I’ve survived the normal issues in an American woman’s life in the 80’s and 90’s. Raising 6 kids through the teenage years, father remarries, mother’s medical crisis’, death of stepmom, car wrecks, job changes, alcohol abuse on my part, with resulting emotional and health problems to self and family….I finally get myself to a therapist, who gets me to AA, where I stop drinking, attempt suicide, committed to hospital.
I am diagnosed as clinically depressed, with significant hormone imbalances. Not a neurotic alcoholic who needs to get real and just grow up. Once I understand the diagnosis, and follow doctor’s orders (4 hospital stays in all), I can start putting my life back together.
Lessons learned – There are no villains in life, only very human heroes. Women should have hormone, thyroid, cholesterol, and vitamin deficiencies tests, as well as the yearly mammogram, Pap smear, and blood pressure, despite what the insurance companies claim. Post partum depression is a real illness, not just a lazy woman’s way of not wanting to take responsibility for her children. Full time childcare is the most difficult, demanding profession/job. Prozac is not addictive. Alcohol only makes insomnia, depression and panic attacks worse. Support groups, therapy, spiritual path, prayer, meditation, diet and exercise are all important, but they cannot cure clinical depression. Kids can be incredibly generous and forgiving in their love. My husband loves me very, very much, and the feeling is mutual. I am not a failure. Life is good.
To read more Beyond Blue, go to www.beliefnet.com/beyondblue, and to get to Group Beyond Blue, a support group at Beliefnet Community, click here.