Sunday, May 2, 2010

Battling your demons

This blog entry has been a long time coming.  I have been depressed.  I didn't really realize it until just recently when I talked to my doctor.  It may come as a shock to a lot of people, as I hid it very well.  

Looking back I think it has been at least since December since the depression started to affect me.  I used to be a gym rat, but I haven't really been to the gym in a long time.  Oh sure I can make excuses like I was tired or work, but I face the fact that it was depression.

My doctor asked me if my depression was so bad I couldn't get out of bed, I laughed to myself, thinking, well I wouldn't have a job if I couldn't get out of bed now would I?  I still have my sense of humor.

I would do just enough to skate by at work too.  You are probably thinking, uh you work at a radio station, you don't have the missile launch codes or anything like that how can you just skate by?

Well I would do just enough.  On the outside to everyone else I looked happy and fine, in my head I was freaking out over everything, everything would make me upset.  You name it, it would probably upset me.

Cancer is easy for me to understand.  Cells reproduce into a tumor. Take out the tumor, no cancer.  In the simplest of terms right?

Depression, as described by is:
sadness; gloom; dejectiona condition of general emotional dejection and withdrawal; sadness greater and more prolonged than that warranted by any objective reason

That explains it, that is how I felt.  Its not something you can just "get over"  Believe me I tried.  I had hoped it was just some passing thing.  That the chemicals in my brain would be jacked just enough to make me upset and sad. 

I tried to read about it Serotonin-norepinephrine are the chemicals in the brain, but blah blah medical terminology, I got distracted.  

People have said to me when I tell them I have been depressed, well its no wonder you have been through a lot.  Yeah but I should be able to handle this shouldn't I?  After all its been over a year since I have been done with treatment.  I shouldn't be feeling this way.  At least that is what I would tell myself, fighting my own sad or angry thoughts, trying to make them stop.  I survived cancer, and the treatment and now some chemicals in my head aren't reacting properly.
I was taking one pill (effexor) once a day to deal with my depression (as I said before in other blogs, I have a hard time asking for help) 

I met with my doc for a routine appointment and she was concerned about my mood.  Even that pissed me off a little (that should have told me something I thought to myself what do I have to be a happy freaking monkey all the time?)

The final straw that made me realize I needed help was when I thought someone unfriended me on facebook.  I started to cry.  I was at work and doing a live airshift.  I texted a mutual friend of mine and we chatted about it.  Turns out our friend's facebook page was hacked and she had to turn it off.

The next day I called the doctor and asked if I could take effexor twice a day.  It has made a world of difference.  

The moral of my story:  Don't be afraid to ask for help if you need to.  Your doctor, your priest, a therapist, whomever.  You are not in this fight alone.  At times it may feel like it is just you against the world, but that is not the case.  

Trust me, I know.

Mel is the producer/co~host of The Vic McCarty Show.  Listen live Monday-Friday 10am-noon eastern on

Check out my show The Cancer Warrior on available on demand now and also available on Itunes


  1. Good post, Mel. Glad the Rx is helping!

  2. Great post. I'm completely with you. The worst things for me are pretending everything is alright when it's not, realizing my limitations and asking for help. There's no way you're "supposed" to feel. You've been through a WAR, and nobody escapes unaffected by that.

    Rock on, Warrior. And follow up on the new dosage. There are some wonderful meds available, and I learned that the docs can't help you if they don't know what's going on with your head.

  3. Lets cross the bridge when we come to it........................................