My Story: Chris Call

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What were the steps leading up to your diagnosis?

I went to the doctor in 1997 for chest pain and anxiety. After filling out a questionnaire that exposed that I was having suicidal thoughts, I was then diagnosed with depression.

I was put on Paxil for about ten years with minimal improvement, then went through the whole medicine swap thing to see what worked since Paxil had so many sides effects.

I used Zoloft for about another ten years, and it finally stopped working. I endured on Zoloft for another couple of years before finally getting up enough will power to go to a free clinic, and they changed my medication to Celexa.

Celexa has helped me to get out of the house and look for a job. I lost my job of 21 years in 2011 mainly because my depression had put me in a position where I didn't care about anything and just wanted to stay in bed and die. Over that last six years, I got to do just that. Thankfully I didn't die though.

Over the last six years since being fired I have completely shut down. If it weren't for a loyal girlfriend and loving family, I would have certainly been dead. I understand that not everyone has this support and I am certainly thankful.

Out there in the real world some people do care and can help, but when you're consumed with depression, you just don't care. It is the hardest thing in my life right now.

Who has been there for you? How?

My parents and my loyal, loving girlfriend. Especially my mother who has never given up on me once and has helped me to survive financially.

My girlfriend has never given up on me when it would have been so much easier for her to do so. She has always been supportive and kept the belief that I am not the person I have become and that I can still get back to my former self.

My father came to my rescue at a point in my life when I was ready to go. He stayed with me for the weeks I spent in treatment, and once I was out, introduced me to the power of 12 step programs.

What lifestyle changes have you needed to make?

It's hard to make any changes when depression consumes you. Even in my darkest times, I still heard what people were saying I needed to do. I didn't care, but I heard them.

I still need to make many lifestyle changes and even getting out of bed is still a challenge, but I am starting to do it. However, I'm terrified that if I move too fast that it will all come crashing down, so I'm moving as slow as I feel I need to. I now have a good day every once in a while where the fog seems to lift slightly and then it's back to my normal.

What accomplishment are you proud of?

I am interviewing for a job for the first time in 27 years.

I know what my chances are being 53 years old and severely overweight, but nonetheless I am interviewing and come what may.

My expectations are pretty evenly balanced right now so I can take whatever results that come.

Being introduced to a 12 step program called Adult Children Of Alcoholics (ACOA) has made a huge difference in how I approach life and helped me to understand why my behavior is what it is and given me some great life survival skills.

What accomplishment are you proud of?

I am interviewing for a job for the first time in 27 years.

I know what my chances are being 53 years old and severely overweight, but nonetheless I am interviewing and come what may.

My expectations are pretty evenly balanced right now so I can take whatever results that come.

Being introduced to a 12 step program called Adult Children Of Alcoholics (ACOA) has made a huge difference in how I approach life and helped me to understand why my behavior is what it is and given me some great life survival skills.

What's your advice to someone else living with Depression?

My only advice is that if people are giving you advice from every angle, please accept it as a gesture of love even if you feel unlovable, and I know how this is.

Likewise, If no one is giving you advice and you are alone with this, try to always remember your former self as they do, such as when things were perhaps a little better.

Try to remember who you are and given the right circumstances could become again, if not physically then at least mentally.

You are not what your illness has created for you. If you choose therapy, please remember to give yourself credit for making an effort to help yourself, and there is nothing wrong with feeling good about it.

For people like myself with chronic depression, the struggle may never be over but believe it or not; life can be improved.

Is there anything else we should know?

For people like myself with chronic depression, the struggle may never be over but believe it or not; life can be improved.

I have tried just about every depression self-help program there is, and the only way I made any forward movement was when I asked for help.

From my experience, doctors are more sensitive to signs of depression nowadays and know more about how to treat it than they did in the past. Medications for living with depression are also better, and in my case, a drug change, how ever painful it may seem, can make a difference for the better.

Any change for the better is good.

Remember you are not alone and there are tons of people out there that are just like you and tons of people out there that want to help if you let them.

About Chris Call

My Story: Chris Call

I live in Sun Valley NV and am 53 years old. Originally from Utah and born in Las Vegas. I have worked mechanical jobs most of my life, and my body is paying the price for it. When I feel good, my hobbies are CAD design, 3D printing, and electronics. I live with my girlfriend, three cats, and two dogs.

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