Saturday, July 16, 2011

This is Not Me Anymore

All of you who have been following me for a while know that I've been fighting depression for a few years now. You gave me a lot of support when I most needed it and I feel like I should give some of it back. I know there are people like me, people who read this blog and go through the same things I went through. You're not alone.

The doctor I was seeing prescribed me 150 mg venlafaxine pills. And they were working. As far as the mood swings go. After a while I started feeling like a zombie. No mood swings, just the same emptiness with no energy and no real life sparkle in me. Every single day was/is the same. Wake up, eat to live, live to eat, blog a little and go to bed. And those terrible headaches if I accidentally forgot to take my meds... I miss my ups and downs. I miss being able to cry. I miss not being a zombie. And most of all I miss being genuinely happy.

Not having any energy isn't fun. I couldn't tell when the tachycardia came back. But it's here. My heart rate is always above 90 beats per minute. And that's when I'm sitting down. Any action can pump it up to 180 beats per minute in no time.

I knew it all along this isn't the right solution. I changed my doctor and I visited the new one on Monday. She cut my meds down to 75 mg. I can already feel the difference. My heart is slowing down, which is really good, but there's also this horrible nausea... I know that it will pass and that keeps me going.


This new doctor I'm seeing is so nice. She's fresh out of school and she's the first doctor I can actually talk to. And the best news: she said that I'm not depressed anymore. I knew that myself, but it's nice to hear it from a specialist. :) My way of thinking is actually quite optimistic. The downside is that I can't stop taking the meds yet. But there's progress ...

Depression sounds horrible and it mostly is. In my case I think it's been harder on my family than on me. I wouldn't change a thing though. It made me stronger and it changed me. And I have scars to prove it. =D There's no way I would be who I am today if it wasn't for this illness. It made my family stronger as well. I like to say - everything happens for a reason.

To those of you who are struggling with depression - been there, done that. It WILL get better. Take your meds, talk to someone you trust and most important of all: don't stop, keep going, don't give up! You owe it to yourself.

Yours truly
nihrida

74 comments:

  1. drago mi je zbog tebe, znam s čim si se borila :-D
    idemo dalje jači!

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  2. Oh, venlafaxine is mean. I took it for a while some years ago, and it caused me nausia, stomach pain and dizziness. But it worked for me, and I feel much better now.
    I hope you keep on getting better and better and doing this amazing job you do here, in your blog.

    Kisses from Brazil,

    Júlia

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  3. What a post! You make me cry! Since day one we met I know you are gorgeous person and real fighter. You have all my support in the future! :*

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  4. My sister has been depressed too and I feel that she got out it better than me and my family did, she just didn't notice what she made us go through, but she couldn't help it so I'm not mad at her. I hope that you get better and that you'll be able to feel genuinely happy in a while!

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  5. I feel for you, I really do! I've taken pills for depression, I hated taking them and felt like they didn't help, only my mother noticed me getting much stronger and happier.
    I took them for about 2½ years plus 1 year to get off them.

    I'm happy you went to another doctor, but I'm not happy with her "letting" you go from 150 mg to 75 mg in a heart beat!
    That is not the way to do it, that's when you notice those the side affects from hell plus mentally instability! Even tho you might feel better before, the side effects can fool you into feeling like crap all over again.

    I remember every step I took, from 100 to 75, to 50 to 25 per day and then 25 every other day, it was bad, every step and it took me a year to do so! When I tried doing it faster, everything got bad, really bad. Just as if I was back where I started before the pills.

    I feel 150 to 75 is too big of a step..
    It would have made me get really mentally unstable and feel sick from the withdrawal, just like real drugs.
    I'm hoping the side effects won't get aggressive, but if they do, PLEASE talk to your doctor so you can work out a slower pace.

    Oh, and btw, I'm not saying you did anything wrong. On the contrary, just looking out for you, girl! ^_^
    Getting another doctor and telling them what you think is right, is a big step into getting rehabilitated. Both getting better and proving it to yourself that you believe in it!


    //Monticka

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  6. I took effexor (venlafaxine) for 7 or 8 years. sorry for my language, but I fucking hate the drug. The last 3 years I took it were not because I needed it for my depression anymore, but because it would make me so sick to even be 30 minutes late taking it. I was taking 300 mg at one point. Way way way too much. So I know where you're coming from with the nausea. there was nothing that would help and I was sick of being enslaved to that srug so eventually I had to quit my job and although it's not advisable, quit the meds completely from one day to the next. I was sick throwing up for 2 months but I gradually got better. Although I still feel the side effects from the meds. My heart rate is still high, like yours, and my blood pressure in general is high. My hands still shake for no reason. and I've been off if it for 3 years now. I'm so glad that I've gotten to a point in my life where I can control and cope with my depression tendencies myself, without the need for meds. I'm afraid to have kids because i don't want them to go through the same shit that I have.

    So, I know what you're going through. The whole numb zombie thing. I really hope you get/stay better because feeling like a zombie isn't even better than feeling depressed. I got to the point where I would almost rather be depressed just so I could feel SOMETHING. Depression is a nasty illness. :-/

    Sorry for the super long comment!

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  7. Hey Nihrida!

    Yes, you will be better. I love your blog, you're very special to a lot of readers like me. You inspire us with your sensitivity and talent. ( I love your drawings!) One day at a time, right? Take good care of yourself. Xoxoxo

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  8. I had it and I know how it is, am better now :)

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  9. Im just happy u are doing better and you are optimistik is a good way to see life u will progress In Jesus name.

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  10. I was about to write something, but emptiness came over me like a slap in the face. One breath at the time, keep going, keep trying.

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  11. Hi, hon. I take my meds at bedtime because they make me nauseous. Maybe that might work for you?
    All in all, it is a hard battle. Thanks for sharing.

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  12. Reading this made my day! I have struggled with depressed for about three years now, and am finally stable with the help of meds. I am so glad to hear you are doing well :) Good luck with everything, and congrats on finding a great doctor! Also, feel free to send me a message any time you want to talk! - Aly

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  13. I still have it, had it for years now. When I'm off the meds I get horrible temper, I feel so angry all the time. But I'm hoping for the best and I'm really happy to know you are strong and good now. I feel you.
    Kiss :*

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  14. Been there done that? Serioulsy? There are 27 different kinds of depression and the truth is some of us will never be free from of it. That's life. I've known people who have been on antidepressants for 10-15 years, so don't tell them it will get better cos that's a lie. They know better.

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  15. Thank you for sharing your experience. Someone close to me has depression but is on the mend. The more people who talk about it, the less stigma there is around mental illnesses. We all suffer to some degree in our lives I think. Glad to hear you're getting better :)

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  16. thank you for this post...not something i expected to see in my steam but i am impressed that you are open about your struggles.
    "There's no way I would be who I am today if it wasn't for this illness."
    i admire you for being able to learn from your struggles and be grateful for where they have taken you in life.

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  17. A good doctor is key and unfortunately, quite hard to find.
    I'm glad you're on the right path

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  18. Oh, I'm happy to hear that you are no longer depressed. I visit your blog quite often and I totally love you. I hope it will be better and better and one day you won't have to take your medicines. :-)

    Sorry for my english and.. lots of kisses ;-*

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  19. I'm so very happy that you've found a new doctor. You need to take care of your heart problem. That's really scary. I had been taking Effexor XR for about 11 years. I finally decided on my own to get off this medication. I'm completely off my medication for 3 months now and it's wonderful. It was rough for awhile but it's nice to feel things. I'm really glad your not depressed now. You'll be doing better and better. (((hugs)))

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  20. I hope that you figure everything out. I've had quite a bit of struggle with anxiety since I was a young girl, so I feel your pain.

    :) I love reading your blog and I'm glad to hear things are looking up.

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  21. Yay! It's so good to hear you're doing well. "This is not me anymore" is such an appropriate phrase to me, as it made a big difference when I finally really understood that the illness was NOT my identity.

    Very lovely photo in this post, too! =)

    -Alisa

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  22. Hi! I've been "following" your blogging for quite some time now but was always shy to come and say something. Not today. I'm a psychologist and I HAVE to tell you that I'm DEEPLY PROUD of you! Keep up! High spirits!

    And thank you, for everything!
    See ya, hugs!

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  23. Oh honey. I cried reading this - I feel your pain because I've been there. I am on Paroxetine for depression and an anxiety disorder. I've been on I for years and I can't see myself ever going off it because it works. Eight years ago when my marriage ended I was at absolute bottom, suicidal and incapable of leaving the house. Gradually I've come out of that, but I realised that I've suffered from depression in some form for most of my adult life, and I still hover round the edges of it occasionally but mostly I'm on a fairly even keel these days. I love life, I guess that's what matters. Anyway, thank you for such a thoughtful and well written post. And, well, just great big hugs to you! xx

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  24. Thank you for being an inspiration. :)

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  25. Thanks for sharing. I'm glad you found a new doctor. Wishing you all the best!

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  26. this is really nice to hear (= its such a positive message that i dont think is said enough. a lot of people go through this but never voice the struggles, the downs AND the ups. thank you lots for sharing.

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  27. Hey Nihrida, good on you for taking the initiative and changing doctors! My friend also felt paralyzed by the medication he was on so changed doctors and had his dose reduced. It can be hard so congratulations to you :)

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  28. Thank you for writing this. I too have struggled with depression, and I went through a terrible time with feeling like a zombie on one of the medications I was on too. I hated it. I couldn't cry either, and in a way that was worse than crying all the time. New medications and a LOT of work on myself have really turned things around for me. I also feel like I'm changed from my experiences with depression, and that it made me a better and stronger person.

    Well, this turned out longer than I wanted it to be, but from my little corner of the web... thank you. =)

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  29. I just wanted to take a moment and tell you how touched I was by your simple and honest letter. While I have never battled depression myself and don't fully understand what you've gone through, your bravery and determination is something to be applauded and hopefully your message, as one who's been there, will reach the right ears.....and help someone else. I totally agree with you on one thing, which has been my motto for many, many years: everything really does happen for a reason. Welcome back!

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  30. This post was great timing for me, I am in the process of lowering my dose from 150XR to the regular 75 as well. I am glad you found a great therapist, good luck on the rest of your journey!

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  31. Blargh. Depression sucks big rocks through bendy straws. I very much agree that we need to keep going and keep hoping. I'm glad that you're able to do that.

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  32. I think it's great that your new doctor is a person that you can talk to... Sometimes doctors belive and behave like we are "numbers" or "illness", not person... :(

    take care <3

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  33. You know that there is more to life than that. And that is why you keep struggling, and keep fighting. Just remember the good things. Always keep them in mind.

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  34. I'm really happy for you!!
    Good news ^^
    I really hope you'll be fine now and never let anything bring you down!!
    Hold on!

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  35. Thank you so much for posting about something so personal and with such passion. This post is an amazingly inspirational read for everyone out there with depression. I understand that 'Zombie' feeling completely and It's amazing that your new doctor is already trying to fix the problem. Congratulations on where you've come from where you've been,
    Your dedicated reader, Lauren.

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  36. I love this post, it's so motivational.
    and I'm really glad you won the struggle =)

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  37. I'm really glad this is not you anymore. :-* And I just hope you will be free of depression for the rest of your life or at least most of it!

    It's brave to openly talk about suffering from depression (or similar things), at least I think so because I hardly ever do. Unfortunately I've made the experience that my fear of degradation and loss of respect from others when it's noticed has a good reason oftentimes.
    Some people though are not at all ignorant and understand&respect depressed people still, as seen from all these nice comments here. :)

    My heart goes out to all of you, and I'm sure we -will- keep fighting, it's not like we had any other choice anyway ;)
    xox

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  38. I don't want to take meds, just because I'm afraid of all those side effects (I'm not all healthy aside from depression), and also because I think that IF I wouldn't be able to take a pill, or give it a break, it will all come back, and I guess it would be worse than now.
    My father visited a psychotherapist, and she prescribed him something, and that's it, she didn't even talk to him (only the first time when he came), so that's him and his meds, and not talking/solving real problems. So I'm afraid it would be the same with me. But I also don't think I could talk sincerely about everything that bothers me and makes me cry, makes me sad, and I'm not sure that therapist's words would convince me to change my mind in order to change myself. And I feel too weak to make an effort myself, and most time I don't even want to, it's apathy.. So I'm kind of stuck with it.

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  39. I'm so glad to hear you're getting better. Good luck in the future as well! *hugs*

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  40. Lepo napisano (to na koncu). Imam ravno prijateljico, ki se bori s to "boleznijo" in vidim, da ni lahko. Držim pesti zate!

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  41. I would reply properly, in terms of express myself properly, I mean... I'm through similar things for years, a mixed disease with a bit of depression, a bit of anxiety, a bit of panic attacks, a bit of phobias, a bit of pain in the ass... -__-
    I take meds, too, of course, but me and my doctor decided for a minimun dose of anxiolytic and antidepressant, just as support staff, not more, never. For this reason I didn't have collateral effects like nausea or reduced sensitivity. Long therapy but light. But, for me (in my specific case) the most indispensable therapy is psychotherapy: this is very useful, this is very very very very important to improve myself, my life, my everything...
    I can't know your reasons, of course, this reply is only my personal experience: I know my childhood, my family, my traumas, not yours, of course, and any single person is a unique case to fix. I hate when people pretend to understand you because they passed the "same" thing: doesn't exist another you, another life of yours, simply doesn't.

    And, of course, nail polish helps a lot: we need to learn pampering ourselves, this is a underrated thing. ^____^

    If you need something, please, I live in Friuli, next to you, make a sign! ;)

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  42. *hugs* our community is lucky to have you. I'm so happy you've found a doctor you can rely on. Best wishes :-)

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  43. Wow, I've never read anything about depression that's related to so much to how I feel! I've been struggling with depression since I was 10, so that's 9 years now. And like you, there's been ups and downs and there still is. And the worst part of it all is actually taking your meds and then getting that zombie feeling! I'd rather be able to cry and be happy and go up and down than just feeling like a zombie all the time. My boyfriend has noticed it a few times too where he's like "why are just.. so quiet and not in any sort of a mood at all?" and it just sucks! I'm so glad that you're feeling better and I mean that from the bottom of my heart! Depression is a horrible thing to be struggling with and it can take over your life and ruin it within no time if you're not careful. I'm glad you have found a nice doctor that you can really talk to, this makes all the difference in the world :) And I really hope (once the awful nausea that I know way too well!) is gone that you'll feel better :) Keep being optimistic and pamper yourself :)
    Tons of love and support from Denmark!<3

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  44. Thank you for this <3 .
    I'm glad that you're doing better. Best of luck to you!!
    ~ Nicole

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  45. Tako lušno se je zjutraj vsesti za računalnik in si prebrat tvoj nov post, zato res upam da ti je bolje.
    Ob branju tvojega bloga se ti res počutim blizu, ker pišeš tudi o zelo osebnih stvareh, spoštujem te, ker ne skrivaš svojih težav ampak odkrito govoriš o njih.
    Želim ti samo najbolje v življenju in upam da nova zdravila 'primejo'.
    :)

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  46. Thank you so much for writing this! It's so good to give hope to all these lovely people out there who're suffering the same thing. You're such a brave girl! I wish you all the best!

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  47. Congratulations on having found a new doctor. I hope you'll get better soon.

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  48. I have been reading your blog for a while now; I'm generally too shy to leave comments but this post was beautiful and I'm so happy you're feeling better. I can't say that I know what it's like to have depression but I know it's not something anyone would ask to go through, and I'm sure that hearing how you've come through it is great for many people who have battled the same demons you have.

    Laura

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  49. Kako ganljiv post. ♥ Res sem vesela zate, če pa boš kdaj kaj potrebovala, pa veš kje sm. *hug*

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  50. I know what is to have depression at family and what is to be depressed.
    Is good to know that there is hope.
    Thanks.

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  51. Nice that you have found a doctor you can talk to.. My doctor isnt easy to talk to :( I dont get why people is like that when they are there to help others. Nice to hear that its going better as well :)

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  52. I'm glad you're feeling better! Depression is tough. (I know, understatement of the century).

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  53. Poznam depresijo, saj je dolgoletna spremljevalka moje družine. In poznam tudi napredek, ko ga vidim. Zato ti iz srca čestitam, da si našla novo zdravnico, da na račun svoje zasebnosti pomagaš drugim v stiski, ki boječe preživljajo temačne dni, da se počutiš bolje in da si nadvse optimistična. Enostavno ti čestitam, da si tako krasna oseba. <3 Iskreno ti želim vse najboljše.


    P.s: Res si lepo napisala post, da sem ga v solzah prebrala do konca.

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  54. Hey,

    I kept the page of your blog opened all day yesterday, but was so busy I couldn't sit down ten minutes to write. I'm very glad to read what you posted. I just know you through this blog but somehow, of late, the fact that you weren't yourself could be felt and it's great that this is over. And now I see in today's post that some gal had to pollute your comments by saying you were a liar. This really makes me mad. Yes, some people spend their lives in depression because we're not equal in front of this disease but the fact that you overcome it say a lot about you, and you can be proud. You're right to say that there's a way out of it (I'm another example), keep up the good fight!!

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  55. Just read this... I know depression pretty well and you've been very strong as far as I've been following you. Take care, dear Sasha =)

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  56. I'm so glad you finally got better!
    I have borderline personality disorder and I've been struggling with depression for about 10 years. Of all the meds I've tried, venlafaxine and seroquel were the only ones that really helped. I'm currently taking 225mg of venlafaxine and I totally have this zombie feeling, but it's way better than how I feel without meds.
    I really appreciate your courage to talk about something this painful and personal so openly. I feel much better after reading this post and I'm sure I'm not the only one. Thank you so much for sharing this!
    To xsbluebearxs: it's true you can't be sure that things will get better, but neither can you be sure that things will NOT get better. (No, you cant! Doctors can be wrong, as we all know, and no statistic proof is a 100% proof.) And it's far more likely things will actually get better if you're willing to believe so.

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  57. So happy to read this! So glad you're feeling better.
    As for the naysayers who say it doesn't get better, you all just keep holding on to that depression, let it define you.

    I've been there, done that too, and I teeter on the edge at times, but I've learned to acknowledge and feel the sadness before it hides and becomes the monster. I hope you will too.
    <3

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  58. Dear, lovely Sasha,

    I've always deemed it unfair that someone who can bring me (and probably many with me) so much pleasure with her blog, personality and talents, can't feel the same joy herself. So I'm very happy that things -finally- seem to be working out for you.

    Take care, sweetheart.

    xoxo

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  59. Wow! XSBlueBearXS is an energy-sucking pessimist! What a lame thing to comment...

    I love your blog! This post made me happy! I also struggled with deression until I sought medical help. I now take Citalopram which is a generic form of Celexa and I love it - although I would love to not be dependent on medication at all!

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  60. drago mi je sto ti je bolje, zelim ti puno srece u nastavku borbe i dug i sretan zivot :)

    obozavam tvoj blog i radujem se kad vidim da si objavila novi post.

    nisam imala nista pametno napisat, ali zelim da znas da imas punu potporu i nepoznatih ljudi iz blogosfere :*

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  61. Hi Sasha, I don't comment much but I love your blog, so much style and in such a fun/cool presentation. That was a positive post, I know you are coming up on a sad anniversary, me too. Lost my best cat the same week you did, since then I have been depressed. You have a friend in Colorado, USA who cares and thinks about you often, stay strong girlie! I'll try to too...

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  62. Thank you for this post. Posts (and comments) from you have helped me to gain perspective before, and this is especially relevant to me because I too became tired of my antidepressants turning me into an unfeeling zombie with no downs, but no ups either. Although I've just been through several months when chemical assistance would definitely have helped me, I survived without it, and I guess I can feel proud of that.

    I'm so glad to hear your brighter tone, and I hope for only the best for you. Thank you :)

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  63. Hi,
    I'm happy that you're feeling better. I also fought with depression with drugs ( but unfortunatelly they didn't help much)and with drugs i had zombie feelings all day that was terrible. Now I'm without drugs finally happy after so many changes in my life.
    I admire you for your courage share this with us and I keep my fingers crossed i hope you continue getting better and better
    I'm looking forward for next blog posts

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  64. Thank you for posting this, I am glad to hear that you are feeling better. I have struggled with depression and anxiety for my whole life as well and just now found a med that works for me. I went through years of counseling and two other medications before I got to where I am today. It does get better, and with the right doctor; a person who understands you and your specific case, you really can feel like a normal person again. :) Wishing you only good things in the future.

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  65. We ALL are so proud of you! ♥ and it takes BIIIGG effort to put this on your blog, so we also admired you, I have been depressed over the last 2 years (I think more or less 2 years) I have never get any treatment, because the depression is only some times, I mean I'm not ALL DAY down., and I guess I'm a little ashamed of telling my mom that I feel this way, she is really the GREATEST woman on earth, and she would be sooo worried, we have lots of financial and family issues (I think all is because of the lack of money, but that's just my thought!) and I REEEALLLY don't want to become another charge in her life!

    Every day I try to feel happy about everything I have and everything I am, but sometimes it's hard! haha (:

    Thank you Nihrida for posting this it really make me feel like everything would be all right!

    God bless you! And keep it up! You're truly an inspiration! You're so gorgeous! please never forget that in our hearts (at least in mine) you are TRULY important and I love you (:♥ Greetings, hugs and kisses, from your FRIEND in México Viri ♥

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  66. yeah ... depression is a fucking bitch. we'll keep fighting the bitch though and come out as winners!

    about the meds ... I decided to stop taking them. as much as they've done for me (the initial progress was overwhelming), I feel they can't help me anymore, I need to really start dealing with my issues now which is something meds can never do. however, I just keep taking them cause shit happens when I stop and the depression is back in no time which is no way to live a life. I just heard about a good therapist yesterday (making an appointment ASAP) and I started reading a great book by dr. David Servan-Schreiber about healing depression without meds (in Slovene, it's called "Ozdravimo depresijo, tesnobo in stres brez zdravil in psihoanalize"), so I'm feeling pretty hyped and hopeful right now. I never really believed one can get rid of depression for good, but now I'm starting to think it can be done. I'm sending positive thoughts to everyone fighting with depression & co.; keep fighting!

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  67. A beautiful post from a beautiful person. Sasa, you stick out from the crowd with your uniques, braveness and big heartedness. I saw the light shining from you even when you didn't see it yourself. You were put on this planet to follow your story, learn from it and share it with others. Your beautiful soul and compassion towards our innocent furry friends are making the world a better place. Step by step. Day by day. You are a true inspiration!! Love from across the globe. xoxo

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  68. Keeping you in my thoughts and sending hugs

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  69. You are so brave, the way you're talking about this. I hope you will get better soon. Wishing you all the best.

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  70. I want to thank you for being brave enough to talk about your depression so openly because I have never been able to. I have struggled with depression, anxiety, OCD and panic attacks since I was 8 years old and have been on meds since then. I've been on all the antidepressants there are and Prozac (fluoxetine) has worked the best for me. I have been battling the numb, zombie feeling for a few years now and its awful. I have no motivation to do anything, just like you described. I have horrible migraines and am tired all the time as well. I am seeing so many doctors and am on so many meds for everything. All I want to do is just pause my life and hide and sleep for a very long time. Depression is something that you have to be very strong to live with and I have a very hard time talking openly about it. I am okay with leaving this comment telling you and anyone else who reads it all about my personal struggle because this post really spoke to me and I wanted to share what I've been through as well. Here's to all of us out there in the hopes that someday we can all be happy and whole. Thank you for being brave and courageous.

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  71. Hmm I'm on the same meds and same dose as you were.. And I've been zombie-like for the last 3-4 months! I thought it was just me, but maybe it's a side effect of the meds.. I might have to check with my doctor.. 'cause it's so damn annoying being so xtremely tired all the time..

    Thanks so much for sharing this :) I'm glad you are feeling better and are taking this as a positive thing!
    So far I've been able to keep going (but just barely) and now that I've met a wonderful guy it'll probably get easier!

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