47 answers

Deep Depression

Hello ladies. I have a serious problem that has taken me over seven years to admit to. I am seriously depressed and don't know how to get out of it. I don't believe in meds of any sort from doctors, and I'm too ashamed to go to a therapist. I don't have any friends to talk to and I am starting to feel at my whits end. One minute I'm on this high of all highs and right around my period, I get to my low of all lows. I don't know if it's PMS or something deeper that I need to deal with. Although, I'm depressed at anytime during the month, it seems especially intense around my period. What can you suggest. Please, I don't think I have anymore tears left, or anymore strength to deal with this. I have become very good at hiding it from my family, but how long can that last. I still get up and go to work and seem fine, I still play with the kids, still handle the husband (although, I know he knows something is wrong) and I still socialize with others. But the whole time in the back of my mind, I'm hating being there, I don't want to be doing whatever it is I'm doing at the time and I always have the feeling of wanting to stay in bed or just lye around. Does anyone have any suggestions. The husband and I haven't been on a date since we've gotten married two yeas ago and only was going on one once a year before that (we've been together for almost 11 years). I NEVER EVER get any time to myself. Not even when I go to the bathroom, (have two small poms that follow me everywhere). Does anyone know what I can do to get back to me!!!

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So What Happened?™

To all the ladies that responded, "Thank you" you just don't know how your words got me through this. Even though some of you were seriously straight forward and to the point, that's exactly what I needed. I went to my doctor's, told him what happened and he referred me to a therapist. I have had two sessions with her and actually had the confidence to apply for a new job that pays double the salary (literally) that I was getting before. I don't know how to tell you how much this website has helped me in my quest to be a better mom and ultimately, a better woman. I have put my older son in charge of babysitting and me and the husband have went out and had a blast. We have actually been getting along much better. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. I will always be indebted to you.

Featured Answers

T.,

Are you by any chance on Birth control? I was on a form of Birth control and generally speaking I'm a pretty happy person but this medicine messed with me pretty bad and put me in some deep depression. It wasn't until I changed birth control medications that it helped.

If you ever need anyone to talk to I'm happy to listen. I know what it is like to not have any friends. My husband and I have been married for 2 1/2 years now and we've moved 4 times. Every time I start to make friends we move. We just recently moved about a month ago and I know NO ONE. My husband goes to work every day and knows people from the office but I'm left home all day with my son so its' hard to make friends. Let me know if you need anything or just need to vent more I'm happy to help you in any way that I can.
-A. M.

Well sweetie I know where you are coming from. I too am depressed I am on meds and I do get help. I know you dont like taking meds or what not but hun there are somethings you HAVE to take meds for I am sorry to say that I know that isnt what you want to hear. Trust me they will help. If you want to talk to me please feel free to email me.

More Answers

:( I'm so sorry you're feeling this way!
I was feeling pretty down there for a while--more angry and tired than depressed, but depression can manifest that way too. Anyways, I don't like meds or drs/therapists either, so I went to a naturopath who checked out my chemical make up and found my adrenals weren't working optimally which was causing me to be tired...I got on an adrenal formula from Pure Encapsulations and also started taking Nordic Natural Omega3-6-9 fish oils...wow...what a difference. I can function and be a good mommy again! :) I hope you find some relief!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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T.,

OK, I realize that you need to vent and I want you to know that it's a good thing that you've finally reached out for help. From the description of your symptoms, you could have something fairly simple to treat, like PMS or PMDD, but if you're experiencing extremes in moods (the "highs" and lows you mentioned), then you could have a condition that is far more sinister. It's called bipolar disorder, and it is far more common than you think.

Whatever it is, and only a doctor can properly diagnose you, you need to seek help and ACCEPT it in whatever form it comes. If your situation requires medication, refusing to take it and wishing for another solution won't make it go away. If therapy can help you, hiding behind your "shame" excuse won't make it go away.

I know I've been harsh on you, but you seem to need a wake-up call. My mother suffers from both PMDD and an anxiety disorder and refuses to treat her conditions for the same reasons you claim, always "wishing" for another way to "cure" the problem.

Help is out there. Do it for yourself and your family.

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Hi T.. I'm Tasha and I am a 24 year old first time mommy to a beautiful 7 1/2 month boy named Brenan. I am sorry to hear about your troubles, but I also have depression and for the past 3 1/2 years have gone to see a therapist. She really helps me to understand why I feel the way that I do and gives me wonderful ideas as to how I can release my frustrations. I went to my doctors today and now have been put on antideppresants as well. I know you don't believe in doing either, but a therapist has really helped me to turn my life around. I know it will be hard to go see one, but I would highly recommend seeing one. As far as everthing else goes, it saddens me that you don't have any friends b/c I know that whenever I am in a rut, my friends are the ones who help me through it. I try and allow myself some "me" time whenever I feel it is time for it, and my fiance is very understanding. I also get together with my girlfriends from time to time, so I can still feel as if my life doesn't just revolve around my family. I mean, don't get me wrong, I love my fiance and my son, but it is nice to be able to do for me sometimes. I'm not sure if I helped you in any way, but if you ever need to talk, I will be here for you. I know how hard things can get, but believe me, there is a way to feel better about yourself/life, and one of those is by having a friend to talk to. Take care and I hope that things get better for you. -Tasha-

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I am not a doctor and I am not one to take medication myself, however, it sounds like a great idea to have a doctor's consultation on this one. You having nothing to be ashamed of. What is happening in your body is causing the fluctuations in your moods. Having kids can change our chemistry so much that sometimes our bodies have trouble re-adjusting. A doctor can take a blood test to determine where certain chemical/hormone levels are and how it effects your moods. The fact that your depression occurs around a period, strongly points to a hormononal fluctuation that may be easily and quickly adjusted. Tell your doctor about your hesitancy about taking medicine, and perhaps there are some natural herb alternatives that will level out your hormones for you or perhaps the doctor can refer you on to a homeopathic doctor that can help you naturally. Homeopathic doctors do not have access to the blood testing needed to accurately determine what is happening so please go see a medical doctor first. Doctors with DO after their name are great because they have a mix of training as a medical doctor and as a doctor of homeopathy.

By the way, prayer never hurts either because divine help is always available. Good luck.

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I think you know what is making you unhappy. You touched on it in your post...you need time to yourself and you need time with just your husband. As hard as it can be sometimes, you need to open up to your husband. If you think he already knows something is bothering you he will probably be open to sitting down and listening to you.

You mentioned that you have not been out on a date with your husband in 2 years. Suggest that you want a 'date night' with him once a month. Higher a babysitter or get help from a family member for this. Pick one day each month that works (or start off with once every other month) and plan to go out with your husband. Go to a nice dinner somewhere, maybe see a movie or go to a comedy show. It is important to get this alone time with him away from the house. Use the time to catch up on things with him--don't spend the entire time talking about the bills or house or kids either!

You also mentioned that you never have alone time because the kids follow you everywhere. I feel like I have that same problem too. I think it is a very common problem many of us have. Schedule some time each week where you go do something by yourself. Better yet, join a gym that has free daycare and take an hour or two 3-5 days a week. Working out will do wonders for how you are feeling. Plus you will not have to step over the kids to do it! If a gym isn't an option, think of something that you enjoy to do and see if there is a group/club that you can join that revolves around that activity. You will get time away from the kids and make new friends.

It all boils down to time: time for just you and time for just you and your husband together. It is OK to take this time!!!! A lot of moms feel guilty doing it, but it is something that we need to do for ourselves. It is important for us to put ourselves first sometimes. Personally, I know I would go crazy if I didn't find time alone every once in awhile away from my kids. I love them dearly and love spending time with them, but I need my time too. I get it by going to the gym.

Try these suggestions (and what everyone else has suggested) and see if it helps. If not, then you may need to find someone to talk to. There is nothing wrong with this. Many people do it and need to do it. He/she will give you suggestions and bring out everything that is really bothering you. You mentioned that you don't want to be here...depending on what you mean by that you may need to see someone immediately before trying to solve this yourself.

I hope you take the time this week to talk to your husband. He loves you and wants you to be happy. And your kids deserve to have a happy mom. I hope you start feeling better soon!

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Dear T.,
When I read your request it was like I wrote it. For years my doctor would tell me to see someone because of the depression, but I kept saying it was hormones or PMS. Then when I had my first child I hit rock bottom. I remember the night I called my mom and said you either come and get her or I don't know what's going to happen. That was the turning point for me because I would never want to hurt my child and I wanted to be there for her because to be honest, I didn't even like her at that point. I talked to my doctor and my OBGYN. They both stated that I needed to realize that I wasn't alone. Apparently, I had a really low seratonin level which is what keeps people on an even keel. I mean I would fly off the handle for the dumbest stuff. And when I say fly off the handle, I punched holes in walls. And the whole time I was too scared to ask for help. Now I know you said you are against pills of any kind, but my OBGYN put me on Zoloft, the lowest dose and I am a completely changed person. I enjoy life and being with my daughter. It's all about the seratonin levels and unfortunately, you can't boost them with just therapy. Although, I have also gone to therapy for some issues I didn't want to face. Talking things through helped and I am done with therapy, but I am still taking the Zoloft. I'm not saying it's a miracle cure. I still have bad days, but they are usually the week before my period when my hormones are out of control. My marriage is so much better for it too. Now I will tell you that it can lower your sex drive, but my husband was with me at the doctors office when that was explained. Now our time together isn't rushed and it's caring. Plus, even the time we spend just talking or going shopping is different. We laugh and joke and we haven't done that in a long time. I feel like I have control of my life back and I really like my life. Please talk to your doctor and do what he recommends. I'm always here if you need soemone to talk to. I know what you're going through. Please just be open to whatever is suggested by your doctor, including medication if necessary. I wish you the best. N. H.

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I'm not sure why you don't consider therapy. The stigmatization surrounding therapy in the days of old is pretty much gone, and there are several professionals out there who could really assist you. There's nothing wrong with seeing a counselor or a therapist because they are an impartial party who would see things through a different 'lens' than what you have and help you develop techniques to work through your stressors.

Believe it or not, depression can be considered an illness. Certain chemicals in the brain don't make it to the appropriate receptors, thus resulting in an imbalance of mood or feeling. I'm not saying that you need to necessarily go on drugs to address your issues, but they have helped many.

You have five children. If your children were hurting or suffering, would you want them to bottle it up inside for years and years? My guess would be no - you'd want them to come to you so you can help them sort through whatever it was that was bothering them. You wouldn't be disappointed that your children turned to mom, the expert they thought would make them feel better. In other words, there's no shame in you finding assistance either.

You can always discuss this with your family doctor or a therapist, but if you're not comfortable with that you could reach out to members of your church or other family members. Hiding and denying the problem will only prolong the hurt and despair you feel, but talking with someone could definitely take some of the 'weight' off your shoulders.

I highly recommend finding a counselor/therapist and wish you the best of luck. If you can't do it for yourself, do it for your family because they need you to be healthy.

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T.:

Gosh, I sure do hope you feel better soon!

I think you nailed it yourself whan you said that you don't have any down time for youeself...even to go pee! Some of that will pass as the kiddies get older, but I know it's a long wait! You need relief now! If you could get a sitter for a couple of hours a day so that you could get away, exercise or even get a little nap, it might help. I understand that sitters cost money, but it soulds better than your situation now....Therapy and pills cost money too...If you don't spend there...Why not try a sitter for 2 hrs a day, like 2 times a week? Exercise is another good one. It releases natrual endorphins, (a chemical within your bod that makes you feel "up".) No meds needed! Try working out for one hour. That might even encourage the kids to start a good habit too! If you can't do an hour go for 30 mins or 45...Just give exercise a try for 2 weeks and see how it goes. Do an exercise you like. I do aerobics / Jazzercise for my work out. My cousin likes Yoga. My Hubby does the treadmill. I work out at home...Cheaper than a class / club.
When kids start school...even pre school it's easier to meet people. My day care even set up a 'parents club"! We took turns watching kids and we mom's did crafts, hung out and had an Xmas party, planned a picnic, etc. It was fun b/c we were with our kids, it was cheap, and we got to talk w other parents / people our own age. P.

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Hi, T.--

First of all you've taken a great step by realizing that you're depressed and asking for help. I don't know if you live in the Columbus area or not, but I belong to a support group for mothers with post-partum depression that meets twice a month (and--coincidentally--we have a meeting this evening if you'd like more information! (Monday)) Anyway--I've had depression for years and I've been on Prozac for probably 15 years or so and I started adding Wellbutrin after my second baby. I strongly encourage you to see a therapist or talk to your primary care physician about how you're feeling. Please don't be embarrassed. Depression is an extremely common MEDICAL condition that does not go away on its own. I know that the stigma attached to the disease is that "it's all in your head and you can get over it" but it's not that easy. As I've learned in my support group, "babies need mommies, not martyrs" and if you're not well, then your family won't be either, so if you're too embarrassed to ask for help for yourself, do it for your kids. Life's too short to feel so bad. Trust me, I know! The good news is--you can feel good; you just need the resources (and that can be in the form of medication, support groups, therapy, or all of the above.) Think of the old "airplane" example--they tell you to put the breathing mask on yourself first because you need to be okay to help your baby. Same with depression--take care of you and then you can take care of those around you. If you're interested, the website for my PPD group (which has been a great help!) is www.poemonline.org. Sorry for all the rambling, but I just know how it feels to be depressed and how it feels to feel good and I really want to help people to feel good. Take care and good luck!!!!!

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The best thing I can tell you (and I'm sorry if this sounds harsh) is to just get over it and go to a therapist. Drop the ashamed feelings. You have nothing to be ashamed about.
There's a lot in this life you're not going to WANT to do, but should probably do for the betterment of yourself and everyone around you.
You have a children. You have to be the best mother than you can. So, take care of yourself. You can't take care of anyone else if you aren't well taken for either.

I speak from experience.

Good luck!

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I know you said you dont believe in meds, but in this situation is really, really might be something to consider. Depression a lot of times is a chemical inbalance in the brain. It can be corrected with medication. You may just be amazed if you tried it bc you would get to feel what normal feel likes again. I feel for you as I suffer from it as well. I tried to go without meds for a long time, but I finally gave in. things are much better. Take care of yourself and consider at least confiding in someone. YOu have to have some help!

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Hi T.,
My heart goes out to you but so much admire your unwillingness to take medication. I know from experience that your mood swings around your period can be helped with proper nutrition. Whether or not it would completely alleviate what you are feeling, I don't know. But feeling any better might just be enough to get you on the right road. Please contact me off site if you want to discuss more - ____@____.com

Seems you have a lot of responces here so this all may have been said but it felt like you had taken the thoughts from my head and put them on paper so i felt the need to say something. I've been tehre, i'm tehre every day, but 4 years ago due to some health problems during pregnancy I was diagnosed with chronic depression due to a chemical deficiency. I am not on medication, tried it and it jsut wasn't the way i wanted to live my life, therapy helps to a degree, though i don't go, i can analyze myself better tahn anyone that is after all what i do on those days that my will doesn't hold or i'm actually alone, i overthink every step, every word and wonder why it is no one else feels the way i do. and as for friends i have some i really do but like everything else in life i have to force myself to spend time with them or go out or even pick up the phone so my friendships are very distant and seriously neglected, add 4 kids and work and my fiance and who has time anyways right?

so the question is and always will be how do you deal? proper diet and excercise, lots of vitamins, i don't have a link but there is info online, a support system for those really bad days, be it yoga or writing or even posting here and understanding from those you love can really help. my fiance worries himself sick over me but it's just me, i think i'm normal, i've always felt this way, i don't know anything else, so the more he pushes the worse i feel, i hate to have to worry about him worring about me, and he sees through my hapy act, most ppl close to me do, just like your husband sees through yours and knows something is going on. Talk to him before he starts jumping to conclusions let him help you through this even if you just tell him your depressed and you don't know why but it isn't anything he can fix or that he caused you just wanted him to know. i had that conversation just the other night myself, it's been a really bad month for me.

other little things and it is always the little things and this is where your husband can help out a little bit, make time for yourself, and make time for your marriage, regardless of how you feel at the time, havign a good week great you still need time for you, even if it's just an hour a week, soak in the tub curl up with a good book, anything that you enjoy that can take your mind off of life for just a little bit.

spend lots of time outdoors, sunshine is a great cure for depression, if money is available purchase a sunlamp for in the winter or on those yucky cloudy days

chocolate, every womens favorite thing anyways is great and really will boost your mood, the darker the choclate the better, just don't over indulge.

and as much as it may not seem like it will help if you have any bad little habits, smoking ect. stop. like alchol, smoking is a depressant and a stressor for your body.

other than that it may sound funny but just keep faking it, you might just find that even though you really would have rather stayed in bed that you actually had a lot of fun because you didn't.

if you need anything at all or jsut want to talk you can send me a message, i check here several times a day, it isn't easy but you can get through this and you are not alone.

T., Hi My Name is B. here is just a little info that you can read look under body health and depression at top of news letter i can help you join this company they have safer products that are natural in business for 23 years. http://B..smartlivingnews.com hope this will help B.

I too am in the same rut. I am a single mother of four though. My depression started after I had my twins. Now I have to make time for myself. You too need to find sometime for yourself, whether it be 10-15 minutes, all for you. My kids are 10,9,6,6 and I noticed my depression when I starting snapping at my kids for no reason at all.
I feel all I did was cry or scream. So I started making time for just me. Whether it be while I am on the way to drop them off or pick them up, Just time to relax by myself. Maybe after they go to bed, just reading a book, watching a tv show, a bubble bath. Something to allow your mind to relax. Hope that this helps a little bit. Smile it will get better.

T.,

Sounds like you need some time just for you and it's nothing to be ashamed of. If your husband can't help out more, then ask your family, or trade babysitting with neighbors. Church might be an option too. I know it easier said than done, but you are reaching out so it is time for a break. Check with all your resources to make it happen. When mom is happy - the whole family is happy!!!

L. - mother to one son (13 months)work part-time & married for 2 years.

I have been through this as well. First you need to get all negative words, such as depression, out of your vocabulary. Start thinking positive thoughts. It really does help.

You definitely need time for yourself and time alone with your husband. I also suggest you start exercising 3-4 times per week. Exercise has been proven to help cure depression. Most of the YMCAs offer daycare, so you could have the younger ones attend the daycare while you work out. Get a trainer and learn how to lift weights. It is a wonderful way to improve your self esteem.

Remember, you are not just a mother. You are a woman with needs, emotions, feelings. You need to take care of yourself. Spend some time with your husband as well. You definitely need to talk to him about how you're feeling. Like you said, he probably senses somethings wrong anyway. You could even talk to your children, depending on their ages. My daughter is only 4, but she always knows when I'm feeling a little down.

So, this week, do something selfish. Read a book, get a massage, exercise, take a walk, anything!! Do something for yourself that doesn't include anyone else and see how you feel afterwards. Take at least 1 hour each day for yourself as well. It may seem impossible to find this time at first, but you can do it even if you have to break it up into 15 minute increments.

Let us know how your doing.

Take care of yourself!!!

T.,
Please, please, if you can, find someone to talk to. It could be the pastor/priest of a church, your family doctor, or a psychologist. Don't be ashamed to talk to a professional. I understand your feelings of not wanting medication, and sometimes, you don't even need those to help you through. Sometimes, it's just the talking and sharing that help, and a person trained to help those with depression is the best person to talk to because they can help you discover the coping mechanisms you need to get through this. It's a very good thing that you finally realize you need help, and now, you can take the opportunity to get that help. My immediate family has had to deal with depression in various ways, especially my own mother, so I understand what you're feeling and what you're going through. If you need more information and just want to talk, please PM me. I am not a professional, but I would stress that you at least talk to your doctor (if you have one) because he/she can really help you find the resources you need to battle this. You're in my thoughts.
A.

T.,

Do you live in the Columbus area? If so, there is a drop off daycare facility in Lewis Center - it's called Mango's Place (http://www.mangosplace.com). They are wonderful - you can make a reservation or you could call them the morning that you would like to drop off the kids. You can have them watch the kids for up to 4 hours per day. I haven't been able to bring myself to just take them there when I don't honestly have something to do that day, but it's there if I do need to and that makes it nicer to have that outlet if I need it.

I'm totally with you on the no time to myself thing. That's my one argument with my husband when he tells me that he's been at work all day and that he's tired and I've been at home all day. I say, "well at least you can go to the bathroom by yourself."

If you don't want to take medication for your depression (which I don't blame you most medications make you not care about anything at all and you just exist, so not much better than being depressed now you're just not unhappy but your not necessarily happy either) try getting some physical activity if you aren't already. Exercise releases endorphines which makes you happy - you know the runner's high and all that. But it is true after I force myself to take my kids and myself to the gym (I get 2 hours of guaranteed childcare per day for $10 a month at my gym) I feel a lot better, that is, of course, until I go and pick my kids back up from the childcare center (wink, wink, nudge, nudge, say no more, say no more), and I only have two kids (which are wonderful by the way - I think I'll keep them), but I digress.

Also, again, if you do live in the Columbus area, send me a email. I'd would be more than happy to meet you at one of the local parks and let the kids play or meet for lunch sometime - we could put the kids at Mango's place (Just an FYI they charge $8 per hour per kid $7.50 per hour per kid when you have at least two children there - I think you may be able to negotiate with them when you have more than two children).

Hope to talk to you later,
Take care and God Bless,
Mel

There is a certain depression that you get around your period time and alot of women have it. There is meds for it, i know you said you don't believe in meds but it really works. I have the same thing. I did not believe in meds either but i could not take it anymore and i had children to raise so i thought what could it hurt to just try it. What is the worst that could happen? It don't work, but it did and i feel great. Ask your OBGYN he/she will help you get through this. Good luck!

Dear T.,
I think you should seek help. Swallow your pride and talk to your family doctor about how you feel. They discuss with you all the options that are available. You may not realize it, but your kids probably realize something is going on too. You'll be a better Mommy in the long run. Depression affects everyone, even those around you that you don't realize it will. Talk to your husband too and let him know how you are feeling. He'll probably be very supportive if you let him in on "you". Especially if he knows something is up and you won't tell him. Get help for you and you will be helping everyone around you. Also, don't be so quick to rule out medication. There is a lot of stuff out there that is so beneficial for you. If you have a "chemical imbalance", probably the only way to fix it is with "chemicals" (medication). So be opened minded about what is out there and go with what you feel may work for you. You may have trial and errors, but eventually you will find a happy medium. Most important, be open with your husband! :)
S.

ok T.! i hope i can help! first of all maybe you should say something to your obgyn and see what he/she says. i know you said you dont like meds. but you might have to take something just once a month for the pms. second you need to tell your husban that you need to get out of the house with out the kids a little more then once a yr if that. you two need to reconnect! you can try to have a date night one a month. tell him how your feeling!it just might help!!! well i hope you work things out! good luck!!!

reading your message i thought i was reading about myself, i am also a mother of 5, i just turned 32 on the 10th. I have been depressed for several years, i have recently tried taking walks by myself for 10 minutes, just around the neighboorhood, i have no family or friends where i live, i left everyone back in the east coast. my advice to you is to talk to someone and try to find a hobby. it will only get worse. You may be going through postpartum depression. having my last 3 kids back was very hard and that caused some of my depression. if you need someone to talk to email me. since we don't know each other we can be none judgemental and that might help.

I am a 26 year old single mother with 2 kids. I have had depression and bi-polar for a very long time. One thing is you need to not hide your depression from your husband. And don't be ashamed of it. I know its hard but alot of people have it. I take meds for my illness. I am not suggesting you do this but some therapy would help to find out why you are so depressed. So think about getting some help. Good Luck!

I really think you need to first talk to your husband about how you are feeling and then your doctor, especially if it coincides with your period. It could really be a hormonal imbalance. I think that it's great you've stepped forward and admitted there is something wrong - that's a huge step in the right direction! Maybe your husband would be willing to help you with some of the stuff you are doing that makes you feel overwhelmed. You have FIVE kids and you Work! You must be exhausted and that's OK. You do need time to yourself - maybe when he comes home from work, you could take 15 minutes to go for a walk a few days a week or meditate. You need your quiet time just like everyone else. I do suggest talking in detail about your feelings with your doctor, monitoring your diet and exercise in a journal to see if there is any correlation to how you feel or mood swings. And, as busy as your life is, try to take time to think about all the positive things that happened in a day (i.e. I didn't get a call from my children's school telling me they did something wrong, my kids told me they loved me, my husband helped me with the dishes, I got out of bed even though I didn't want to) ... you should have a deep sense of accomplishment for all you do. Good luck!

I see you have A LOT of responses....I don't have time to read them all, but wanted you to take a look at this site:
http://pmdd.factsforhealth.org/

Symptoms of PMDD:
Very depressed mood, feeling hopeless
Marked anxiety, tension, edginess
Sudden mood shifts (crying easily, extreme sensitivity)
Persistent, marked irritability, anger, increased conflicts
Loss of interest in usual activities (work, school, socializing, etc.)
Difficulty concentrating and staying focused
Fatigue, tiredness, loss of energy
Marked appetite change, overeating, food cravings
Insomnia (difficulty sleeping) or sleeping too much
Feeling out of control or overwhelmed
Physical symptoms such as weight gain, bloating, breast tenderness or swelling, headache, and muscle or joint aches and pains

It sounds like something you should look into....sounds like what you are describing.

ALSO....you should have your thyroid levels checked!!

Well sweetie I know where you are coming from. I too am depressed I am on meds and I do get help. I know you dont like taking meds or what not but hun there are somethings you HAVE to take meds for I am sorry to say that I know that isnt what you want to hear. Trust me they will help. If you want to talk to me please feel free to email me.

I have read many of the responses, and I am glad that so many people care enough to respond so well. I am concerned, though, that some of them may make you feel like it's your fault that you are depressed because you are doing something wrong. Who would be surprised that someone with five kids and a husband to take care of would feel depressed?! You must be incredibly stressed! It seems normal to me to feel that you are stretched beyond your capabilities.

I understand the reluctance to take medicine. I don't think that it is for everyone, but I do think it has its place. My husband has battled depression for most of his adult life, and when we got married I mentioned taking medication several times. Each time he resisted, but when he found out I was pregnant with our first child he decided to do it. He wanted to be his best for our daughter. We noticed an immediate difference and have never regretted him taking it. However, he has noticed that it does not take care of the problem entirely and a few years ago decided to go to counseling. The combination of the two has been very helpful to him.

I guess my advice would be that you have to try different things until you figure out what helps. The big thing, though, is that depression is nothing to be ashamed of. It happens to a lot of people. I have found that talking about things with others, whether a friend or a counselor, makes them come into perspective and seem somehow better. I have seen a counselor off and on over the past 10 years and every time I find that after just a few visits things seem to improve. I also don't have many friends, so talking to someone who is paid to listen to me and very good at that helps me a lot.

I'll be praying for you. It must be hard for you to keep up with your daily stuff while feeling this way!
L.

PLEASE GO SEE YOUR DOCTOR!! Get on Meds ASAP. IF not for yourself for your family. Do you seriously think your kids don't know that "mom's not quite herself?" No matter how small they there. Why are you against meds? Do you feel if you went on medication that your a failure as a functioning member of society? I think you would be VERY surprised at the number of moms on some type of RX for their mentally health. NO one wants to be on medication, But if in the end it make you better mom & wife, and to your surprise, a better functioning assest to society.

Also about not having ANY time to yourself. You need to talk to your husband-- tell him everything your feeling. Is he a supportive partner? If you tell him YOU NEED time to yourself, will he help make that possible- even one day a week. For Example: would he mind if you left him with the kids and went for a walk, go to the mall, or get a pedicure.. BUT you NEED to get a way for atleast a couple of hours. AGAIN just for you, it helps you be a better mom and wife.

I hope my advice doesn't sound harsh- But I know many, many moms who have felt the same way. And medication is the way to go. Atleast for immediate results(couple weeks actually), then after while you can find another outlet- meds free for your mental health.

good luck to you.I hope I helped.

Hi, I can totally relate to you. I believe I had PPM for a while. It was after 2 years of giving birth that I finally went to my OBGYN. I'm from very far away from here and that we don't have a good support system. We had a first child, and what is worse, my husband got really sick around that time. I was the only one to take care of both of them. I did it though, and I'm very proud of myself that my child is healty, bright, and caring. However, I paid the price. I got depressed, mood swing all the time which affected my relationship with my husband/family/friends. I became to dislike myself so much. I even blame on everybody else but me. But one day I decided to get some help. I went to see my family doctor who suggested taking medication as well as seeing a therapist. I was on the med for about a few months and I was able to get off. I saw a therapist for 9 months or so on a regular basis. I also joined the gym, working out not only makes me feel good, but helps me get back in shape, which is like killing 2 birds with one stone. So I am the living proof! Reading your story almost made me cry, because it refreshed my memory, the time when I was in the lowest of my life. I don't want to ever go back there, and of course I don't want to see anybody suffer as I did. If you want to talk to me, I will be available. If you wish, we can only talk through e-mails so that both of us can be open about anything and not feel ashamed for anything. Nonetheless, if you choose not to contact me, I wish you the best of luck. You deserve to be happy. We have only one chance to live our lives. It all up to you how you choose to live.

Hi T.,
It's called spiritually dead not depressed. Depression is a symptom from being spritually dead. Not sure what your choice of spiritual sources are but you must have some. Mine are prayer reading selfhelp books, bible, once everyone is asleep in bed and on my lunch break, church, self help meetings etc. I have to make time for me to get my spirit feed if not my mind tells me all the negative things about this life not just my life. Neg in the news,about my husband, children, etc.Going without spiritual food is like driving a car and never stopping for gas. We CAN"T do IT. Check what you are saying out of your mouth we speak life to whatever we are saying. alot of time I speak opposite of how I feel.If I don't my negative emotions will control me. Also David and I get a babysitter at least once a month so we can go on a date. Nothing too expensive.Self help meeting are great as well. You can find various meeting listing in your local newspaper or at the library. The emotion support is a must plus it helps to have other people to share that they have felt the same way and survived. So be encouraged a take care of YOU. Smile

Hi T.,
Unfortunately, I don't have any magic words that will make this better for you. I just wanted to offer my support. I can't imagine what this must feel like. All I can say is that I'm sure no one would think less of you for seeking counseling, or even taking medication. I'm not big on medications myself, but I do believe in certain cases, they may help. It might even just be the case that you need a different balance of vitamins/minerals in your system.

As hard as it is, make sure you take time for yourself. Go get a haircut, take a bath or a shower, go window shopping at lunch, excercize (even just taking a brisk walk around the block) or anything else that you enjoy. 15-20 minutes does wonders. I understand about not having dates with your husband. My husband and I have only been out 3 times since our daughter was born 15 months ago, and even those times were with family/friends at weddings. We've even taken our daughter to dinner with us on our past two anniversaries.

I hope you get back to being yourself. I know you're suffering, but being able to vent on mamasource has helped me several times so hopefully this is the first step in a great recovery process for you. Feel free to send me a private message if you'd like to talk at any time! :)

T.,
I agree with some of the responses you have gotten so far. It sounds like what you have is dsythimia. It is alow level depression. If you had a really sever depression you would not be able to do anything. There are solutions out there besides meds. But I wouldn't rule that out. Have you spoken to your family Dr? Please have your tyroid tested. Depression is a symptom of an under active thyroid.
I was nearly totally disabled by depression, spent 10 years being over medicated only to find out that most of the depression was from my throid. Please talk to your Dr. Thyroid medicine is not mood altering. And what has already been mentioned there are countless over the counter and diet changes you can make. Not to mention there are behavioral changes you can make. You really owe it to yourself your partner and your children to spend some quality time with him. Exercise and spoiling yourself is also a great idea. YOu are the mother of 5 give your self a break and take care of yourself.
There is a reason why they tell adults on an airplane to put on the oxygen mask first. If you don't take care of yourself who will take care of your children.
Best wishes,
J.

Hi, T.! I'm glad you took the first courageous step of coming here and saying you need help. Believe me, I have experienced depression (while still continuing to function externally) so I can relate! So I am going to tell you what I feel is the truth of the situation, since that is part of being a real friend in my book.
You could try St. John's Wort if you are dead set against "medication," but let me tell you from experience there is nothing like Prozac : ) although if you have a little bit of bipolar (very high periods alternating with depression), there would be a different medication needed. If your brain has a chemical imbalance, then just telling yourself to get better will not help.
It's like someone with diabetes saying "I won't take insulin or see a doctor so don't suggest that, but what can I do to help myself?" Depression can be from a chemical imbalance that is greatly helped by a small amount of medication along with the therapy. It can be temporary, just to get you going with the recovery.
I am not really sure why you are putting so many restrictions on your getting better? Maybe you aren't really ready to change things yet? I don't know your background, so I know there could be reasons you are hesistant about the medicine and therapy--but I am just asking questions to get you thinking. Definitely not meaning to make you feel worse or be critical of you! I don't think you should be ashamed or embarrassed to see a therapist. It's confidential, first of all. No one has to know! I do understand your hesitation, as I felt that way a long time ago before I went to a therapist myself. It's kind of like you don't have to really face the reality of the problem if you don't get help for it, at least I think that was part of my subconscious thinking. But once I went I realized there was nothing to fear, and burying my head in the sand so to speak was never going to make things better.
Maybe one thing you could do is Google depression or bipolar disorder, and read all about it. There are websites dedicated to just those particular disorders, with forums for people who are suffering from them to share and listen.
As you mentioned, you have a lot going on and really need time for yourself. But only you can arrange that. You have to decide that it is important and just do it (I know, it's easy to say, but it really is true, you have to come to that place somehow). It is important not only for YOU (and you matter!) but also for your FAMILY. They are definitely affected by your depression, although you may not see it now. Kids are better psychologists than anyone with a degree, and they see through us, whether we like it or not. They may not be able to put it in words, but they know!
Last, but not at all least, I have found a great source of truth and help in my faith in Jesus. I fought it off for a long time, for many reasons, but once I realized that I had nothing to lose except my own pride, I started praying and reading the Bible. I heard a challenge on the radio to read Psalm 1 every single day for at least a week, preferably 21 days, and just spend a few minutes "meditating" on it (sitting quietly and asking God to show you what He wants you to learn from it). Just something you might be willing to try.
It would take a book to tell you all about my faith journey but suffice it to say I don't know how I survived without Jesus before! Not to say life is always easy, or that I'm perfect, not at all! But it's the difference between feeling your way through a maze in the dark versus having a guide with a light...
Hope that something I said was helpful to you, and again I do not mean to sound harsh in any way. I know I can come across that way sometimes! I apologize if I said anything hurtful, especially without talking in person things sometimes sound worse than they are meant...
Blessings,
Lynn
PS Just wanted to add that I agree with those who said diet and exercise can help a lot, especially with the adrenal glands--but not always. I would do the research and try those first, but don't be surprised if you need just a little bit of help from some kind of supplement (not necessarily a "medication") but the only way to find that out is to go to a professional...

Hi T.,
First of all, I know where you are coming from. You need to see a dr and probably will be put on meds, there is nothing wrong with that!! I told my dr. I'd rather take pills than have my boys grow up thinking their mom was a "witch." True?
Anyway, you need to take care of yourself and I don't get a lot of time to myself either but more now that it's nice out and my kids are 9,14,19,21. My 9 yr old was such a glue stick to his mom:) that I got no time to myself. I just finished the book by Robin McGraw, you need to read it. I'm not a reader but tells you that you teach people how to treat you and it's very true. Your hubby won't understand how you feel even if you tell him but he needs to step up and let you have even 1/2 hour to take a bath, a nap, or whatever! Don't wait though and don't hide it, one day you will snap and your children need you! Email me anytime. You need friends. S.

Hi T.,

What you are feeling is completely normal especially with a husband and 5 children. The fact that you do get out of bed in the morning and carry on your daily responsibilities is thumbs up to you. I know exactly how you feel, I've been there and you should feel no shame admitting that you need some help.

First start off talking to your husband, you should not have to shoulder this burden alone. He will understand and will be very happy that you talked to him about. All too often, we get married have kids and get caught up in the day to day activities that we forget about our #1 priority our husbands. I know I take my husband for granted quite often and have to take a step back and remember that he was here before the children and remember what Father Marone told me during marriage counseling before we got married. He said "No matter what, your spouse is always above all in your life, even before children" Now no one expects you to ignore your children and focus all of your energies on your husband, but you do need to put the effort there as well. Now you are probably thinking "Oh great instead of her giving me advice on my depression she is making me more depressed by adding more to my plate" That is not my intention at all. However, a happy marriage translates into a happy family and a happier less depressed mom. So be committed to make the time to go on a date with your husband at least once a month. I know it is hard and you are thinking that you do not have time, but you need to make the time. Also you are probably thinking that to go on a date with my husband, we will need to get a babysitter for 5 which will cost a fortune then we go out and spend a fortune on our night out. Then you start to feel depressed about taking that time for yourself. Don't think that way! You have needs just as your husband and children do and why should your needs take a backseat to theirs.

So go on a date! You mention you do not have any friends, I am sure that is not true. All you need to do is get with a few friends that have children as well and start a babysitting coop. What is a babysitting coop? It is where each family takes turns watching one another's children while they take time for themselves. It could be you go out on a date with your husband, take time for yourself to just soak in the bathtub and rejuvenate or you just have a romantic dinner at home for the 2 of you. I would definitely be willing to start this coop with you. I think I have a few friends here in Hilliard who would be willing to join as well.

Second, you need to make an appointment with your primary care physician to discuss what you are feeling and going through. You don't need to see a therapist to get help, although it does help in finding out the root cause of your depression. Once you can fix the root cause of your depression everything else starts to fall into place and you will find the stresses of the world to be secondary. You can't keep this bottled up inside because all it is going to do is make you more depressed and potentially start to take a toll on your health. Stress & Depression definitely affects your health/immune system. Believe me I know!

Tell your doctor exactly how you are feeling and they can prescribe you something for your symptoms. I know you said that you don't believe in medication, however, sometimes it is the only way to get your body back in balance. Depression is an imbalance of serotonin levels and a feeling of not being able to control things in your life. This is not something that you will be able to fix without meds. A little pill like Lexapro, Zoloft, Paxil, or Prozac go a long way and you can eventually get off of them. These meds are called Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRI's for short they work on one neurotransmitter in the body and often have a added chemical for anxiety as well.

Do feel ashamed to talk to someone or take medication. This is all part of life and I bet if you ask a handful of people walking down the street if they are on antidepressants, you will find 9 out of 10 people are on these drugs for one reason or another. I will tell you that it has definitely helped me and I didn't know how well they worked until I tried to get off of them.

E-mail me privately if you want to talk.
"A mother just like you"
M.

I go through that also but i talk to my self when i get like that i look what all i have. Food clothes roof over my head my kids a loving family not sick etc.life does send us some curve balls at time but to me that is what makes us a stronger person. So get out of your depression or get off your pitty party and do something about it get out of the house go for a walk go to the park.if you cant bring yourself out of it then you really need to seek help!!!!!what do you mean exactly by patience challenging children?i dont have any friends either i get to the point where i just want to leave but i dont.maybe its your nerves so go to your md. how old are the kids? email me any time and vent or just talk. i vent to my sister in law about certain things.but most of the time i keep things bottled up. so email me. ok god bless

I have fought with depression over the years myself. I know you said that you don't want medication, and neither did I, but it was the best decision I have ever made. Talk to your doctor about Celexa. It has very low side effects. You also need to talk to your husband and get it out in the open. He can't actively help if you don't involve him. Take some time for yourself. Even if it's just a couple hours in the park with a book or a $15 manicure. Hire a sitter and start having "date nights" again. Even if it's just once a month. Once you get the help you need to get "you" back on track, you will feel better before you know it.

I've been dealing with depression for nearly my whole life. Here's a few things that you might do to help...

I think that one of the best things you can do is find some alone time. Work it out with your husband that you can take a couple hours each week and do something just for you... take a walk, hang out in a coffee house, go to the library, take a class... It doesn't have to be expensive. That way you feel like you're getting out and talking to someone who is an adult.

Another thing that you might want to do is find an outlet for your anger and frustrations. Someone once told me that depression is just other emotions bottled up. Letting go of some of them may help. (Writing, art, music, locking yourself in the basement for a half hour and screaming all seem to help with this.)

Another thing you may want to consider is talking to your obgyn and, dare I say, a therapist. The obgyn will be able to tell you if there is a medical reason for this happening. Don't be ashamed to see a therapist... and it sounds like you could use someone outside of the situation who you can talk to, if only to get things off your chest.

Good luck to you!

T.:

You know something, I have something for you, but I'm not sure that you'd try it. It actually takes away severe pain, depression, gives people energy, helps with knee pain and my husband is 100 percent for it, even though in the past 10 years he has shot down every product that I've tried. Anyway, I can't give you any information here, because we're not supposed to do that. I guess you'll have to email me. God bless,

M. G.

T.,

Are you by any chance on Birth control? I was on a form of Birth control and generally speaking I'm a pretty happy person but this medicine messed with me pretty bad and put me in some deep depression. It wasn't until I changed birth control medications that it helped.

If you ever need anyone to talk to I'm happy to listen. I know what it is like to not have any friends. My husband and I have been married for 2 1/2 years now and we've moved 4 times. Every time I start to make friends we move. We just recently moved about a month ago and I know NO ONE. My husband goes to work every day and knows people from the office but I'm left home all day with my son so its' hard to make friends. Let me know if you need anything or just need to vent more I'm happy to help you in any way that I can.
-A. M.

I know there are alot or responses and I read a couple, and I didnt see anyone mention that it could be a thyroid issue. I had your same complaints and after a long wait and lots of tests, I found out my thyroid wasnt working much, so even though I dont like medication either, I started taking a horomone supplement and am almost back to normal, takes a little while to get the levels adjusted, but well worth it. But I do agree that you should talk to your doctor. Also if your iron is low you can feel the same way. I would start with a physical and see what some bloodwork turns up. If you dont like medications are you up for herbal alternatives?

I really don't think this will be as hard as you think to resolve. Severe depression would be where you couldn't function at all. The fact that you are getting out of bed, socializing, tending to your kids, etc., doesn't point to severe depression. I honestly think PMS may have a lot to do with it, and there are over the counter things you can take to help you out, plus some diet changes that may work. In all honesty, I think the biggest 'problem' is getting time for you. You have 5 kids, so that right there leaves no real time for yourself. I do think getting out with your husband will help a lot, even if it's once a week. Also, can you get time to yourself after the kids are in bed? Or, how about letting your husband take care of them while you spend a day to yourself, even if it's going shopping, reading in bed, anything. I have dealt with depression my whole life and it really can be manageable. I come from a background where admitting something is ever wrong is a no no, esp. if it involves the mental aspect. There is absolutely nothing wrong with finding someone to talk to, venting if you will. It does help. Writing down your thoughts and feelings is also a good outlet. Everyone gets depressed, esp. woman. One of the biggest reasons is that we are made to feel we must do it all: raising children full time, working, tending to the home, looking/acting happy, etc. I have found that I also get low during my periods, and also 'high' depending on the time of the month, it's normal and there is something that can be done, like I mentioned before...it has to do with the hormones, so taking something over the counter isn't a bad thing. But, I have also found that there are triggers to my episodes, and they are always when I am feeling overwhelmed with life in general.

T.,

I think the overriding response you got here was
"youre not alone!!" :) and youre not. Im a married mother of three young children who was diagnosed with BiPolar when I was 19. I do not take medication, as I do not believe it helps. I have been on many many different things in the past, none of which I could see any benefit from.

I, like you, also have no friends where I live. I grew up on the west coast and ended up moving to east coast when I met my husband, and at the time, I was having so much fun being with my husband that I had no desire to go out and try to make friends.. Then we had children and I was stuck at home all the time, so I COULDNT go out and try to make friends (even if I had wanted to!)

I have suffered with the deep deep depression where I honestly cant see any point in getting up in the morning.. To me, every single day is the same, miserable thing over and over again. get up, eat three meals a day, go to bed.. blahblah blah. Like.. whats the point?? Its really hard to view things so pessimistically, especially when I used to be such an optimistic, outgoing person.

My husband and I get no help from his family with the kids, so we don't go out on dates, and our children are still young enough that packing them all up in the car to go somewhere is just more work than its worth.

I tried going to therapy many many different times, starting from the time I was 19 years old.. (Im 30 now) and it always made things worse. Im an extremely analytical person, and although there is no emotional reason for me to be depressed that I can find, sitting around with someone and talking about my past depresses me even more because life was so much simpler and easier that it reminds me how depressed I am now and how not depressed I was back then!

I know that a lot of my depression is medical and hormone related. I had a hyterectomy four years ago and my horomones are still not right. I just made an appointment yesterday with a pharmacist who compounds his own non synthetic horomones, so hopefully hell be able to help me get my emotional health back to normal with the horomones..

I hope that you're feeling better and that you can get back to "feeling like yourself again".. i know that its super super hard to live like this!

I really think that part of the problem is the fact that our grandparents generation were social people and were not social like that anymore. We're a lot more alone than we should be, and that loneliness manifests itself severely..

Good luck to you in getting your life back to normal.. No one should live like this!

well i feel the same way a lot. know sometimes we all go through the motions and you are not alone. right now i am having some issues too that truly suck. i think we all need friends but the crazy schedules seldom allows time. do you go to the memorial park with your kids? fresh air helps sometimes. as for lying around that's all i want to do after work lol.

I think you owe it to yourself and your family to seek professional help. If you can't talk to a therapist find a priest of pastor or rabbi or another trusted person. I think your best bet would be a Psychologist or Psychiatrist, although since you mentioned a noticable impact due to your period, your gynecologist is a good resource. It may be PMDD (Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder). Birth control pills may help. I think that you shouldn't write off medications without finding out all the details, but you have got to talk to someone. I think you're doing pretty well, if you can get up and face each day that's a great start. But if you're miserable inside you need to find some help. Put the dogs in a room and shut the door or a kennel in the garage if they don't give you any peace - my dog is the same way and sometimes I have to send her to the basement or my son's room where she sleeps. You have to make time for yourself. How old are your children? Look up story times at your local library it's a great place to meet mom's with kids your kid's age, you can ask them about babysitters to so that you can go on a date with your hubby. Good luck!

Hi T.. I feel your pain. I HAVE resorted to medication but I would seriously find some time for yourself and make a monthly commitment to a night out with your husband. I work with kids two mornings a week. It's called Parents Morning Out. It give the caregiver 3 hours to themselves and some look at it as socializing the kids. But I think you said you work. I also go out with some moms from my church for a girls night out (once a month)while my husband stays with the kids. What about a hobby? Something you can work on when the kids are asleep? I love listening to Josh Groban and his voice seems to calm my nerves instantly. I'll pray for you.

K.

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