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Cary’s Story

“Life without constant anxiety is possible!”

Share your stigma experience.

As a child in the 70’s I would feel what I could only describe as “home sick” even when I was home in my own bed. I never wanted to stay at other’s houses. I always assumed the worst would happen if someone traveled. I just thought this was what life was. My brother died unexpectedly when I was 11. Things spiraled from there. I asked for counseling and my mother told me that only weak people go to counseling, we were strong and did not need it. She would mock people with “de-PRESS-tion.” I was taught as a child not to speak of my sadness, my anxiety or the emptiness. I learned to act like I was having fun. I acted like I was the life of the party. When I wanted to crawl in a corner and pray no one saw me, I put on the cloak of the funny girl and used self depreciating humor to get everyone to laugh at me. In my mind they were laughing at me anyway, at least this way I could control it. I never trusted that anyone truly liked me, I thought they were all just nice to my face and talking about me behind my back.

How did you overcome this experience?

When I had my son things got worse. The anxiety was crippling. I feared he would die in his sleep and I would get up 10 times a night to check his breathing. I was diagnosed with postpartum depression, and prescribed an anti-depressant/anti-anxiety medication. That was the first step to changing my life. It took a little while to find the right medication and the right dosage. Then I went to the counseling I wanted as a teenager. I learned to cope, and then to be strong without using self abusive humor.

Help others by sharing a brief, positive message.

Life without constant anxiety is possible! Life without depression is amazing! Don’t be afraid to talk to your doctor. You are not weak! You wouldn’t think twice about taking antibiotics to treat an infection. Don’t hesitate if your doctor says you need anti-depressants to treat your depression.

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