• Living

    Back to blogging

    I am finally ready. After a lot of distractions (should I become a food photographer, am I good enough, should I just write recipes, should I just craft, should I be a stay-at-home Mum?) and taking the longest detour known to history for showing up properly to my blog, mostly driven by fear and feeling that my voice might not matter, I have decided to add to the current mental health discussions with my own experience and sharing a journey of ‘moving forward’.

    I think I have a legitimate voice to add, I was diagnosed with severe depression in August 2017, but one day someone told me that my depression was not like hers, it was not a proper depression. And it is engraved in my brain and stopped me from doing the work I have wanted to do. She was right, it is probably true, my depression is linked to post-traumatic stress, an event made me unable to function properly and totally overwhelmed me, for a period of time, and that some days are still just bad.

    When I signed up for the INN health coaching course they asked me why I wanted to join, and I told them I wanted to help people, some were my friends, who suffer from depression and feel like they failed and that only pills will help them. I also felt like I failed them because they did not reach out to me (on the basis that I had already some sh-t to deal with).

    When I was diagnosed, I was offered some pills and therapy sessions that would make life better or at least help me function properly, I said no. I was told I was a bad mother because I did not want to take anti-depressants. I came back home feeling worthless  from 3 hours spent with that psychiatrist. The next day I was ready to show him that I could get better without pills and more therapy.

    I was already in therapy with Louise at the time. The recommended additional therapy sessions felt like a lot more of talking and not a lot of doing. It sounded like a full-time job just doing therapy. I have always refused anti-depressants, because my trauma, the loss of my 10 month-old baby, was not going to go away. The recommendation was that I should not go back to work for a year, and that seemed totally counter-intuitive. The idea of being on my own at home all day long for a year waiting for the kids to come back filled me with … anxiety, as we would not have been able to afford our mortgage anymore, and how was I supposed to go back to work after that.

    This was not the time to feel confused, but the time to find clarity. However I did finally acknowledge that I was clinically depressed and needed to do something about it. I started to read nutritionist analysis about food that can help with depression, or how I was depleted from nutrients which was making my depression worse. I stopped being a vegan and started eating fish again. And to be honest I have been feeling better and better, and stopped doing my research.

    I have a deep conviction that there must be a way out there to live not only a functioning life, but a full life, with post-trauma depression and without heavily relying on (or not at all) on anti-depressants. I am not against anti-depressants per se, I needed to find my own recovery to be able to function again, and I have a habit of forgetting pills all the time.

    Although I am a certified health coach, I do not have a medical background, but on the other hand I have the experience of post-trauma depression. I also happen to have done a PhD in the past and this is the way I intend to go on about this journey (in a less boring way and with prettier pictures). I see myself as a guinea pig and researcher. I have some themes I would like to explore: food, connections with nature and my friends, how creativity can help, parenting maybe. More ideas to explore will come my way for sure. Although I am rooted my project to post-trauma depression, I do feel that it can resonate to people who are also committed to live a fuller life.

    Picture taken in Copenhagen at the Botanical Gardens – you can read my post here 

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2 comments
Back to blogging

  • Martha says:

    So inspiring Nat. Looking forward to seeing where this exploration takes you.
    I do agree with you, sometimes creating and focusing on wellness feels more beneficial to oneself than pharmaceuticals. I also went through a traumatic experience: failed fertility treatments and coping with losing my mother from breast cancer around the same time. But as you said the trauma wasn’t going to go away. But learning how to cope with it makes the journey more bearable.
    Thanks for sharing and looking forward to seeing where this journey takes you.

  • Stefania says:

    Thank you for sharing. I think it’s particularly interesting your journey towards health without or with little medication. I feel sometimes doctors find in the magic pill the easy way out but that’s not real treatment because our problem is not going to go away…