Pam Halter
Writing Editing Serving

Parents Blog

Depression's Demands
8/15/2014 2:19:26 PM by: pam

Depression sucks. So many people claim to have it. What the heck IS depression, anyway? Sadness? Grief? Frustration? Is it chemical or emotional? How does medication help or hurt? What does depression do?

Depression is demanding. It gags you so you can't call for help. Lies to you. Calls you names. Makes you feel like no one cares. Blindsides you. Captures your thoughts and twists them.

I don't know how it affects you, but I can share what I've experienced.

Hindsight is always perfect. When I look back, I see now that I shouldn't have been diagnosed with clinical depression. I was overstressed because Anna's seizures were bad, Daryl was post-surgery for his ankle, I had a new diagnosis of high blood pressure, and I was homeschooling Mary. But that's what my family doctor said. Depression. And he put me on Paxil. At first, I felt okay. Not much change, although maybe a little lighter. I waited to feel better. What happened was a slow change, taking about six months or so, and I began having anxiety, which turned into full blown panic attacks. Following that, I began to see three demons hovering just out of my eyesight, up and to the left. They wanted me to die. I began cutting. The day I sat on the couch and mentally counted all the medication in the cabinet and realized I could easily end it all, I got scared – really scared – and told Daryl.

I prepared for my emergency appointment with the psychiatrist by packing a bag for the mental hospital. I told him everything. Held nothing back. He said, "You're on the wrong medication." And he didn't send me to the hospital. I weaned off Paxil and started Abilify. Besides gaining over 50 pounds, I did great on it for 10 years. Just this past March, I went off and started taking Holy Basil. I'm doing just fine.

My point is this: feeling sad, overwhelmed, and frustrated is not necessarily clinical depression. Parents who have special needs children often feel this way. We also grieve the loss of a normal child every day of our lives. Does that mean we need meds? Maybe. Maybe not. But with the potential horrendous side effects of anti-depressants, I like to encourage parents to try natural supplements like Holy Basil first. And to talk. Find a friend. A counselor. Someone you feel comfortable with. Someone you can trust. Often, we who feel depressed feel totally alone. This is the devil's lie. You aren't alone. You might think no one knows how you feel. That's a lie, too.

I'm not trying to tell you what to do. But there are options. Explore them all. Feeling down, stressed, angry, freaked out, scared (and more), is really normal for most of us who have kids like Anna. The best thing I've found is to talk to other parents. I kept it all in for so many years. I didn't want anyone to judge me. This is why I'm blogging now. I want to reach out and help others who are struggling. Nothing you can say to me will shock me. And I won't judge you. If you can't post a comment, but want to talk to me, you can contact me on this website. Please don't wait.

"Two are better than one . . . if one falls down, his friend can help him up." Ecc. 4:9-10


Comments

pam From At 9/15/2014 6:10:43 AM

Yes, Jenny, let me know about the Holy Basil. I'm doing great on it. So thankful! God provides all we need.

Jenny From At 9/14/2014 8:39:26 PM

It's taken me months...and I'm still working on getting through the ""depression"" grief, sadness, etc. while still visiting him and working towards the future...which is a scary and completely ""walking by faith"" thought.I went and bought some Holy Basil. ... :) I'll let you know how it works! :)

Jenny From At 9/14/2014 8:37:07 PM

I can TOTALLY relate to this.... Long story short, Eli was diagnosed (with the ADHD and impulse control disorder.... Aspergers!) He is currently in a residential facility. I didn't realize how immensely stressed out and overwhelmed and on High Alert for 14 years I had been, until he left.

Carol Pennington From Vineland, NJ At 8/15/2014 7:48:04 PM

Pam, thanks for your transparency. I'm trying to be more confident and transparent for my own good. You're always an inspiration. :)

Laur Kirk From At 8/15/2014 2:58:35 PM

Thank you, Pam. Your blog is so helpful and healing.

Previous Posts

The Power of Doritos
5/7/2018 12:00:00 PM  by: pam

Yay For Friends!
1/9/2018 3:15:00 PM  by: pam

Show You!
9/11/2017 12:58:00 PM  by: pam

Happy? 26th Birthday, Anna
5/15/2017 7:37:00 AM  by: pam

Re-grouping
3/14/2017 8:10:00 AM  by: pam

We can relate!
9/1/2016 8:00:00 AM  by: pam

A Little Fall Fun
10/18/2015 8:04:11 AM  by: pam

Going Commando
10/5/2015 6:37:04 PM  by: pam

So Behind
9/22/2015 8:42:33 AM  by: pam

Stares and Storytime
4/12/2015 7:12:46 AM  by: pam

Big Big Changes
3/27/2015 9:12:27 AM  by: pam

Blog Post on Autism
9/22/2014 7:30:14 AM  by: pam

The Power of Pets
9/12/2014 4:21:44 PM  by: pam

Depression's Demands
8/15/2014 2:19:26 PM  by: pam

Do We or Don't We?
8/4/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: pam

Falling Down
6/22/2014 1:36:52 PM  by: pam

Research Study
5/23/2014 12:48:08 PM  by: pam

Who goes? Who stays?
5/19/2014 12:11:51 PM  by: pam

Being Thankful
4/25/2014 7:37:26 AM  by: pam

Excellent Article
4/7/2014 7:03:09 AM  by: pam

Jury Duty and Holland
3/27/2014 7:36:35 AM  by: pam

I Confess
3/17/2014 8:11:55 AM  by: pam

The Dreaded Medication Change
3/4/2014 12:49:56 PM  by: pam

Keeping It Together - part seven
2/24/2014 1:03:18 PM  by: pam

Keeping it Together - part six
2/10/2014 8:20:16 AM  by: pam

A Milestone Day
2/3/2014 8:13:17 AM  by: pam

Keeping it together - part five
1/21/2014 6:43:18 AM  by: pam

Keeping It Together - part four
1/3/2014 7:56:02 AM  by: pam

Keeping it Together - part three
12/16/2013 7:34:46 AM  by: pam

Keeping it Together - part two
12/9/2013 6:30:25 AM  by: pam

Keeping it Together - part one
12/5/2013 8:00:03 AM  by: pam

Catching Up
11/13/2013 8:22:00 AM  by: pam

The Perfect House
10/25/2013 8:06:56 AM  by: pam

Another Mom in the Mix
10/7/2013 3:11:58 PM  by: pam

Grieving the Loss
9/24/2013 8:39:13 AM  by: pam

Great article
9/11/2013 1:06:06 PM  by: pam

This and That
9/9/2013 4:09:18 PM  by: pam

Fun in the ER
8/30/2013 9:17:32 AM  by: pam

Bless me, Anna!
8/14/2013 1:51:41 PM  by: pam

Talk to me, Anna!
8/8/2013 5:04:30 PM  by: pam

God's Will
7/30/2013 3:13:08 PM  by: pam

Update on Anna's bloodwork
7/24/2013 6:31:05 AM  by: pam

Stirring the Cesspool
7/11/2013 6:27:11 AM  by: pam

Vacation and Other Fun Stuff
7/3/2013 5:46:28 AM  by: pam

A Day at the Beach
6/17/2013 8:05:05 AM  by: pam

Anna's Surgery Experience
6/5/2013 12:03:49 PM  by: pam

No Place For Anna
5/26/2013 8:27:52 AM  by: pam

Painful Gifts
5/21/2013 8:56:57 AM  by: pam

Happy 22nd Birthday, Anna!
5/15/2013 6:48:55 AM  by: pam

A Rough Day
5/6/2013 6:18:44 AM  by: pam

Things I've Learned - part five
4/30/2013 8:02:08 AM  by: pam

Things I've Learned - part four
4/22/2013 6:51:41 AM  by: pam

Things I've Learned - part three
4/15/2013 6:14:06 AM  by: pam

Things I've Learned - part two
4/9/2013 7:40:11 AM  by: pam

Interview with Terri Groh
4/5/2013 5:44:08 AM  by: pam

Things I've Learned - part one
4/3/2013 7:55:42 AM  by: pam

The Things People Say - part eight
3/27/2013 6:06:08 AM  by: pam

Comparisons
3/18/2013 8:06:43 AM  by: pam

Why Is It A Blessing?
3/11/2013 6:24:04 AM  by: pam

Tim's Place
3/8/2013 11:57:02 AM  by: pam

New Medication Worries
3/5/2013 6:38:36 AM  by: pam

A Night Out for Anna
2/25/2013 11:29:44 AM  by: pam

Play it again, Sam
2/20/2013 5:47:32 AM  by: pam

Happy Birthday
2/15/2013 5:32:13 AM  by: pam

The Anna Bowl
2/4/2013 8:01:33 AM  by: pam

The Queen of Babble-on
1/30/2013 12:45:36 PM  by: pam

Really, people?
1/25/2013 7:36:11 AM  by: pam

Cold Feet
1/23/2013 7:55:46 AM  by: pam

Hearing God
1/15/2013 6:58:57 AM  by: pam

Running Away
1/10/2013 11:19:00 AM  by: pam

Post-Christmas-Reentry-Syndrome
1/4/2013 6:49:36 AM  by: pam

Emmanuel, God With Us
12/17/2012 6:51:08 AM  by: pam

Take Heart
12/7/2012 4:42:07 AM  by: pam

Jumping in the Leaves
11/27/2012 5:56:16 AM  by: pam

Being Thankful
11/19/2012 7:02:07 AM  by: pam

Patience and Love and Wretchedness
11/13/2012 7:38:47 AM  by: pam

A Typical Halter Vacation
11/8/2012 8:35:45 AM  by: pam

Is This Really My Life?
11/1/2012 5:21:04 AM  by: pam

Frankenstorm
10/27/2012 4:22:45 PM  by: pam

A Small Victory at Anna's Program
10/24/2012 7:21:36 AM  by: pam

Update on the problem at Anna's program
10/22/2012 8:23:51 AM  by: pam

The Fight Goes On
10/19/2012 4:55:06 AM  by: pam

Fighting the Good Fight
10/18/2012 7:01:44 AM  by: pam

Sit down, Anna
10/16/2012 6:44:47 AM  by: pam

The Things People Say - conclusion
10/15/2012 8:32:45 AM  by: pam

The Cloaking Device
10/12/2012 6:22:27 AM  by: pam

The Things People Say - part seven
10/11/2012 5:56:56 AM  by: pam

The Things People Say - part six
10/10/2012 5:35:53 AM  by: pam

The Things People Say - part five
10/9/2012 6:59:06 AM  by: pam

The Things People Say - part four
10/4/2012 6:00:52 AM  by: pam

The Things People Say - part three
10/3/2012 6:09:22 AM  by: pam

The Things People Say - part two
10/2/2012 5:29:13 AM  by: pam

The Things People Say - part one
10/1/2012 7:52:27 AM  by: pam

Godzilla Lives at my House
9/27/2012 6:58:41 AM  by: pam

The Early Bird Gets Eaten
9/26/2012 5:22:30 AM  by: pam

Over and Over Again
9/25/2012 5:15:50 AM  by: pam

What Good Are Seizures?
9/21/2012 11:48:29 AM  by: pam

Why Me?
9/20/2012 8:37:32 AM  by: pam

The Rest of my Life?
9/19/2012 5:47:36 AM  by: pam

Feelings
9/18/2012 1:23:56 PM  by: Pam