Who You Calling Crazy?

I took this down because people around me told me that future employers might hold this information against me. But then I realized…that’s exactly the kind of attitude this campaign seeks to erase. So here it is again.

I suffer from depression. I have for more years than I can count. I spent far too many of those years undiagnosed. Far too long bent under its weight. Far, far, too long believing myself unworthy of love—and despising those who dared to love me.

Because, you see, depression doesn’t always look like depression. Sometimes it rises up in a red flood of anger and irritability. Sometimes it sends you fleeing from all you know, seeking solace in isolation. Sometimes it steals your appetite and your ability to sleep, leaving you looking for something, anything, to fill up the empty hours.

Sometimes, to those who can’t see the tide of hopelessness, guilt and pain flooding through your body, you just look manic.

That’s what happened to me. They called me bipolar and fed me a never ending stream of powerful drugs. Drugs that left me numb. Unable to function. Even more miserable than before.

It was awful.

Fortunately, I eventually found myself a wise doctor who actually listened to me. Who looked past the physical manifestations and questioned the why‘s of it all. And that’s when I got the appropriate label (and the right medications).

Since then, life has gotten better.

I still ride the waves of depression, and sometimes it threatens to take me under, but for the most part I manage to stay upright. I can see the sun shining, feel the love in my husband’s kiss and cherish every hug my daughter gives me.

I am a mother, a lover and a writer…

Amber Page, Depression Survivor

And I am the face of depression. You got a problem with that?

It’s Mental Health Awareness Month, and today I’m speaking out on behalf of all the people who have been stigmatized by mental illness.

I am part of the Band, and together we are strong.

10 Comments on Who You Calling Crazy?

  1. Wendy
    May 18, 2011 at 11:14 pm (5 years ago)

    I’m interested in hearing which meds you are currently taking. I’m on two different ones…very low doses but damn, somedays I feel absolutely numb. Have you found anythig else that makes you feel better other than pharmaceuticals?

    Reply
    • Amber
      May 19, 2011 at 9:50 am (5 years ago)

      Me and Welbutrin are best friends. But mostly it’s lifestyle stuff that keeps me sane. I guard my 11:30 bedtime with my life, eat right (mostly), stay away from alcohol (or at least excessive alcohol) and try to keep stress levels under control. Stress is my undoing, so I have to be careful what I say “yes” to, ya know?

      Reply
  2. Erin
    May 19, 2011 at 9:38 am (5 years ago)

    I am proud to be part of the band too.

    I too suffer from “something” – be it depression, anxiety, case of the ‘crazie’s’ – doesn’t much matter what you call it…just matters how you manage with it.

    For me, medication (Lexapro) and a steady diet of love and support from my family has helped me live, love and embrace the life I’ve always deserved:)

    Thanks for posting about this…I think I’ll do the same and give you cred!!

    Reply
    • Amber
      May 19, 2011 at 9:47 am (5 years ago)

      You should do it. It’s very liberating. I always feel like everyone around me is looking at me funny after I post something like this, but screw it. I’m not ashamed!

      Reply
  3. Jen
    May 19, 2011 at 1:32 pm (5 years ago)

    I really wish there wasn’t such a stigma that came with mental illness. Its an illness just like diabetes, heart failure or arthritis and it needs treatment.

    I wish people would just get that.

    Reply
  4. Andrea
    May 19, 2011 at 9:02 pm (5 years ago)

    Thank you for sharing this. I have been diagnosed as being bipolar and have been on Zoloft, Lamictal and Abilify for three years. It has gotten to the point where I struggle to keep my eyes open all day long. I have an appointment with a new psychiatrist next week and I hope he can help me. Living life depressed is horrible but floating through life is terrible too!

    Reply
  5. Amanda C
    May 20, 2011 at 5:08 pm (5 years ago)

    Thanks for sharing this, Amber. I can totally relate. My entire immediate family has dealt with depression in one form or another (from mild to extreme). Some of us are still dealing with it. I’ve found for me that talk therapy works the best, and I just started recently with a new therapist to help me work through some family issues that are just now really surfacing for me. It’s ongoing work, and it’s tough. My boys keep me sane. Good luck with your journey. :)

    Reply
  6. BalancingMama (Julie)
    May 22, 2011 at 7:04 pm (5 years ago)

    I’m glad you put this out there. I think I’ve suffered this for years. Finally sought therapy and tried Cymbalta this year. I’m off the drug for now, but I know it helped. And even more so, the therapy. Depression is more than just being sad. It’s physical aches/pains, anxiety, anger… I do wish it was better understood.

    Reply
  7. Tia Heart
    June 3, 2011 at 11:02 am (5 years ago)

    Acupuncture/Chinese Herbs specifically for depression (from a certified Chinese medical doctor) gave me amazing results (better than any treatment I’ve tried since having PPD which developed into full-blown debilating depression for the past 10 years). Was “diagnosed” with BP in ’07. Been up (once) & down many times (on Zoloft/Epival). I started acupuncture last fall & I had the best Christmas ever. Finally feel like myself again and am in love with life & enjoying my children. So blessed & grateful. We must get the word out & destigmatize mental illness. Thank you for your blog.

    Reply

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  1. […] few weeks ago, I wrote a post about depression. A post I agonized over more than most. I’m not sure why—it wasn’t the first time I […]

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