Kaitlyn Kaufman
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Depression Kills

Depression is not some joke or some attention getter, but a serious condition many are faced with every day.

Depression. We have all heard of it. We have all read about it. We may have known someone's life to end because of it. Depression is not some joke or some attention getter, but a serious condition many are faced with every day, including myself. Depression has grabbed me by the throat and strangled me until I have fallen to my knees, gasping for just a bit of air to survive this meltdown and just waiting for the right moment to hit me again. That's just it, they hit me out of nowhere. Any day of the week, anytime of the day. Boom. I'm on the floor clinging to dear life as I pray to God that he takes me out of this world in that very moment. 

Depression has a way of creeping up on you without you even knowing it until you do. In my case, depression found me when I turned 16 and I was still oblivious to it. I thought it was a joke when my doctor looked at me and said "Kaitlyn, I am diagnosing you with Clinical Depression." I looked at her and laughed. I thought "How am I clinically depressed at 16-years-old? My life is great." I had a roof over my head and food in my stomach. What more could I ask for? Many kids would die to have the life I have. I lived with my mom after my parents' divorce and she worked her ass off to give me what I needed and wanted at the same time. So how could someone like me be diagnosed with clinical depression? I had no clue. I thought being sad for no reason was a normal thing teenagers went through as they got older. I didn't know that crying myself to sleep almost every night was not normal. I didn't know that thinking about taking the easy way out was not normal. I didn't know not wanting to leave my room for days and days was not normal. I did not know turning down group dates just so I could be home alone was not normal. I thought wrong and I paid for it. 

It was a Tuesday afternoon when my mom finally snapped and took me to see my Pediatrician and explained that I wasn't being a "normal" 16-year-old teenager like I should be. It only took one look at me from her eyes to know what was wrong. I was depressed and I needed to be fixed. My doctor's solution? Antidepressants. 25mg a day. Seven days a week and never a dose skipped. Did it work? Maybe. I wouldn't know until a few days later on when the medication finally made its way throughout my entire system and told my brain to be "happy." It worked—not for long, but it worked. Three months later, I was in the same boat I was in not too long before my diagnosis. Back to the doctor I go. Same diagnosis, same medication, different amount of mg per pill. 50mg later and I am supposed to be healed. I didn't believe a pill could help, but I took them anyways to make my doctor happy and most of all, my mom happy so she wouldn't have to worry about me as much. I took the 50 mg pill for quite some time until I wasn't anymore. They stopped doing what they were made to do: turn my sadness into happiness. I was sad again and I didn't know why, had no clue. I took them everyday  like I was supposed to and when I supposed to, but something changed. I was back to being sad and crying myself to sleep for no reason. So this left me speechless. I thought for sure no pill would make me feel the way I was supposed to feel. I didn't tell anyone, I didn't want to burden anyone with my problems. 

It was another few months before I went to the doctor again for my depression. I told her the pills were not working any longer and I did not want to take them. It was like taking a diet pill with no outcome of losing weight. They were just not working. She looked at me with saddened eyes and told me to wait a few days and then go to my local pharmacy to pick up what would be our last hope with this medication. So I did and I took it with hope that it would finally shape me into a happy, outgoing, social butterfly that I should have been all this time. Instead of changing the medication, she changed my dose. 100mg everyday without skipping one pill. I thought for sure that I would finally be okay again and would change for the better. 

A year and a half later, here I am, still on 100mg of Zoloft. Has it helped? For the most part. Do I still have bad days? Absolutely. Will I ever be able to be taken off them and be happy on my own? Probably not, but that's okay too because I know that Depression will always have a hold on me no matter the dosage or the medication. I will always be "depressed" even when you see me laughing and tears in my eyes from laughing so hard with my friends or my family. I will always be "depressed" even if everything in the world is going right for me. I will always be "depressed" in the future and I have a family of my own. I will still have bad days and nights no matter how much Zoloft I take or how long I have been on it. So, is taking antidepressants worth taking every day if you're still depressed anyways? The answer is yes because I know that my dark demon I have inside of me can come out at any minute and grab me by the throat and never let go. 

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