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@lulu4982

I have suffered from depression and anxiety since I was a child due to a horrific family life and never knowing what kind of a mood my father would be in or whom he would choose to pick on. I have not had an easy life; many subsequent situations of abuse have occurred, as that is normal for battered women. My first suicide attempt was at age 9 — the last at 21. I currently take duloxitine and buspirone and that helps me a lot. I recently was diagnosed with a rare and extremely painful disease, adhesive arachnoiditis. I also suffer from fibromyalgia. It would be so easy for me to fall back down into that black pit of depression, but I refuse. I am realistic; yes, I have been dealt a terrible blow. I purposely find something to be grateful for each day. Gratitude lifts the spirits. I express my gratitude to the people who bring it and to God (as you know Him) all day long. This helps a lot. I also have two cats who bring me much joy. Happiness is a warm kitty on your lap. I would recommend a mental health animal to everyone. While biological factors are to play in depression and anxiety, we can choose how we think. My thoughts of despair have often led me into that black hole. Sometimes it was PTSD bringing to mind horrible things that happened to me which I had repressed. WE ARE STRONGER THAN WE THINK!!! Find meds that work for you. Be grateful and trust me, joy will come to you. God bless you!

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Replies to "I have suffered from depression and anxiety since I was a child due to a horrific..."

@lulu4982
Hi, I'm happy to say welcome to Connect! You sound like a true survivor. I am VERY inspired by your story as you have told a part of it here. Unlike you I grew up in a loving home. My depression must have come into the world with me as I see no reason for it in my life. It is very good that you have come through all of that deep darkness in your life to what sounds like a state of successful coping. I'd like to know how you started the journey out of the depths. Did you get counseling /therapy or did you manage your way out on your own, like me? You've been living with fibro you say, but did you have mostly okay health otherwise prior to the recently diagnosed arachnoiditis?

Thanks for your sad but uplifting tale. Best, Hank

@lulu4982 Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. Your horrific family life growing up has certainly left its scars. You also have an extremely painful disease called adhesive arachnoiditis, along with fibromyalgia. Despite this your message is that, "WE ARE STRONGER THAN WE THINK!!!" You detail your gratitude practice of choosing something each day to be grateful for.

You may like the Gratitude Discussion Group linked below.

– Gratitude Discussion Group https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/gratitude-discussion-group/

May I ask more about your therapy animal? Did your therapist write a letter to "prescribe" your therapy animal?

Hello @lulu4982,

Thank you for sharing your story of gratitude and joy in spite of your personal history of abuse and physical problems. As Erika, @erikas, mentioned in her post you would probably like Connect's Gratitude discussion group. We also have a discussion group on how pets help us. Here is the link to that group, https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/what-pets-can-do-health-and-healing/?commentsorderby=DESC&pg=2. As you look at this discussion you will see stories and pictures of beloved pets who have become emotional support animals in one way or the other.

I look forward to hearing from you again. As you feel comfortable doing so, will you post a bit more about your recovery process?

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