October 7, 2008

Crutches

Mia: Daddy, what's a prescription?
Me: It's medicine.
Mia: You take medicine?
Me: Yes, I take medicine every day.
Mia: Why do you need medicine?
Me: It's for my head.
Mia: Does your head hurt?
Me: Something like that.

Mia and I were standing in line at the prescription counter in the grocery store on Sunday morning. She was, for the most part, pacified by my explanation. And thank god (or whoever). I give my daughter all the credit in the world for being a smart kid but I'm not sure she's ready for the full answer. Or maybe I'm not ready to tell her. But mostly, I think the explanation would be too nuanced for her and she wouldn't be able to appreciate the fact that, on the whole, I'm fine. And happy.

I'll admit to you right now that I've typed and retyped the remainder of this post (and I'll probably retype this admission) because it seems nearly impossible for me to phrase this just right, in a way that I'm happy with. It's not a sensitive subject or difficult for me to discuss. It's not even something I've avoided talking about here. Instead, it's just another something in my life I deal with and move on. And it's also something millions of other people have faced; my experience is nothing special.

See, the prescription I was waiting for was for Paxil. I suffer from depression.

While other kids in college were discovering the joys of binge drinking and promiscuous sex, I discovered the joys of extreme, crippling panic attacks. Not quite as much fun as beer pong but an experience nonetheless. The panic attacks were followed by an extreme reluctance to leave my apartment except to attend class and even then my attendance record was miserable. Somehow I emerged from college with a future wife and a 3.0 grade point average so, on the whole, I did pretty well. In the intervening years I've done pretty well too.

I've resigned myself to the fact that I'll probably take medication of some sort for a long time. When I first started all this, some fifteen years ago, I thought of pills as a crutch. I've changed my mind. Whatever gets you through the day. Occasionally, I'm an asshat and forget to take meds for a couple of days. Or I grow convinced that I took them earlier in the evening and skip a dose not wanting to double-up. It's then that I realize how much they help. Without them, I worry and, as a result, I'm rigid and tense. With their help, I've come a long, long way.

And I don't want Mia to have a sad daddy. I'd rather her think that, just occasionally, my head hurts.

Posted by Chris at October 7, 2008 6:43 AM
Comments

There are chemical issues and you are right, whatever gets you through the day. It doesn't mean you are less or weak. You are strong to find what does work for you. You are strong because you are honest with yourself and sought help. You are strong enough to want to be a great parent and husband.

Posted by: Debbie at October 7, 2008 6:58 AM

I'm not someone that likes to take meds, I will do anything I can to NOT take meds, crap I will jump on one foot, reciting shakespeare every morning while consuming mass quantities of onions if it would cure some ailment. But if it works it works. I had to resign myself to taking Topamax for migraines, I was getting headaches daily, my doctors didn't really listen to me much, finally after getting headaches daily for my entire life since I was a teen and eventually when I was about 32 I would get shooting pains when I turned my neck to look over my shoulder at traffic I was convinced I must have a brain tumor and just went over my doctors head to a neurologist and discovered ummm no you just have migraines and daily ones that I was put on Topomax which I have to take daily. I gotta tell you how upset I was, like tears upset that I had to take a medicine everyday. But I don't get headaches, I probably get a headache twice a year now if that. It's amazing and if I could marry my Topomax I would but it would be expensive. So you do what you need to do Chris, it makes you the interesting person that you are and we all need help sometimes.

Posted by: Deirdre at October 7, 2008 7:07 AM

Chris, I take Paxil, too. Sometimes I'm okay with it, other times less so. But, it's still an important part of my life. Thanks for "coming out" about it.

Posted by: sharri at October 7, 2008 7:13 AM

It's interesting that we see things so differntly as parents. We look at things now from the point of our child instead of ourselves and that is what parenthood is really all about.

Posted by: harrylips at October 7, 2008 7:20 AM

Welcome to the club!
And you know what? Never be worried about it. It's part of what makes us who we are.
I know I will be on medication for the rest of my life due to depression.
But now I have a wonderful life! A happy life.
Viva La Pharmaceuticals!

Posted by: Maribeth at October 7, 2008 7:22 AM

I was on Celexa for a while - I had a similar university experience as you, it seems. I found it hard to start taking them until a friend pointed out that if I was a diabetic I would take insulin, and I take thyroid hormones to replace the ones my thyroid doesn't make - what was the difference here? I've stopped taking them, but I'm starting to wonder if I'd be struggling with the dragon as often as I do if I hadn't...

Posted by: suze at October 7, 2008 7:54 AM

Your taking Paxil is because of biology/chemistry in your body. In my eyes, it's no different than the fact that I need to take a pill every day because my thyroid is messed up and without that pill, I don't feel like me (ironically, a symptom of hypothyroid is depression and last fall/winter was really horrible - feeling so unlike myself and so sad and having no clue why I couldn't seem to get back on track).

Kids don't always need to know every detail - but, I think it's good for them to see their parents managing and being responsible for their health. I think there's a huge carryover effect to how they view their own wellbeing.

Posted by: Sarah at October 7, 2008 8:02 AM

I'm like Dierdre when it comes to taking medications but it there is something that is crippling you mentally or physically then I think it's necessary. College must have been very difficult for you and having a son that age now makes it hit home for me.
Ten years ago I had 1/2 my thyroid removed because of a growth that was undeterminable as benign or malignant and I've been on medication ever since. My biggest fear was that even with the medication I'd be like the people I read about on the forums -- TSH levels were respectable but they still couldn't get out of bed, kept gaining weight, etc. Thankfully that has never happened (and that's why I get up at 5am to take my pill - so I can eat breakfast at 6!)

Posted by: NancyJak at October 7, 2008 8:06 AM

I love that you guys are honest with your kids about so many things. I think they'll be grateful someday.

Posted by: sunshine at October 7, 2008 8:07 AM

My husband tried Paxil and didn't like the side effects. He is now on Wellbutrin but says he can't tell that it makes a difference. I tell him that I can tell it makes a difference. He's much less tense and grouchy. So he keeps taking it although he doesn't like to take pills. He tried stopping them once for about two months and I had to tell him to start again...or keep on without me. It was a terrible thing to say. But I'm thankful for the medicine because I can't imagine his living his life the way he is without the medicine.

My daughter is now on medicine too for much the same issues. It breaks my heart that we most likely passed this on to her genetically, but I'm thankful she has a wonderful supportive husband and that she too can have medicine to make her feel better.

I'm thankful for the advances in pharmacology that allows them both to live a happier, more fulfilled life than they would if we didn't have these medicines.

Posted by: daisy at October 7, 2008 8:11 AM

Gee, I woulda never guessed you as a nutjob!

I kid. Seriously, I have dealt, on and off, with depression since I was about 23. It is not fun for yourself or anyone who has to deal with you on a daily basis. The medicine does more than make us happy, it keeps us from becoming a burden on those we love. That sounds bad, but I figure you will get what I mean.

Posted by: Jeff A at October 7, 2008 8:24 AM

I told my kids I take medicine so that I don't cry every day.

Maybe that was too much information.

Posted by: Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah at October 7, 2008 8:43 AM

I can't say that I know what it's like to suffer from depression or anything else except when I was in middle school and I sort of had this flesh-eating disease (you think I'm joking...) But that's not my point. My point is - we all have our own quirks, things that some may consider to be "wrong" with us. Here's how I look at it: none of us are perfect, but we are surrounded with friends, family, love and laughter. Really - what more could you want?

Posted by: Emily at October 7, 2008 8:51 AM

I was diagnosed two years ago with ADD and depression. My doctor put me on Strattera and what a godsend it was. I finally felt like what I thought people were supposed to feel like. Now I forget to take my medication a lot but I'm working on strategies to remember better. I myself wrestled with seeing the doctor for a long time because of the stigma I put on my "challenges" because they were psychological in nature. But as my doctor said, they're not they're chemical. If I had diabetes and took insulin injections every day that wouldn't make me a loser sugar freak, right? It's been a tough road for me because of my own projections.

One thing I find though, my meds seem to make me feel more flat - creatively. I don't know if anyone else experiences that or not...

Posted by: Jules at October 7, 2008 8:54 AM

You always write so well about this, I see me taking Prozac in the same way a diabetic takes insulin.

Sounds like we had similar college experiences though, although I didn't leave with a future wife...

Posted by: Katherine at October 7, 2008 9:00 AM

Chris,

My husband has panic attacks and he had so many recently that he started taking meds and I am trying to get him to go to a support group. I have been reading that a combination of meds and therapy help. He tries to act "tough" but I know that he needs more than just medication.

Thanks for writing about your personal experiences it helps more than you know.

It helps immensely to have the love and support of your family...and I know you have that :)

Jewels

Posted by: Julie Andel at October 7, 2008 9:07 AM

You're not alone.

My meds, literally, saved my life.

I fear where I'd be without them.

We owe it to our kids to be the best parents we can be. And if that means we're medicated, so be it.

Posted by: Jase at October 7, 2008 9:09 AM

I am all about taking help where you can get it. I think my meds saved my life too, actually.

Posted by: Fraulein N at October 7, 2008 9:11 AM

As someone who takes Lexapro I truly appreciate you talking about this. It has taken me a long time to accept that it is a chemical issue, and I am a better happier person when I faithfully take them.
Mia is lucky to have a daddy to do what is necessary to be a good daddy!

Posted by: diane at October 7, 2008 9:17 AM

I'm on some major drugs for mild bipolar - they have saved my life and although I know I'll be on them for the rest of my life, I thank God that they exist. Good for you for being open about this - the more people who are open about it, the better people will accept this is a real illness.

Posted by: Heather at October 7, 2008 9:19 AM

I think there are a lot more of us who need to take a daily pill to fix our heads than are willing to admit, and that's kind of sad. I'm off the Zoloft now, since I've been able to keep the depression/anxiety under control with just therapy for the time being, but taking meds for a mood disorder really is no different than taking something for a physical ailment.

Two of my three children went on ADHD meds in the last year, and Princess may also eventually need something for her anxiety disorder as well. They both seem to understand that the medicine helps them keep their emotions/concentration in check so that they can make the right decisions and get through the day. In some ways, the kids who are taking these medicines feel less of a stigma than the adults do, since diagnosises (diagnoses?) become more precise and disorders are identified earlier in life.

Posted by: MamaKaren at October 7, 2008 9:25 AM

Glad you "came out" on this. People suffering from mental/emotional disorders have been in the closet way too long. Maybe that's part of the reason we're given odd looks and denied medical coverage for doctor appointments and meds. "Behavioral health" is why BC/BS calls it, as if I could change the behavior. When mainstream, mentally healthy America recognizes that mental illness is a disease as crippling and dangerous as cancer, maybe the stigma attached will wane.

Posted by: Hazel at October 7, 2008 9:27 AM

I tried millions of different meds for my migraines/CDH (Chronic Daily Headache) including Topamax which is actually an anti-seizure medication. Nothing worked. Finally my dr. said, let's try Prozac. NO! I didn't want to try that--I'm not depressed, I said. I have headaches. BAD headaches. But he talked me into trying it...stating all sorts of medical mumbo jumbo about ssri's and stuff. Anyway, I told him I'd try it for a few months and if it wasn't working I was stopping. He agreed.

Not only have my headaches decreased from 5-6 a week to 1-2 every few weeks, I feel so much, well, happier. I thought I was just crabby and tired from feeling bad all the time...perhaps I felt bad all the time because I was depressed. I am an entirely different person--so different that co-workers and friends that don't know about the meds have commented on it. I don't know how long I'll take it, but I do know that I'm glad the dr. convinced me.

While I'm not a huge proponent of haphazardly prescribing meds (depression or otherwise) to just anyone who asks for them, I think that you do what you need to do to be healthy and happy.

Posted by: Alissa at October 7, 2008 9:54 AM

I'm on board with you, my friend. Anxiety and depression ruled my life - along with my alcoholism - for a long, long time. Now that I've been sober long enough to put some of the crazies at bay, my psychiatrist and I are tinkering with the medication to make sure that we're no longer medicating my drinking. I'll be glad when the adjustments are over and I'm back to stable, silly and perky. Because that's how we like me today!

Posted by: k8 at October 7, 2008 9:54 AM

I have the same issue...panic attacks coupled with anxiety attacks...those are fuuuuun. not! Plus I have what my therapist once coined as "blank slate syndrome"...meaning when it gets too stressful to deal with I can turn myself off.

Luckily, I haven't needed the medication since early 2007....but I wonder sometimes...LOL

You're doing the right thing!

Posted by: Michelle at October 7, 2008 10:03 AM

I'm so glad you live in a time when much of the stigma has left. I wish I had.

Posted by: Ann Adams at October 7, 2008 10:11 AM

Thank you. It's a ways off, but I've thought quite a bit of what I'll tell my son about mommy's head doctor visits and Al Anon.

It's nice to know I'm not alone. And it's so great to see everyone else talking about their experiences in the comments. Sometimes it seems it would be easier if it weren't such a secret.

Posted by: Jeanne at October 7, 2008 10:17 AM

This is a topic I understand thoroughly. I also take behavioral meds daily, as does my wife.

For me, first it was depression meds, but they had an adverse affect leading to a more accurate diagnosis of a mild bi-polar disorder - basically, I cycle into depression, but lack the chemicals to cycle out. This on top of ADD.

My wife's situation is similar to your own - panic attacks with the depression. The few I've witnessed are scary, and you never know when they will hit, like the one she had in the middle of church triggered by a stranger who sat too close to me (not her) in the pew.

Things really got bad recently when we lost medical benefits and could not pay for COBRA after being laid off. We were worthless, but thankfully, we have a strong marriage to get us through. We can get our meds now, but sometimes we forget or wait until the bottle gets too low.

The consolation in all of this is the great deal of understanding we have for one another. For the both of us, this is our second marriage. Our former spouses couldn't fathom why we couldn't just function normal, and so, it definitely was a factor in those failed unions.

A second comfort we take from this is that because these things tend to be hereditary, we have to educate ourselves thoroughly on the signs displayed in our kids. My 9 y/o son and her 6 y/o daughter already display some of the indicators. It's important not to jump to conclusions (like going right to the medicating option), but we understand the measures to take in order to monitor behavior and assist them as they grow up.

Also, there are many people out there who we’ve come in contact with that deal with the same thing. Collectively, we’ve become a strong source of support for each other through the deep relationships cultivated.

I'm going to echo the many others who have complimented your openness on a very real and serious topic. One that, because of our nature as men, are reluctant to admit to, let alone discuss in public forum.

Thanks

Posted by: CK Lunchbox at October 7, 2008 10:22 AM

I hear you on this one... struggled w/ depression/anxiety my whole life. Thank you for sharing.

Posted by: Christina at October 7, 2008 10:46 AM

Well, I can tell you're a great daddy just from the subtle and not-so-subtle things you write here. So, whatever you're doing right now is the right thing, and that's all that matters. :)

Posted by: Brad at October 7, 2008 10:51 AM

I know it's the frightening and strange symptoms that accompany depression that make us feel that it is somehow different from other medical conditions. And also the fact that depression can be caused by factors other than a simple chemical imbalance - we know that circumstances and history and relationships and so many other things can play a role. What I don't understand is why we can't see that those same things affect "conventional" medical conditions. You are not using medication as a crutch. You are doing what it takes to make your body function as a healthy body should. There is no shame in that. And you are probably right that Mia is too young to understand the nuances of depression yet. But it is great that you are thinking about how to explain it to her at some point. Because genetically speaking, she carries the possibility of depression in her own body and, in my opinion, it's best to arm kids with the knowledge they will need to fight it, should they need to.

Posted by: Shannon at October 7, 2008 11:49 AM

I've had to get a little more involved in my explanation to Elizabeth as she gets older about my bipolar medications (Bipolar II). It hasn't progressed much further than "my medicine helps me stay on track when my brain decides to go in a different direction"... while not too detailed, it seems to make her understand it a little better.

Posted by: amber at October 7, 2008 12:12 PM

It doesn't mean that Mia has a sad daddy, it means that her daddy loves her and his family enough to realize what he may need.

Posted by: Dianna at October 7, 2008 12:16 PM

I'm convinced there's a disproportionate number of bloggers who also suffer from depression. Or at least all the ones I read do anyway.

I'm a much easier person to live with when I'm on meds for depression. And it doesn't give me any kind of drugged-out sense of only being half-present. (I take Cymbalta). I call it my keep-me-from-wigging-the-fuck-out medicine. My Kid gets that. And he appreciates that I no longer wig the fuck out.

I figure, if I had a headache, I'd take an aspirin. If I were diabetic, I'd take insulin. I'm depressed, so I take an anti-depressant. No shame in that.

Posted by: kalisa at October 7, 2008 12:26 PM

I've done the depression thing, almost to the point of no longer existing. It's no fun. I got help, but never did the chemical side of things. I've heard both good and bad stories about the effects of anti-depressants and figured that I could make it through the tunnel without them. And I did for the most part. I still slip into melancholy occasionally and I keep myself sequestered from the world probably more often than I should due to some deep-seated anxiety issues. I sometimes wonder if everything would be better with a daily pill, but I'm just not sure and that's enough to keep me from doing it.

It probably doesn't help that I have a highly addictive personality and that I could easily see myself spinning into that abyss. Wheeee.

Posted by: You can call me, 'Sir' at October 7, 2008 12:28 PM

It's good to be able to recognize when you need outside help.

I have no problems taking allergy and asthma meds every day, but when I first went on anti-depressants, I saw it as a crutch. Why it was a crutch by the others weren't? No clue. Anyway, I've figured out since that my lows are much more manageable when I take a low dosage of Effexor and that's not really any different from using my inhaler to make sure I can breath.

Anyway, from what we see, you're doing great. :) I'm glad you're not full of anxiety, etc.

Posted by: Lisa at October 7, 2008 12:37 PM

I take Lexapro.

As my 10 year old and 6 year old have had the misfortune of witnessing a full blown panic attack, they know all about it. My 10 year old "gets it" - my 6 year old knows the pills? They make it so mommy doesn't cry all of the time. And he likes that.

Posted by: Mindy at October 7, 2008 12:51 PM

What ever gets you through the day is exactly right. It's a brave thing to talk openly about this tough subject. Kuddos for that. And even bigger kuddos for having the courage to do something about it. Coming from a household where it was ignored long enough to almost tear the house down its amazing to others dealing with depression proactively. Mia and Owen will love you even more for that one day.

Posted by: Jen at October 7, 2008 1:18 PM

I suffered from some pretty intense, frightening panic attacks in my early to mid-twenties and, let me tell you, if I were still experiencing them, for damn sure I'd be taking whatever I needed to take to make them stop.

Just thinking back to some of the worst ones is makeing me a little queasy.

Posted by: patricia at October 7, 2008 1:46 PM

Hey, at least your got help. When Mia is old enough to understand, she'll understand. You can kind of answer questions about death and heaven, but depression... is a little harder. Maybe because it's a little more specific? I don't know.

I was having tons of panic attacks when I left for college. I would go to bed and think I was going to die. I went to a counselor on campus and her glorious solutions were 1) go to church, and 2) not think about dying.

So yeah. Sometimes the psychotherapy thing doesn't work either.

Posted by: Caleal at October 7, 2008 2:03 PM

it's good that you tell her.
but only as much as you think she can handle.
:)

Posted by: ali at October 7, 2008 2:39 PM

Good for you! So many people, especially men, are afraid to get the help they need in fear of feeling or looking inferior or weak. Perfect example is the latest murder-suicide, this guy shot and killed his wife, 3 boys, and his mother in law before turning the gun on himself. All because he was depressed and in a financial rut. So sad. I applaud anyone who truly needs to be medicated and does so without feeling ashamed. You obviously have a fabulous life and live it to the fullest, best part is, you get to benefit all who come around you either in "real life" :) or on your blog.

Posted by: Kristin at October 7, 2008 2:40 PM

Depression is something everyone experiences. Some people are fortunate to have it go away on its own.

I used to take depression medication, but haven't in about 7 years.

I am at my happiest time in life and I still feel the depression creep in from time to time. It's currently manageable without meds, but if I start the daily unhappiness despite living the life I know should make me happy I will be consulting my physician.

I definitely suffer from anxiety on a fairly regular basis, and have attacks on occasion. Nothing to do but wait for the other side...

Posted by: Poppy at October 7, 2008 2:49 PM

Hurrah for brave, balanced Cactus!

Posted by: Vaguely Urban at October 7, 2008 3:05 PM

The day I went on Zoloft was the day the world changed for me and my family. No one likes having to take medicine every day but there it is. I think the fact that you take it...for yourself as well as for your family..makes you an allright kinda guy in my book! :)
dawn

Posted by: Dawn at October 7, 2008 3:33 PM

She has a daddy who cares enough about himself and his family to be healthy. That's a good lesson.

Posted by: Jodi at October 7, 2008 3:42 PM

Chris, I think the explanation you gave her is enough for now.

I needed anti-depressants for the longest. Finally, the pain of infertility pushed me to the edge. I was suicidal and if taking a pill would get me through then I resigned myself to it. I still take them every day and probably always will.

I decided that I am the only one who has to live inside my head 24/7 and that life was way too short to be that miserable.

Good for you for being "out" about this here. Maybe it will help someone who is afraid or ashamed. Thanks.

Posted by: Anna at October 7, 2008 5:03 PM

I have PCOS. There's the confession I rarely speak of in public. I won't bore you with the boring details of PCOS and allow you if you so desire to google it.

Secondly...due to PCOS I often struggle with depression. It's occasional but when it comes I pop the Zoloft for 2 months then wean myself back off. This happens to me probably once every 2 years.

If you had Asthma you'd take medication for it. I feel the same way about any and all mental aggravations that exist. It's pointless to suffer when there is a pill.

Again..good job explaining to the kidlet.

Posted by: Kristy at October 7, 2008 5:12 PM

I think that's the perfect thing to tell Mia. And yes, whatever gets you through the day.

Posted by: bad penguin at October 7, 2008 5:58 PM

Prozac junkie here. Been on it for 16 years now. My college life was exactly like yours. Sucks to be us sometimes, but ya know what, I just want to say with all my heart your blog and "knowing you" here makes my world a brighter place.
PS-I WON THE GREEBLEMONKEY CD!! NEENER NEENER!!
Cheryl
You are still the top burrito (remmy that? lol)

Posted by: Cheryl at October 7, 2008 8:30 PM

People who can talk about such things are super-cool. As in, knowing you don't have to hide. You're okay with who you are (as you should be), and there's nothing wrong with taking something that helps you stay on an even keel.

Posted by: Zandria at October 7, 2008 8:56 PM

It's really such a shame that panic and depression are things people feel they have to hide. I was so embarrassed when I finally admitted to myself I was having panic attacks, but once I started talking about it I found out that pretty much everyone I knew either suffered from some sort of panic themselves or had a family member that did. Once you realize that, it's so much easier. Now I often joke about it. Of course, I never suffered from depression and thankfully have only had to take drugs to fly, but I can see how easily it could've been different. If it's working for you, then that's all that matters. And if you can spare Mia, that's good too.

Posted by: laura at October 7, 2008 10:11 PM

I'm delurking to comment because I'm in the same boat. I started taking Zoloft about four years ago, reluctantly, because I also saw it as a crutch, but it turned out to be a good idea (go figure). It was supposed to be for about 18 months, but my doctor doesn't see a reason to discontinue it if it's helping, which it is. I do miss a day sometimes, but if it's any longer than that, I can really tell there's a difference.

I've alluded to it on my blog but never been as direct as you have. It's good to know I've got company...thanks for being so honest.

Posted by: Florinda at October 7, 2008 11:40 PM

What is with the negative stigma on medication for anxiety and depression? I think it's awesome that you are so open about it because it helps other people see they are not alone and it's absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. People take medication for things they can actually control, like high blood pressure and cholesterol, and nobody thinks twice about it. But oh my God, let's pass judgement on those who need their chemicals balanced. Good for you for talking about it, being honest about it and accepting it for what it is. I am sure you touched a lot of people with this post.

Posted by: April at October 8, 2008 12:25 AM

Hmm, my blog title might say it all. I have extreme panic attacks (or at least I did before teh Zoloft). I talked to my doctor about going off of the meds, but she thought I should wait until I'm done with school. I swear the attacks were related to my job, but my family and friends ask that I keep taking them as I am much less "scattered" and "emotional" when on my meds. Whatever works...as you said.

Posted by: Krush at October 8, 2008 12:37 AM

amen. i also agree with the "whatever gets you through the day". my mother and one of my sisters suffer from Bi-Polar Disorder, and i've seen what a world of difference medication makes in their lives. why suffer without when it makes life tolerable and better?

Posted by: tiffanie at October 8, 2008 2:05 AM

Chris, I really admire your honesty, your parenting and your way with words. I can't imagine what it must be like to suffer from such a cruel illness. The closest I've been to deppression was a little hormonal inbalance in my second month of pregnancy with little Roo. I felt depressed for two weeks until I snapped out of it and felt happy again.

If the drugs help you to feel happy and healthy, I think they're no different from any other drugs for other illensses. It's great that they help. I am a little concerened about a documentary I saw on anti deprressants. It said that some drugs aren't really helping, but if you stop taking them, you feel like you're (this is where my english vocabulary fails :)... you're in ,... detox? That it is the drug your body needs and that's why you feel depressed when you stop taking them.

In no way I am implying or saying that that's the case with you or the other people commenting. I just wanted to share my concerns. That documentary was pretty shocking, I thought.

Mia and Owen have an awesome dad, and I hope your depression will one day go away.

Posted by: Nadine at October 8, 2008 3:12 AM

No one wants Mia to have a sad Dad. Or Owen. Or Beth to have a sad husband. You are a good man. Thanks for sharing.

Posted by: Beth at October 8, 2008 5:51 AM

I have to agree with what so many others have said: There shouldn't be any more of a stigma for medicine for this type of illness, than for high cholesterol or asthma or anything else.

My hat is off to you, friend, for having the courage to post this. This is exactly what I needed. I've been reading up on the topic, and think I myself might need to broach this subject with my doctor. Thanks for having the courage to share.

Posted by: Caitlin at October 8, 2008 7:15 AM

Sounds like exactly the right amount of information for Mia. And good for you for not trying to white knuckle it. Good Dad choice.

Posted by: OS at October 8, 2008 8:20 AM

I wish I'd seen this post before Sunday. I am on a combo of 3 drugs for night terrors and anxiety plus mild depression, including Lexapro. I could have told you the whole sad sob story in person.

Hugs, dude.

Posted by: Aimee Greeblemonkey at October 9, 2008 12:08 AM

I suffer from social anxiety and know the feeling of panic at just the mere thought of leaving my house. Meds changed my life and if I can live a happier life with them then I do so without regret.

Posted by: c.l. at October 9, 2008 5:12 PM


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