The root of my depression began when I was child. I grew up with an abusive, alcoholic father, who didn’t work, but couldn’t take care of me and my brother. While my mother worked, my father was either passed out, or hanging out with his buddies. During that time, I was sexually abused. I grew up a lonely, confused girl, and didn’t think anyone would ever love me, because I wasn’t worthy. By the time I was an adult, all my attempts to move on from my past, inevitably failed. In and out of therapy, depression stayed a constant presence in my life.

I was reluctant to take medication for several years. I wanted to overcome the depression on my own, feeling medication was a shortcut. I believed I was strong enough to pull myself out of the darkness. I eventually realized, I needed help.

Prozac was first, a little over 10 years ago. I didn’t feel it improved my condition, but that may have been attributed to my negative perception of the medication, and its ability to help me. Zoloft followed, then Paxil, and now Cymbalta and Lamictal. I’ve been told, if medication is working correctly, you won’t feel any euphoric, “drugged” feeling.

I’ve been on the combination of Cymbalta and Lamictal for some time now, and at the therapeutic dose, I don’t notice a difference. I’ve been depressed for so long, I’m not sure I know how to be anything else. I have good days, when I feel happy, and I enjoy my two boys, and life doesn’t feel overwhelming.

I continue my weekly therapy sessions in conjunction with taking my prescribed medication daily. There are many issues that contribute to my depression, and medication can’t fix that. In the end, learning to deal with my problems will take hard work and time.

I can’t say if medication makes it capable for me to function through the debilitating bouts of depression. I do know regardless if I take medication or not, therapy is a necessary part of the treatment for my depression. Just as pain medication doesn’t fix the underlying medical condition, psychiatric medication won’t address my depression issues. I don’t think there is a cure for my depression in a bottle, but maybe things would be worse without it. I am capable of working everyday, and functioning as a mother, and productive member of society, I just have to do these things while dealing with the pain of depression.