When I was in high school (my Junior and Senior years) I suffered from a severe bout of depression. I lost a lot of weight and ended up at 80lbs. I had no interest in eating, no interest in life in general. I remember crying all the time, feeling guilty for the world's troubles, and the full inability to make any decision. Just before I finally got help (through therapy), I spent a full week trying to get to school on NO SLEEP. I couldn't sleep no matter what I tried and my mind was so full of chatter and thoughts...I just couldn't stop THINKING. I would lay in bed and plan, plan, plan. I would think about the future and college and think about what each day would be like...going so far as to plan each day from what I would eat for breakfast and what I would do for each minute of each day. I was looking for a sense of control when I knew my life was going to soon be drastically different. For the first time, I didn't know what was in front of me and I was terrified (although I didn't know that's what it was at the time). One morning I got out of the bed and went to select my clothes for the day. I was exhausted, and the night before found me pondering the question of whether it would hurt a lot if I just stabbed myself with a pair of scissors. (Hello!!! BIG FRIGGIN' RED FLAG!!!! NOT NORMAL THOUGHTS!) I sat there for the whole hour I had and when my Dad came in (he drove me to school in the morning) I was still in my pajamas and was crying. I couldn't decide what to wear and it was the hardest decision in the world at that moment. My Dad looked a little confused and tenderly selected an outfit for me to put on. I went to the school nurse for help later that day. I was later diagnosed with not only depression, but with anxiety disorder, adjustment disorder, and obsessive compulsive disorder (the non-stop thinking/planning). I can say now that after therapy I was able to use much of what I learned there to forge ahead and find a happy place in my life again. Since then, I've battled depression and anxiety issues on and off. Usually during times of great change. So, when I got pregnant I thought to myself "here we go! I'd better be on the lookout!". Well, it's finally reared it's ugly head. Several weeks ago I started noticing that aside from being tired all the time (which makes you feel horrible anyway) I just couldn't sleep. My mind was filled with that familiar sound of chatter and runaway thoughts. I lost interest in food. I became completely unable to make decisions. I became simply overwhelmed with life in general. I started to get insomnia...the chances I DID have to sleep found me UNABLE to sleep. And the rest of the time I just felt anxious and nervous. Not sadness or guilt this time around...just plain ANXIOUS. I've found myself wringing my hands and breathing hard. That feeling you get before a big play, or a big game...wanting to do well...the rush of adrenaline. Only I was sitting in my living room. The fact that it rained buckets almost every day didn't help. I already didn't want to leave the house, much less go out in sheets of water pouring down on us. After a small fight with my husband, I finally realized that the fact that I was blowing the tiniest things out of proportion is just not my personality...I was constantly annoyed and irritable as well as overwhelmed over nothing. That next day I called my doctor and immediately began taking prozac (does great for me in terms of evening out my emotions and is supposed to help with the anxiety) and I began working with a therapist. After 2 weeks on the medication, I'm starting to feel better. My emotions are what I'll call "smooth." No more extreme feelings of "overwhelm" or annoyance. I feel even-keeled again! The anxiousness is finally smoothing out as well. My breathing feels more normal and I don't feel so nervous all the time...which feels so freeing! I've had one therapy session so far; the therapist is so nice and friendly and was full of good advice. So, last week I joined a "mommy group" in my neighborhood and it felt so good to 1. get out of the house and 2. to make new friends and talk about all this stuff. The therapist also advised me to have at least 20 minutes of exercise per day where I sweat...to get my endorphins flowing and make me feel better. She also recommended I try to get out for 1 outing per day even if it is something very simple. Just to keep the chatter in my mind to a minimum. The fact I'd been sitting around the house day in and day out alone with my thoughts only made the problem worse. I'm sure in the weeks ahead we will find many other things to discuss that I have going on in my life and I'm so grateful to be moving forward in a proactive way. I'm writing this post so that if any of you out there are going through something similar but are thinking "oh, it will go away" or "oh, it's just my hormones" ...you'll want to take care of yourself. Don't wait too long for things to get worse before you grab control. Depression and anxiety can sneak up on you over the course of time until all the symptoms start screaming at you at the same time. It can go on for years if you let it (like it did for me back in high school). Because I've been through it before, I tell myself "these feelings are a mirage...a hallucination from imbalanced chemicals and hormones that I can now move forward and fix." My wish for you, if you are going through something similar, is to feel no shame in seeking help in whatever form that may be to set you back on the track toward peace and joy. Don't allow yourself to suffer...the same way you wouldn't let yourself suffer if you had the flu or some sort of physical illness. I'm already feeling much better and am proud I jumped to get help early on before things got much worse. Much love to you all! I'll be here soon with hopefully some more fun and less serious posts!