Friday, February 4, 2011

Fighting Depression

April 12, 2008

September 16, 2009

I have been struggling to write this post off and on since I first started this blog.  Since I was 13 years-old, I have been battling with depression and generalized anxiety disorder [GAD].  Sometimes I think it goes hand in hand with my majorly type-A personality.  Worrying is perhaps the definition of Type-A when things do not go as planned or when things are out of our control.  I have my neurotransmitters [serotonin and norepinephrine] pretty well balanced with a combination of medication, therapy, and cognitive behavior strategies.  However, sometimes, it rears it ugly head (especially when there is lack of sleep) and I have trouble coping.  I have trouble balancing life and things seem bleak.  I get frustrated, but I also feel hopeless.

Sophie & Amelie = Friends

Ellie at 3 months
Sleeping Angel

Ellie has DS and I try not to focus on it too much, but sometimes it is hard not to when you have a developmental therapist coming throughout the month along with multiple doctor's appointments with "ologist" after their name.  I love my little Ellie, but sometimes I just want to scream "WHY  CAN'T WE JUST HAVE A REGULAR DAY WITHOUT ANYTHING SCHEDULED???"

Rock Baby

My Love, My Soulmate

Sometimes I think we paint a very rosy picture.  We want so much for our children with that extra special chromosome to be accepted like everyone else.  We want total inclusion.  We want them to be treated just like other kids.  We want people not to be afraid of a child with DS or be afraid of being pregnant with a baby with DS.  So we make life seem so "typical" and for the most part, it is.   Ellie will do things that other kids can do.  She will go to school and possibly college.  She will perhaps get married and hopefully to a man that I approve of.  She will be a contributing member of society.  Yes, these things are all true.  She is a super star with such determination and motivation that I wish I had growing up.
Sweet Angel

Ellie and Mama at Thanksgiving 2010

However, it is a CHALLENGE.   The road to Holland is HARD.  It is not all peaches and cream. We are blessed that Ellie does not have many of the health issues associated with trisomy 21 (believe me, I know many people whose road is much more treacherous and difficult).  Yet, that does not mean we do not have to visit all of these specialists on a regular basis and get all sorts of tests to monitor for these problems.  It is often difficult for friends to understand that "no we cannot have a play date, because we are too busy forcing barium down her throat for an Upper GI".  No, we cannot meet up for fun and games, because she is having ear surgery or we are having blood drawn or an EKG or yet another doctor's appointment.  These things exhaust Ellie (and mommy) and wipe out the entire day.

Our Family
Christmas 2010

I thought that I had accepted this a long time ago, but sometimes these feelings come forth and rear their ugly heads. I try to stomp them back down, but then there is a trigger.  Right now, I would say the trigger is the lack of sleep associated with Ellie being sick, the ear surgery, and some GI testing.

Ballerina Bear-Bear

Andrew and Ellie preparing for the Buddy Walk
October 2010

Then there are my feelings that we clearly must be the only people in Austin who have a child with DS (I know that is not true as I have been with DSACT and the Buddy Walk).  Just once, I would love to walk down the aisles of a grocery store or Target and see another person with DS.  Nope, in the past 16.5 months, that has not happened.  Sometimes I feel so alone and the thing is, I know that I am not alone.  I know that there are other people out there blessed with children with DS.  I know that there are other people blessed with children who are differently abled.  We all must face challenges.  Every parent does.  I know that we are blessed with Ellie.  We are so fortunate that she is a mostly healthy little girl.  I am blessed to have a great Internet support group as well as my friends, family, and local mother's group.

Happiness and Joy
Summer 2010

The Face of Innocence
January 2010

I will conquer this depressive episode.  I will strive to be the best wife and mother I can be.  It is time for me to reach out to one of my coping skills.  One that I will share with you.  These pictures always life my spirits.
Father-Daughter Moment
January 2011

Information on Depression:

Information on Anxiety:

National Alliance on Mental Illness:



  1. I hope you start to feel better soon, I struggled with depression during my pregnancy with Emily and it's a tough, tough, battle! I know what you mean about having those days when you wish everything were just more simple and there were no Dr. appts and such, he life with DS isn't always rosy, you are right.

  2. You are definitely not alone, Anna. I've struggled with GAD and SAD for years. After I had Josephine, it was the worst it's ever been. I know your struggle is tougher than most. You are doing a brilliant job of reaching out and using your support system and strategies to feel better. In the meantime, know that you're touching other peoples' lives and helping us overcome our obstacles too. :)

  3. I've been there....I SO understand!

    I am thrilled to let you know that you won my giveaway!! At Gary Bender's book From Grief to Celebration is yours!

    Please email me at underwater9800 @!! So I can get your book to you!!

  4. I can't today, but will come next week with lots of lots of chocolate and hugs!!! We love you girl!

  5. I came across your blog for the first time today. This post hits so close to my heart. My Sophia will be celebrating her 2nd birthday this month, and I find myself feeling much the same as you described above. It has been a hard 2 years, but a blessing at the same time. It is much harder than most outsiders realize because we all do put on such brave faces knowing we are doing it all to give our children the best lives possible.

  6. I hear you - we have good days and bad day but our bad days don't involve the snarly gal at the grocery store, they involve ologists and follow up tests and IEPs. I've felt that divide between wanting to put up the la-la-la isn't this grand post and an OMG-DOCTOR#47 post. Big hug.

    Blogger's doing something lame tonight & I can't comment on today's post but all the luck for a smooth procedure tomorrow.


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