Hey, you made it! 🙂 Thanks for visiting the Depression Warrior website. I’m your host, Laura Becker. I have lived with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) for the last 30+ years. I was also diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder about 20 years ago, but my current psychiatrist (pdoc) and I are taking a closer look at that. There is also a strong possibility that I have PTSD. In addition, I’m a recovering alcoholic and pillhead.
As you might guess, I have a lot to say.
I should probably let you know a few things about this site. First of all, this is my attempt to help people suffering from depression, anxiety, and every other mental illness, as well as addiction. My focus, as you can see, is specifically on depression and addiction – but I’m also familiar with a whole slew of other mental illnesses and mental health issues, including the signs, symptoms, and issues that go along with them.
In college, I majored in Sociology (then went on to get my Master’s), minored in Psychology and Substance Abuse Treatment, and my concentration was in Social Work. In my social services career, I worked with people who have severe and persistent mental illnesses (SPMI) and/or addictions as well as many other populations, and I’ve been a consumer of mental health services, on and off, since about 1984.
So I know what I’m talking about.
The posts here will, obviously, contain my opinions on all kinds of things. But I will also cite studies and other research on occasion; when I do, I will do my best to provide a link to the research. That way, you’ll know I’m not just blowing smoke out of my ass.
I believe in honest and open communication. (Yes, that means some swear words will find their way into my content!) I will be sharing all kinds of stuff, whether I’m having a good day or not. I may need to be direct and blunt at times, but I do it with tact. Some of the topics might be difficult for you to read; some might even be a little triggering. I will give you fair warning at the top of any post I think might touch on a dangerous subject, but it’s up to you to decide if you should continue reading it. After all, depression and addiction in and of themselves can be triggering topics.
Perhaps this is most important: I am not a medical professional. I won’t tell you what to do; I won’t even give you advice. What I will do is tell you about my experiences with everything from psych meds to psych units, from having panic attacks to feeling groovy, from the desperation of addiction to the big and small victories of recovery. And, what the hell, I’ll share occasional stories and photos from my everyday life, too. Mostly about my cats, for some warm fuzzies. 🙂
Seriously, though, I cannot and will not give anyone medical advice. I firmly believe that, deep in your gut, you know what’s best for you most of the time. If you don’t, I recommend talking to someone so you can figure it out. Family doctor, psychiatrist, therapist, a crisis line, case manager, BFF, religious or spiritual guide, your hamster, yourself in the mirror. Just talk to someone. None of us can do this alone, so stop trying already.
I hope there will be times when you read something I’ve posted and think, “Holy shit! It’s like she’s reading my mind!” That’s because I’ve been there. Every person’s story is complex, and our experiences won’t be the same, but we are all part of the same story. Just the details are different.
Again, welcome to my world. But you might want to buckle up. It’s about to get real.
header photo credit: Mark Gregory Karris