Stuff On My Kid dot Com

Blog, Interrupted

After posting the Journey to the Center of the Save As Draft Function entry last week, I got And guess what! I even answered a lot of it! I know! I read my months-old rants about "I get tooooo much eeeemail, waaaaaah" and rolled my damn eyes, because seriously: NICE EMAIL. WHAT AN AWFUL TRAGEDY. SAY HI TO THE NICE PEOPLE ALREADY.

So I did. And it was FUN, and reminded me why I like you Internet people so much. I mean, some of you. Sometimes. You know.

Anyway, a LOT of that nice email included nice requests for that "Plot Holes" entry I never got around to writing -- in particular, about my recovery from depression in 2004. Whee! Now there's a rollicking good topic.

Even now, it's a tough thing to revisit. It was a tough time. There was a lot of stuff I never shared with the Internet, but picking through all the drama and the crazy for the stuff that makes me sound merely delightfully unbalanced instead of holy shit, she's just plain fucking insane seems dishonest and self-serving.

(I adore this column by Heather, by the way, particularly this quote: I realize that I was trying to appear as the most reasonable insane person I could possibly be. If I was going to be insane, I would do it as perfectly and neatly as I could.)

But I can be totally honest about one thing: I'm not that girl anymore. I look back on the way I was with a very hazy recollection, like it couldn't really have been that bad, could it?

It was that bad. But it's better now. And I can tell you about it because it's better.


By the time I began writing publicly about my little downward spiral into depression, I'd already been suffering in silence for several months. Nothing was helping. I could barely get up the energy to write about anything, much less anything "funny."

People in real life suspected something was up anyway. So I started writing, hoping I could work something out and get to the bottom of whatever it was and maybe connect with other people who had gone through the same thing.

Honestly, I kind of wish I hadn't done that.

Because while it's one thing to get pigeonholed as a Mommy Blog, it's quite another to be a Depression Blog. That's all I ended up talking about. It's all people wanted to email me about. I became fixated on this one small part of me and bought into the whole "it's a disease, there's nothing you can do about it" passive approach to recovery and just sunk deeper and deeper into the funk.

By the time I turned a corner in the fall of 2004, I realized that my recovery needed to be done in private, and I slowly stopped mentioning "It."

Anyway. That's why I wrote about It and that's why I stopped writing about It. Here's what you missed:

I believe I started getting sick after my very first round of Clomid, a fertility drug. The hormonal surges were intense, and coupled with month after month of failure, I got very blue and irrationally moody.

The whole babybabybaybaaaaayyyybeeee quest that I was on drove a wedge between Jason and me, because I felt he wasn't being supportive and he felt I was obsessed and pushing him into something he was convinced would still happen on its own. And then I would flip out because what, was he telling me to "just relax?" Did he not listen to my doctor? Oh, THAT'S RIGHT, I went to all the appointments by MYSELF, because he wasn't being supportive and he felt I was obsessed and round and round we go! The carousel of How to Fuck Up a Really Good Marriage Without Really Trying!

I started making some really bad decisions. One of which was to let my doctor medicate me to the gills without ever suggesting I get some sort of therapy. And I'm not talking about a nice dose of Zoloft.  I'm talking about Tom-Cruise-Would-Have-A-Point-If-He-Weren't-Such-An-Idiot doses of heavy mood stabilizers and stuff traditionally prescribed for bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

I'd weathered depression and panic successfully before -- once, like everybody else in America, after 9/11 and then a more severe bout during the reign of the D.C. sniper. A relatively mild course of medications worked, which is why I was more than willing to offer my brain up to the Pfizer gods once again. When I didn't respond to the usual protocol (probably because of the hormonal changes brought on by the fertility treatment), I freaked out and let my doctor dope me up to her heart's content.

I did not need these drugs. Of that I am very sure. My doctor gave me a lot of additional medications in order to treat what were essentially SIDE EFFECTS of other medications. She upped doses after a week (or less) and did not listen to me when I tried to tell her about some of the very real problems in my life. I completely defined myself by the mini-pharmacy on the nightstand.

I Take Anti-Psychotics, Therefore I Am. I mean, I must be. Right?

It's no surprise that I absolutely disintegrated in her care. The medications destroyed me. I got my days and nights switched around. I developed OCD and all sorts of tics and twitches. I had panic attacks every time I left the house. I trembled constantly. I started to hurt myself and hallucinate. I scratched at my wrists until I bled. I basically dared Jason to leave me, because I saw myself as irrevocably broken and fucked up.

Break with reality much? JESUS.

One night I went to take some Excederin for a headache and I just. Kept. Swallowing. Pills. My doctor suggested it was time to consider hospitalization. I called a therapist instead.

She listened. She told me to knock it off and get a fucking grip on myself. That I was sick because I spent so much time obsessing about being sick and letting my other doctor treat me like I was sick and I was using the "sickness" as an excuse for truly wretched, childish behavior. She said I was "ambivalent about being a grown-up." She said I had "zero coping skills." Then she gave me a hug and told me that I was Not Crazy. She told me everything was going to be okay.

I started backing off the medications just a few weeks later. My therapist challenged me, questioned me and helped me immeasurably. It was harder and a hell of a lot more expensive than medication. I confronted some horrible, ugly things about my past. It was painful. And private. Thank you.

Is this the approach I think everyone should take? Hell no. It's not even the approach I would always take. But it's what worked for me then, so there you go.

I was med-free by December and pregnant by January.


I've been doing really pretty okay ever since.







the mind is so powerful and SO scary. i'm sure i'm not the only one who can *sort of* relate.

i, too, noticed that every time i've ever discussed depression and meds i got a wash of feedback. even now i get comments about depression and lexapro posts i wrote 6 months ago, which is weird. but i guess that just shows how many people are looking for their way to fix something that also feels so bad.

but i think it's really important when we do that to let people know that it can get resolved, in one way or another. which, of course, you have done. because there are so many people virtually biting their nails wondering "can i do it, too?" i think you owe no apologies for taking that time to handle it away from the blog.

god, the crazy. it is so scary and hard. but i'm glad always to hear someone who's saying they've gotten to the other side.

yay you.


I'm not supposed to cry at work. Thank you so much for sharing your story.


*and tea*

Susie Sunshine

And we are glad you're back (New! and Improved!), wish you well, and are honored you generously share your life (and sweet baby) and remind of us baby days gone by.


Can I have the name of your therapist?

And also, you.are.awesome.


Wow, that's some tough stuff. Thank you for sharing.


AWESOME- and not like awesome, as in tubular or radical, but awesome, as in inspiring and meaningful, important and beautiful. Thank you for that post!

Amy M

Thank you for sharing what must have been the hardest time of your life with us. *hug*

Oh - and if I continue to cry at work, my coworkers may feel compelled to medicate me.


Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Vaguely Urban

Wow. Wow.

Good for you, girl. Seriously.

And thank you.


My heart goes out to you. I'm glad you're doing much better now. I went through the Clomid crap, too, for a year, and everyday of it sucked. My doc kept upping my dose every two months. It didn't work, but it sure screwed me up emotionally.

I'm so happy that you have Noah now. He's beautiful!

Laura D.

Thanks for sharing your story, Amy. I heart your blog.


Good for you for turning that corner and being on this side of things.


Thank you and congratulations.


Amalah.....I too went through similar circumstances. Lived (and worked) in DC during both 911 and the sniper attacks. Had a doc medicate me to the gills, an admission to the hospital - and almost destroyed my marriage.
We moved out of DC, back to a small town in PA, changed docs and things improved.
I didn't know myself then, but the important is I came out the other side much changed - as I'm sure you have also.
Be well - and strong....and thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing.


There is nothing to say except that you should be applauded for sharing this story. The way we treat mental illness in this country is a shame, it's an ilness that requires help.
I'm sure that this helped people, and you should know that.


Amalah.....I too went through similar circumstances. Lived (and worked) in DC during both 911 and the sniper attacks. Had a doc medicate me to the gills, an admission to the hospital - and almost destroyed my marriage.
We moved out of DC, back to a small town in PA, changed docs and things improved.
I didn't know myself then, but the important is I came out the other side much changed - as I'm sure you have also.
Be well - and strong....and thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing.


Also, because I'm paranoid and full of self-doubt, I want to make sure that no one takes this entry as some kind of anti-antidepressant sermon. Because NO. Antidepressants are good things. The medications I was on are good things too, when they're prescribed correctly.

I was expecting the meds to cure me while I ignored a lot of other stuff that only therapy could me (ME!) with. That's all I'm saying, and what I probably should have said IN THE ACTUAL ENTRY. Bah.


Good for you, good for you for taking care of yourself and good for you for being willing to share that. And good for Jason, I mean, aww. My mother always told me I should require a man to be "kind, dependable, and able to lift heavy objects." This third is nice, but the first two are most important, and it's clear here you have that in Jason.


Holy irresponsible doctor! I'm sorry you had to go through that.



Also, meatstick things? Ew.. are they like Vienna Sausages?


I am so very happy that you posted this message. I am going through something very similar to what you went through, and am completely worn out because of it. I am on, and have tried, every possible medication that I can, and the doctor seriously called me "a hard nut to crack". A. Nut. I am inspired by your message, and am very appreciative of the fact that you are willing to share it with everyone. I hope you know how much better you have made me feel knowing that I am not the only person that has ever felt like a nut.


I'm really impressed to see you talk about getting a grip and taking control of your own mental-emotional states with the idea that you CAN do something to help yourself. (The opposite of the 'depression is a disease that happened to me' passive approach). Bravo.


Thank you for sharing...You story touched me to the core!


I went through a similar hell. My first husband walked out and I went on the Xanax merry go round. Fortunately, I had an excellent doctor and an appointment with the therapist before the doctor's appointment.

You're a strong person-sometimes you need to go through hell to know just how strong you really are.

9/11 and the sniper situation really rocked me, but I'd already walked through hell. (Imagine hearing every location from the 5 attacks and knowing each one because you drove through them every day).

Hug that beautiful child and wonderful husband and tell yourself that you ARE a strong person!


Thank you for sharing your story. As someone who deals with depression, I find the "real" stories of coping, no matter how ugly the middle bits are, empowering and validating.


Wow, this gave me goosebumps that still haven't gone away. I don't know you, but I'm so happy for you and how things have turned out. Thank you for sharing!


This is why I read you. Awe.


I had no idea there were therapists that would tell you to just get a grip already. I thought they wanted you to spend years talking about how you were potty trained. Thank God you found someone who saw what was happening to you and helped you turn it around. This must have been a hard post to write, thanks so much for sharing it.


There are no words.

Other than 'thank you.'


Yes sirree, yes. Like you need another "Hell yes!" but yes, that happened to me, too. The overmedication, all of it. I ended up with some crazy doctor who had me on no fewer than 7 meds, most of which were designed for people who were either schizophrenic, epileptic and/or bipolar. My short stint on Topamax was among the worst times in my life.

I, too, am now med-free, though I acknowledge that the time I spent in Buspar probably saved my poor little pathetic ass, along with therapy that I still go to on occasion.

It's refreshing to read this, because I think too often it happens to women in this transient, weird sort of way that can only be fixed with therapy and an assload of hard work. Sometimes it's chemical, sure, but I do think there is an over-reliance by some doctors on medication-only, rather than a combination (psychiatrists, in my experience, adore this sort of transgression.) And sometimes talking about it incessantly can cause us to live the disease itself, hell yes. (And again, this is my experience, for the love of all that is holy, not everyone's.)

I'm rambling. But I get it, and I stopped talking about it too. I don't talk about the crippling anxiety anymore, mostly because I don't have it anymore. But being that person - even online - was making me into a spoiled child who just shoved it all out there for everyone else to clean up instead of dealing with it my damn self. (and I, too, dared Adam to leave me. I get that, too.)


Brave girl. *hugs*


How is it exactly that there are so many of us who have walked this path? The past two weeks of my life have brought me to the edge again and my own ambivalence toward adulthood may be more like waffling or possibly crazed attempts at normalcy. Either way, I'm always shocked when I take my eyes off of the heaping pile of crap I'm standing in and look around to see that I'm not alone. Thank God for the internet where these things seem slightly less terrifying to admit. And thank God for you.


Wow. I knew when I was reading all of that back when it was happening that it was bad, but it was a little worse than it seemed. I'm very glad you made it through all that, because it can't have been easy. I, too, tried to avoid writing about my experiences with "it" on my site, but that's because I didn't want people to read about "it" and say that I didn't have "it" as bad as they did, so stop with the bitching. But I was in a pretty bad place, and I don't think that concentrating on "it" so much would have been helpful at all. You're very brave to write about "it" here.


I am just glad you are better and things are better :)


When I was a young'n, my mother suffered two nervous breakdowns, one when I was in kindergarten and the other when I was in thrid grade. With her second one, her doctor had her so doped up with valium (mmmmmmmm valium), librium and various other goodies, I was feeding her breakfast and putting on her makeup in the morning; her hands would shake that bad. For that very reason, I resisted medication for my own depression for as long as I did, even though looking back now, I lost so many years where I could've felt normal if I'd have not been so anti-med.

Nevertheless, I would never tell anyone to get on medication without trying straight therapy first, and I'm glad you were able to get out of the k-hole that medication *can* be if not prescribed wisely.



Thank you so much for this. Coincidentally, I was reading your late summer/early autumn 2004 archives this morning. I'm going through a lot of the same thing. I haven't done anything about it because I'm afraid that it will be worse than it is now or I'm afraid of admitting that I'm that bad. It helps so much to know that someone else knows how it is. My boyfriend wants to go to a support group with me tonight. I'm still thinking about it.


omg, do not get all self-conscious that sentiment came through just fine in your post. if anyone takes issue they are probably very gassy or something and just feel like being pissy.


omg, do not get all self-conscious, that sentiment came through just fine in your post. if anyone takes issue they are probably very gassy or something and just feel like being pissy.


You are awesome, and strong. Thank you for sharing your story.


Wow - great post. And how very applicable to me, personally, right now. My last few entries have been me discovering I have depression...and today was actually my first day at the counselor. (And I, too, want to make sure my now goofy, fun blog doesn't become a "Help, I'm sick!" blog.)

I had people telling me to go to the regular doctor and others telling me to go to the therapist. I chose therapist because I knew there had to be a REASON behind it other than imbalance.

I will be starting anti-depressants, but they want to focus more on the 'me' than the helper pills.

So...great post for me right now. It's validation for me and in my making the right choice. Bravo to you. And thanks for everyone working through their own demons right now. :)


As someone who's been down both the meds and therapy roads, it's refreshing to hear another blogger say that pharmacological solutions aren't always an instant cure.

How great that you were able to get pregnant so quickly after going off the meds!

Neat post. Thank you for sharing, I found it very inspirational.


Thanks for filling in the "plot hole". I can't imagine how hard it must have been to recall all you went through.

While I have never suffered from depression or anxiety, I have family members that do and can see the strain it puts on everyone. You are so lucky to have had Jason's love and support through it all.

Thanks for sharing your story. <>


Just had to say "Hell to the Yeah!"
I have been VERY fortunate to have a wonderful therapist AND a very compassionate, holistic doctor. I have incorporated everything from traditional SSRI meds to psychotherapy to acupuncture. Therapy is by far the most difficult, courageous and FREAKING EXPENSIVE part of the process but in my case, the most invaluable and necessary. No one needs to suffer endlessly or put up with crappy doctors, but it does require being proactive.


Thank you.


I started tuning in and out of blogs about the time things were not going well for you. And everytime I starting reading again, my heart lifted, because you seemed stronger, surer, and happier. I am so glad, and I hope you know how many people out here were rooting for you, Jason, Noah, Ceiba, and even the kitty (whose name escapes me). All the best, and congrats to you for posting.


I've been reading your blog for about a month now...introduced to it through my cousin's blog about her move to Japan. You know how it goes - you read a blog that leads you to a blog that leads you to another, blah blah blah. Anyhow, that is how I found you and I have been lurking in the background for some time. Adoring the pictures of your "little man" and enjoying your entries immensely. What pushed me into an Amalah blog addict was the day you wrote with brutal honesty about how you wanted to hurt Noah and what it took for you to just walk away and not react. Because "been there, done that" as I'm sure many other Mom's have too. In fact I cut and pasted that entry into an email and shot it out to all the Mothers I could think of.

So now, with this entry, I've been pulled out of the lurking phase to simply say, "Good for you!" I can't begin to relate or understand what you went through, however, I can appreciate the strength that it must have taken to pull yourself out of the downward spiral and the perserverance to get where you are today. I'm sure everyone who reads this will agree when I say, we're all very glad that you are who you are. And this is just one more experience in your life that has made you the Amalah that we all adore.


You have no idea how many lives you may have saved today.

I suffer from a severe anxiety disorder, (which of course began after 9/11). I developed mild depression as a result of the constant panic attacks. However, I know that so many women out there are truly suffering with severe depression. And they feel alone. It helps so much to hear that someone else has overcome the same thing.

I have been ignoring this little voice in the back of my mind telling me that I should be demanding a referral to a psychologist. My general practitioner keeps medicating me and none of it is working. Every time I see him, he adds another medication despite me suggesting that I see a therapist. I will demand the referral next time I see him. Damn HMOs...

You should pat yourself on the back for using your blog as a way to help others by telling your story. Sometimes identifying with others is the best medicine.


Elizabeth, the good therapists tell you to get over yourself and get a grip if it's warranted. The bad ones want to explore in grotesque detail how and why the fact that your parents didn't hold you enough as an infant is responsible for your borderline personality disorder and anorexia today, and how it's not your fault. And that it's COMPLETELY OKAY to be a selfish asshole, because you weren't given a fair shake like everyone else.

My MIL is queen of this. I shit you not, she told me that exact statement via her therapist (she's almost 60, heaven help us). And I really think she tried *hard* to find one who would validate her like that - after all, it's an area of medicine where we really can find someone who tells us exactly what we want to hear pretty easily.


You have no idea how many lives you may have saved today.

I suffer from a severe anxiety disorder, (which of course began after 9/11). I developed mild depression as a result of the constant panic attacks. However, I know that so many women out there are truly suffering with severe depression. And they feel alone. It helps so much to hear that someone else has overcome the same thing.

I have been ignoring this little voice in the back of my mind telling me that I should be demanding a referral to a psychologist. My general practitioner keeps medicating me and none of it is working. Every time I see him, he adds another medication despite me suggesting that I see a therapist. I will demand the referral next time I see him. Damn HMOs...

Depression and anxiety is much more common that many of us realize. Each time someone reads this today and then reads the stories of your commenters, they will realize that they are not alone and that this is something that many people are dealing with.

You should pat yourself on the back for using your blog as a way to help others by telling your story. Sometimes identifying with others is the best medicine.


Just so glad you're doing well. Thank you for sharing the hard stuff.


Very brave post. I talked about my bouts with depression also but I was really afraid of becoming a "mental health" blog or "that depressed girl".

I had panic attacks and depression in 2002 and totally related to the medication aspect to your post. I don't think the meds really helped me. They helped me gain a bunch of weight and not deal with my real issues but didn't contribute to any kind of recovery I feel.

So, I am right there with you on how freely docs hand out meds. I think they should be only used for severe cases and therapy should be mandatory.


I'm a regular stalker of your blog, and I know you like us stalkers to comment occassionally. :) Congrats to you on successful mental health and the courage to share your story. I think it can be uplifting once you are "healthy" to look back and see how messed up (crazy, whatever) life once was. And be grateful and proud that you found the courage to change it. Congrats to you again, and a beautifully written piece. I'm hoping you inspire me to share my own story on my blog.

Someday... when I'm brave enough!


You are now officially my hero. Thank you for that post. It seemed like you were reading my mind/past line for line. Also thank you for voicing out depression when so many still believe it to be a stigma. You are truly a wonderful person as well as a wonderful writer. :)


I get very concerned when I hear about doctors who just hand over a prescription for anti-depressants without a word about "talk" therapy. I do believe that drugs are very helpful to some people; but they are not a universal panacea.

There are all sorts of therapy and schools of thought about therapy and not every type works for every person. Finding the right mental health professional can make worlds of difference. Not everyone realizes this, and when you're in a state of such vulnerability that you are seeking the help of a professional, real harm can be done.

Cognitive behavioral therapy, for example, teaches you how you can control your reaction to things; you learn how your thoughts affect your mood -- basically, you come to realize how the way you think is directly tied to the way you feel. So you are learning to "solve the problem", as it were, through the power of your own thought.

Whereas, as Jonniker points out, more "old-school" therapists like to pore through every second of one's past to find self-indulgent moments to explain Why You Are The Way You Are -- thereby perpetuating the destructive, or at least non-productive, feelings that the patient is (or should be) trying to eliminate.

Excuse my treatise. Nutshell: Drugs are ok, but better with therapy! Carry on!


NICE! I've been diagnosed with "double depression" (there's a clinical term I can never remember) which basically means I was always a sensitive child with depressive tendencies who then got hammered with it in my late teens/early twenties. I've carried with me ever since and can tell you that I will be on meds for the rest of my life.

HOWEVER, there is a BIG difference between the right dose of the right meds and ANY dose of the wrong ones- or even too much or the right ones. I once tried to switch from one to another ("It will help your PMS!", the doctor said) and had an almost 3-month long downward spiral. Had to quit grad school.

Amalah, you are wise beyond your years. How did you get such an old soul? Thanks for once again simply yet perfectly explaining a complicated and emotion-filled issue.


Thank you for "finishing the story." I have actually wondered about what happened. It is so hard to be honest with your own self, and even more so with the world. I have recently been struggling with stuff in my lfe and have been on the depression merry-go-round too. It is so hard to ask for help... thanks again!


That was truly a plot whole. And I did not mispell that. Thank you for sharing your journey into and out again.


If there were any justice, that doctor would have her medical license revoked.


I was all "where did Amalah go? I neeeeeed my Amalah fix." and then you come out with this amazing and moving entry, and I realize that you were here trying to figure out how to share this with us.

Thank you. I'll try not to be such an impatient brat in the future ;)


Thanks for sharing, Amy. Here's a question; I've been thinking about this for a while. I notice it seems like a large percentage of bloggers, and particularly mommy bloggers, are currently fighting depression, or have battled it in their past. I'm wondering if this, what seems like, large group is representative of the non-blogging world as well. Perhaps there are just as many non-bloggers suffering in silence. Or is it that people who are inclined to blog, i.e. who are introspective and "writerly," are more prone to depression? I'm just wondering what people think about this.


I had a very Dark Year in 1999, then again, after 9/11. I think people think that depression always needs meds and will always need meds. I argue that sometimes, meds are a nice stop gap measure to help get you over the Hump, but they don't always have to be a permanent fix. Until someone has seen what I like to call The Fog, they don't understand depression and never will.


Thank you for sharing.


Thank you for sharing that. You have no idea how much it helps. I've been going through "stuff" lately and decided NOT to do the drug thing again. Some people really need the meds, but I've never been sure I was really one of them. Counseling and a few minor changes to diet/lifestyle work slower than the drugs, but I think they are helping, and it was really encouraging to read this entry.

So thanks.


1. Congrats on weathering the storm and doing what worked for you.
2. Been there, done that. Scary.
3. Dude! Everyobody raggin' on Tom today! tee hee! (RSM's comments)


Not to jump on the depression bandwagon but maybe by sharing, more people will feel less alone and will find back from where they are.

I was diagnosed with depression in college at a point when I was standing on the edge about to jump. I had no desire to live and begged to die. Lucky for me, I had the sense to check myself into a psych ward and admit I needed help.

I had wonderful people that cared enough about me to make up for what I lacked. Yes, I was put on drugs but I really think that anti-depressants for me were about helping me get up in the morning. After that, I was in control of how I went through the day. Everything is a choice and we have control over how we let our past experiences affect our current life. I think therapy was the most helpful thing in the world. If for nothing else, than to have someone else help you see what you can't. In a little over a year, I dropped the meds and wanted to do this on my own, and by this, I mean "live."

We have so much to learn in life and admitting you need help, that you are on the edge takes a lot of courage. Most of the time it is with us all along, like the cowardly lion. We just all too often need someone to help point us in the right direction.

I'm glad that Jason was there to show you where your misplaced courage was and that he stood by you while you crawled out of the dark. Every step helps you appreciate where you are going and where you have come from.


it's so good that you're better now. thank you for sharing this with us. i haven't gone through anything like this myself, but i know people who have and who are, and this has helped me understand a little better.


I should learn to proof:

"Not to jump on the depression bandwagon but maybe by sharing, more people will feel less alone and will find their way back from where they are."


I'm glad you shared. I've been there. I was falsely diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2001, after going through a depression that was possibly brought on by the use of the herbal supplements (I, too, suffer infertility and that is only a portion of the story). The doctor had me doped up within months and continued prescribing medications to treat the effects of other medications. However, he tried to convince me that the side effects were actually symptoms of the "disease" and that I was, indeed, really messed up. I lost three years of my life, almost LOST my life and went through hell. It was a nightmare in the worst possible sense and a lot of my relationships with family were destroyed in the process(they couldn't cope? I don't know). I have been med-free for 20 months, I have a clean bill of health, and I do not have bipolar disorder and never did. I am still healing from the hurt, bad memories and the anger I feel towards that doctor. I have learned about so many other people who have been through this, too. I always thought I was alone.

Heather B.

Everytime you write something like this I want to hug you. But instead I stand around awkwardly and say durr.

I promise not to hug you, but I will give you a VERY knowing nod.

Silly Hily

You are amazing. Jason is amazing. That therapist is amazing.
I can't even pretend to know how much courage it took for you to post this. Thank you for sharing.

Y from the internet

I think that's why we're such good friends, because we've both been in that horribly dark place where we would hurt ourselves. We both fought our way back to health and happiness. And, we both ended up (unexpectedly) pregnant with our beautiful babies and are living happily ever.

I love you, Amy. (But if you ever delink me...OMG!)


Long time lurker, first time poster. :) Finally finished reading the blogs in your archives. You kill me with your wit and humor. :) Noah, the Baby I Don't Know But Now Somehow Feel A Weensy Bit Related To, is beyond adorable. Looking forward to future blogs. And teach me how to do the freelance writing thing! I want out of my corporate-ish job yet have a mysterious feeling that my landlord will get cranky if I suddenly stop paying rent. ;) Be well!


If I'd known you when I was editing a mental health newspaper, I so would have profiled you as a success story. It's amazing the wonderful things that can happen if we just get out of our own ways and get positioned for greatness. I'm so happy you grabbed the life preserver and continue manning the lifeboat for others!


WOW. Thank you for sharing that with all of us, Amy. I'm sure many of us can relate.

I'm so glad things are better for you now. Continued peace and happiness to you!

anne nahm

I remember reading you when that was happening. I had no idea it was so bad. I just remember laughing my ass off over the "do not fuck with the crazy" post-it. Thank you for sharing this.


Go you!


Thank you for sharing...that was a really amazing re-cap.

And one day I want to have a baby just as cute as Noah, though I will have to do some kind of changing some genes so I can have a blond baby.


*Big sweeping arm motion*
Therapy For Everyone!

Seriously, I think it should be standard after college, during your first job, and especially during the first year of marriage. And ABSOLUTELY while or before taking meds.

Thanks for sharing!


As a relative late-comer to your blog, I often wondered if I missed the entries about your depression, or if just couldn't find them in your archives.

I too was and am a sufferer of depression/anxiety and after trying to self-cope for almost two years after 9/11, I finally found a psychiatrist who put me on Celexa and a brilliant psychologist who knew all the right questions to ask and exactly how to help me. The two of them saved my life.

Mental illness is scary. I'm happy you found your way out.


I'm glad you're back and that your boys are with you.


Thankyou for sharing your story Amy, and you're not alone - it's comforting to know that. *hugs*



thank you for that post. newcomer here, but I will be back x


You are awesome.


Amalah, Thank you so much for sharing.


Hi Amy, you don't know me but I visit your site daily and sometimes leave the odd comment (but I often wonder how you could read all the comments you get, I'm amazed!). Anyway, I had to be commenter #10,083 just because I felt this is an important post. I constantly hold back my posts on depression because I don't want to be labelled / pigeon-holed as a depressed mom blog. But depression happens and to many of us it is a daily struggle. And it happens for a multitude of reasons. Thanks for sharing your time in the fog because if it just reaches one wandering soul than it was worth posting. We band together to create a strong support for the next generation we have created. Thanks for reading this Amy. (((hugs)))


I too had a therapist who told me basically to knock it off and there wasn't any damn magic wand so quit expecting miracles. I live by that to this day. And Celexa. Thank you Jesus for Celexa. (My husband is thankful too)



Thanks for filling the plot holes, and for being so damned honest. It's admirable.



I started reading your column daily about a year ago, right about the time that Noah was the size of a pencil eraser (I think that was how you described him)...I had no idea that you battled depression. If I could give you a hug I would (even though you would probobly be like "who in the world is this stranger hugging me"). I went to a counselor provided by the military (which I am part of) who was, believe it or not, fantastic. I've fought it too, and I'm winning right now. Thanks for sharing.



Thank you for your courage. And, because of the story about your doctor, I can't help myself - I have to get on the soapbox a minute. I work with kids who are often medicated to the gills like you described. Why? Because their life sucks, they have a genetic predisposition to mental illness and it's easier for the PEDIATRICIAN to drug the kid in to a stupor than to explain to the adults in his life that he needs actual help - and maybe some meds to go with it. If you think your kid needs meds to help them, by all means take them to a PSYCHIATRIST, a doctor that actually specializes in this dangerous sh*t. Or at least make sure the doctor you are using actually knows what he/she is talking about; I know some of the pediatricians are great. And when he tells you that you and your kid are going to have to do some hard work with behavior management or whatever, be thankful he cares enough to tell you that. Officially, stepping off the soapbox now.


Thanks for sharing that with us. I don't have anything deep to say, except thanks for telling it like it is and being so honest. I'm glad you are happy now and things have worked out so well for you - don't ever think you don't deserve it.


I love the links to Heather's site. Thank you. It is rare, in my experience, to be shown that though depression has genetic atributes there is a huge influence depending upon the coping skills that exist.

This is both a revealing and refreshing post. As always, I am impressed and happy I stumbled across you one day after googling, of all things, "Christina Aguilera Fake Boobs."


I think the most important thing you said is that danger of fixation on the depression as a way of acknowledging it and holding out for a passive recovery. There's incredible danger in that approach.

I remember allowing myself to indulge on obsessing over the uniqueness of my life, my history, my problems. How nobody could possibly get why the inner voice in my head was louder than anyone else's could possibly be. When really, what troubles us is shared by so many others, if only we would let go of the satisfaction we're getting from hanging on to our "issues".

Setting aside that sort of ego that allows a girl to wallow, and taking responsibility for recovery is so important. Whether that recovery is via drugs or psychotherapy or reiki or whatever? Doesn't matter. Anything to get back into the starring role in your own life story.


Can you hear me singing that song from "Footloose" about how you are my hero? Or, wait, is that song saying I need a hero? Cause I totally don't-- you are it, baby.


I suffered, and my entire family suffered as a result of my post partum depression after baby #4. (yes, four- like that wouldn't depress they healthiest of women) It lasted TWO FUCKING YEARS and robbed me of time with my last baby. It took the help of a great doctor to get me back to healthy again.
And yes, like you, I suffered much of it in silence putting on a "Oh sure, I'm ok" face for everyone. Good for you for finding recovery, it's so important to remember that our solutions to depression are as unique as we are. There is no pat answer or cure for it.


At the risk of sounding like everyone else...thank you for sharing. Having been through The Funk myself I understand a lot of what you mean. Although mine was more of a teenaged I-hate-my-life kind of thing, still scary. So yes, you made me all teary eyed, until I read your side bar. The meatstick thing? Ew. I used to gag just opening the jar for my daughter. Thankfully she's past that stage now. Only big people food for her now thankyouverymuch.


You are a brave woman, not only for sharing these moments, but for struggling through and surviving them in the first place. I honor and salute you for that.


I know that you're probably getting so many emails and comments from people who've been through similar things. I can relate. The first downward spiral I did it virtually med free and it sucked. Oh god, did it suck the balls right off a donkey's taint, but I got better. After last year's miscarriage I went on meds, combined with therapy and have been on a low dose of meds even though I feel better (weaning off this drug is worse than heroin and I can't deal with morning sickness AND the hysterical laughing/crying fits at the same time. While, yes it is a disease, it's totally not all about meds and fuck your doctor for being a med pusher. It's what made me so scared to go on them the first time.

And most of mine stemmed from fertility treatments too.

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