[infobox title=’Editor’s Note’]Annalise is a girl battling depression and seeking treatment at Camali Clinic. This is her story.[/infobox]
My story of battling depression began not more than two years ago when I was 15, after a series of related events that caused my parents and I to seek professional help.
In the beginning of February 2014, I began seeing a therapist after having been severely bullied and struggled through numerous family problems. I struggled initially with the idea of seeing a therapist, because I always thought of therapists as people who helped the mentally ill – you know – the kinds people who were sick, and ‘not normal’. But after a lot of resistance, I figured out that ‘normal people’ live with mental health disorders too. Some might not share their struggles publically, and they still manage to lead normal lives. Personally, I’d prefer to not go into detail about my past, although I would love to share my story about my depression with other individuals who might be going through a similar thing.
After a couple months of therapy I began taking anti-depressants to aid my recovery once a week. As you can guess, I still hadn’t managed to shake off the stigma of mental health and so was not a big fan of taking anti-depressants, because needing medication was just my body’s way of admitting I was “sick.” Looking back at it now though, I don’t regret being medicated; I think it has helped me in many ways, and it’s a great way to take the edge off all the negativity.
As my therapist told me, being depressed is like walking around under a constant cloud of dark, gloomy weather. The medication doesn’t work like an instant happy pill, and though my days might still be grey, the pills make sure it doesn’t rain. On April 10th 2014, I began taking 10mg of Fluoxetine every day; hereafter my dose has slowly increased due to various circumstances in my personal life.
During the summer of 2014, my dose increased to 40mg of Fluoxetine every day, and I am currently still on this dosage. I still see a therapist once a week, whom I have come to build an extraordinary relationship with, which creates and ensures a safe-space for me. I also see a psychiatrist, once every month, to discuss my medication and my progress.
My journey through depression has been a long one so far, and the road to recovery is still far from over. Like the majority of others who suffer from depression, I still have those days where it all seems too much to juggle and the weight on my shoulders feels too heavy to carry. But, I know and believe that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and that even though depression and negative thoughts may always follow me around, I can recover from this and get to a better place than where I currently am, and I am ready to put up the fight.