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Depression Was An Alien Invasion In My Mind

I’m a Sci Fi fan – Star Trek, Star Wars, Dr Who, and many other shows.  To this day, the best quick description I can give for depression experience was an alien invasion.  I didn’t ask the depression to be there, I didn’t want it there.  But it stayed anyway and took control.

Depression Invaded My Mind

The alien in my head controlled most everything I did.  And even when I thought I was doing something of my own will, I could feel the alien breathing deeply in the back of my mind.  It wasn’t far away, it was going to take over again very soon.  I was just aware of this to be terrified, I knew this was so wrong.  But I’d never dealt with anything like this myself before and didn’t know how to get the depression out of me.

As luck would have it, I am a mental health counselor.  However, I somehow thought I was either not having depression or I would be able to get myself out of it on my own.  I was wrong on both accounts.  The alien in my head ran the control panel of my body, taking me for mood swing rides that made me miserable.  I was not going to win this battle alone, but it took me a long time to realize that.

Finally, I put two and two together and called my doctor.  I got an appointment right away, told her my symptoms, and she told me I had postpartum depression and PMDD (premenstrualdysphoric disorder).  Those are both forms of depression that came on after I had both my first child and my second child.  This depression robbed me of time with them, with my husband, time caring for myself and enjoying my early motherhood fully.  I was so under its control that I didn’t even realize the extent until I recovered from it.

Drugs and Alcohol Offers Temporary Relief But High Risk

I didn’t turn to drugs or alcohol to manage my emotional pain.  But having been through three and half years of emotional turmoil and misery, I can absolutely see why a woman in pain would do it.  There were afternoons I spent crying on the couch when my husband was out and my kids were napping.

I was so lost, so desperate for any hope that it would get better.  For a long time, nothing came.  I had blamed my symptoms on external problems.  And when those changed significantly, my complaint didn’t add up anymore and I found a sliver of hope.  If my circumstances had stayed the same for a while longer, who knows how long I might have endured the retched pain?

Turn To Drug and Alcohol Rehab For Help

Another woman in my position could have easily decided to try numbing the pain with alcohol or drugs.  It would dull the sting and soften the sharp edges.  It would allow for a sense of relief from the constant weight of depression.  It would help you forget that the alien is still in control every day.  If I had done that, I’m certain that I would have needed alcohol or drug treatment.

I was already so helpless just with my depression alone.  I can’t imagine how I could have ever overcome an addiction by myself.  If I had needed drug rehab, I would have needed the complete treatment of my depression and PMDD also.  Who could stay sober if they are drinking to deal with untreated depression?  Drug treatment centers that focus on women are especially good at understanding how these kinds of mental illnesses connect with addiction.

I’m so grateful I did not turn to drugs or alcohol to deal with my depression.  But it also allows me to have deep empathy for those who do.  I have been there, deep secret places of depression without a speck of light or a shred of hope.  For women out there who are suffering from depression and addiction, please know that drug treatment professionals can and will help you.  Don’t let the alien live in your mind for another moment.

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