So, What else have I tried?
Well, Besides medications and trips to the Psychiatrist, Medical Doctor, Gynecologist, and eventually the Endocrinologist, I also logged plenty of miles (and money) going to my Chiropractor/Kinesiologist, the Acupuncturists, the health food store and to counseling sessions. (I have had 2 counselors, not counting my "shrink.") I have also used this experience to educate myself and do everything I can to get better on my own. Things like cutting out caffeine after a certain time of day, over-hauling the types of cosmetic and cleaning products I use (due to chemicals such as Isopropyl Alcohol, which interferes with your hormones) and going through a parasitic "cleanse." (Not to mention being "positive on purpose," wearing colorful clothing, turning lights on, playing upbeat music, etc...) For 6-8 months I took a variety of supplements and alternative medicines, and had to keep a chart of my cycle and basil temperature every morning for part of that time. It seemed like I was always going to some kind of appointment or doing something new to see if it would "work," or at least help. I was desperate, and willing to do just about anything! (And I did.) Thankfully, I did not have to resort to something as extreme as a hysterectomy, as some have had to do.*
These days, I am down to 2 doctors (1 conventional, 1 non) who I see far less often, and only have to take 1 medication and 2 kinds of vitamins/supplements. (A high-quality Multi-Vitamin and Calcium/Magnesium) I run several days a week, and try to maintain a healthy lifestyle (natural foods, very little sugar...) and daily routine. As my friend David suggested-when depression hits, just try to "do the next thing." When you have your day planned out, it is easier to have control over your feelings, instead of letting them take control of your day. And of course, staying connected to God (through prayer/bible reading/meditation, etc) and being part of a supportive community is at the top of the list!
Spending 2 months in cooler, calmer Wisconsin this Summer really helped bring some healing, too! I was able to detach from the familiar and breathe in something new. I knew I had made progress when I was able to successfully spend that amount of time away from home (and take care of my son without my parents or other "babysitters" around to help) without taking a single anxiety pill! Not that I didn't have some rough days, but a "rough day" now, is nothing compared to what it used to be. Praise God for progress. (And dark chocolate!)
*Yes, it happens. PPD is hormonal and real. This thing is no joke, and it's not just "in your head." Sometimes surgery becomes necessary. See my friend Sharee's blog: ayearofsearchingforhelp.blogspot.com to read more.