a personal style blog by Lauren Pfieffer

Monday, March 18, 2013


I thought when I began medication for my depression last July that I would never have to worry about it ever again. That that time in my life would be a passed one, a closed book, something just to remember and not relive. I don't know why, I don't know how, but my depression started up again about mid February.

Depression is this really weird thing that comes on so fast, yet so slowly. You start out thinking you're just having a bad day. Nothing more. Then a bad day turns into a bad week, and then a bad month, and then before you know if you can't remember the last time you were happy. It's not even really feeling happy, but being able to feel something. That's the difference between depression and just sadness. When you're sad, you want to cry, you want to scream, you want to hit things. But when you're depressed, you just don't feel anything at all. Life passes by so swiftly, the days blend together into nothing. All of the things that should be happy, new, old, sad, angry, don't feel like any of that. They just feel empty.

I knew it was starting up again by little changes here and there. My appetite got less and less. Nothing ever sounded good to eat. I found myself sleeping more and more. When given the chance, sleeping in until one in the afternoon, taking naps throughout the day, going to bed early at night. Never wanting to leave the fortress of covers in my bed. Pushing away friends. Talking less and less. Hanging out less and less. Growing further and further apart. I noticed all of these things but not as a whole, but as separate pieces of my life just needing worked on.

So I tried staying as busy as I could. Reading books. Watching shows. Making plans with everyone I knew. Swimming. Throwing myself into school work. Even though it's good to stay busy to keep your mind off of depression, sometimes there really is nothing you can do. It's just there and it's going to be there no matter what.

I guess I'm just frustrated because I don't know why it's back. I don't have this huge life changing cause, unsolvable problem, excruciating emotional pain. I've been living my life the same way here at Kent for the last seven months. Why now? Why me again? Wasn't this supposed to be over the day the doctor diagnosed me and I started medication?

I told a friend recently who has troubles with OCD that just because you're on medication, it doesn't take your problems away. You still have to learn to cope with the mental illness yourself. To not rely on science but on your own determination, your own fight, your own strength. Medication is not an all heal solution. It still takes practice, patience, and time to learn to cope and live with any mental illness. And I've done the therapy, I thought I knew how to handle this. But obviously I don't because it's back.

I hate writing posts like these because then everyone treats me like I'm so fragile. Like they can't tell me anything or else it will send me over the edge. I'm not good or strong enough for the truth.  They have to lie and inch around it. They have to baby me and be nice because who knows what Lauren might do. I just want to be treated the way I've always been treated because I'm real and I'm me and I'm just going through some issues that I literally cannot help or change.

I really hope going home with Friday helps me out. Seeing my family and getting to relax and just clear my head. Of what? Again, I couldn't tell you. But maybe the dusty old thrift shop and the dark coffee place will heal my soul and set me on the right path again. I hope so.

This time around is different than last though. This time I know that there's brightness. I know that there's hope and happiness waiting for me so close I can reach out to feel it. Darkness will pass soon enough and I'll be able to feel again. To laugh and smile and be me again. I know it, and it won't be long. 

"When my spirit grows faint within me, it is you who watches over me"

With much love, Lauren.


Kailey said...

I'm sending all my love your way Lauren ♡

Britney @ Scout and Company said...

LAUREN! (I'm yelling out you so therefore I'm not treating you like a child or fragile) (That was also supposed to be funny). When I was struggling with depression and eating disorders and all other issues this really helped me. It might help you too! :D http://stressbusters.co.nz/products/

Hannah said...

My sweet, sweet Lauren. You are NOT fragile or weak. If you were, you wouldn't be able to talk about this. You'd hide away and change topics when it was brought up. But if it's the truth you want, then that's what I'm going to give you. It's going to suck. Chances are, it'll get worse. One tiny little thing will trigger and break you down. Tiny things will chip away at you. You're sensitive-strong, without a doubt-but sensitive. You feel. You can't help it. Feeling can be a beautiful thing, but it can also destroy us (it's been destroying me for the past four years). You're right, about depression. It lessens that sensitivity and you're just...numb. It's this whirlwind that's incredibly confusing. There may not be a reason as to why it's back, you just randomly relapsed. You've been here before, Lauren, you know how it goes. You got better before, you'll get better now. Not perfect, maybe not even good, but better. So hug your sister and talk to your amazing mother (because she's a wise lady)and drink coffee. Know that so many of us are behind you, rooting for you, supporting you and that I'm here for you, 24/7. Always.

Anonymous said...

Hey Lauren. I am a reader of your cute blog. I was also suffering from it too and seeing a psychiatrist for a while. I also had similar symptoms. I feel like there's always a root to depression, and medicine can't completely fix it. It has to do with something inside. Is everything alright with you, like internally? Happiness-wise? Family-wise? Self-esteem wise? How was your childhood and your family history? Is there something causing it that needs to be fixed? Mine started when I was a teen but I didn't really know I had it until I was 23 I think. I'm 27 now. I went through some things growing up esp. with my parent's divorce, and I didn't know it was affecting me until I got in my 20's.

What helped me was to acknowledge that something was going on with me. And then I started seeing a therapist. Something that has really helped (and kept me away from meds) is I go to Church weekly and pray to God about my problems. Just 1 hour a week at mass on Sunday and on Friday I pray for 30 minutes to him in front of the altar...I go for my youth group. During those 30 minutes I talk to him about absolutely ANYTHING that is on my mind, like to a friend/father. And for some reason, after that I feel so much better. I don't know if you are religious or anything or grew up in this way...so no pressures to any of my suggestions :), but have you tried prayer? It really helped me a lot and continues to help me if ever I feel sad. It's my medicine. I didn't want to be dependent on meds so I had to find another way. The great news is I don't need to see my therapist anymore. I can handle it on my own now. :) So yes, if there are any church activities or a church youth group or something you could go to to get spiritual nourishment, it's a good place to get healing. I'll pray for you and hope you'll feel better soon, and that you'll find your cure (however that may be).

Good luck with everything you are a very talented girl, I can tell from your blog - keep pursuing your goals!!! I know you'll get through it. God Bless!


Mary said...

I agree; this time is indeed different. I hear it in your words, the way you're talking about it. It's different than the way it used to be. And I'm so happy about that. But my heart aches for you that you're contending with this again. I hope you get through it speedily, by God's good work in your life.

Sammi said...

Lauren - my boyfriend suffers from OCD, anxiety and depression and has been on several different medications and doses over the last year, trying to find the right combination. He hasn't found it quite yet, and even though he's been suffering with bouts of depression lately, he feels similarly to you - that there is hope, and that he can look at all the progress he's made already and not feel hopeless. Still, an interesting thing about medication is that a lot of times, a medicine or dosage that will work for a while can eventually stop being as effective, or can stop working for the person altogether. The brain is such a complex and mysterious thing in many ways, even with all of the advances that have been made in science and medicine. Clearly though, it sounds like something chemical is going on, rather than something you can change. Being aware of your situation and taking steps to make sure you don't fall into a situation where you don't want to get out of bed is a great step, but it sounds like if suddenly you are finding that your mood and outlook are drastically different without having something environmental that can account for the change, something chemical (i.e., your medication and/or your body's current response to it) could very well be the culprit. It's hard not to feel panicked or out of control or at a loss when something like this happens; however, knowing that this is just a bump in the road, rather than a scary feeling you wonder if you'll have to live with constantly forever, is a much better outlook to have. :)

xox Sammi

Katie said...

Aw, I'm sorry you're going through this again! I've had mini fits of depression for years. :-P Not nearly as bad as a lot of people have had but I can relate to what you're going through. :(

I'll keep you in my prayers, and let me know if you ever need to talk! xo

Charmaine said...

I really liked this post a lot, Lauren! Depression is a tricky thing, having gone through a bad one myself a few years ago I can relate to what you mean about it coming and going and how it creeps up again slowly. I am better now, but fall into ruts sometimes too. Sounds like you're in control though, taking steps to combat it by staying active. Great job! It's nice to hear someone share their experiences about The Big D. A nice reminder those of us who've also gone through one aren't alone :). Thanks.

katie said...

As someone who has struggled with depression my whole life, I can tell you that it really does come and go, there's not always a trigger and its not always as a reflection of current or past events. It's a struggle but I do hear in your voice this time that there's a bit of hope and that's fantastic! Just having one person to talk to can help so much and while medication can help, it's not meant to be an all encompassing cure or solution. It's something that will always come back but you learn ways to deal with it and also how to recognized it when it starts back up. Its isn't a very encouraging comment and I'm so sorry about that, but you are a tough chick and I know you'll be able to come out of this down cycle and you'll learn lessons for how to deal with the next down cycle.
It is awesome to see you talking about this because there's still such a culture of shame associated with depression. As women, we feel we should be able to deal with everything and its so easy to write off depression as a down day or being overly sensitive. Keep busy and talk to your friends and if it starts to get really bad, talk to one of your school's threpist.
Take care of yourself dear and I hope you do have a wonderful time back home. :)

Rosalind said...

Lauren, I'm so glad to have paid a visit to your blog when this was the post you'd put up. It takes such courage to be able to write openly about depression in this way, especially as you experience it. So many supportive, insightful comments above too, from people who understand, who speak with the individual voice of their own experience.
My dad has depression - it's something I've written about for a UK based organization called Young Minds. After a six month long episode of very severe depression that included 6 weeks in hospital, plus a range of combinations of medications tried that either didn't work or made things even worse, finally a combination was found that DID have positive effect. And as you and those commenting above know, that was just the beginning; the stepladder out of the hole, not the full answer. It's so different for each individual and everyone responds differently. For him, over the last year, what has worked has been medication plus therapy, plus Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, plus Mindfulness (an extension of CBT) plus exercise, plus good nutrition (including dietary supplements such as fish oil that is very high in EPA and strong doses of vitamin B12.) And even then, brain chemicals are tricksy things...
You don't strike me as fragile but as someone who is sensitive (in that you FEEL intensely) as well strong. Your strength comes through in your knowledge that "this time you know there's brightness." Yes, there's always brightness, it's just that sometimes the curtains are closed. Sending thoughts of hope and laughter and soul-healing x

Michaela said...

Lauren--I don't see many people here pointing you back to Christ! HE is your answer, as I know you know. I was so excited when I found out you became a Christian. Like I've said before, if you'd like to email me, please feel free. I'd love to talk with you.

Anyway--everyone struggles with depression at some point in their life. Prayer and relationship with Christ is the ONLY way out of it. You can take as many drugs as you want. You can see as many doctors as you want--it will always be there. But we are children of an all-powerful God who is able to cleanse all wounds. GO to Him. Seek counsel from fellow brothers and sisters in Him--go to your Christian friends for advice. I know this may be hard to understand now, but God is using these experiences to mold you. You MUST go through trials to become refined! :) You'll never be perfect, but you WILL become stronger in your faith, if you only go to Him for everything. And eventually, the more you pull away the focus from yourself and put it on God, the easier it will be to face every day. It's a surrender point. It's a point of saying "Jesus, this life belongs to YOU. And I will find joy because you have given my my breath. You have given me the hard times and the good times. YOU are my All and All."

Michaela said...

That said, I want to encourage you. :) And let you know that you are in my prayers. <3

Anna said...

Praying for you Lauren! I've just started reading your blog and love your style and heart that shines through. I'm praying that God helps you walk through this time time and puts people in your path that will help you cope and feel loved. Through Him you can overcome!

Anonymous said...

I am depressed too.

There are some things that can improve my moods greatly though.

Exercise and getting enough sunlight (tough in the winter of course) makes a BIG difference for me.

Maybe something like a yoga or dance class, or just walking swiftly (anywhere, or on a treadmill) while listening to your favorite music can really help.

Getting your vitamin levels checked could be helpful too - maybe you're deficient in something.

Wish you the best <3
- an anon reader

Nerd Burger said...

What an honest post. I am sorry to hear you have slipped back into your depression. I hope seeing your family can help you on the way to your recovery.
Please know that we all love you, 100 of 1000s of people around the world can't wait to see you everyday and hear what you have to say. That's a pretty amazing thing. A lot of love for you Lauren. :)

Vicki said...

Lauren, I just want to let you know that you're in my prayers. And know that you can always count on God to hold you up, and that "I can do all things through Christ, which strengtheneth me" (Philippians 4:13). That verse is always a great comfort to me in times of trial--it lets me know that with Christ as my Rock, I can get through it all.(:

Decked Out in Ruffles

Kezzie said...

Darling Lauren! You are strong, not fragile and you can get through this! I do think the weather is pretty grim and this definitely has an adverse effect on feelings! God is with you and you can do all things through him!x

Teddi said...

lauren, please don't be so hard on yourself. you are honest and real. that isn't easy. depression isn't your fault. it can be very biologic. people often have to adjust their medication because their body changes. it's common for people to get more depressed in the winter because the sun doesn't shine as much. have you heard of seasonal affective disorder? you are trying, and that can be very difficult to do, especially when you feel depressed. i believe that you'll get what you need, and feel better. it just may take time. stay strong.

Callie said...

Hi Lauren,

I hesitated with sharing this with you, but I wanted to share with you a resource that the Lord has blessed me with regarding how I deal with my emotions. This teaching has totally changed my way of thinking about myself, about my emotions, about depression, and even about life in general. I encourage you to PLEASE check out these Biblical teachings. they've helped me so much and I believe they'd help you too if you'd listen to them.


These are all on harnessing emotions. It is really freeing to say the least. =)

I really hope you read this comment and watch at least one week of these teachings. I'm sure they'd help you as much as they did me. =)

Blessings to you!!


Jeannee said...

Lauren, I am very grateful that I have the internet, and ur fashion///lifestyle blog, in order to connect w/ you! I, too, am a very sensitive person ... who suffers from chronic depression. It's a chronic illness. I can deal w/ the chronics - its the fatals that scare me! My personal experience is that a good med that works, does so for about a year ... and then, it needs to be changed. It reads to me like u r doing everything to manage your chronic illness: taking your meds, writing about it, feeding your spiritual life, surrounding yourself w/ loved ones as well as w/ beautiful things, and not letting it stop you from your goals- and that's a big Amen!!!

Unknown said...

Hugs to you, hon! I have been struggling lately too, if I'm being honest with myself. Sending some thoughts and love your way!


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