I was diagnosed with clinical depression and high anxiety in the Spring of 2016, at the age of 23. One day I felt extremely overwhelmed and decided to go to a counselor as a last result. Little did I know, I had been having symptoms of depression since the spring of 2013.
It all started with the stress of maintaining the required GPA in order to keep my academic scholarship along with school extracurriculars and social activities. Then I went through a grueling process in the fall of 2013 to join an elite society. Needless to say, by the time 2014 started I was having dark days where I never left my room. However, I had no idea what was happening back then, I just thought I needed to be alone in order to reboot. During the remainder of my years as an undergraduate student, things got worse. I developed insomnia from consistently staying up late studying so I started taking sleeping pills and it helped but as my lifestyle changed so did my issues.
I went over a year having a normal life which included getting engaged, the birth of my niece, and part time jobs. Things were steady until graduation, that’s when issues arose again. I made the choice to attend graduate school 8 hours away from my fiancee. There was an immediate strain on my relationship that caused my insomnia to flare again. Once graduate school started, I was consumed by coursework and the determination to pass every course. Obviously, that created stress. That was about the time “imposter syndrome” became an issue, which I’ll explain in depth in another post.
So, here I was in a new city, no family, with my fiancee 8 hours away. That’s when the panic attacks started. I got counseling in the spring of 2016 and it eased my mind. My counselor informed me of ways to control my symptoms (which I will share in other posts) and it revamped my life. However, that was only temporarily because I had the shock of a lifetime in December of 2016 that sent me into a downward spiral.
The old tactics stopped working and I was having panic attacks every few days so I decided it was time for medication. It took me months to find the right anti-depressant and dosage but it was achieved. So here I am now, medicated and in control of my life again.
I’m going to tell you every tactic that worked for me, those that were temporary, and those that never worked. I hope my journey can aid someone in their own.