Great Things Happened to Me, But I Was Still Depressed

I know a lot of you are working on resolutions for 2014, but I’m still focused on 2013.
Although it was a great year for me professionally with this parenting talk show and and other opportunities, I was still depressed for most of the year.

Great Things Happened to Me in 2013, But I Was Still Depressed #FiguringOut40

Still Depressed

Yes. I suffer from depression even though I have
– an Emmy award-winning career in TV News
– a hot husband
– a funny, upbeat, intelligent and cute three year old son
– loving family and friends
– my health and a safe home
– thousands of social media followers

Depressed moms go to work.
Depressed moms go to church or synagogue.
Depressed moms go to play dates.
Depressed moms run their own businesses.
Depressed moms go about their normal day.
Just like I did.

In 2013, I got invited to events and conferences. And I was still depressed.
We celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary in Savannah. And I was still depressed.
I took a relaxing trip to Los Angeles, California for my 40th birthday. And I was still depressed.
I went to see a Chelsea Lately live taping and nabbed an exclusive interview with Van Lathan, a TMZ Tour Guide. And I was still depressed.
I was featured in an amazing campaign for Wells Fargo Bank where I got to talk about my Daddy’s until story. And I was still depressed.
I got hired by a marketing company to appear in their clients’ videos. And I was still depressed.

I sought help from my family doctor, but I went off the medication he prescribed because of the side effects (I know, I know). Believe me, pills don’t always work. You have to find a solution that fits you.

I went to therapy and it helped. But between time, travel and co-payments, it really adds up.

How did I know I was depressed?

I didn’t feel like getting dressed.

I didn’t feel like showering or doing my hair.

I didn’t feel like cleaning my house.

I didn’t feel like being social.

I didn’t look my best everyday unless I knew I was going to see people I knew. I was even caught in public wearing this:

Dear Clinton Kelly, I Won't Wear This Outfit Again

All of the great things that happened and opportunities I received were overshadowed when a small problem, that in my mind became a big problem,  swirled into a den of self-pity and hopelessness. Sometimes it would last for a few hours. Mostly, it lasted a few weeks.

When a mom is depressed it affects the entire family. My husband and probably A.J., too, have suffered right along with me. I’m sharing this with you because I know I’m not alone. I know millions of moms feel this way. The people who love us may say “Feel better” or even worse, “get over it” and it doesn’t help. So, I found some resources and books that may help you with your depression, or help your loved one. I’m talking to my doctor again and I’ll see how things go this time. That’s my only resolution for 2014.

Resources to Fight Depression

Web Md is an online resource to help you identify the symptoms of depression.

There’s also a lot of ignorance out there about depression. WebMd debunks the myths from the facts.

Postpartum Depression

From what I remember after A.J. was born, I don’t think I suffered from postpartum depression. But I borrowed Brooke Shield’s book, Down Came the Rain: My Journey Through Postpartum Depression, from the library just to be sure I was OK.

Another resource is Katherine Stone’s site, Postpartum Progress. She shares a must-read “The Symptoms of Postpartum Depression & Anxiety (in Plain Mama English).”

Books for depression and postpartum

About Joyce Brewer

Creator & Host of Mommy Talk Show. Emmy award-winning TV journalist.Wife & Mommy; Mom Blogger; Social Media Coach; Long Island, New York transplant living in Atlanta, GA. Follow Joyce on Twitter @MommyTalkShow Author of Use What You Know: A Business Idea Guide for Moms featuring interviews with mompreneurs who created businesses using their skills & backgrounds.

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  1. I had PPD so this is very informative!

  2. You know that I deal with the same thing. Sharing your story, sharing OUR stories, will help others know that they’re not alone. Thank you for being open, and for the resources!

  3. This is a true testament that you never know what another person is going through. I am glad that you are receiving some help to get you through this.

  4. This so hit right at home. And I’ve been dealing with a lot of ups and downs because I left my job and now I feel isolated because I’m not going to work and hanging out with people all day. I’m spending way too much time on social media and have to find new ways to try and get out of a funk. Thanks for sharing!!!

  5. Such a powerful story! I will share with a close friend who is dealing with it!

  6. I had severe PPD after my 2nd child & life was rough. Fortunately, there’s always a rainbow in the sky. May 2014 bring you lots of happiness!

  7. I know a few people that suffer with depression, this post is very informative. Thank you for sharing.

  8. Beautifully written! I agree with Yolanda–I had no idea you were going through this. Thanks for your honesty and your friendship!!

  9. GREAT POST!! I suffered with PPD with both children, worse with the first, maybe bc I had no idea what was going on. Fitness and juicing have increased my positive mood this time around, but so does my anti-anxiety medicine… Here’s to a happy 2014!!!

  10. Joyce, thanks for being so candid, and yes I concur with what you say. Just because it looks good on the outside doesn’t mean it is all well on the inside. If your spouse has EAP in his benefits, you can use that for resources. Appreciate your transparency and the resources.

    • Thanks Val.
      I’ll look into that.
      My therapist, also does Skype and phone therapy, which is very convenient for child care purposes.

  11. You are such a brave and beautiful person, Joyce. Depression is difficult and ongoing battle that I have struggled with for many years myself. It can be hard to find meds that help that don’t have dreadful side effects, and like you said therapy can be so expensive. I think there are a lot of women out there who put on a happy face and a brave front, but inside feel defeated and tired. Talking about it is great therapy, so you are well on your way. Thanks so much for your honesty and saying it like is. It means a lot.

    • Angela,
      Means so much coming from you (my sister from another mister).
      Often moms have to wear “a mask” just to get through the week. Heck, even the moment.
      Blessings on your journey!

  12. I have been there. After I lost 4 family members within one year including my mother I went into a deep depression. I stayed there for about 3 years. In early 2011 a stranger came out of nowhere and helped me to see the light. Not my friends not my family a stranger she focused me on my loves and my hobbies and helped me. Thank you so much for sharing so many people keep it on the inside so much and it eats at them.

  13. depression is a horrible disease, affects so many people

  14. Depression can take so many different forms. I am so glad that you are talking openly about this, so many people are afraid to discuss mental health issues which only hurts them and the people around them more.

  15. Oh Joyce! You are not alone. I totally dealt with this and know how you feel. I loved reading this because so many people think depression is ONE thing and it can be so many things to so many people. Love this honest look and appreciate it.

  16. I did not know you were suffering from depression this past year that I have known you. It is good of you to share your story because it may help other women who are dealing with depression. It may also help others to see all you were able to do while depressed. I do admire your bravery for sharing such a person and important topic.

    • Janeane,
      Another friend noticed that even with my depression I accomplished a lot, which is true.
      But I had so much more that didn’t get done.
      That’s what 2014 will be fore.

  17. I think with focussing on the depression, you failed to notice that even though you were depressed, you went and GOT STUFF DONE. You participated, put on a brave face, and kept it going. What I hope you do in 2014, is let people you know who you know, like & trust help you when you feel the way you do. Burdens don’t weigh as much when they are shared. Love ya, girl! You are NOT alone in this. ((((HUGS))))

    • Sonia,
      Thanks so much.
      Yes, I got stuff done.
      Motherhood and marriage are full-time jobs.
      But I put my self-care on the back burner.
      In 2014, I want to see more of my old friends and reconnect with them.

  18. Thank you for sharing and all I have to say is: me too.

  19. Joyce,
    This post is so amazing. It is easy to think that everyone is ok, that nothing is ever wrong, and that people are machines. I don’t know anyone that hasn’t struggled with depression from time to time, if we are are willing to be honest I think it is something we ALL suffer from at one time or another. Thank you for putting a face on depression, and how it looks in real life. Great Post!

  20. Great post! Hits right at home with me and my family both. Depression is real and it does happen.

  21. Good for you for sharing your story!! I know it will help many others. Thank you for your courage. Oh, and thanks for sharing Postpartum Progress as a resource. Here’s wishing you a very healthy 2014. ~ Katherine

  22. Thank you so much for coming out from behind the mask so many moms wear! Your story will help other moms who think they are all alone. Very brave! It’s also a key step to overcoming depression I’m sure!

    • Thanks Heather.
      You’re right. We’re all wearing masks to cover what’s inside.
      I wanted to let moms know they’re not alone.

  23. Thanks for sharing. I suffered with depression in the past and pills did not work for me. I found out what works for me is a healthy diet and exercise. Hope this will be the year that you can find out what works for you.

    • Tara,
      Diet and exercise, I think, are huge parts of it.
      I’ve already told my husband that I plan to take some dance classes so he’ll have to take over some responsibility when it comes to watching our son.

  24. Thank you for this honest and informative post. Having anxiety myself, I sometimes think I would be symptom free if I had more money, a different job or a luxurious life. But your post reminded me that anyone can have depression and anxiety – regardless of his or her wealth, status or other life circumstances. Great post!

    • Thanks Sandy.
      So many of us suffer in silence.
      We may look “together” on the outside, but inside we’re struggling.
      All the best on your journey.

  25. I have great empathy for you Joyce. I guess you know of Terri William’s work on this topic. Certainly knowing what you are dealing with may help. Thank you for sharing.

  26. I feel you pain. But, the first step to getting past it, is to admit that there’s something wrong. I totally agree with you that you must deal with it on your terms and in your own way. It’s not easy but we’re rooting for you! Go JOYCE!!!!

  27. Joyce thank you for sharing what depression means to you. Someone out there and is reading it, thinking wow i feel like that all the time and doesn’t think they’re depressed. They blame it on the weather or something else that explains the way they’re feeling. Depression has always been this taboo topic in the past and I’m happy that more people are speaking up on it.

    What would you say to someone who is experiencing this but does not think they are depressed? What do you say to someone that you see on a daily basis who goes through the motions of the day? Who knows that something is out of place but doesn’t seek help or doesn’t know to?

  28. Girlfriend! I had no idea. And I deeply understand. (I didn’t realize there was more to read– beyond the picmonkey–until now.) Brave and beautiful. Sending you lots of love and, if you ever wanna chat (you talked about connecting more– or reconnecting more– in 2014), I’m always good for a listen and a one-on-one talk . . .

  29. Thanks for sharing your story Joyce. I had no idea! What another poster said above is spot on….you recognize that you suffer from it so that is the first step. I hope 2014 is a better year for you!