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Mental Health Center

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Cheryl's Story: Dealing With Depression - Cheryl's story

cheryl.jpg

Cheryl is a self-employed single mom. She juggles work, four kids, and depression.

"Some days depression really pulls me down, and I'm totally exhausted mentally, physically, and emotionally," Cheryl says. "Other days I feel great."

Cheryl thinks her first bouts of depression came when she was in middle school, but it wasn't called that then. Sadness and feeling down were just part of life.

"I was one of 10 children," Cheryl recalls, "and we didn't really get along very well. My mom and dad fought a lot, and I'd go to bed crying."

She began to think her moods might be something more when she was pregnant with her first child. She found that when she was with others, she felt better. She made efforts to see people and get out of the house.

"I knew something was going on mentally, but I couldn't pinpoint it," she says.

When she had her second child a few years later, she realized she felt sad more often and it seemed to last longer.

"I felt like curling up in a corner," she says. "I wanted to hide in a hole like a groundhog."

Family problems spilled over. Cheryl's son went from being a friendly and happy child to an angry boy. The two went to counseling.

"That's where I found out that all the swings I was going through were actually depression," Cheryl remembers. "My moods were not just 'part of life'."

The counselor told her she had mild to moderate depression and said that work and family stresses would make it worse.

"We talked about how to prevent this," Cheryl says. "My counselor suggested medicine, but I said no. I wanted to try more home remedy-type things. We worked on those ideas and talked about what I could do on my own."

Cheryl keeps depression at bay by trying to be positive and talking to friends. She'll listen to music or watch uplifting movies, which boosts her spirits. When she can, she gets a friend to take her on a motorcycle ride.

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