UA-49478533-1

I told you I wasn’t going to do this. I also told myself and a whole bunch of other people that I wasn’t going to do this. But I did it: I got myself a prescription for some happiness pills. They are small and white and oval and I take one every morning at nine o’clock. And I’m glad.

They aren’t supposed to work right away. Doc said three weeks (and silently I said, THREE WEEKS!?) but I felt better that same day, five days ago, only an hour or two after popping my first one in the parking lot. I’ve got a fast metabolism, I said to myself, swallowing, so I bet this’ll work fast. I pictured the clean white pill dissolving in me, spreading light through my dark veins.

I know about the placebo effect, and if that’s what is happening, I’ll take it.1 I doubt it’d work so well if I hadn’t always told myself: Yes, that would probably work, if things ever got that bad, but they never will.

I took them because none of the usual tricks were working, and holy crap, 2.5 months is a long time to feel like crying. Prayer, Kung Fu, talking with friends, doing things for others, riding my motorcycle, distracting myself with work or projects, journaling — everything helped as long as I was doing it, and stopped helping the second I stopped: I’d finish class feeling healthy and energetic and loved and hopeful, but step out the door of the dojo and BAM, it was like stepping outside of a force field.

It was enough.

Now, when the pills are working — the first few hours after I take them seem best, but it’s only been five days — it’s like someone turned the volume down on the poisonous thoughts, or took the hooks out of them. When a sad thought occurs to me, I can decide not to think about it, although it might grumble in the background a little; it doesn’t tackle me, eat me alive; it doesn’t grow another head for every one I chop off. Is this how most people are, most of the time? Is this how I was, three months ago? I think so.

Doc says, Get past the stigma: you are sick, and sick people need medicine. So when do I stop taking them? Well, he says, we’ll see you again in a month. Then in three months. Then in six. Then in twelve. Does my brain just not make enough serotonin, like a diabetic person’s body doesn’t make enough insulin? Did it used to, but it got crippled by too much thinking? Or did it never? Doc says some people take these things forever, like insulin. Not me, boy.

Calling it a sickness gets me thinking. A sickness is something that happens to you, not something you do. You don’t get sick because you’re weak, you get sick because — why? Maybe you stayed up too late, or went walking in the rain, or your immune system isn’t that great, or you ate some bad egg salad, or you haven’t been eating your vegetables.

Non-depressed people aren’t non-depressed because they’ve faced the dragon and slain him; it’s that, for them, the dragon never showed up at all. Strange. I know there are people like that, even though it’s hard to believe, people who have never been to the pit; I know because I’ve described it for them, and their faces show sorrow and compassion but no understanding.

Enough of that. I wanted to tell you what’s going on, but there’s no point in thinking about it too much. I can do that: think about something else, sing a song, watch a movie, do something ordinary. Call a friend. Watch the leaves move, say hello to the sparrows, watch the rain.

1 I hear they did a study where they gave people fake pills and told them, “These are fake pills, but the placebo effect might make you better” and it worked. Go figure.

43 thoughts on “Pills

  1. Jordan

    You mean praying harder and being frequently persuaded that you just needed to find your joy in Christ didn’t do it for you?

    Weird.

    I’m glad the pills seem to be working – hopefully alleviating that constant, corrosive pressure a bit will lead to some great moments of rest. I hope the mending process will be both peaceful and profound.

    You’re great. Blessings,

    Jordan

    Reply
  2. Nicola

    Get over the hang ups about the pills. I have clinical depression (and am Catholic, if that matters). Used to be a time up until my mid 30s I wouldn’t even take a tylenol for a headache I was that against drugs. But depression is an illness, treat it like one and take your meds like a good little boy, my case good little girl. Yes, you may have to take them the rest of your life, 6 years and going for me, but hey! you may not have to either. Just take your pill, get over the stigma, and start enjoying not being depressed all the time. God Bless

    Reply
  3. Paige

    I’ve witnessed depression more than I’ve experienced it – but God gave me a teeny taste of anxiety during one of my pregnancies so now I have a little bit more understanding… Hard..

    Reply
  4. Sarah

    I’ve been there and absolutely despise depression (not that anyone loves it, haha, but I “get it”… it’s soop dark… and yes, it’s an illness that needs to be treated, not just something that can be prayed away as absolutely wonderful as prayer is!) You articulated the differences between those who’ve experienced it and those who haven’t so well.

    Reply
  5. george

    I also have had some experience with medications and after a while I was able to abandon them: I shouldn’t worry about that now. You feel better and that’s great!.

    The sky will look nicer.

    Reply
  6. Paul H

    You mentioned some concern about how long you would take the medication. If you ever do decide to stop taking it, please make sure to consult your doctor and to get appropriate medical advice on how to stop. I know from experience with someone close to me that some anti-depressants can have nasty effects if you stop taking them them suddenly. If you have to stop taking the medication, then it may be necessary to taper off slowly, in order to avoid any bad effects. (Again, checking with your doctor is best, as I’m not a doctor.)

    Reply
  7. Babs

    It seems to me that slaying the dragon, for you, was getting over your fear of The Pillz.I hate depression, but I haven’t needed pills in a while. It can be a situational thing.

    Reply
  8. The Other Sarah

    I suspect many of my teenage years were spent in depression. I had many symptoms (would stop eating, would eat too much, would pull out my hair, would often contemplate suicide, etc…), but I never accepted help, (though it wasn’t really offered) and was never diagnosed or treated. I don’t really know how I broke out of it, to be honest. Suddenly, one day when I was 18 or 19, I just realized I hadn’t felt that deep hopelessness in a really long time, and that I didn’t cry much– or even feel the need to cry– anymore. That I was “normal,” now.

    And so that’s how it’s been for a while. But I always look back on my teenage years and wonder, “Is it that horrible for everyone, or was there something *wrong* with me?” I recently told a friend how I felt during those years and his reaction was, “It’s just so weird to hear this. It’s like hearing about another person– not you.” But yeah, as he listened, he was kind, but he had never felt that way.

    So, I don’t know why it bothers me so much to not know what was wrong with me during those years, but it does. I feel like, you know, if I had really been depressed, I couldn’t have just broken out of it. I would have needed help. But on the other hand, it was a really horrible time, and I think it would help if I knew why. And always in the back of my mind is the fear that It (capital ‘I’) will come back. And if It does, will I be able to recognize It if I never knew what It was in the first place.

    Reply
  9. Tara S

    For some, the dragon never showed up. HA! That is an excellent visual reference. :-)

    Just because sometimes our mental-emotional landscape is like Reign of Fire, doesn’t make us weaker than other people. Oh no, no no. It makes us like bad-ass Michael McConnaghy, flying through the air and swinging a crazy axe at huge dragons.

    Take THAT dragon!

    And sometimes, when our brain-chemistry is compatible with the pill-chemistry, our crazy axe is a tiny doctor-prescribed pill.

    Reply
  10. Ben

    Yeah, listen to Paul. If you decide that you don’t like the way the medication is making you feel anymore talk to your doctor about your options or about getting off it, don’t just go cold turkey. That can go badly.

    Depression stinks, but I’m glad you are getting the help you need. Get well Steve! We love you!

    Reply
  11. Peter

    I hear you, Steve. I’ve been living with depression for over fifty years — yay for me! :J — and only about fifteen years ago did it occur to any of my doctors to medicate it. Like you, the med started helping in a whole lot less than the three weeks, although it does build up in your system gradually. And as with you, it was like throwing a switch: my brain chemistry finally had what it had always needed to start sorting itself out. (The comparison to diabetes is, truly, a good one.)

    Listen, son: thank God for those meds! They’re His gift to us. SSRI and SNRI drugs aren’t some kind of “happy pill”: there are times I can still feel like I’m up to my chin (or higher) in that airless dark fog, but it doesn’t last for weeks or months at a time — and now I can feel the solid ground under my feet. It makes all the difference, and I can work through it in much the same ways that you do: with exercise, prayer, volunteering to help others, and generally taking good care of myself. (At my age, a good idea anyway!)

    You may not need them permanently…or you may need to switch meds, as your body adjusts. Don’t worry about it. Just enjoy each day, as God gives it to us to do so, and keep doing the good things. You have a LOT of people who have your back and are praying for you.

    Reply
  12. priest's wife (@byzcathwife)

    if you are concerned about taking them for the rest of your life, you might consult with a natropath doctor (with an MD!) about a strategy to wean yourself off them- in six months or a year, maybe you can take supplemental serotonin, use a lamp to off-set SAD (if you live in the North this could be a problem), a good sleep, nutrition and exercise schedule, etc- but for now- the meds are the best way to take control of the depression.

    I’ve never had clinical depression, but I have trouble with health and clutter (I am NOT a hoarder, but it is still a challenge)- I try to ‘brainwash’ myself with INSPIRATIONAL stories on the internet- it might be cheesy, but click on over to ‘Godvine’ and watch some happy videos.

    Reply
  13. Laura

    I took antidepressants for a year? I forget but a long time when I was depressed and they helped me get through the darkest days so that I could see the point in trying again. That was a long time ago and while I still get depressed, I haven’t had to medicate again. But I would – the goal is to get better and a prescription from a doctor is better than some of the things I came up with on my own! God bless you, and please know you’re not alone and you’re in my prayers.

    Reply
  14. Christine

    I’m so glad the pills seem to be helping. If they don’t continue to help, but you still feel like you need the help medication might provide, talk to your doctor and don’t be afraid to try something new or try something additional. I was on various medications for almost a year before my doctor and I found something that made me better than suicidal. It was a long journey, but that first drug that helped almost certainly saved my life. It took even longer to find a combination that made me feel something approaching normal; I’m currently on 5 different drugs for depression and anxiety, but because I have a good doctor who closely monitors these things I don’t feel overmedicated.

    I guess the point of all of this is to say, I hope your medication continues to work, but if it doesn’t have the effect you hoped, that doesn’t mean you have to give up on medication altogether.

    Reply
  15. Lori

    Use them; they can give you a leg up when you need it most to see out of the dark pit. I used them for several years, but was able to go off them eventually.

    PS Don’t you love the book of Sirach? :)

    Sirach 38:1 Honor physicians for their services, for the Lord created them; 2 for their gift of healing comes from the Most High, and they are rewarded by the king. 3 The skill of physicians makes them distinguished, and in the presence of the great they are admired. 4 The Lord created medicines out of the earth, and the sensible will not despise them. 5 Was not water made sweet with a tree in order that its power might be known? 6 And he gave skill to human beings that he might be glorified in his marvelous works. 7 By them the physician heals and takes away pain; 8 the pharmacist makes a mixture from them. God’s works will never be finished; and from him health spreads over all the earth. 9 My child, when you are ill, do not delay, but pray to the Lord, and he will heal you. 10 Give up your faults and direct your hands rightly, and cleanse your heart from all sin. 11 Offer a sweet-smelling sacrifice, and a memorial portion of choice flour, and pour oil on your offering, as much as you can afford. 12 Then give the physician his place, for the Lord created him; do not let him leave you, for you need him. 13 There may come a time when recovery lies in the hands of physicians, 14 for they too pray to the Lord that he grant them success in diagnosis and in healing, for the sake of preserving life. 15 He who sins against his Maker will be defiant toward the physician.

    Reply
  16. Random Jesuit

    First of all, I wanted to say how wonderful your blog is. It’s one of the few where even the comments are great, too. So, thank you.

    I wonder if you’ve ever read William Lynch SJ’s Images of Hope, which he wrote after a breakdown. It’s no pill, but it is a good book. It’s come to mind every time I’ve read one of your posts over the past several weeks. I and some of my confreres have found it helpful in dealing with some of these issues, especially with regard to the imagination’s role. Anyway, I thought I’d pass along the recommendation. Please be assured of my prayers, too.

    Reply
    1. Steve Gershom

      Oh, I love Fr. Lynch! I read Christ & Apollo in college and it blew my mind. Images Of Hope has been sitting on my bookcase for months. Must be time to crack it open finally.

      Reply
  17. Lynn

    When my anti-depressants started to kick in, I remember thinking, “Oh. This is how normal people feel.” I went off them for a while, but the depression came back. I understand that I will have to take them for the rest of my life, and that’s OK.

    Reply
  18. DanTheMan

    Dear Steve,

    I’m very happy (and dare I say proud) that you and your physician decided to pursue pharmacotherapy for depression. As, you mentioned, the meds take time to work (although some of the very new ones seem to “kick in” fast).

    I have a Catholic friend (remember I’m Congregational, er, affiliated with the United Church of Christ…) who had experienced bouts of depression. He visited his priest for counseling about it. My friend believed that receiving the Eucharist should be sufficient to relieve his depression. His priest wisely counseled him otherwise…

    If this is your first episode of depression, your physician will likely suggest you stay on the med for six-months minimum. If you’ve had more than one bout, the time suggested will likely be prolonged. And they’re finding out that “the dose that got you well keeps you well…” (Research indicated that people maintained on lower doses were more apt to relapse…).

    And, yes, people who have experienced three or more episodes of major depression are likely to be counseled that they might need medication for the rest of their lives. Depression, and other illnesses, injure the brain (and the body), so preventing its occurrence — rather than treating acute episodes — is key. No one thinks twice about a diabetic needing insulin for life, yet we somehow are reluctant to follow the same logic when it comes to our brains.

    Thank you for bringing up this important topic and thereby reducing the stigma. Perhaps a reader will be persuaded to find the help they need.

    Good luck to you and I will keep you in my prayers. And prayers in my direction will be gratefully received, as well!

    Reply
  19. Joe K.

    I had a couple questions:

    Do you think you would be depressed if you weren’t gay?

    Is there some test that doctors do to determine serotonin levels before prescribing medicine?

    Reply
    1. Steve Gershom

      Couple of quick answers.

      (1) Maybe. Probably. Most of my depression, insofar as it’s a psychological phenomenon rather than a physiological one, centers around things that are (in my mind) related to the SSA, rather than the SSA itself. For me, celibacy has never been a big deal per se — it’s more my social/self-esteem issues that bug me.

      (2) Don’t know. Mine didn’t do any such test. His diagnosis was based on my self-reported symptoms.

      Reply
  20. Leila

    I had a bout of post-partum depression, and after seven months of suffering, I finally caved and told my doctor that this was not “me” and I needed help. Got on an anti-depressant, and felt better that same day. Like a heavy curtain had lifted. I was myself again! I took them for nine months, then weaned off just fine. I am proud of you for taking that step. It makes all the difference, doesn’t it? Praise God for medical help.

    Reply
  21. Evelyn

    After months of situational depression (yeah, but when you can’t get out of the situation), I gave in and started using St. John’s wort. Still couldn’t countenance “real drugs.” SJW is now my best friend, and once I accidentally got a bottle that was half-doses and tested the placebo effect truly blind, and WOW was there a difference. I still have lows, but paralysis is very, very rare. I’m very glad for the dear friend who convinced me to give it a try.

    Reply
  22. JenF

    I’m so glad that you have found something that helps you. I am taking anti-depressants as well. Like you, I was so opposed to taking pills- I thought it would mean I failed in someway, and I also didn’t like the idea of taking something that would mess with my mind, you know? I was scared.
    But then I got to this really difficult point in my life where I had no other choice, and I really believe God pointed me to go on them, because He took the fear away.
    So much of anxiety and depression are caused by are own thoughts- lies about ourselves or life that we are so used to listening to and internalizing. Voices that tell us we are not enough, or that if everything isn’t perfect, life will be horrible.. etc. (Totally opposed to the truth God gives us!)
    I realized (kind of like your doctor’s comment) that it was my brain that was messed up already- it was so in the habit of freaking out or beating myself up that I didn’t have the energy to fight the depression. I realized the pills will bring my brain back to “normal” or neutral so I can battle these lies and start healing. So far the medication along with cognitive therapy has helped me tremendously. I hope that you find similar healing as well! Praying for you!

    Reply
  23. Tory

    It seems that you and I have been largely in the same place lately – the pain, the depression. My (wise) folks suggested 6 months ago that I should go see a doctor and get some help along the way, but I told myself “I can do this alone, the old fashioned way, through Mass, prayer and introspection” but that hasn’t exactly been working. I read your post this morning, and finally mustered the courage to make an appointment with the doc.

    Thank you for your ministering.

    Reply
  24. JAS

    The difference between crazy people and people who need these drugs is that the crazy ones don’t take them. You will probably go off them and feel a bit better then some days, weeks or, as in my case, a month later -CRASH. I felt better in the first days after starting them. Turned out they STARTED me at twice the right FINAL dose for me, and when that wasn’t quite right, they UPPED them to 8 TIMES the right dose – much worse than none at all. Work with your doc to get it right. I am not very Christ-like without them and will be on them the rest of my life. It is all good now. Thank God for doctors. They are no different than glasses or insulin.

    Reply
  25. Lucy

    I have been on SSRI’s (aka happy pills) for 9 yrs. Funny thing is, the Diabetic needing Insulin is the EXACT words I use when describing my depression.. There are no one size fits all approaches, but definitely this has helped manage the debilitating aspects of the lack of serotonin.

    Reply
  26. gaby

    I’m so happy to hear this! You’re stubborn refusal to take meds sounded like you’d bought into some lies about anti-depressants. They worked instantaneously for me, too, back when I had a severe case of post-natal depression. I only needed them a few months. When my daughter got hit with a depression after starting college in a wintery city and living in a too-quiet home, I got her on them and she too only needed them for a few months -to get herself back on track. So don’t worry about duration! Relapses happen, but at least you now know you don’t need to suffer if nothing else works.

    Reply
  27. jimmy

    I am a Catholic man with SSA. My story is somewhat different, but there may be enough points of similarity that you can relate to it. I converted to Catholicism in 2001. I have been diagnosed twice as “clinically depressed”. The first time was in 1982, when I was 21, and the second was 13 years later, in 1995, when I was 34. Antidepressants were not as common in 1982 as they are now (they had tricyclics; I think SSRIs were not yet available), and I briefly saw a psychiatrist – for six sessions, during which he would just listen and say very little. When I complained that I was getting nothing from these sessions and wanted to stop, he told me that was a bad idea and that I would have to come back, that I couldn’t make it without therapy – without him, he meant. But he did not prescribe any medication. I was not going to church at that time, so I didn’t have much in the way of spiritual support. I had been brought up in a liberal Protestant denomination and had pretty much rejected it. I was an agnostic. I had recently “come out” to friends and family as gay because that felt honest and liberating at the time, but I also became both depressed and anxious. That episode of depression and anxiety lasted several years. I eventually pulled myself out of it through some self-help techniques, such as NLP. Then I was fine for a long time. I prided myself in having learned how to change my brain chemistry without drugs. When the depression came back a decade later, Prozac was in common use, and I read a book about it (“Listening to Prozac”). My reading informed me that depression could disappear and then recur in a person’s life, triggered by a sad event. In some people who were prone to depression, it might be triggered at increasingly frequent intervals and, if not treated, end up as a permanent condition known as “rapid cycling”, when you are basically just depressed all the time. But if you intervened with medication, you could stop this progression. So I thought it might be a good idea to intervene with medication. By this time, I was fully gay-identified and going to church again. In fact, I had entered a Protestant seminary, hoping that I could be ordained in a liberal denomination that permitted gay relationships. I had fallen in love with a guy who already had a boyfriend, and the affair had ended particularly badly. There was no anxiety this time around, just a familiar dark cloud over me that I could not shake. I went to a clinic and asked about Prozac, and they put me on it, but after six months I took myself off it. It enabled me to put my depression at arm’s length, so to speak, as if I could say, “Yeah, look, that’s my depression, but it doesn’t need to control me.” That was a good thing. But I started not to like it because I discovered that all my most beautiful, rich, melancholy emotions (not just my depression) were at arm’s length as well. I couldn’t feel them in my heart any more – I could just sort of observe them, almost as though they were in some sort of emotional fishbowl. The only emotions Prozac allowed me to really feel were manic ones, which were heightened, and I embarrassed myself with some manic behavior (like practically stalking the guy I had fallen for). It was pitiful. But my chief concern was that I could no longer directly feel the emotions that I liked and considered part of my unique personality. When I went to a sad movie, I no longer cried. That was just not me. I wanted my normal, profound emotions back, because they are what gave my life meaning and made me feel alive. They are a gift from God because they enable me to appreciate suffering and empathize with others. And, when I went off Prozac, they came back. My depression was gone, and I thanked God that I could feel the full range of human emotions again, but without being depressed. Depression is different from just feeling something deeply sad. The difference is that, with depression, you feel you have no choice but to be depressed. My depression has not returned since, and it’s been 17 years, so I think the drug somehow eradicated it. I hope you can also take yourself off your medication in six months. And I hope it doesn’t make you manic (but that’s not as bad as being depressed – maybe it’s a necessary side-effect, only temporary if you can take yourself off the medication). God bless you.

    Reply
  28. Dave Mc

    Steve,
    At 47 years old, I’ve been been battling depression for 46 years. When I got Lyme Disease 12 years ago, the depression turned to suicidal thoughts (as Lyme can throw its victims into severe depression on its own). I’ve been taking meds for about 4 years now, but it took trying three or four different types before I found the right one without major side effects.
    Take a look at these links:

    http://www.wmur.com/news/health/Treatment-gives-hope-to-depression-sufferers/-/9857712/14789192/-/k0nm9k/-/index.html

    http://tmsnewengland.com/about-us/meet-dr-karl-lanocha/

    I literally saw this on the news about 20 minutes ago for the first time (God-incidence?) and it states that this treatment could put depression into remission (it is also FDA approved) and can also treat other disease such as addiction, alzhiemers, etc. The doctor is in Portsmouth, NH ( I know that’s in your neck of the woods) and I’m certainly going to give it a try!

    Reply
  29. akaVarmint

    I have been diagnosed with Unipolar Depression. (Think bi-polar without the ups and downs….just the downs.) I have been on meds for awhile. Not sure how long. Part of the depression means having difficulty with time. I can tell time, acknowledge time, etc…but if I’m asked ‘how long ago’? forget it. I have no clue. But I digress…..

    My family has a history of this depression with lots of suicides and attempted suicides. (My Mom died this way in 2002.) I did tons of research and the advice I have to give you is a simple diet, and it has worked. I’m not off my meds – I will never be off my meds – but it works with my meds and makes things even easier. Best part is – it’s simple to remember. Worst part is – its hard to find food. First, talk to your doctor about taking Omega 3 supplements. (Do NOT take them without asking your doctor first! I do not know what meds you are taking and some supplements can interact with certain meds.) Omega 3 might help brain functions aka the serotonin. Then, try to limit refined sugars, bleached wheat and artificial preservatives. (Notice I say limit and not avoid? This is because it is virtually impossible to avoid.) Natural foods. No unnatural chemicals. Stay away from artificial sweeteners too (if possible.) I have come to the conclusion, with the research I have done, is that the artificial chemicals and bleach affects the already affected part of a depressed brain.

    My overall advice is to just go with the flow. If you have a down day – so be it. Tomorrow is a different day. and if you have a bad tomorrow, look in the mirror and smile at yourself. Give yourself a big cheesy grin. Then start to make faces at yourself. It’s amazing how therapeutic something so simple is. You are in my prayers, and I’m an email away if you need any more advice. I’m not a professional, but I am very open about the way God made me. (Think about it – if we are in the image of God, then this is how God wants us to be.) There is nothing to be ashamed of. Go to the top of a mountain and yell out “I’m on happy pills!” And if you don’t get arrested, get off the mountain and find a mirror to smile in.

    Reply
    1. gaby

      It’s also good to take vitamins B6 & B12 and Folic acid. Diet CAN make a big difference but when it’s time for meds, depressed people should TAKE THE MEDS! And depression caused by bi-polar disorderd -the always low, never manic kind- should NOT be treated with anti-depressants but with mood stabilizers. The anti-depressants might help at first but will eventually cause ever more severe and frequent anxiety attacks.

      Reply
  30. Connie Jakab

    Hey Steve! I just read your guest post on Matt Fradd’s blog and I would LOVE to guest post this on my blog! Are you open to that? Can you contact me, please?

    Reply
  31. Theresa

    I’m glad you’re feeling better! And thank you for this post. I have ADHD and along with that comes depression, anxiety, and OCD. I cannot treat my ADHD right now as I am pregnant and I’m having a really hard time with it. Luckily I have have a supportive husband, but I can be awful to myself. The way you put it, talking about depression as an illness, that’s very helpful for me. It’s easy for me to tell myself that I’m just plain stupid, even though I know it’s not my fault. I hope you continue on your path to improvement. It makes me so happy to hear that people are feeling better. Some day, I’ll be in the same boat :)

    Reply
  32. Edmund

    Sorry to read that you’re not well, matey! Keep taking the pills as long as your doctor recommends, keep praying, and don’t give up hope.

    Reply
  33. Faith

    I don’t know if I’ve ever commented here. I really enjoy this blog. I am a middle-aged mom. If you were my son, I’d be bursting with pride over how wonderful you turned out! The funny thing is your writing style reminds me of a friend of mine. She is married with kids, but her sense of humor, her insight, her devout faith and her neuroticism are so very similar to yours. She too really falters in self-esteem and worries so anxiously over social things. It is like she was born without the ability to read or emotionally process interactions, so she can get really anxious and begin to over think and then obsess over them. For instance, she’ll focus on one remark and keep asking if I thought such and such was okay. She needs a lot of reassurance. She is a really smart, loving, wonderful person but she does have this same sort of insecurity. And sometimes she needs to get medication when it gets too overwhelming and debilitates her in day to day life. So good for you for seeing that you needed a little boost.

    I agree about food being very, very important for good brain function. I noticed this connection years ago because another friend of mine had a child who had terrible seizures. They tried all sorts of anti-seizure medications to no avail but they finally solved the problem through diet! And I know a woman whose daughter had been diagnosed autistic for years until she figured out that her daughter was allergic to dairy and when she didn’t eat dairy she was fine! Now this girl is completely normal! Just recently my daughter’s boyfriend was having terrible panic attacks. He eats really poorly; the type of guy who forgets to eat and then when he does, it is junk food. So my daughter nagged him to eat healthy meals with lots of protein. Well, wouldn’t you know it, turns out when you eat healthy, well balanced meals at regular times you get far fewer panic attacks! Whodathunk?

    So listen to the advice given above about diet. It is really good advice.

    I hope things continue to improve for you. Thanks for being such a wonderful witness.

    And God bless you.

    Reply
  34. Mary

    Your description of depressive thoughts is so accurate. I have seldom heard such a close approximation to what I have experienced for most of my life (after 14).

    Reply

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