Depression & Anxiety

I have everything that I ever dreamt or waiting for me, so it is hard to understand, even for myself, why I’m still hiding in the corner, hysterically crying and hoping everything will disappear.

Since my early teens, like many other people, I have suffered with periods of depression. When the depression rears its ugly head it is like a shadow is cast over my entire being. Happiness, optimism and contentment are rudely kidnapped. Restrained, gagged and covered by a heavy black blanket so they are hidden without a trace. I don’t want to leave my bed, I don’t want to look after myself and I definitely do not want to look in the mirror. Slowly everything stops and I am alone with my sadness. The skin on my face starts to flake, I age years in days and I become dehydrated because of the endless tears. People ask ‘why are you crying?’ and that is a question I cannot answer.

There will always be a day during a bout of depression when I will reach rock bottom and even the thought of my skin on my body disgusts me. I cry and cry until I cannot cry anymore. That feeling of depression sticks like black glue to my entire body, tainting anything that would usually make me smile. After the struggle, one fine day, once I have become utterly exhausted the sun will start to rise again in my heart and I will feel the wind on my face once more.

I’m living with depression yet again and it’s hit me harder than it ever has. This time, depression has brought a friend. The feeling of intense anxiety about everything recently started to develop. The anxiety is able to paralyse me with fear, whilst in the state all I can do is think ‘this is the worst thing that has ever happened, I want to disappear’ over and over and over again. Simply things like writing the correct address on an envelope sends me into hours of going over what I have written. My brain constantly buzzes with thousands of anxieties. Insomnia later joined the party, simply because there were not enough hours in the day to worry about everything. Life came to a stand still. It is hard to function when I feel so low.

At this point I went to a doctor and received the diagnosis of depression and anxiety disorder. I have been given medication, which is supposed to help me regain my mental health. I am in disbelief that I have become so ill. Things are gradually getting better with the help and support of my amazing family and friends. .

I have been taking special care to look after myself more by improving my diet, exercising and trying out some relaxation technique.

It is now 27 days until I go on my one-way trip to India where I will finally be reunited with my husband. I hope I am well enough.

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29 thoughts on “Depression & Anxiety

  1. It’s very good that you went to the doctor for a diagnosis of depression, and I’m sorry that you went through so much pain before you went for the diagnosis. One of my daughters was depressed at the end of high school, and she went through a few years of years of antidepressants along with talk therapy to feel better. It has now been ten years since the depression hit and about six years since she was able to stop her meds and therapy. She now lives on her own and works in Japan (a country she loves), has lots of friends, dates, and overall would say she has a wonderful life. The crucial element in her recovery was how she changed her outlook on life and herself. She was always too self critical and would dwell on her perceived shortcomings endlessly until she was paralyzed. She has learned to view herself with a lot more kindness and now acknowledges that she is no worse than others in this regard. Of course once a person has had a bout of depression, I know it is possible to have it again, but at least you are aware of it and how it can improve. I would like to emphasize that in my opinion meds alone are not enough and you should find a therapist to talk to. Friends and family can be empathetic, but in my opinion cannot take the place of a trained professional. Even as her mother, I had to struggle to try to really understand how her depression made my daughter feel since she was living a privileged and happy life – the kind of life that would make people say “Snap out of this, you have everything you could want in life”. But depression can hit everyone, even those with a seemingly near-perfect life. Since you will be in India soon, I think you should try to find a therapist there. I have lived in Mumbai for two years but am American, and I really don’t know how easy it is to find therapists. In America there is very little stigma in admitting to needing help, but I know that is not the case for many families in India. Your happiness at being reunited with your husband will help carry you through in the short term, but the depression will always be lurking in the background until it is thoroughly addressed, and living in India will also present other problems after you get over the initial euphoria. I have not really followed your blog, but I saw the title as I was scrolling through the blog list, and I felt I should tell you of my daughter’s experience. I wish you a lot of happiness with your husband, and also urge you to find a therapist.

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    • Thank you so much for your comment! Your daughters story is really inspiring, thank you for sharing it! I have heard that there is a mental health stigma in India. My mother-in-law is a holistic therapist and helps people with these problems and my husband is very understanding so I know that my in-laws will be accepting about it.

      My husband is going to look into finding a therapist in Nagpur and I am open to speaking with one. I had a psychiatrist a couple of years ago for some time and it really did help!

      I am definitely going to take your advice and continue therapy in India. Thank you so much. I hope you and your family are well! Lots of love

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  2. Hi Indian Love Story x

    I send you so much Love, and can emphasise with you and your feelings. CTextpat gave an excellent reply which I am sure you will take on board. For myself, I, too feel that India will be most healing for you but — will perhaps not negate the underlying depression(s) which have built up over the years. The medication will help you, obviously, but therapy would be even better in the long-term. To an outsider (like me!) you are beautiful, intelligent, and spiritual – and I wish you the utmost happiness now and in the time yet to be. Blessings, Pauline ♥

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    • Hello lovely Pauline!

      Thank you so much for your beautiful comment! I am definitely going to take CTexpat’s advice! I can feel so much inside myself that has been brewing for many years now! I have so much to let go, I can physically feel it. Thank you so much again Pauline. I love hearing from you. Lots of love xx

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      • Thank you for your lovely reply Lauren – as I know, you are indeed a beautiful soul. Just hang on to the thought that soon you will be ‘free’ and the weight you have been carrying around needlessly for so long will be dispersed – perhaps you will be able to liken it to ‘The Dark Night of The Soul’ — the darkest night just before the dawn — ♥♥

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    • Thank you so much again Pauline!

      I was looking for that phrase… the darkest part of the night is just before the dawn. It is exactly how I have been feeling! I am just so thankful for the support of everyone!! Sending you so much love, lovely Pauline!!

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  3. So sorry you have had to live with these problems for so long. Depression is irrational and insidious. I totally empathize with both your depression and anxiety. I have Bipolar Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Asoerger’s. My husband has similar problems but he is not Bipolar. I wonder about the episodic nature of your depressions and if perhaps you have high times as well and might be Bipolar. I do hope you will get therapy. Medications are a Godsend and have kept me going and out of hospital. Please do find a compatible therapist. It us wonderful that your husband supports finding you a therapist! Very important that he does. Once the euphoria wears off you may find problems but I believe so much in the healing power if love that I wrote a book about how it worked in my life– a much different scenario. I love your love story because I almost married a Sri Lankan but it was not in the cards for me. But I love all things Indian and the people are wonderful. I wish you much happiness and a beautiful life with your husband but please get help. Love can conquer all but you might need medication and therapy to help it along. God bless you!

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    • Hello gorgeous Ellen,
      I hope you well! I only get the episodic lows but not the highs. I am definitely going to get therapy and I am feeling better and better everyday. I am extremely interested in reading your book! Please let me know how I can get a copy. Thank you so much for your support as always!! Lots of love. God bless. Lauren xx

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      • I found that love took away the depressions for a long time but then they came through. And being Bipolar and not being able to take any mood stabilizers due to nausea, I could not take anti-depressants at all because they made me manic. The solution: a research-grade St. John’s wort from a place in California which I would be happy to give you the info about. It is from “Hypericum Club”. None of the other St. John’s worts I have tried worked but this one made all the difference in my life. And I am on anti-psychotics because I got psychotic when manic.

        About the book:
        You can get it on Kindle from Amazon with this link:

        If you have an iPad or Nook, you can get it for those. See the link in my ABOUT page:
        http://stockdalewolfe.wordpress.com

        Hope you like it!! And feel free to ask any questions. II am happy to answer if I can help in any way.

        I wish you much happiness and wedded bliss! I think it would be great to live in India. The people are so wonderful. I love the culture, too. I am learning Indian dance online from Madhuri and Shah Rukh Khan.

        And YOU are the one who is gorgeous (thanks for the compliment though)– especially in your Indian garb.

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  4. I’m sure this is all very scary! I went through a very severe bout of depression and needed medication once but it was the best decision I’ve ever made. The advice and therapy I got as a result of that has stuck with me and helped make me a better person in many ways. It can’t be easy for you to be dealing with so much right now and I think most of us (in America at least) don’t realize how hard we are on our minds and bodies and how much we take their fragile nature for granted.

    I nominated you as one of my favorite bloggers!
    http://www.americanpunjabanpi.com/2013/12/7-secrets-about-me.html

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    • Thank you so much!!!

      You are right, we all should take better care of ourselves! Every time I do get depression I do feel stronger afterwards. I hope you are well my dear, and thank you so much for your nomination!! xx

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  5. Most mental health issues could be easily taken care of naturally. There are a number of holistic doctors out there who know how to do it. A hidden food allergy alone could cause anything from depression to anxiety to schizophrenia.

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    • Hi Paul.

      I hope you are well! My mother-in-law is a holistic therapist and once I return to India I am going to look into alternative treatments to help with my health.Thank you so much for your comment! Take care, Lauren

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  6. Not including situations where someone grew up in a seriously traumatic environment, most so-called mental health issues can be taken care of naturally. There are a number of holistic doctors who know how to do it. A hidden food allergy alone can cause depression, anxiety or even schizophrenia.

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  7. *Hugs* I have been there. I also struggle with bouts of depression and I realized that it really has nothing to do with happiness or good things in your life. I feel like I have every reason to be happy, but I can’t quite access the feeling. It’s there but covered by a sheet, in a way. I’ve written on my blog also about ways to deal with depression.

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    • Thank you so much Ambaa!
      That is exactly how I have been feeling… unable to access happiness! Thank you so much, I will check out your blog! I hope you are well. Take care!

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  8. on a funnier note, I must say,” everyone is depressed, some are more”.

    On a serious note, please pursue a career in writing, at least on a part-time basis,India would prove to be a goldmine for would be writers. Iam feel your writing skills are very good.

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  9. Haha… I guess that is most probably be true!!

    I would love to continue my writing in India! There is so many things to write about! Thank you again for the advice, Surya!! Take care!!

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  10. Dear Lauren,
    I happened to read your blog the first time yesterday. I liked it a lot. May you find all that you want and much more from us(Indians).
    I too suffered similar fears but my loving family and husband’s support with some medication helped me out. By now I am sure you have already healed. Wish you a happy married life and keep writing. Devayani.

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    • Dear Devayani,

      So lovely to hear from you!! Yes, I had to take some medication whilst I was in England and like you I was blessed to have such a supportive family to help me through.

      Now I am in India I don’t take it anymore, I sometimes have a low mood but it’s manageable and I’m working through it.

      Thank you so much for reading my blog! Lots of love to you and yours, Lauren x

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      • Hi Lauren,

        I’ve just reread this post and seen your recent comment dated Feb 22. I really don’t mean to be sticking my nose in (honest!), but I notice that you say you were prescribed medication when you were in England but that “Now I am in India I don’t take it anymore, I am healing!” I have no personal experience of antidepressants, but I was under the impression that when a person is prescribed a course of antidepressants they must always take them for a minimum of 6 months, even if they feel fine again within weeks of starting to take the medication. And this is because if they stop taking them before the six months is up they will become unwell again, due to how these tablets work. I have had several friends who have had to take anti-depressants, and in every single case where they stopped taking them or reduced the dosage against their doctor’s advice they became ill again. One friend ended up much more ill than she had been in the first place, and had to be signed off work for five months. (And it hit her like a train – a performance poet on stage wowing the crowds one day, then WHAM unable to even get out of bed.)

        I’m not meaning to peddle scare stories, I’m just concerned that for you to have stopped talking the medication, when you’ve got the wedding next month (which is bound to cause a lot of stress, as well as bringing joy) might be a REALLY bad idea. As other readers commented, after your post of Nov 29th when you were still in England and wrote: “I am in disbelief that I have become so ill”, the initial euphoria of being reunited with your husband might carry you through at first, but the depression will still be lurking there. It would be dreadful if it suddenly bit you on the backside now, and put you out of action, or made you feel overwhelmed, tearful etc. at this very point in time. …..Would it not be advisable to start taking them again now? At least until after the wedding?

        Nicola x

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      • Dear Nicola,

        You are definitely correct when you say that you shouldn’t just stop taking them when you are feeling better, but in my case the ADs were not miracle pills. Yes they helped me get out of the hole I was in but after that I just felt as if I was in a glass box. I could not feel any emotions, I was the living dead. I am an extremely emotional person and so to be in that state, it was worse than being depressed after a couple of weeks. I also suffered from insomnia because my brain was swimming in serotonin.

        To just start taking them when I am not feeling depressed would be tragic, ADs make you feel worse before you feel better. If I started to take them now I may give myself depression and anxiety for a couple of days and that would be followed by the numb feeling.

        Talking therapy as been shown to be as effective as ADs. Thank you so much for your concern. Love was a far better cure than altering my brain chemistry. Take care, Lauren x

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  11. Pingback: How my relationship with the maids has changed | English Wife, Indian Life | The Diary of a Firangi Bahu Living in India

  12. Just found your blog. So much of what you wrote resonates with my own experience. Happiness is not only one of the aims of mortal life in Hindu philosophy but our BIRTHRIGHT. God willing you are much happier now.

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