2011: I finally understood the meaning of depression

Before I really understood what depression was, I always looked at those people who suffered from it as simply needing to exhibit more mental strength. I thought that suffering from depression meant you were just negative, a downer, and needed to start having a better attitude or view of the world. I know these feelings are precisely why stigmas are out there for mental illnesses.

2011 was one of the worst years for me. I finally got through college after six years but a month later, I needed to have major surgery. {I was discharged on Valentines Day so I’ll always remember the dates surrounding that surgery} Three months later, I wound up in the ER with a tube in my stomach that stayed there for two additional months until the time came for me to need my 2nd major operation of the year. To end the year, I received a new auto immune disease diagnosis (pyoderma gangrenosum) I was down to 82 pounds, petrified of eating, desperate to have one migraine free day, and was never able to sleep. I was tired of fighting every single day.

I was depressed.

I have said I had a lot of anxiety, that I felt triggered easily, and that I suffered from insomnia but until very recently, I was embarrassed to admit that.


As I look back at that entire year of awfulness, I realize that while  I dealt with the emotional manifestations of having ulcerative colitis for years, it wasn’t until that year that things started coming to a head. I was so far down that there was literally no where else for me to go but up.

Am I glad I experienced what I have? NO FRICKEN WAY! I can say now it probably made me more understanding of the broad scope of issues inflammatory bowel disease causes. It also gave me a completely different perspective of “mental illness.” {honestly, I’d rather not have the knowledge but ya know… }

Depression, anxiety, lack of sleep, eating issues, feeling easily triggered, low self esteem, and anger are just some of the emotional issues many people with Crohns disease or ulcerative colitis deal with. How could they not? They do come in waves and maybe we have to go though some of the terrible things we experience with this disease to pave the way for us to be more understanding of people in general. Or for us to be able to let others know that we, too, have been there and got through it.

  • Rach

    This post really resonates with me right now. Battling with IBD and so many extra-intestinal manifestation illnesses that have all resulted in 2 hospital admissions since New Year 2014.
    I have been off my work for so much over the past year and a half (and now my doc tells me I’ll now be off for another 8 weeks at least). My work have now referred me for an Occupational Health assessment. I know this is protocol and procedure for the organisation but I’m terrified they will use it as an excuse to fire me eventually.
    I am also studying and have had to put my studies on hold for the forseeable future as I am so far behind in my work load as a result of my illness.
    I also suffer from anxiety and have a history of depression after the birth of my second child three years ago.
    I spent last year deciding I would not let my IBD get the better of me and I would achieve something with my University work and also improve my skills within my employment. I felt I had a purpose for the first time in a long time and it was feeling good, albeit that my IBD was grumbling throughout that time. I feel like it has all come crashing down on me over the last 6 months and now I feel so out of control with my life. It feels like my illness (and subsequent diseases) have now taken over me in a way I never wanted them to. I feel like I’ve lost my purpose and that IBD has won this time. It really sucks.
    Thank you for your posts, your honesty and integrity with your writing. It is SO good to know that all the feelings I have that someone else has experienced them too and got through the other side. Thank you.

  • http://doctorweekly.com/ mindsyncwilliam

    Reblogged this on depression,depression symptoms,anxiety.and commented:
    Learning from someone else’s experiences. Knowing what could happen. How bad it could get. Thanks to those courageous people out there who share their struggles with us.

    • http://risaroo86.wordpress.com Marisa Lauren

      Thank you so much for Reblogging!!

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