Disclaimer: I am not a medical or psychiatric professional, so take my advice or words for what they are worth.
I think my first bouts of depression were when I moved away from home after graduating high school. I moved a few hours away from my parents.
I was living in a new town, with no friends, and no job. I should have tried to lock down a job before moving possibly, but figured I would be able to find a job fairly quickly and could live off of my savings until I could. I didn’t feel anything too serious, I still felt hope, and excited for what my future held.
Fast forward one year.
I had gotten married to my best friend and was extremely happy. We found out we were pregnant a month and a half after we were married. I was beyond excited! At about 5 weeks pregnant, I started feeling really sick. From that point until about 16 weeks, I couldn’t hardly do anything without throwing up.
I was 18 years old, lying on a couch or a bed for 11 weeks straight throwing up and hoping to keep enough nutrients down for my precious baby growing inside of me.
I feel I have been very blessed through my life. I have a wonderful, supportive, kind husband. I am so blessed to have knowledge of my merciful Heavenly Father, and my Savior Jesus Christ. I have great family that love me, and who are some of my best friends.
Regardless of all of my blessings, which I can always recognize, I have a tendency to feel depressed and feel some anxiety. This is something that I have come to learn about myself.
I’ve learned some things I need to do to combat my low times.
In high school, I had some times where I felt down, and didn’t know the reason for feeling that way. I think that is normal for most people.
Once I moved away from home, and started dating my husband, I got a Facebook account. It was my first exposure to social media. I started getting into Facebook at that point.
I truly felt it had a negative effect on me, as I am lying on my couch day after day feeling so sick, it’s almost beyond the description of words. I would look at all of my 18-20-year-old friends having fun. In the best shape, and living care-free lives from my perspective. Theodore Roosevelt said,
I know this is true for myself. After having my first baby, we decided to get rid of our Facebook account after feeling like it would be best for our progression in life. I think it was at that time in my life I really felt the effects from comparing myself daily to others on Facebook. Again, I am speaking for myself. I know there is much good, and positive on social media.
For our family the negative outweighed the positive. As women we tend to compare ourselves naturally anyway, and it’s hard to compare ‘the best’ of people on social media as we compare it to our ‘worst’.
I need something to look forward to.
Another trigger for me is when I don’t have something that I am excited about. I am drawn to having fun, and being spontaneous. It can sometimes be hard for me to do the same thing day after day, and not have anything “fun” to look forward to. For me it doesn’t have to be anything big, it can be something as simple as going out and getting ice cream on the weekend. This is something my husband is aware of, and he tries to always make sure that we have something fun to look forward to.
During that dark time in my pregnancy I always thought, as soon as I am not pregnant anymore I will go back to my old self. What I did not realize is that after you have a baby most things don’t go back to the same as before. I suffered from some post-partum depression.
12 weeks to a simpler you.
At about 8 months post-partum I changed a few things in my life that really turned things around for me. As a result, things slowly became lighter for me. I felt the weight of depression lift from me. At about that time I heard this talk given in general conference. (Which you can learn more about here: http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/what-is-general-conference)
It was a life changing experience for me. It was almost the awakening moment for me. I finally realized what I had been going through was depression, and it was okay. It wasn’t because I wasn’t strong enough, capable enough, smart enough. I had been feeling GUILTY for feeling depressed. Talk about a downhill spiral…. It was okay for me to struggle with mental sickness, as much as it is okay to struggle with physical sickness. It was okay for me to talk about it, and not have to put on the front that everything was okay because I needed to suck it up and just be tough.
If you struggle with Depression, Anxiety, or some other mental illness. You are enough, you are strong, smart, capable. Your weakness does not define you. You are a child of God. With divine inheritance. It is okay to ask for help for your problems, as much as it is okay to go to the doctor when you’re physically not feeling well.
“The latchstring hangs from the outside.”
If you’re interested in what I did to find my way out of the dark cloud of Depression. Sign up for access to, my 12 week plan to a simpler you, and you will receive the exact changes that I made in my life.