I saw a recent study in The Journal of Affective Disorders that showed the participants had been on an average of 14 (yes, 14!) psychiatric medications (anti-depressants, anti-anxiety meds, bipolar meds, and/or mood stabilizers) prior to having their thyroid levels checked and treated. Once their thyroid was optimized, their symptoms improved in 84% of them, with 33% having complete resolution of their symptoms.
This was an astounding study, and made me reflect on my own struggle with depression. And in light of recent celebrity suicides, I felt compelled to share and speak about the silent killer of depression. The more awareness that’s out there the better, and the more we begin to share our own personal stories and struggles, the less alone people feel.
My Personal Journey
My struggle with depression began in medical school, and worsened as I aged, including severe post-partum depression with my last child (and yes…suicidal thoughts were involved). However, I never really spoke about it, because I felt ashamed and thought that people would find me less credible as a physician if I did. So I suffered, mostly in silence, but also experienced fits of rage at my partner. When I heard about this study, I counted the number of medications I had been on in the past, to manage the depression and rage….six. And I certainly didn’t feel great on them. They just numbed me. I even looked into electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). This was not the way I wanted to live.
Why am I sharing this? I’m telling you for a few reasons. First, depression doesn’t “look” any particular way. In fact, there are many masks people can wear to disguise it. It doesn’t have to look like someone crying all day in bed. It can look like rage, or apathy (not really caring to do anything you used to enjoy doing), or feelings of hopelessness and loneliness. It can also be a high functioning executive of a multi-million dollar company, or a doctor, or a beautiful, successful fashion icon or model, or a multi-tasking soccer mom that always says she’s “fine.”
Second, there is still such shame around the very word ‘depression’ that people are afraid to talk about it, to take off the mask. The more we perpetuate the silence, the more we perpetuate the problem, handing it down to our children, and so on, and so on.
The third reason I’m sharing this so openly is because I felt so alone and broken during those times. I didn’t know there was another solution other than just living with it and hoping it would pass. I don’t want you to suffer in silence, I want you – men and women both – to know there is hope, that you’re not alone, it’s not “all in your head,” or just a part of getting older.
Hormones May Be Your Solution
I certainly know that anti-depressants/mood stabilizers/anti-anxiety medications have their place. AND, I’m happy to say I have not taken any of them since having my hormones balanced. I feel more alive, present, and AWAKE than I ever have. I truly believe my hormonal “awakening” has allowed me to have my emotional, spiritual, and sexual awakenings as well. It is my mission to share this passionately and vulnerably with you so that you may have the same AMAZING experience and truly start LIVING your life, instead of just existing.
If you are having some of the same feelings, you don’t have to suffer in silence. There IS a solution. It is not weak to say you don’t feel “right,” or you feel “off,” or feel like you’re a shell of who you once were. Know that there is a better way of living your life, out loud and AWAKE!
To learn more about Hormonal Health and how to optimize YOUR hormones, contact Dr. Jill Stocker at The Body Well today: email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (323) 874-9355 for your FREE phone consultation.