Comments on: Mental Health Update http://www.designmom.com/2014/03/mental-health-update/ The Intersection of Design & Motherhood Tue, 02 Sep 2014 03:07:50 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.5.1 By: Hannah http://www.designmom.com/2014/03/mental-health-update/comment-page-3/#comment-966865 Hannah Tue, 26 Aug 2014 13:24:05 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=45245#comment-966865 Thank you, thank you, thank you Gabby, for writing about this so openly. You inspired me to write about my experiences with anxiety, depression, and seasonal affective disorder on my own blog (not an easy post to hit “Publish” on, but a worthy one, I think). I don’t think I could ever say thank you enough times for your honesty.

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By: Rachel http://www.designmom.com/2014/03/mental-health-update/comment-page-3/#comment-956232 Rachel Sat, 26 Jul 2014 19:43:21 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=45245#comment-956232 I’m not sure where you live, but some larger cities have free clinics (I know Mpls does) where you can go for therapy. These are generally run by volunteer mental health professionals and students. As a single mom though, I know how hard it can be to find child care to attend appointments like that, and they are not widely available outside of large cities. The three things that have been shown to help people with depression and anxiety (aside from meds and therapy) and 1) exercise; 2) journaling; and 3) practicing gratitude. For 3) making a list of 5 things you are thankful for each night before bed is a simple practice that works well. I hope practicing yoga is helping improve your mood too. Take care!

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By: Rachel http://www.designmom.com/2014/03/mental-health-update/comment-page-3/#comment-956227 Rachel Sat, 26 Jul 2014 19:33:52 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=45245#comment-956227 Hello Gabrielle,

I just stumbled on your blog today and I’m so glad I did. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with depression which, as you say, is very common and very seldom spoken about. I am a psychologist with my own experiences with depression.

As far as how to access mental health care, in Minnesota, where I work, the easiest and quickest option is to see your family doctor. They can prescribe antidepressants and anti-anxiety medication, and are usually happy to do so. For those who are seeking help, know that antidepressants can take 4-6 weeks to start working, so be patient. Anti-anxiety medications typically work more quickly, depending on the type. If you are feeling suicidal or having a panic attack (it will feel like a heart attack), go to the ER and you will get help there. But after these initial steps, please seek therapy, as this can improve symptoms just as much if not more than medication, making long-term medication use unnecessary in many mild to moderate cases.

Also, psychiatrists often take weeks to months for a first visit, so I often suggest people make an appointment after they have starting taking medication prescribed by their family doctor. Psychiatrists are specifically trained in mental health medication, and are much better suited to treat mental health problems than a family doctor is. There just aren’t enough of them in the US to get a quick appointment!

I wish you and your other readers the best. It takes courage to talk about your depression in a public space like this, and I’m so glad you started a conversation. Thank you!

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By: cinna http://www.designmom.com/2014/03/mental-health-update/comment-page-3/#comment-927239 cinna Sun, 01 Jun 2014 20:42:26 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=45245#comment-927239 I have depression too that I discovered when I had post partum depression. And unfortunately I’ve had quite a few episodes where it got bad enough that I needed to be hospitalized. And every time it’s been harder to find a Dr than it was for you. I have no insurance, I’m a single mom and I can’t afford regular meds. Fortunately, I take a multi vitamin that’s designed for mental health that I can afford. And I do yoga. Is not the greatest but it works until I can afford meds. Most of the time, I’ve noticed from people I talk to its actually much harder to get into a Dr than just 2 weeks. Especially if you fall into the gap between being able to afford insurance or being able to qualify for Medicaid. It’s a huge gap.

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By: Tina http://www.designmom.com/2014/03/mental-health-update/comment-page-3/#comment-925650 Tina Fri, 30 May 2014 10:22:14 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=45245#comment-925650 Thank you for this post. It resonated with me. Very strongly. To know that you recognized this and were able to do something about it. It. It gives me hope. Some days are better than others. Many are not. And being an expat is a huge huge huge weight on the mind. I’ve come to the conclusion that you need a very strong Type A personality to thrive as an expat. I am not one of those. I just want to thank you for a post that made me feel…not so insane…not so ridiculous….not so….alone.

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By: Cassie http://www.designmom.com/2014/03/mental-health-update/comment-page-3/#comment-893245 Cassie Fri, 18 Apr 2014 00:46:16 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=45245#comment-893245 I appreciate this post and all of the people who have commented on it. I struggle with chronic major depression along with an anxiety disorder, and I am so so glad to see that so many people have been helped with medication. I’ve tried a dozen medications and am currently taking five or six but haven’t found the right combination yet. However, seeing that so many people have been helped renews my hope. Thank you.

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By: britain earl http://www.designmom.com/2014/03/mental-health-update/comment-page-3/#comment-891191 britain earl Wed, 16 Apr 2014 18:13:16 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=45245#comment-891191 thank you for sharing your story. i think it’s so helpful to important to be open, like you describe. and i know it isn’t easy. i am just recovering from a bout with post partum and was unable to share adequately for so long. i really appreciate your candor. thank you.

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By: Lara http://www.designmom.com/2014/03/mental-health-update/comment-page-3/#comment-890983 Lara Wed, 16 Apr 2014 13:46:51 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=45245#comment-890983 I am so grateful to have stumbled on this post. Thank you for your honesty. I’ve gone through depression many times (postpartum and anxiety). Thank you for sharing your heart!

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By: mom101 http://www.designmom.com/2014/03/mental-health-update/comment-page-3/#comment-883050 mom101 Tue, 08 Apr 2014 01:55:05 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=45245#comment-883050 I can’t believe I’m just catching up on this now. I love you and you only get more amazing in my eyes the more I get to know you. xo

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By: Going Forward | whoorl http://www.designmom.com/2014/03/mental-health-update/comment-page-3/#comment-882667 Going Forward | whoorl Mon, 07 Apr 2014 13:00:50 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=45245#comment-882667 [...] from the Universe #2 – until you walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, shut your mouth.) This post by my friend Gabrielle of Design Mom resonates with me so deeply, and really speaks to the way I felt during those late summer [...]

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By: Deb http://www.designmom.com/2014/03/mental-health-update/comment-page-3/#comment-877133 Deb Sat, 29 Mar 2014 02:58:55 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=45245#comment-877133 I’ve dealt with this too, had depression on and off since being a teen. I’m fine now and not taking meds any more. I expect that it will pop up again some day in the future. Mostly it’s knowing what to watch out for. I understand your words about your head feeling funny. I tend to ruminate in my head, and focus incessantly over and over and over again on the same negative thing. Which is usually really stupid stuff that on a normal day I wouldn’t give a second thought to! But it gets stuck in there and it’s like I “think myself down” into a depression. Major life stresses do set it off. I’m really glad you’ve found a solution!! Medications really do work!

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By: Cass http://www.designmom.com/2014/03/mental-health-update/comment-page-3/#comment-874652 Cass Tue, 25 Mar 2014 06:17:06 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=45245#comment-874652 I have chronic major depression. So does my just-14 year old son. We are gingerly working through medication for him, a real concern at this stage of brain development. My medication works most of the time, barring hormonal fluctuations from peri menopause.

Life has really really been beating us up this year. We’re just easing out of a long desperate, often suicidal phase for him. Thank god we seem to have sorted out the right meds. He has a 504 plan at school to shield him from crippling, nearly deadly anxiety. In the past 2 weeks, 5 of his 7 eight-grade teachers have shamed him for not getting homework in on time, although he is not required (by the legally protective 504) to do any homework. I am so furious and scared and upset that they could “forget” he was born with mild brain damage and risk his mental health and self-esteem because he isn’t living up to their expectations. The shaming and inappropriate notes a teacher wrote on his assignment made the vice principal cringe — such incredible fire power for a lawsuit against the school. The current CYA cultural/professional culture means that the school will circle the wagons to protect themselves, instead of trying to help us/him out. Apologies, kindness, and diligence would take care of the problem, but they will probably retreat into cold professionalism instead.

And for those who care… His brain damage and our mutual depression is due to tick-borne bacterial infections, screw-shaped bacteria that can drill holes into and within your brain. He was born with it. I’ve had it 25 years. We so deserve Winners badges and parades, but we get judged and shunned instead. It isn’t much comfort that we are part of the leading edge of an epidemic and that in a decade or so the general public will become aware how common this is, and what a serious mental health impact it can have. Advice: whenever you are bitten by a tick, get at least 2 weeks of antibiotics ASAP. If you don’t get treated within the first year, you may never be able to get rid of it. It can utterly destroy you, forever.

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By: Morgan (The818) http://www.designmom.com/2014/03/mental-health-update/comment-page-3/#comment-872811 Morgan (The818) Fri, 21 Mar 2014 15:57:04 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=45245#comment-872811 So many words I understand. The way you speak of “desiring death” but not being suicidal…

I’m so sorry you have this struggle. I am so grateful for this post. I’m still on my medication 2.5 years later but I feel normal and it’s not something I’m willing to give up.

I adore you.

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By: Denise http://www.designmom.com/2014/03/mental-health-update/comment-page-1/#comment-871433 Denise Wed, 19 Mar 2014 20:10:23 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=45245#comment-871433 Andrea, my daughter was diagnosed in third grade she is in 8th grade now. she is receiving therapy called exposure and response and it has been a life saver. I would be happy to talk to you about our journey.

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By: Nici http://www.designmom.com/2014/03/mental-health-update/comment-page-3/#comment-870849 Nici Tue, 18 Mar 2014 22:47:10 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=45245#comment-870849 My husband has mental health issues. Mostly it is depression and anger. He refuses to seek help. When he was young and diagnosed with ADHD, he was put on medication. His mother didn’t like the way he acted on the medication, so she took him off it without consulting with his doctor, then shopped around for other psychiatrists, until she found one who diagnosed him as “mentally and emotionally unstable”. He was institutionalized for 3 years.

He doesn’t seem to see how much his issues negatively affect our family – myself, our 6 year old, my teen from a previous relationship. Sometimes I worry that I will come home and find he’s hurt our child. When I talk to him about it, he gets defensive, “So you want me to talk to some quack?” Then he gets angry at me.

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By: Mylien Miyata http://www.designmom.com/2014/03/mental-health-update/comment-page-3/#comment-870254 Mylien Miyata Mon, 17 Mar 2014 22:49:53 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=45245#comment-870254 Thank you for sharing, sometimes I get depressed too. Glad that you are doing better. It seems that you have a great support system.

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By: Then I Quit Quitting | Heart of the Wilds http://www.designmom.com/2014/03/mental-health-update/comment-page-3/#comment-869749 Then I Quit Quitting | Heart of the Wilds Mon, 17 Mar 2014 02:59:25 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=45245#comment-869749 [...] what happened either way. (On a serious side note, I don’t know what lead me to this post by Design Mom, but it was a series of clicks that made me feel a lot less hot mess in the thick of all [...]

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By: Denise Porter http://www.designmom.com/2014/03/mental-health-update/comment-page-3/#comment-869689 Denise Porter Sun, 16 Mar 2014 22:26:03 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=45245#comment-869689 I too suffer from depression and anxiety and have for over 20 years. My daughter was diagnosed with OCD in third grade. If someone could post my email to Andrea who is suffering with her childx’s diagnosis, I would like to offer her some information I have learned. Thank you.

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By: Kevin http://www.designmom.com/2014/03/mental-health-update/comment-page-3/#comment-869157 Kevin Sat, 15 Mar 2014 21:57:36 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=45245#comment-869157 Well done. I see that other commenters have mentioned that a GP or an OB/GYN should be able to just prescribe you something. That’s what baffled me about it–it seems like doctors prescribe “happy pills” like candy, and I think any one you go to would be able to do that; you shouldn’t have to go to a “head doctor.” I’m sure that if one of yours kids had a bad cough, you should be able to get into some sort of a Physician’s Assistant or some such person on a same-day basis (though medical rules are different in different states, obviously), to prescribe them something; I would think you could do the same for a mental health emergency. It’s not my place to say that, but you did ask.
You are brave to put this out here. People need to speak up more about their depression. I’m amazed at the number of successful, “normal-seeming” people who have confessed they have undergone depression or other mental issues. There should never be a stigma about it.
It’s beyond uncool to plug your own blog in a comment, but, since you asked if people have similar experiences, I must add that I wrote (re-blogged, actually, something I’d originally written 10 years ago) about my “Old Friend”, the same day you blogged this. It’s not a race, but as you say, I feel that a lot of depressed people have it worse off than I do, and that saddens me. I know some that have been helped immensely with drugs, and others who have run the gamut of nearly every anti-depressant there is, and still suffer. I couldn’t imagine. Anyway, I sometimes blame my (mild) depression on one thing and one thing only, but it starts from there, I think, from not having a significant other to bounce conversation off of on a regular basis. I know every marriage isn’t great, but some mates can be very supportive. Sounds like yours is.
I imagine you have thought of this, but if you move again, a family doctor and a psychiatrist or someone should be on the list of plans for the new location, just as a place to live and lights, water, trash, internet, and tv are.
Sorry about the unwanted advice; I just get on a roll sometimes. Actually it sounds like (now) you’re carrying on quite well without any advice at all.

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By: Chris http://www.designmom.com/2014/03/mental-health-update/comment-page-3/#comment-868578 Chris Fri, 14 Mar 2014 23:30:05 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=45245#comment-868578 I have experienced severe depression and anxiety for years and realize I will need to take medication for the rest of my life. With those challenges, I have accomplished much, although I need to get adequate rest and eliminate as much stress as I possibly can. I have found mindfulness (meditation) VERY helpful and wish that I had learned about it years ago.

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