An amazing thing happened when I began doing research for this story. I put a callout on my personal Facebook page and was immediately flooded with responses from close friends and relatives. These are women I've spent a lot of time with—explored the tiny dark corners of our insecurities, discussed politics, shared secrets, and offered catharsis in the wake of failed relationships or family troubles. And yet, I had no idea the majority of them were dealing with clinical depression. It's that exact point—how we still feel like it's relatively taboo to expose our experience with mental health issues even when we're in open, honest, and liberal relationships—that makes sharing all the more crucial. Still, it's just one of the endless reasons to continue to solidify this platform as more of a helpful, thorough resource for mental health education and awareness. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, over three million adults are directly affected by persistent depression. best place to buy viagra online australia I like to divide my time here on planet Earth into two distinct time periods: pre and post-Zoloft. Z.” To be fair, any human’s life is undoubtedly more nuanced than two large blocks of time, but for the purposes of this article, stay with a time of rushed meetings, angry car rides, delusions of grandeur, fears of being trapped in small spaces, panic attacks in grocery stores, fears of having panic attacks in grocery stores, and so on and so forth. Don’t get me wrong, there were some good times in there (shout-out Spring Break Class of ’04 Lake Havasu OMG you guys were the best!!!! But few know the real truth, which is that I actually developed a fear of fainting after one time losing consciousness while exiting an airplane because I ate too many sour patch kids and my blood sugar dropped. I would avoid certain situations where I had panic attacks, and then, of course, that led to fears of many places: freeways, elevators, bridges, tunnels, grocery stores, basically anywhere where I didn’t have an immediate escape. I remember choosing to make videos in middle school when I should have given live presentations because I thought I could better control the circumstances. JK I didn’t go anywhere), but overall, it was a constant struggle to battle “the noise” inside my brain. It’s actually very funny for me to write out now, but at the time, it was hands-down the most traumatic thing that had happened in my short lifespan thus far. This event then led to situational claustrophobia and the fear that I could lose control, or faint, in any situation in which I may have found myself an incessant hunger to understand the “why” of existence, and you’ve got a recipe for neuroticism, or pure genius, you make the call ;) It didn’t take long for my thoughts to desensitize me from reality and lead to a spiral of other thoughts that would, as my therapist warned, take me “out of my body and up, up, and away if I wasn’t careful….."The fear loop, man. One time, while working at my first job, the air conditioning turned off in the middle of the summer and I was wearing some pretty tight new skinny jeans. While my childhood was generally carefree, spent imitating all of the ethnic Disney princesses and running around like the little tomboy I was and still am, things shifted when I hit age 13. Losing consciousness for a type-A Virgo who is hyper-aware and hyper-vigilant represented a loss of control, a fear of death on some level, and the ongoing sensation that I wasn’t safe in the world. I made the bold decision to go home at lunch and change into a dress, taking off my pants in the car so I wouldn’t suffocate (obviously), but getting pulled over and searched by Secret Service agents who were in town protecting a nearby President Obama. Now that I’m on the Z, I can definitely see that I had a chemical predisposition towards anxiety. While hyper-vigilance probably kept me safe as a hunter-gatherer in a past life and successful as an athlete in this life, it ultimately prevented me from learning how to let go. My therapist and family members suggested medication, but I resisted it for a number of reasons. One, I was determined to “figure it out” all on my own. If I could run 10 miles in the rain, of I could cure my own anxiety! 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I began flipping light switches on and off (always in fives) in third grade. I assumed that my fears were rational and that my school friends were like me, worrying all the time. My frugal parents were aghast at the waste of electricity. As my obsessions accumulated, the dread throbbed more insistently, and my rituals became more complex. I counted in fives all day at school, my teeth clicking in time so much my teacher grew annoyed by the sound, and when the last school bell rang, my jaw was sore. My nightly prayers became a chant I had to recite 20, then 50 and, later, 100 times. Now that I am a mother, it astounds me that I was able to hide my rituals from my family — but I felt I had no choice. Zoloft (sertraline) is one of the most popular selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Statistics even reveal that in 2013, Zoloft (sertraline) was the most prescribed antidepressant in the United States. 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