In my first post I told you I was officially diagnosed with Major Depression in 2009. That is still true, but it really should've happened back in college. I did see a doctor there once. Had I understood the severity of my condition I would’ve gone about that visit a different way.
It was between my junior and senior years. I cannot provide anymore detail in terms of a particular month, but it was around that time. As I remember it, I began having some unusual frustrations. It made the expected, regular routine challenging. I was focused on a lot; classes, soccer, making the dean’s list and athletic honor roll, traveling weekends back home, maintaining friendships, and of course partying. I partied a lot. I remember the wave coming on, feeling scared and anxious. It was building. It was manifesting into something bigger. I just ignored it, or tried to by getting drunk on weekends. We all partied, but I sometimes would take the extra drink or two to get beyond my anxious and depressed self. I was sad. Not sure why, but it would come and go. I just thought I was like everyone else and it would take care of itself.
I was getting ready to student teach and I was not prepared. I mean, I was according to my degree, but I started to imagine myself standing in front of large groups of students. I was feeling overwhelmed with responsibility. I began doubting my abilities to do what I came to college for; to teach. It was my dream job. It was a strange feeling to be giving up on my dream. All I knew was that these feelings of doubt, worthlessness, and anxiety needed to go. I made the decision to change my major to K-12 Non-Licensure in Physical Education. Such a weird degree, but basically I finished with a Health and Human Performance degree.
This decision came after I saw a doctor and spoke with my college advisor. My advisor was great! Actually, we’re friends on Facebook. She’s worldly and has always been a positive role model. She counseled me through my decision and did not make it for me. She reminded me of my talents and was living out her duties as an advisor. I was so thankful I had her at that time. In the end though, my mental health struggles were a priority and I needed to adjust my studies accordingly. It was not an easy decision.
The doctor however, was never my friend. It was after seeing him that I simply would not see any doctor unless I absolutely needed to. My resistance came seconds after being told I should be on medication for depression. This doctor decided to diagnose me without recommending me to a psychologist or psychiatrist. Sure, he ended up being right, but I hated pills. HATED THEM! Ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you that it was in my medical records to seek alternative methods. I always thought that pills would turn me into someone else. That I'd be put in a place I'd never return from.
I took the pills back to my dorm to appease the doctor. Can you guess what I did with the pills? I flushed those babies right down the toilet. No doctor was going to just hand me a packet of pills without knowing it was THE ONE for me. Telling me I was depressed was one thing. After you learn about psychiatry and the roles of doctors, you begin learning more about prescribing meds and why it matters.
Here in 2018, remembering my predisposition, and exhausting alternative methods, I needed medication. It has helped me be me.
Stay tuned next week for a trip back to my time at the University of Notre Dame. I literally quit my job because I felt like running away was the answer.
I just want all people to learn and grow together.