60 SECONDS TO SAVE MY DAUGHTER, a mother’s battle with depression

You Can Beat Depression

The author of this article wishes to remain anonymous. But she wants to give others an insight into the trials and pain a person with Depression goes through.  She also wishes to give those living with Depression hope that you CAN BEAT DEPRESSION.
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Recently, I have been through a deep dark hole that not many can understand. My family has suffered from bipolar disorder and depression for many years stemming back to my grandparents. I personally am a survivor of depression and suicide.

A few months ago, it hit my family again. This time it was my own child. I noticed that the once cheery, happy, silly, funny young lady was silent and withdrawn. First I said, “It’s probably just PMS” but that kept going for weeks. I was used to not seeing her because of college and work but my mothers instinct could sense something was wrong.

young-woman-grieving-273x380First thing I did was reach out to my Lifegroup from church asking for prayers and wisdom. But I knew that though prayers of healing do work, I needed to do something else because I was once that young girl going through the same thing.

I tried to talk to her and ask her what was wrong. I knew what response I was going to get, “Nothing”, she said. As the outsider, that answer was not good enough for me. The personality I have, this was unacceptable but knowing what was going through her brain, literally, I knew to stay on the outside but not too far.

She shut me out and everyone else around her including her best friend. Phone calls we’re not answered, text messages ignored. Calls of panic from her siblings and father came to me. I told them just to be patient and all we could do was be here for her.

Then one day, I get a call from her friend who said she received a text and it had the word “sui-cide” on it. I was stricken with panic and pain! I literally got down on my knees and called out to God. Tears and heartache overwhelmed my body but I knew that I had to trust in Him.

Immediately I went online and looked for options. I read numerous articles but everything I read, I already knew. I was so afraid. I felt like the mother that could not control or help her own child. Everything was suggesting medication. Now I know, after almost 20 years of being on meds, from Prozac, Citalopram, Zanax, numerous sleep aids – I did not want her to have to go through what I did. First off, it took weeks before any medication would take effect. There is no quick cure. Then after being on the meds for weeks, there are so many side effects – my biggest one was weight gain – having gained over 75lbs in the past decade – then getting off the medication was even harder. NO – my mother hen instinct said no.

I made many phone calls, researched counseling. Maybe she will talk to someone at the church. No, she did not want to. I don’t blame her because I remember that I did not want to talk to ANYONE. From my experience, after coming out of the hospital on a failed suicide attempt, I was court ordered to regular visits at the local mental health clinic. I cannot forget that experience. Months of therapy in a room filled with people rocking back and forth, talking to themselves – this was not me, I told myself over and over. So I don’t blame her for not wanting to go.

Days went by, she still locked herself up in her room. I saw her get dressed, head to work, come straight home and right to bed. I tried to catch her attention – no reaction. Just that blank stare with empty eyes, same response when I ask her a question, silence.

I stayed in contact with her best friend. She told me that her text messages and phone calls remained ignored. One day she got a message telling her that they could not be friends anymore. That broke our hearts. I called her best friends mom, we talked and cried and prayed. That is all we could do.

Despite being ignored, I knew that she did not mean it because I knew what was going on in her brain. She was in a state of confusion, her brain literally felt like a cold bowl of mush. There were emotions running through her head that she could not understand. For her, life was like a blank canvas, sometimes it was all black. She did not understand why she was feeling the way she was. One day, I said NO MORE. I got down on my knees again and I prayed. This time I literally yelled out to God, “Please help me! I need you now, my daughter needs you now! She has been a faithful servant of yours and she does not deserve to go through this!” I continued to ask The Lord for only a moment, to open my daughters heart even for only one minute.

So then I began to think of what I would say in sixty seconds because that is all I asked from God. Why didn’t I ask for more time. Anyway, whatever God was going to give me, I trusted in Him. So it was night time and I knew she was home. I knocked on her door and I knew she would not answer but I walked in. By the way, every night, I would peek into her room to make sure she was home and I would stand by her door and pray.

This time, I knew I was ready for the 60 second battle. I knew that I had the Holy Spirit as my leader in battle. He would fill me with wisdom.

I knocked on her door and walked in. I approached her and asked if she would just listen to me for one minute. She said yes. I gave her the scientific explanation of how our brain may experience a chemical imbalance, transmitters and neurotransmitters. I explained that this was most likely genetic and has been in the family for decades. I told her how my brain literally felt cold when this happened and how we could not understand what was causing this and why. I explained to her how trauma, stress, food and lack of exercise and make these things worse, more importantly, I told her that this problem could be fixed.

She cried and told me that she was tired and afraid to close her eyes because she feared she would not wake up. She said she felt like she was dying. So i promised her that I would stay next to her to make sure she would wake up. I sat on her bed and held her until she fell asleep. My heart was filled with prayer at this point, asking God to take away her pain and give it to me. She did not deserve this, she has been your faithful servant. Why her? I would do anything to take it away from her.

6VFor those of us who are survivors, we all know that praying is not enough. She needed to get her balance back. After research and phone calls, I made an appointment with a therapist. Luckily she was open to seeing one because a few days earlier, there was only silence.

In speaking to my son and telling him of our recent episode, he confessed to me, “Mom, I have battled this for many years. I have been taking natural supplements which I think you should try.” Wow, another child of mine has battled the same disease and I had no idea. That broke my heart but I knew the information he would give me would eventually bring my daughter out of this dark hole.

I went online to research the supplements he told me about. I found a mixture of good and not so good reviews but at this point, I am willing to try anything. I ran to the pharmacy to buy some 5-HTP and melatonin. This is definitely better than any synthetic drug the doctor would prescribe. She did not take it right away until after she saw the therapist. He qualified the information and told her that it was ok to take those pills but he still wanted to see her.

She took the pills and the next day she said she did sleep. It took a few days for the other one to balance her out but it worked!!! I was happy, thankful, grateful but had a feeling of neglect as I was not able to help my son when he had his dark moments.

She was back in contact with her friends. One of her good male friends even bought a T-shirt online from a website that supports this same cause that said “In this Together”. That meant a tremendous deal to her. Eventually, she talked about how all the unanswered texts, phone calls and messages meant a lot to her. She said that all the support she received helped her get through this. Sitting next to her and stroking her hair, holding her hand and just praying over her helped her too.

As a parent, it pains us more than anything in this world to see our children suffer. What makes it more difficult is when we cannot help them or that we do not know how to help them. I am hoping that my painful experience will help others who are going through the same experience, that the few things I shared will be remembered when needed. It is my hope and prayer that no one else has to experience losing or almost losing a child.

Today, she is back to normal and is learning to identify the symptoms and the triggers that will cause the chemistry in our brain to imbalance. She has also changed her lifestyle adding exercise and eating clean nutritious meals having removed all the processed foods, preservatives, refined sugars and starch. This was actually my experience that I exposed her to. Ever since I changed my dietary lifestyle, I have been off all medications which included blood pressure, cholesterol, depression and anxiety pills. Our food today and all the chemicals in them are hurting and destroying our children’s health and well being. I have become an advocated for clean, organic, non-GMO foods and thats a whole new story I will have to share.

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