Guest Author: Chris

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Let me start by saying that I have not gotten rid of my depression.  It’s still with me and always will be.  But I am able to control it.  My weapons of choice are medication, exercise, diet and music.  And I need to use them all.  If one isn’t there I begin to slowly unravel and lose the control that took a team of people to help me achieve.  My team consisted of multiple doctors, therapists, and my family.  But the key component to all of this was one person, me.  If I didn’t come forward and keep seeking help time after time, I would never be in the place I am now.  A place where I can look back at myself and see how truly damaging I had become.  And not just to me, but everyone around me.

Now I look back and wonder what took me so long.

It took a lot of personal convincing to finally go seek help and contact a doctor.  I was the type of person that always did things on my own and never asked for help no matter if the job was impossible to do by myself.  And I was never a team player.  Any sport or activity was always something that was done solo.  So to ask for help, let alone have a team of people helping me, was definitely outside my comfort zone.  But I did it.  And now I look back and wonder what took me so long.  

My first visit to the doctors resulted in prescription of medication.  Time after time I had to go back and switch meds because of the side effects which put my body and mind through torture.  At one point I just wanted to give up on them.  I hated taking them and what they did to me physically and mentally.  A different doctor wanted me to stop taking meds and begin an exercise program.  He envisioned me being a marathon runner.  Boy was he wrong.  I’m not a runner, but I went along with the program.  Months went by and there wasn’t any real progress so it was back to the first doctor and different meds.   

I stayed on these meds for a number of years and then one day I decided that I wanted to stop taking them.  It wasn’t a snap decision, I just felt like they weren’t helping me anymore.  Back to the doctors I went where we developed a plan which included attending therapy sessions to give me the tools I needed to help me when I wasn’t taking any meds.  I started slowly coming off my meds when I was in therapy and I felt great.  By the time I had finished my therapy sessions, I was totally off of my meds.  I started working out and eating better.  Cut out the sugary foods, increased on protein and drank more water than ever before.

Finally, it sunk in that I needed help.

As good as I was feeling, after a few months I started to lose control over my depression and this time it came back far worse than ever before.  It was like a dark, heavy, suffocating blanket was thrown over me.  For the first time I thought about suicide.  And it was at this time that my family stepped in to try getting me to go back for help.  I fought them hard on it.  I said I would rather die than go back on meds.  More time went by and things were just getting worse.  Finally, it sunk in that I needed help.  

I went back to the doctors to see what was available.  The doctors were also starting to wonder what medication would work for me because I had tried so many before.  Then basically out of the blue we picked one, and it just happened to be the one that turned my life around.  This new medication paired up with fitness and diet has been a life saver for me.  I can’t remember the last time that I mentally shut down and just wanted to give up.  I still have bad days now and then but these moments are probably equal to my best days before I found the combination that works for me.  

Another tool I use is the power of music.  More specifically, playing a musical instrument.  Making music requires devoted concentration and the music itself has the ability to relax and reward you, when played properly. Haha 🙂

Do yourself a favour and get the help you need.

So now my daily routine is get up, workout, take my meds, eat healthy, go to work, band practice, and get some sleep.  The key component here however, is that I went and got help.  Do yourself a favour and get the help you need.  Try different things, combine them, and find what works for you.  Don’t think that if something didn’t work for one person that it won’t work for you.  Try it.  It just might save your life.




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