Well...let me see, my first diagnosed depression was after the birth of my first child, Matthew. He was born in 1992, but I managed to keep going until he was around 20 months old until I hit bottom. At first, I thought I was dealing with things great...the baby was fed and bathed, the house was clean, dishes done, washing done. Yes everything was done, and me too!! I wasn't taking time to eat, I lost over 30 pounds in 6 weeks, and I couldn't sleep. I was on an emotional roller coaster and was anxious about everything...not just about the baby...but EVERYTHING. I was very irritable (I think that irritability is self-explanatory!). I constantly heard a ringing and whirring in my ears and fatigue like chest pains, but kept going. It seemed like I was locked on "play" and couldn't stop until my "tape" stopped. When my "tape" did stop I sunk into a severe depression, I couldn't do anything, wouldn't do anything, obsessed about things, circled things around and around in my mind if I wasn't doing something to occupy my time. I thought about past happenings, mostly bad things, and relived them over and over and over again in my mind. I had many thoughts of death and suicide, and just bad things happening almost wishing that something bad would happen to me because I thought that I deserved it. I really wanted not to be here or anywhere! 
This started my first stint with antidepressants. They called it Postpartum Affective Disorder. I began with taking Prozac and don't really think that it made things better. I became very confrontational, wanting/needing things my way, if anyone was negative towards me in any way, shape or form, I was devastated and took everything personal. Needless to say I ended up crying alot of the time...I was extremely sensitive.

Things didn't get any better when our finances became extremely stretched. Our bank refused to lend us any more money, our credit line at the finance company was used up; bought things we didn't need and needed things we "couldn't afford". Then one day, the bottom fell out of my bucket. I was working full time and feeling stressed anyway and my boss came to me, putting me down and I couldn't take anymore. I thought I was doing a good job with what I had to work with and with the training that I'd received. I felt infuriated because he was criticizing me. I quit...right there...right then. OOPS....now we were down to one income and more bills than two incomes could afford. We ended up having to file for personal bankruptcy and having to start over. I blamed alot of our financial problems on myself, and the fact that I had thrown away a full time, good paying job, was always on my mind. I thought "what a shitty" thing to do!

When things settled down some, I had the yearning for new motherhood again and we had our second child, Katelyn. She was born in 1995. After child #2 came along, came Postpartum Depression #2 and the suicidal ideation, even more haunting than before, was more than I could stand. Before my new daughter was one year old, I was hospitalized once trying to slash my wrists while I was in a very intoxicated state (took off on my husband that night in the middle of the night and then ended up at the hospital) and once for my first attempt at suicide mixing alcohol and prescription drugs. 

Since that time, I have had three more attempts at overdosing. When I have these obsessive thoughts I CAN'T turn them off. I become very secretive and don't wish my plans to be ruined. Hopefully, one day, I will not plot so privately against myself. Hopefully, one day, I will accept that when I have these thoughts, that a medication change or hospitalization or whatever the case may be can get me thought it. In the past though, I didn't think that a medication change or hospitalization would "do the trick", so I decided that the only way to rid myself of these haunting, obsessive thoughts was suicide.

Something like a "P.S.".... Mental illness tends to run in families, and since my problems have become severe, I have discovered that I have a cousin with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Depression, another cousin with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Depression and Substance Abuse, and at least an aunt and an uncle (what I can find out about) who have had bouts of Major Depression. Thinking back, my mother with the symptoms that I recognize, she had her own bouts of undiagnosed, untreated Depression and Substance Abuse.


Story by Sharon D

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