I've been clinically depressed from the age of 12 or 13. It was finally diagnosed when I turned 20. I've been on various medications to control this so called illness since then. There have also been periods where I've been without any medication. I've had a number of different therapists over the years which have all been unsuccessfull (I may discuss why at a later date). I'm currently taking 75mg of Venlafaxine twice daily.
So I've been depressed for more than 15 years and all of my adult life. Does this then mean that depression is just part of my personality? Or is it in fact an illness that I need to recover from?
Venlafaxine is the only anti-depressant that has worked for me. I don't believe it has changed who I am, and I still get bouts of anxiety and depression. But it has cleared my mind. I still have some of the same thoughts and feelings, but I can accept them and work through them in my mind.
In the past, I've felt like I didn't quite fit in anywhere and didn't really know who I was, or who I wanted to be. I was always trying new things; different styles, different experiences, different ways to fit in. I attempted to be someone else, living life like I though this person should do. Over the years I've been many different people.
Since the Venlafaxine kicked in a few years ago, I've managed to accept that I'm just me. I'm not a particular style. I don't belong to one culture. I don't concern myself with whether I fit in or not. I don't think about how others might view me. I live my life as me. An individual.