Sierra's View: Q&A: On Depression

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Monday, January 20, 2014

Q&A: On Depression

Happy MLK Day! No School. WOOOOOO. I am taking a much needed day to myself: bikram yoga, cleaning out my car, watching the Bachelor (of course) and maybe doing some reading. I have big plans to rejuvenate and have my alone time. Last night, I had my brother and some friends from my hometown over for dinner to celebrate my brother's birthday and it was fun. I was happy that we got to bond and spend some quality time with people who I have known forever. Nothing better than catching up and seeing old friends. I've had a great weekend celebrating birthdays of friends and brothers, a lot of yoga time, cleaning, and making sure I feel rested. (Hey, I socialized this weekend, okay?! I'm improving!)

Last week, I posted about a podcast that really affected me positively when it comes to my depression. I am so grateful for the positive feedback I received. I hope you all took the time to listen and/or read the quotes about it. I have received a lot of questions about my experience with this "issue"so I thought I would open it up for some questions. I loved the questions that I received. I hope that these responses will help. Enjoy. :)
Nature usually helps :)

I have really really bad anxiety, at times I've felt it was up to the point of depression, but who knows. Anyways, it effected my marriage like crazy during the first year, until we figured everything out. Has it effected your marriage? How have you handled it up to this point? Are they any strategies you use to help you? 

I am really happy that I receive this question. Why? Because it's a tough question for me to answer. And it really made me think. Often times, anxiety and depression go hand in hand. And I would be lying if I said that it hasn't affected my marriage. But it has, unfortunately. But, things have gotten better. Like you said in your question, it has taken us 6 months to kind of figure out how to deal with this. Unfortunately, things like anxiety and depression don't just affect the person, but others around them too: family members, friends, spouses. At this point, the best thing that T and I do is he allows me my space. He lets me process my emotions and gives me my space. When I am ready to talk (and sometimes he has to force it out of me), we sit and talk. I tell him how I am feeling. And I am so lucky that I married a patient, loving man. Who pushes me when I have been sulking too long, but also allows me to feel the way I feel. The best strategies that we use in our marriage is honestly…we talk. A lot. I am incredibly honest with him when it coms to everything. I let him know when I am angry, either at him or myself or someone else. I tell him why I think I am feeling this way. This has allowed an open dialogue between us and I think it has helped us a lot. But, like I said, we are no pros. We are still trying to figure it out too :)  

Is there more than one type of depression? Which one do you suffer with? 
I am SO happy someone asked this question!!! Often times, people confuse all different types of depression and there are different types.  There is Major depressive disorder—also called major depression. This is what I suffer from. The symptoms of major depression are disabling and interfere with everyday activities--even the smallest activities that include eating, getting out of bed, etc.  The best way I can explain this kind of depression is, it comes back repeatedly. This is often the "depression" that people deal with their entire life. Where it goes away and comes back, differing on separate time periods. Minor Depression—also called dysthymia. Dysthymia is mild, chronic depression. The symptoms of dysthymia last for a long time—2 years or more. Dysthymia is less severe than major depression, but it can still interfere with everyday activities. People with dysthymia may also experience one or more episodes of major depression during their lifetimes. There is also Seasonal affective disorder, which is where depression that begins during the winter months and lifts during spring and summer. (Often, people with Major Depressive Disorder, deal with this as well). 

What do you do to get out of your "funk" or when you are low?
This is by no means scientific, but I allow myself that time to be down. I still get up and go to work and do those things that are necessary for me to function. But when I am in a spot that I am so low, I give myself ONE DAY to spend some time "sulking" or whatever you want to call it. I take that afternoon after school to nap, go for a walk by myself, take a bath, watch my favorite show on tv. But after that day, I try everything possible to make sure to stay busy the next few days. The best way for me to get out of my funk is to stay busy. But that is just me personally. Everyone has different ways they cope with it. I do think it's important that I allow myself time to feel what I feel. To allow myself to be down, but not be down for too long, if that makes sense. 

What is the most helpful advice anyone has given you when it comes to dealing with your depression? 
BABY STEPS. Often times, what people don't understand is that when people are at their "low points" the thought of doing all of those things that need to get done in a day, just makes them want to curl back up in their bed. And the best advice I have ever received is to just take things one thing at a time. Today, make yourself get out of bed and go to work. Tomorrow, make yourself get out of bed and go to work and go for a walk. When you take one thing at a time, it allows you to slowly progress into getting more done in a day, and being happy about it at the same time. 

Do you think you will ever stop having depression?
Honestly, no. I thought I would for awhile. I went a long time feeling awesome. I had bad days, but not super low periods of time (we're talking weeks and months, not just days). I think that this is a battle that I will face for the rest of my life. That is not to say that I will never happy. I am happy a lot. I laugh a lot. I truly enjoy my life a lot. But these depressive periods will come back--they always do. And every time is just as hard as the first time. Which is exhausting, believe me. But, I have realized that this is one of my trials in this life. And I will be okay. And as long as I can accept that, I know that I can make it through. 

I hope this helped. I hope it didn't make you depressed :) I hope you know that I am not an emo person, but this is just a struggle that I think everyone can relate to--whether they know someone or they experience it themselves. 
Sometimes I sing to myself, "Don't worry… be happy…." Ha! 


  1. Love this! Really helps others see a little more in the life of someone who suffers from depression and to see that you can still be happy and it's possible! I feel like depression or other metal illnesses are hard to be open about because more people aren't comfortable with it, at least when I would discuss my issues I felt people were uncomfortable. Glad you opened up and answered some questions, it's really helpful and will help enlighten people! :)

  2. Have you ever tried medication? I know a lot of people are against it, but the way I see it, it's a chemical imbalance in your brain. Diabetes is another chemical imbalance and no one would get mad at them for taking their medication. I only ask because it changed my life so dramatically, while only changing me a bit. I'm still an emotional person and it's still easier to make me cry than it is many other people, but I can handle my life now. My depression got so bad that I stopped eating, lost over 20 pounds, and had to move home and drop out of school temporarily. Now I'm almost graduated, working, engaged, and am just so happy and love my life every day. It also greatly improved my relationship with Jesus. I want the same for everyone else :)


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