College Coffee Kids MN, Mental Health, Depression, Anxiety

I hate waiting. And that’s what you have to do when you start a new medication. Wait. Wait for side effects. Wait for some little sign that maybe, just maybe, this one will be the last one. The one that finally works.

I read somewhere (can’t remember where) that the point of treating depression is to get into remission. Remission means you are back to the way you were before the depression.

See, that’s a problem for me. I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t anxious or depressed. But the new doctor I saw this a few days ago said that because I don’t have a point of reference, I have to decide what “normal” feels like for me.

Basically, I just want to be able to keep up with my kids, get regular exercise, and feel like I have a purpose.

Between the DBT and Group, individual therapy, medication, and things I’m doing on my own (like journaling every single day – and I haven’t missed one since I started on my 32nd birthday {May 25}), I hope to make progress. That’s all I can do – work hard and hope.

College Coffee Kids MN, Mental Health, Depression, Anxiety

Estée Janssens

Catching Up

Since my last post (which was a really long time ago, wow), I turned 32, My kids started summer break, I met a guy, Summer Session started (math is no joke), and my grandma passed away.

Drawing is from the Pigment app. I just colored it.

Last Tuesday, I had the first appointment with a new therapist. There were countless questions and the hour didn’t seem long enough. In the end, he wasn’t sure if I was a good enough candidate for DBT. I found out that I am, and I scheduled appointments through the beginning of August. Next week, we will do more paperwork and assessments, and set up group therapy appointments.

In the session, I was given three more diagnoses, which he added were provisional upon further testing. I am not going to discuss them just yet, as I want to get more information first. I will say I was surprised at one of them.

I suppose I should get back to working on my homework. I only have two days to get an entire chapter’s worth of work done.


It’s Mental Health Month (well, it’s almost over…) and I did something I have been putting off. I do this a lot, just hoping that the problem/task/situation will just go away. Pro tip: it doesn’t.

I went back to the clinic where I had therapy last year. I stopped because I felt like it wasn’t working. I felt more anxious about the actual appointment than I did about my issues at the time.

But now I realize I need a little more help. I talked with a patient care coordinator and we discussed some options, since I was reluctant to get back into “regular” therapy. I decided to go with DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) and to see a psychiatrist to make sure the medications I am on are the right fit.

To be honest, I am nervous about going back to therapy, even if it will be a little different than before. I feel like I’m whining about trivial things when I see a therapist. Like I shouldn’t be worrying about this crap because there are more important things in the world.

I did some research today (I figured this was safe to google, unlike some of my other symptoms…) and I feel a little better about the DBT. I’ve also been looking up what to talk about in therapy, since the last time I went, I just felt like I was repeating the same few things week after week.

Another thing I found while I was googling was something called a Perceived Stress Scale. So I answered the questions (ten total) and my score was 33 out of 40. That’s…not good. I’m really hoping that after a few months of therapy I will see that score go down.

Therapy, DBT, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, #MentalHealthMonth, #CollegeCoffeeKidsMN


May is Mental Health Month. For most of my life, I knew something was wrong. I just didn’t have anyone to tell who would take me seriously. I’ve always been depressed, anxious and “anti-social” (which I now know to mean “introverted”).

Last year, around this time, I finally fought help. I saw a therapist for most of the spring and summer, but it got to the point where thinking about going to these sessions was causing me more anxiety than it was helping.

I discontinued therapy and was put on medication. It helped at first – I was finally able to get out of the house without a sense of dread, I was exercising, taking my kids to places by myself wasn’t the fear-inducing experience it had always been. So my doctor and I decided to increase the dosage to see if it helped more. It didn’t. I went backwards. Way back. I wouldn’t even answer the phone when my mom called.

I went back to the doctor and tried a different med. This one was awesome! My kids all got the flu (and I did too), and instead of freaking out about it, I just powered through. After a few months though, I felt like it had stopped working. The dosage was increased. Again, it was like I went backwards.

I went back to the first med I was on. Totally different experience this time. Raised the dosage. A few steps back, but still manageable. My doctor added another med, and this is where I am currently. I go back next week to discuss things with my doctor.

In a few weeks, I start the summer semester of college. I am taking math and psychology. Along with homework and studying, summer is the time of year when my anxiety gets worse. The kids want to be outside, at the park or the lake all day, every day. But I feel that summer might be different, because of the meds, and ways I have learned to manage my anxiety. It’s not depression so much anymore, just anxiety.

I’m hoping to post more in the coming weeks, especially since May is my birth month, and turning 32 is coming up fast.

#MentalHealthMonth, Depression, Anxiety