On treating depression.

On treating depression.

I’ve been on anti-depressants for about 2 months.

On the one hand, I’ve been far more productive than I’ve known it possible to be in my life. I’ve been able to work on cleaning and organizing my house. I’ve been able to do laundry. I’ve been able to write and make art and live a life I didn’t think possible. Treating depression with medication has been immensely helpful.

And yet…

It’s still a cycle, I guess.

I come to my blog and sit and write 1,000 words about coming to accept my body, flaws and all, and have to stop for the intense hatred and shame and anxiety over my own existence that I feel.

I stare at the blog post I started months ago, “The process of becoming,” and can’t write a single word, because even though I know we are all of us becoming, I still feel immense shame and guilt for existing, let alone becoming, and especially for not having already become, already arrived, already completed.

I sit with my pencil hovering over a blank page, hand trembling to match the trembling of my lips as I fight tears, unable to think of anything positive to draw or write, unable to clear my head enough to do it.

There are flashes of positivity, when I fight back against the fat-shaming of the world to declare that I like the body I have, that I am invisible as I’m “supposed” to be.

I forget the importance of self-care. I forget that fighting the sadness is a fight, and that while my anxiety and depression medications help (and boy, do they help!), they can’t solve it on their own. They can’t solve me.

I can’t stop fighting just because I’m taking pills. I still have to be gentle with myself. I still have to allow myself to not be okay.

I still have to breathe.

Treating depression isn’t just about taking medicine. It’s about taking care of me, as best as I can, even if that means I have to reset some of my goals.

And I know that people who really care about me will accept that. I just have to learn to accept it as well. To accept myself as well.

Posted in Fat Girl,


  1. Sarah S on August 4, 2015 at 3:26 pm

    Thank you for this post. I am going in this Thursday to talk to a mental health dr for the first time. I’m thirty-five and pretty sure I’ve had clinical depression since my early teens. Sometimes I wonder how it’s possible I’m still alive, but here I am. Hoping to get some help! Anyway, this is a good reminder to me too.

    • Dani Kelley on August 5, 2015 at 11:14 am

      ((hugs)) Proud of you for going to the doctor. I know that’s so scary and anxiety-inducing, but it’s so brave to take those steps. I hope the appointment goes so well.

      • Sarah S on August 7, 2015 at 7:53 pm

        She’s so awesome! She’s working with me on some help issues and when we get back from a trip we’re taking she’s going to refer me to a therapist (so insurance will pay) and going to be with me step by step. She’s not only a family practitioner but the director of the conglomerate of providers in that building. If therapy reveals a need for medication we’ll go that route. But she’s totally awesome about explaining everything and telling me I’m in charge of my care and she’s there to facilitate. After having just come from a jerk doctor who didn’t listen to a word I said and prescribed medications and diets without discussing anything with me, I was SO relieved! When I was leaving I started to cry and she sat down with me and brought me tissues and reassured me. I’m so relieved, I can’t even describe it without going into all my terrible experiences over the years. Thank you again for putting yourself out here. Your post was reassuring when I was so nervous about getting help. <3

        • Dani Kelley on August 9, 2015 at 12:14 am

          Yay yay yay! I’m SO glad it went so well! Good doctors are just so amazing. I hope things continue to go kick-ass-ingly awesomely and that you’re able to build up your mental, emotional, and physical health. <3

          • Sarah S on August 9, 2015 at 2:41 am


        • Jackalope on August 9, 2015 at 6:02 pm

          My experience wasn’t so good. I have a normally wonderful doctor but for some reason when I brought up depression it was like she just wasn’t comfortable dealing with it. We had a 5 min conversation about it, I filled out a form (in which I did everything I could to show how terrifying my condition was at the time), and then… nothing, other than a $150 bill. (!!) Which I didn’t fight because I was too depressed. I made it through, and have found other things to help (a counselor recommended a supplement that’s helped a lot, and I moved offices and now have a spot near the window where I get real sunlight throughout the winter, which also made a HUGE difference in my case), but I don’t think I can go back to the doctor about it.

          • Sarah S on August 9, 2015 at 6:25 pm

            The doctor I had before completely ignored all my concerns. I checked all the boxes for depression, suicidal ideation, etc and she completely ignored it. I brought up my severe pain levels over and over and she refused to talk to me about it. I asked her to check my hormone levels and she said it was unscientific and so on. It was miserable. And before that it was decades of religious conditioning that insisted it could not possibly be a physical problem and that I was ungrateful, or letting the devil fuck with me (i.e. “worry is just you putting your faith in the devil instead of god”).

            I’m sorry you had a bad experience with your doctor. I’m glad you were able to get a supplement and some sunlight that helped! I got one of those sunlamp things for in the winter and it does help some. Hang in there! Keep trying <3 The thing that pushed me to keep trying to find help was the terror that depression would kill me and my kids would grow up without me :'( I think I would have given up otherwise.

          • Dani Kelley on August 10, 2015 at 9:10 am

            🙁 I’m so sorry. In high school, I was forced to see Christian therapists a couple of times (when I was 13/14 for eating disorder, then again at 15 for self-harm). They were MISERABLE experiences. I mean, I’m glad my parents weren’t the kind of Christians who thought therapy was evil, but in part because it wasn’t my decision and in part because I was being counseled “biblically,” it was just a colossally bad thing for me. It’s so scary to seek help, and so much worse when the person who’s trusted with our physical and mental health dismisses our concerns about it. <3

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