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How To Overcome Depression: A Recovery Story

Updated on January 8, 2015
donotfear profile image

Annette Sharp holds a BAAS in Behavioral Science from Texas A&M. She is a counselor and motivator with an empathetic heart.

The Scream by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch
The Scream by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch | Source

With much apprehension, I publish my darkest journey. The struggle to publish or not to publish was overcome by the need to share with others in hope of helping

Depression is a dark, ugly monster that consumes your mind with a spreading sensation of darkness. I know about depression first-hand. For one year of my life, I survived the clutch of this evil monster from hell. Although the effects were devastating, the final result of my depression was a life changing accomplishment for me. Now, I share the cause and effects of depression in my life.

The illness began to entrap me during a twelve year marriage to a person who never gave me any kind of affection, attention or nurturing. Totally void of healthy emotion, this Vietnam Vet literally turned my ability to receive love into a blank nothingness. As each year passed, I began to feel more and more empty, as my emotional needs weren’t met. When I finally broke free from the marriage, I had practically abandoned my faith in God and become a fragile, needy sponge for affection. I turned to alcohol and other relationships for comfort. After one year of living this life style, going through several rejections and breakups, I plunged into the darkest depths of depression. This was the consequence of my actions, as well as the result of years of neglect.

When I became aware of how ill I was, I didn’t immediately seek help. I tried to surround myself with color. I continued lasting friendships and attended church regularly, yet I had a constant pain deep within my chest that never stopped. It can best be described as a dull ache of yearning. I cried every day over my losses. Pain would flow out with my tears as I asked God to allow me to die, begging him to take it away.  I tried to think of a way to die painlessly in order to release me from this ghastly affliction. All I wanted was for the pain to leave. Death seemed the only alternative. I was desperate to stop the hurt within me. I continued working each day, going about my daily routine as usual. I absorbed myself in writing a portfolio for college. Months passed. I began to feel angry, then full of despair. One of my college instructors suggested a counselor that she thought could help me. Thank God she did! After almost one year of pain, I began to find some answers.

In therapy, I learned new coping skills for my illness. And, best of all, I learned there was a name for my problem: Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder with Major Depression. After determining the illness, my counselor referred me to a wonderful psychiatrist who prescribed me an antidepressant called Luvox. This drug is ordered specifically for individuals with OCD. Luvox changed my life. After one week on the medication, I felt like a different person. I continued in therapy and began to realize, due to my illness, why my reactions to life events were so magnified. With the help of the medication regulating my serotonin level, I learned to recognize the symptoms before they erupted. The drug maintained a normal level of serotonin in my brain so I could think clearly, thus make better decisions. By the time Christmas arrived that year, I was content to sit and make decorative bricks for all the people who’d helped me the past year. I enjoyed my children, my job, and my life. It was the result of God’s mercy, excellent therapy, and life-saving medication.

Recovery and Self Help

I continued to take Luvox for over 3 years, until I could fully recover. I continually persist to heal and cope with the symptoms of OCD, though the symptoms have become very manageable. Occasionally, depression pops up again like the grim reaper, but I recognize it for what it is: a thorn. I continue to renew my faith in God and take a low dose of Prozac from time to time. Though the effects of depression nearly destroyed me, it forced me to look at my life from another perspective. I was able to see deep within myself, find the hidden fears, hurts, and abandonment issues. All of these injuries were revealed and dealt with by the grace of God. The final outcome was deliverance, peace, and at last, freedom from pain.


To those who are depressed -

 If you find yourself sad & depressed for over 6 months, please seek the help of a professional.  There is light at the end of the tunnel.  Please don't give up!  I promise you it won't hurt this bad forever.  I understand your pain, I understand the darkness, I understand that gnawing feeling that overtakes you when you beg the hurt to go away and it won't, I understand your anger when someone tells you to 'get over it,'  I understand your weariness after praying and there is no relief.  I share your pain.  You can love and live again. 


 From inside the chest it

spreads in one giant wave that stings

like a slap.

The dark envelopes the light... a

tiny speck in the distance.

Clawing for hope, yearning for understanding,

crying for life.

If you're healing from a loss.....

May I suggest "How to Survive the Loss of a Love" if you're in a depression from the breakup of a relationship, divorce, death, or any other loss. I strongly recommend this book. It has brought me through so much and I've advised many others to read it. Second only to the Word of God, this is the most healing book I've ever read.


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    • fight-depression profile image


      7 years ago from Madrid

      I know that sometimes positivity is like preaching to the choir.. but what it can do for your life can be so powerful. If you are not thinking negatively you are think positively and as you think - so shall your life be

    • donotfear profile imageAUTHOR

      Annette Thomas 

      7 years ago from Northeast Texas

      Thanks, fight-depression! Positive input here...

    • fight-depression profile image


      7 years ago from Madrid

      Well done on this hub..

      and well done for focusing on the solutions and not the problem..

    • donotfear profile imageAUTHOR

      Annette Thomas 

      8 years ago from Northeast Texas

      sarmack: Thanks for your input. I might add that when one is emotionally wrecked, then experiences devastating losses, it can send them into a downward spiral. It physically depletes the brain of serotonin when in the depressed state; to a point where there is not enough serotonin to sustain normalcy in mood, thus leading to the illness of depression. Over a 6 month period, it becomes unbearable (not having the serotonin needed to feel good).

      It can happen to anyone, even born again believers with a close relationship to the Lord, throwing themselves at His mercy daily, praying for relief. God doesn't always answer in our timing, but His. Sometimes He wants us to get off the floor and get into action.

      So you see, sometimes even those who have "the Strength", are still sick and must act, regardless of what caused the depression to overcome them; whether it be from outside incidents or not.

    • sarmack profile image


      8 years ago from Washington State

      It looks like the source of your problem was "The illness began to entrap me during a twelve year marriage to a person who never gave me any kind of affection, attention or nurturing." You were married to the wrong man. It can be seen over and over and over. On a Spiritual level, man and woman battling it out. Illness, frustration, hatred result. For those with the Strength, medication is not the Answer. For this is not "depression", it is actually Oppression. The results of actions and activities of others on your life.

    • donotfear profile imageAUTHOR

      Annette Thomas 

      9 years ago from Northeast Texas

      Thank you so much for your comments. It's often hard to share your pain but for me, it was freeing.

    • RosieG profile image


      9 years ago from Nerang Gold Coast Qld

      I loved your hub. The Scream is one of my favourite paintings" I did a hub on depression thats what brought yours up. Thanks Heaps

    • Chatkath profile image


      9 years ago from California

      Good job, your courage to share this helps so many-

    • Granny's House profile image

      Granny's House 

      10 years ago from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time

      Great hub and thank you for sharing

    • donotfear profile imageAUTHOR

      Annette Thomas 

      10 years ago from Northeast Texas

      ahorseback: Thanks for your input.

      Cassie Ann: I'm pleased that I could share my experience with you. Feel free to pass it on to another.

    • Cassie Ann profile image

      Cassie Ann 

      10 years ago

      I just found this hub and it is excellent. Many people don't realize that someone they know may be suffering from depression. They think the person is just moody or a person who is up one day and down another. I have seen how it affects some people close to me. It robs one of life and the ability to think that life can be good again.

      I enjoyed your hub. I am glad you have gotten help and are better.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Excellent, keep it up....

    • donotfear profile imageAUTHOR

      Annette Thomas 

      10 years ago from Northeast Texas

      embee77: Thanks again for a great positive! The more we write about it the more the message will get across.

    • embee77 profile image


      10 years ago

      This is beautifully written and expresses your difficult journey through a lens of hope. I agree with you that we should talk and write about mental "illnesses." Why not? I think everyone has some characteristics that fall outside the "normal" range. Even those we think have a full and wonderful life turn out to have issues, too. What a lesson for all of us. Thank you for your bravery and honesty.

    • donotfear profile imageAUTHOR

      Annette Thomas 

      10 years ago from Northeast Texas

      Thanks HC Porter for you input. I'm glad I was able to get my message across.

    • H.C Porter profile image


      10 years ago from Lone Star State

      This is a great Hub, with very good advice. I can relate to your experience with Depression and OCD, What many people do not realize about OCD is, it's a real disorder that effects a persons life and it is important to learn how to control the symptoms. People also do not realize that OCD is often paired with anxiety disorders and depression. I am glad you included both diagnoses. Thanks for writing this so well and sharing it with the community.

      HC Porter

    • donotfear profile imageAUTHOR

      Annette Thomas 

      10 years ago from Northeast Texas

      4Hope: I wish I knew who you were so I could thank you directly for your kind addition to my article. I always believe that a person's own personal testimony is the best tool for reaching others. Through our pain we grow. As my pastor says, "What may seem hurtful to our flesh now, will create growth in our spirit later." That is truly amazing. May God bless you in your journey to live with the grief of your loss. I'm pleased that my words touched you in a special way.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Donotfear - You are such a special person and so talented to write!

      How blesssed you are, dear sweet friend, for having been able to overcome your health condition, even to manage when a crisis is near and now you work to help others. You were touched by the Grace! Thank you for your great hub where you give so much important information as you share with us your experience.

      Eleven months ago i lost my son to suicide. He had schyzophrenia, he did not want to see any kind of doctor and when he was forced to do so he jumped out of this world - the sky was the only witness.

      Through Faith i find strenght and by Grace i keep going - i ask and the Divine help has been a work in progress. There are moments i make better than others though.

      Dear sweet friend i relate so much to you and you be sure you will be in my prayers, too.

      Keep writing, keep your amazing work.

      Blessings and Love. xx

    • Hokey profile image


      10 years ago from In the energy.

      Way to go! I am on a similar journey for peace and healing. Writing and putting it in the light definitely helps me too. Good for you!

    • donotfear profile imageAUTHOR

      Annette Thomas 

      10 years ago from Northeast Texas

      Thanks Will. I appreciate your encourgement. I aim to help others, it's my goal.

    • Will Apse profile image

      Will Apse 

      10 years ago

      Congratulations with your recovery. It's important for all of us to learn what we need and don't need in life so I'm glad you took the steps that you needed to take to find a better life. Writing this page will help a lot of people.

    • donotfear profile imageAUTHOR

      Annette Thomas 

      10 years ago from Northeast Texas

      You are so welcome Jane! I'm glad you are gaining strength in your recovery. It certainly helps to share the experience so other people can relate. Sharing & helping sometimes is the only thing that keeps me going. Don't give up.

    • Jane@CM profile image


      10 years ago

      I want to thank you for your story. I too shared my story of depression and agoraphobia in hopes of helping others. I'm proud to say today I drove my son to his friends house a little over 3 miles away & did not have a panic attack (although I seriously thought I would). I prayed before I got in the truck, while I was in the truck and thanked God when I got home. I quit driving almost 2 years ago, now my husband has a new job in California and I'm in Minnesota - I want to live out loud again and be free - simply going to the grocery store alone would fulfill that need. I was diagnosed with major depression when I was 14, and now my diagnosis is major depression with panic disorder. One day I hope to be free of the medications. Thanks again for your article. j

    • bgigstead profile image


      10 years ago

      Great hub. I loved the way you brought out what it feels like to be in a depression. I have suffered from depression for 3 years, ever since my divorce, and yes the anti-depressant I am on (budeprion) helps me think clearly as well. I look toward the day that I will not need the meds.

    • donotfear profile imageAUTHOR

      Annette Thomas 

      10 years ago from Northeast Texas

      Wow, Rascal, thank you ever so much! Your words just blessed my day. I needed it...been struggling with a recent issue. Comes & goes, ya know? Thanks again.

    • Rascal Russ Miles profile image

      Rascal Russ Miles 

      10 years ago from Show Low, AZ USA

      What can I say Sweet DoNotFear but what a great write?

      Yes, I too am a victim of depression but Welbutron helps some. And going back to school at midlife is helping too. My Pell Grant is forthcoming.

      Writing a few Hubs is an upper. "In all of your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths."

      You are an *inspiration*.

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 

      10 years ago

      I'm a Vietnam Vet and depression has lived with me. A lot of us are trying to complete ourselves (Vets or no). Until we do that we aren't good for each other very often. Thanks for the hub.

    • J Burgraff profile image

      J Burgraff 

      10 years ago

      Thank you for your hub and for sharing about your depression. I'm sure that your writing has already helped others who suffer from depression. If you have not read Prozac Nation, may I suggest it as a memoir that really taps into exactly what depression feels like. I wish you well.

    • donotfear profile imageAUTHOR

      Annette Thomas 

      10 years ago from Northeast Texas

      Thank you so much for this encouragement. This depression monster raises it's head from time to time, but I use the tools that God gave me to fight it. Sometimes we have to hurt for a season before we see a the light. Seems it makes us stronger in the end. Thank you!

    • DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

      DeBorrah K Ogans 

      10 years ago

      Donotfear, Wonderful heartfelt informative hub! I am happy to hear that you have come through stronger and better! It was unfortunate that you had to go through such agony... This will encourage many others to get help!

      You are never alone and always remember GOD LOVES YOU! Continue to stay close to Him and allow His light to shine through you.... Thank you for sharing, Blessings!

    • HealthFreak2009 profile image


      10 years ago from Texas

      Depression can be one of the most frustrating things in the world to deal with. Frequently there is no logical reason for you to be depressed, but you feel down anyways. You then feel worse because you think you shouldn't feel that way to begin with. It is a downward spiral.

      Thanks for the hub!

    • profile image

      Highest CD Rates 

      10 years ago

      Nice Hub. I believe that depression is man's greatest enemy. It can defeat even a powerful human in no time. So, I agree to your conclusion.

    • profile image

      justin myopinion 

      10 years ago

      Inspiring and thought provoking, I can draw many comparisons to your story.

    • TammyK profile image


      10 years ago

      it's good to hear that you are doing better, i know a lot of your pain, but not to sure about medicine to heal, while it might be good for some I feel that isn't for me. stay well.

    • Scarlet Danes profile image

      Scarlet Danes 

      10 years ago

      Thank you for the informative read! I feel I am there now..despair, pain, cloudy....but I am strong enough to know what to do....just takes time..."Life Is Meant To Be Lived!" Elenor Roosevelt

    • J  Rosewater profile image

      J Rosewater 

      10 years ago from Australia

      This is an amazing public disclosure for which I applaud and thank you. If we could all do this, we would all benefit.

    • lorlie6 profile image

      Laurel Rogers 

      10 years ago from Grizzly Flats, Ca

      Wonderfully written, donotfear, thanks.

      Your courage to come forth with this is commendable.

    • donotfear profile imageAUTHOR

      Annette Thomas 

      10 years ago from Northeast Texas

      Thank you, Dim. In my job as a mental health crisis worker, it allows me an opportunity to give back to those in need, just as I was. That's what feeds me. Amen!

    • Dim Flaxenwick profile image

      Dim Flaxenwick 

      10 years ago from Great Britain

      that was beautifully written , donotfear. I hope you coninue to get better. bless you for sharing.

    • profile image

      Randy Kadish 

      10 years ago

      Thanks so much. You are not alone. After many years of recovery I fell into my first serious, though brief, depression, and yes, I felt so ashamed. Now, however, I feel grateful for what I went through. I can finally feel empathy for those who have lived with such pain for many years.

    • Vicky Webb profile image

      Vicky Webb 

      10 years ago

      A candid and moving hub.... thank you for sharing.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Your words are so good.My pleasure to introduce uggs to you.

    • Lily Rose profile image

      Lily Rose 

      10 years ago from A Coast

      That's right - like you said above, why should you be ashamed? I applaude you for having the courage to write this. I felt the same when first writing about my cancer - it help to get it out and to know that what you learned when going through it could potentially help someone else. Good job!

    • Writeme ASmile profile image

      Writeme ASmile 

      10 years ago from

      Very well said, Girl! I feel for you and I've been there. I think depression sneaks up on millions of people for various reasons. Writing is good for depression, also. But, one of the best cures is friendship if you remember to share and not suck them into your state of mind. Great post from the heart!

    • edguider profile image


      10 years ago

      A very good hub. Had a few tears in my eyes while reading. I have been through a similar issue ..

    • donotfear profile imageAUTHOR

      Annette Thomas 

      10 years ago from Northeast Texas

      Thank you Veronica. You always have the nicest things to say. You, my friend, are one in a million with your encouragement!

    • Veronica Allen profile image

      Veronica Allen 

      10 years ago from Georgia

      How very selfless it was of you to share this information with others, although undoubtly it took a lot for you to do such. With a desire to help others, using your life experience as a catalyst, it no doubt proved theraputic in some sense. I thank you for being brave enough to do this, and I'm positive that many will benefit from your inspirational words.

    • donotfear profile imageAUTHOR

      Annette Thomas 

      10 years ago from Northeast Texas

      Thanks so much for the uplifting response. It makes my heart comforted to know that others can sense the reality of such a dark illness. I know I'm not alone and I also know that God is in control....He was holding on to me then, I just couldn't feel Him, but He was there. You guys are great friends.!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      A brilliant hub which i have bookmarked and you have a new fan, that was just one hell of a read, thank you.

    • maven101 profile image

      Larry Conners 

      10 years ago from Northern Arizona

      A wonderfully written and very informative Hub on a subject rarely understood or acknowledged...Thank you for sharing your experiences and insights of this blackest of moods, this emotional quicksand that so many never escape...I should think this Hub will lend great comfort and needed knowledge to those that suffer this agony of despair...Larry

    • MercuryNewsOnline profile image


      10 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      You have written your story from the heart of a kind, honest and strong person. Great article and well-written hub.

    • breakfastpop profile image


      10 years ago

      Very personal and moving hub. I am very happy you emerged from the darkness into the light.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      10 years ago from London, UK

      It must be terrible and the worst thing that everything seems so useless, pointless and you feel so trapped. I am glad you came out of it and you were strong enough to write and share it which will be for the benefit of other. Thank you.

    • donotfear profile imageAUTHOR

      Annette Thomas 

      10 years ago from Northeast Texas

      Thank you so very much for your comments. It took a great deal of courage for me to reveal this so publicly, but then again, I thought, "Why would I be ashamed of getting sick"? I want to let other people know that I've felt it. It helps me a great deal in my job, which is more a ministry for me. Thanks again.

    • maggs224 profile image


      10 years ago from Sunny Spain

      A great hub and I am glad that you came through this and now are in a position to help others.

    • Putz Ballard profile image

      Putz Ballard 

      10 years ago

      A great hub!


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