t just going though a phase. Recognize your feelings and the signs.
Suspicions Surrounding My Depressive Disorder
I was diagnosed with epilepsy after having night seizures at the age of about 6 years. Epilepsy is a disease that has credibility. Basically, if you have seizures there is something really wrong with you. It’s similar to blood, in that it puts forth evidence that’s hard to argue with. Besides, depression socially begs for an explanation. I’m not sure if my adolescent epilepsy, subsequent to being dropped on my head (as I’m told) as an infant, has anything to do with my depressive disorder, but I’m caused to wonder. After all, its mental.
I’ve been free of epilepsy since puberty, give or take a hair. I have to admit, I’ve even used epilepsy as a way of explaining my long term depression. It’s a weak argument and approach without scientific proof, but it satisfies me in that I have a plausible explanation. I fully confess my shame in feeling any need to explain, but it doesn’t take away the fact that I suspect I suffered some damage from epilepsy.
Simply to say, there’s a chemical imbalance, doesn’t adequately tell me why that condition exists. Falling on my head and subsequently suffering for years with psychomotor epilepsy, says to me, I’ve got a physical condition that creates this environment of chemical imbalance. You shouldn’t have to feel that way.
Perhaps that’s my problem and “they” don’t have to understand. On the other hand, isn’t it more gratifying to be validated than to be questioned and to have your response shrugged of as a bunch of malarkey? I don’t presume to know what people with aids felt like, constantly being turned away for fear of their disease rubbing off or even infecting others through airborne means. On the other hand, social stigma isn’t comfortable on any level.
Depression is Serious and Could be Deadly to You
I’m not dying of depression and there is no fear of it spreading to others. Don’t worry, depression won’t kill you. At least not directly anyway. I’m not saying that in the same way, I would if I said, its not the fall that kills you, its the sudden stop at the bottom. Pretty much, the fall doomed your fate.
In the case of depression, if left untreated, you could become extremely disenfranchised from life itself. Your lack of hope and indescribable hopelessness could become your reality. Darkness could fall upon you in such a way that you may not want to live. It sounds extreme, and it is. But, we all know of famous people that have committed suicide because they had no hope. I’m not going to mention them, because it would be unfair to not mention all the others.
There’s hundred, possibly thousands of well known people that end it every year, because they didn’t have the right help. That’s all I have to say about that. I’m glad I got help and will never go off my medication, no matter how damn happy I get. Oh, I’m happy. That’s a fact that I owe to thinking positive. But, it couldn’t have been done without medication. That is also a fact.
Maybe I’m too open and I should keep things to myself. But, I like talking about how I feel. Ok, so I get that I shouldn’t go up to a complete stranger and tell her that I’m depressed. That would be like just saying, shoot me with your pink hand gun or taser me still I stop shaking. Now, I’m a fun guy and pink is my favorite color, but I didn’t get the shock therapy booth for myself. That was for my crazier friends.
Depression Doesn’t Have a Large Enough Following
Hey, I can’t blame anyone. I wouldn’t want to follow depression if I wasn’t attached at the brain. There are 5 reasons why depressive disorder will be slow at gaining an understanding from society as a whole
- People who suffer from major depressive disorder ( the most common of depressions) are predominately medicated and highly functioning – In other words, they are largely self sufficient, contributing members of society.
- The judgment on depressed patients by society does not adequately affect a large group of people to cause concern for the majority
- Depression is often asymptomatic making it hard to diagnose and its reaches may not be significantly understood
- Many much more tangible diseases take a front seat to depression
- It’s too fun for us to laugh at ourselves when we are feeling good.
Bonus Thought on Depression
In my experience, its the depressed people who are being treated with medication, who are the least nuts of the population. I’m not suggesting that anyone should take medication without a proper diagnosis. Instead, I think many of us have been fortunate enough and smart enough to face that we suffer or should I say, will suffer without medication. It’s many of the individuals who wouldn’t consider taking medication, a corrective measure that should be undertaken by them, that may harm themselves and are a danger to others.
I wouldn’t and don’t want anybody to think I right this for sympathy. Quite the contrary. My success and happiness and positive attitude do not warrant sympathy from anybody, including my fellow brothers and sisters who suffer from depression. What I advocate is a move toward understanding and further education, so that we function better together in society.
If you suffer from depression, please seek a medical opinion and ask friends and family to help. I will gladly look up resources for anybody that comes to me seeking information. While I am no auricle on this subject, I recognize had I been left without medication, I would not be alive today. It takes courage and a willingness to be vulnerable to ridicule, perhaps even by ones that you love, that you would least expect.