Overcoming My Depression

Decades ago, my mother lived in an area where the medical practice was less advanced. While she was pregnant with me, she was misdiagnosed with "uterine tumor" and was advised to undergo a surgery. She went to several hospitals for second and third opinions, but all the doctors gave her the same diagnosis as the first one. Since she was worried about the risk of a surgery, she consulted her doctor for other available options and decided to take oral medication and intramuscular injections, hoping that administering the medication would inhibit the growth of the tumor and make it gradually disappear. She took the medicine for three months. One day when she passed by a clinic, she went in on a whim for a check-up, and she could not believe what the doctor told her, "What you have in your tummy is a baby!" Thanks to this doctor, my life was saved! However, was I healthy? 


Perhaps because all the medications my mother took had done damage to me while I was in the womb, my health had been poor since I was little. I had worse health than my three siblings and frequently visited the hospital. After growing up, I would continue to be a regular at the hospital. For me, even a common cold would require more than a month to treat. As long as someone around me had a cold or any other contagious disease, I would always be the first one to contract it.


Because there are large age gaps between my older siblings and me and because my parents were always busy with work, I was not close with my family since childhood. For this reason, I had a detached personality. I didn't make friends easily and didn't like to talk. Every day when I got home, the only thing I would say was, "I'm back!" before quickly going into my bedroom and hiding there.


I had been a loner. I did not speak my mind or express my emotions to anyone, and I would bottle up my stress and didn't know how to relieve it. After I started to work, I experienced even more pressure. Coupled with my inherently poor health, I would have severe headaches every day, only to be relieved by constantly taking pain medication. One morning, I suddenly could not get out of bed. A family member took me to a doctor's office, but even after taking medication, my condition did not improve. Finally, I went through a detailed examination at a hospital and was diagnosed with "depression." Since then, I had to regularly see the doctor and take medicine every day. Additionally, I had to listen to recorded tapes that the doctor gave me to learn to relax and relieve stress.


A few years had passed, but my depression did not improve. When I first started working, I was smart, competent, and quick to resolve problems, and thus had good work performance. But after the long-term use of psychotropic drugs, the side effects crept up, and my brain began to lose its ability. I had memory deterioration and became less smart. I would get lost in my own chain of thoughts, and my organizational talents were also gradually lost. This condition stayed with me into my twenties.


On one occasion, at the invitation of my colleague, I walked into the Tai Ji Men Qigong Academy and found that everyone there had cheerful smiles on their faces. That deeply attracted me, and I hoped I could become a happy, sunny person. As such, I joined Tai Ji Men to practice qigong. Slowly, the number of visits to the doctor's office began to diminish, and my cold episodes had faster recoveries. Even my long-term problem of headaches slowly disappeared.


I am now a teacher at an after school program. Every day I am in close contact with many children. When a child has a cold, the cold virus can easily spread among the students or even the teachers. Surprisingly, now I rarely get sick even when some children around me are sick. This immunity would have been impossible for the "old me."


Now, every day, I talk with my mother about anything and everything happening around me, and I often hold her hand close to me and even cuddle with her showing love and affection. I have restored my happiness and the closeness with my family. Since I am now physically and emotionally healthy, I am happy at work. Now I often wear a bright smile. Actually, it is hard not to smile now! 


by Yi-Hsun Hsie, Tai Ji Men Dizi