I have suffered from depression for as long as I can remember. My earliest childhood memories are tainted with the ominous presence of my illness despite growing up in a very loving home with two kinds and nurturing parents. After a divorce in my early thirties, I found myself unable to cope with the feelings of sadness that had permeated my existence and often left me unable to get out of bed. Of course, these feelings had intensified as a result of my divorce, but even well before I knew that something wasn't quite right. I went to see a psychologist and my doctor, both of whom asked me when my symptoms started. I explained that I was fairly certain they started the day I was born, which both told me was entirely possible.
Since that time, I have tried a variety of medications. From SSRI's to MAO inhibitors, I have tried so many medications that I sometimes felt like a guinea pig. I finally found a medication that worked for me and produced very few noticeable side effects. I am now enjoying life more than I ever have and can honestly say that I feel like I never thought I would or even could. Enjoying my life now is somewhat bittersweet as I look back over all the years that I spent in depression without even knowing that it wasn't natural.
I knew something was different simply from watching the behavior of others and comparing it to myself, but I always considered it to be my personality or "just the way I am". I want to encourage others who experience extended bouts of sadness to get more information about depression. There are several resources available on the web, and even your primary care physician can be of great assistance in helping you to determine if you suffer from depression. He or she may recommend that you speak to a specialist. Had I known that my problem was correctable, I would have spent many more years enjoying my life instead of wondering why everyone else was enjoying theirs. Depression is treatable, and you too can enjoy a happy, productive life.