My Secret Depression – A Guest Post

Depression is real, and it’s scary. Crystal is sharing her story to let others know that it’s okay to not be perfect, and it’s okay to ask for help.

I’m so excited this morning to have my first guest post! Let me tell you a little about the author: her name is Crystal Hinojosa, and she has been my best friend for almost 20 years (that’s not even an exaggeration there!). She’s a mom of four adorable kids, a Navy wife, cheerleading coach, small business owner, and one of the most amazing women I know! Today she wants to share a very personal story with you about her struggle with depression.

Depression is real, and it’s scary. Crystal is sharing her story to let others know that it’s okay to not be perfect, and it’s okay to ask for help.

I sat in a cold hospital room with the door open and a stranger sitting in the hallway just watching me. I felt so ashamed and like a complete and utter failure. I was crying when my husband walked into the room. I couldn’t even bear to look at him. They had taken my shoes, jewelry, purse and cell phone away. As he sat on the bed next to me and put his arms around me, all he said was “It is going to be ok. Everything will be fine.” As I sobbed into his shirt all I could ask was “How? They are going to keep me.” He just held me and let me cry.  

I was being admitted to a mental health treatment facility.

This day had been coming for a while. I have been in some form of depression for what feels like my entire life. My father, the man I worshipped as a child, was an alcoholic who eventually abandoned us when I was 13. I felt like I was never going to get my mother’s approval growing up, and as the oldest child felt like I was a disappointment for not being able to do more to help.

As an adult I married my high school sweetheart. He graduated a year before me and joined the Navy.  While I was (and still am!) extremely proud of his service, I spent most of my time worrying and longing to be with him. He joined the military in July of 2001, just months before 9/11, when our whole world changed. I wish I could sit here and tell you all that I am the picture-perfect military wife, who never stresses and just goes with the flow.  However, if I told you that I would be lying. The Navy has given us a very good life, but there have been many times when I simply hated it! Usually these were the times the words deployment or INSURV come up in our house. We have four beautiful children whom I adore. Let’s face it though, 4 against 1…the odds are not in my favor! And, as any military wife will tell you, that little bastard Murphy sure likes to hang around the second your service member leaves. 

I had been trying to be everything I thought I was supposed to be, which was everything to everyone. I think I forgot how to use the word “no” at some point. In a time of Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest shoving the notion that your child’s birthday party needed to be something magazine-worthy, I felt incompetent, to say the least. After a while I began to make excuses not to do things. “I have a headache,” or “The baby isn’t feeling well.” And pretty soon I just stopped answering. Throw into this mix struggling financially, dealing with my husband’s internet-based sexual addictions, and attempting to take on-line college courses as a full-time student, and I just couldn’t handle it anymore.  

One day my children were being normal children, but at the time I felt like they were out of control. They were excited because school had started, and they were happy to see their friends. My son had his very first football game coming up and my daughter would be cheering. All I wanted was to go to bed and stay there. Instead I yelled at them and called my husband to yell at him for not being home. Somehow he got off the ship early and came home. He was going to take all 4 of the kids to the football field for my son’s practice and I could have the house all to myself. Sounds great, right? Was I grateful? NO! I was furious! How dare he take those kids out to have fun when they were acting the way they were?

In hindsight this really should have been the point where I knew something was wrong. The kids were doing nothing wrong at all. Some very small voice told me I needed to take a break. I went to my bathroom and locked the door. While sitting, rocking myself, and trying to calm down I looked over to see my husband’s razor on the counter and thought, “I could just pick that up and cut myself.” And just like that I was surprised by my thoughts, confused, and most of all scared as hell. I jumped up and ran out of the bathroom. My husband knew something was wrong but didn’t know what.

No one ended up going to the field that night. I can’t tell you what we did, it all seems like a blur.  All I could think about was that one thought. I have never self-harmed in any way, but a couple of siblings have. I remember one saying “I just want to feel something.” I never understood that.  When the kids went to bed I told my husband that I had run out of the bathroom because I wanted to hurt myself. I was still so confused by the thoughts. I knew I didn’t want to die or even to hurt myself. But I couldn’t figure out where the thoughts came from and what they meant. I felt out of control. My husband didn’t know what to do, so he lay there awake for the whole night, afraid that if he went to sleep I would harm myself.

The next morning, I called a very good friend and asked her to stay with my youngest kids while I went to the doctor. I don’t think she knows what she did for me that day. After telling her that I wasn’t right and needed to be seen I never felt one bit of judgment from her. I am still so thankful for the love and support she gave me that day and in the months after.

I drove myself to the emergency room. Let me tell you, when you tell the nurse you had thoughts of harming yourself things happen pretty quickly. I had a new best friend who got to stay with me at all times. I had all my belongings taken from me and placed into a bag. I had a nurse come and check my bra to make sure I wasn’t hiding anything I could harm myself with. And then I had a blank wall to stare at while I was waiting for the doctors to come see me. 

At this point I had figured out that the worst of my feelings happened in the days immediately before starting my period. I had always suffered from cramping and PMS but this was nothing like that. I was on an emotional roller coaster. I hated feeling so out of control over my feelings. After talking with the doctor I was told I probably had Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder, or PMDD.  When I read the description I was handed, I felt like someone had been watching me over the last few months and wrote this about me. It was exactly what I had been feeling. I was so relieved and thought I would be getting a prescription and sent on my way home to enjoy my son’s football game and my youngest daughter’s birthday. I was wrong.  

The doctor returned to tell me they had no room on the Psychiatric floor so I would be sent to another facility. My world stopped. How could I be sent away? I couldn’t be away from my kids And how would people treat me once they found out I had been in a mental hospital? I begged and pleaded for another option but was told if I fought it I would only makes things worse. It was best to admit myself rather than be admitted forcefully. I thought I would never get over having to go to that hospital. I was terrified.  

Depression is real, and it’s scary. Crystal is sharing her story to let others know that it’s okay to not be perfect, and it’s okay to ask for help.

When I got to the hospital I was immediately put into the step-down program for emotional recovery. The psychiatrist and physician fully agreed with the diagnosis of PMDD. They recognized that my symptoms had already passed with the start of my period, and helped me to understand that daily birth control pills and an anti-depressant would be the best course of treatment.

I was still scared to be in a mental health center. But as I joined in the group discussions I found that the others who were there were also just looking to be better. They all had different stories and reasons for being there. Every single one of those people helped me. Some I listened to were agonizing stories of lost loved ones, other the stories of debilitating anxiety. I realized that not only was I being helped, but I could also help others. There were absolutely no judgements from anyone in these group sessions, and that was amazing! 

Something I feared would ruin my life turned out to be one of the biggest blessings I could have asked for. I learned that it was ok to be me and to walk away from things and people who were not making my life better. I learned that the best therapy can be listening to someone else who needs to talk. I didn’t need to have all the answers, I just needed to be there.

That was 2 years ago. I left feeling better than I had in a while. Of course, those feelings and lessons are hard to hold onto in the real world. It has been a struggle of ups and downs in those two years. I kept everything I was given during that time in treatment, and I refer back to it often. I have to remind myself that I cannot take care of anyone else unless I am taking care of myself first.

When I first had the idea of writing my story I immediately pushed it aside. There are only a few people who know about my hospital stay and I was still afraid. Now I look around my life and I am in awe. I feel better now than I can ever remember feeling. I still take my medication every day, and I have recently begun a natural treatment regimen that has lifted me to where I am now.

Depression is real, and it’s scary. Crystal is sharing her story to let others know that it’s okay to not be perfect, and it’s okay to ask for help.

I know this is the right time to share my story, and I hope that if there is someone out there who is struggling they will read this and know it is ok to need and ask for help. I never understood my siblings saying they cut to feel something. Now I know that it isn’t the sadness or anger that get to you, it is the numbness. It wasn’t until I began to feel better that I realized I had felt so numb for so long. The only emotion I felt was the out of control feeling, usually masked as anger. Now I feel joy, happiness, ambition, and most of all hopeful of the future I am working towards.

I thought I wouldn’t survive those days, and now I don’t know where I would be if I hadn’t taken those steps and asked for help. My whole life is richer, fuller, and I know that if I can reach out and help one person then I have done the right thing by putting my story out there.     

Depression is real, and it’s scary. It’s not something that should be shrugged off, and it’s certainly not something to judge someone for. Crystal is sharing her story to let others know that it’s okay to not be perfect, and it’s okay to ask for help. You need to ask for help. There is nothing to be ashamed of!

Do you have any experience with depression? Let’s start some conversations, and you can also tell Crystal how amazing she is! 

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About Samantha

I am a SAHM to three kids and a menagerie of pets. I love coffee, books, crafts, wine, cooking, and more coffee. Seriously, I couldn't function without coffee. Read more about me!


  1. Very moving story. I have known both of you ladies for 20 years as well. I love seeing our kids grow up on fb.I am so glad Crystal shared her struggle. I too have recently been diagnosed with PPMD & have begun seeing a therapist weekly for my own depression. Never in a million years would I think I would have ‘depression’. I am blessed with a loving husband and four amazing little boys…how could I be ‘depressed’? But it was there lurking in the back of my mind….the outbursts for no reason..the resentment that my husband gets to leave the house to go to work while I am stuck at home with an infant. I am so glad I decided to get help. Bless you Crystal & Samantha. You ladies are amazing.

    • Awwww, Robin! You’re amazing! Thank you for sharing that! I’m glad you’re getting the help you need.

    • Robin good for you for getting help. It is so hard to admit we need it when we get messages for all sides saying we should be perfect stay at home moms with perfect houses and Pinterest worthy meals and activities for our children at all times! Hugs to you momma you are doing a great job with your boys and I love reading about them on Facebook!

  2. Crystal…I admire you for writing and putting your story of your struggle with depression out there to encourage others to seek help. I know it was not easy but I’m sure it will help others. I will keep you in my daily prayers for continued strength to keep your depression under control and praise God for how well you are doing now!!

    • Thank you! Sharing my story is something I have thought about for a long time. When I first brought the idea up to Samantha she was all for it but I knew I wasn’t ready. In the place I am now it was surprisingly easy to let it all out. The fear I once had was gone, replaced by the desire to help others. Thank you for the prayers ?

  3. Her story was so moving. I’ve dealt with depression and each day it is a struggle. I haven’t sought professional help but your friend is helping me realize it’s not so bad. I rely heavily on my faith to help me. It feels good to know I’m not alone. Thanks for sharing such a touching story.

    • Thank you for you kind words. Seeking help is so hard at first. There is such a stigma that comes with a woman admitting that she needs help. Just remember that you are no good to anyone else until you are taking care of yourself. Keeping your faith is great and seeking other help will not change that. Use your faith to know that by getting well you are becoming the person you are meant be. Hugs to you!

  4. This is a great post!! I am interested to know what the natural treatment regimen is she mentions. Can you fill me in? I’d love to know more!

    • Hi Rachel! I don’t include the name of the products because the last thing I wanted was this to come across as an advertisement! That being said I take Plexus which is an all natural print and supplements that are aimed at getting your gut healthy which in turn helps so many problems. If you are interested in learning more you can email me at Even with medication on a daily basis I never felt truly right until I began to get healthy and this helped sooooo much!

  5. To both of you, Crystal (my very special “spare daughter”) and Samantha (my amazing daughter), please know that I am very, very proud of both of you for doing this post. You spoke the truth about a very important topic and, by sharing your experiences, are trying to help others. I love you both so much!
    GypsiGranny recently posted…I Live in an Animal HouseMy Profile

    • Spare mommy! You know I love you! This is a very important topic for everyone! I feel like so many people suffer and are told to just get over it. We should be reaching out to them not pushing them aside!

  6. You are so brave for sharing your story. I’ve felt depression at times in my life too. I never harmed myself, but I did think about it. A lot of us go through it, and we often feel alone. Thanks for making us realize that we aren’t!
    Lana recently posted…Doodle Bomber : mirrorsmeMy Profile

    • You are not alone. When those feelings of self harm come up please seek help! There are many resources available. For me the real turning point was having my dear friend that I knew I could call on. A support system is so important!

  7. This story was very touching. It is so brave to share such a hard time and I know it will help some women out! Well written

  8. What a powerful message. Thank you for your bravery in sharing your story and helping to raise awareness so others can find the strength to get support through depression too. That was wonderful that you recognized you needed to go see a doctor right away and took action.
    Julie recently posted…Guest post: How to work on your clothing budget as a working momMy Profile

    • Thank you for your kind words. I truly hope that by sharing my story others will see that there is hope and seeking help really is the best option. This is such an important discussion that gets pushed aside but if more people were open about it others would be able to seek help without the shame.

  9. Your story sounds very similar to mine. Thoughts of suicide, yelling at my kids, AND yelling at my husband. Now he tells me there were many times he stayed at work because he had no idea what he was coming home to. Thank you so much for sharing. A lot of people struggle with this and they need to know they’re not alone. Thank you for sharing your story. 🙂

    • Yes my poor husband never knew quite what he was in for, but he stood by my side and never gave up on me. Neither of us is perfect but we both love and support each other 100%. Being honest with your spouse I think is one of the most important steps to take. A good support system is so important.

  10. Thank you so much for sharing your story with us! I can’t imagine the courage that it took to be so vulnerable to share something that only a handful of people might have known. I have struggled with depression and anxiety throughout my life, most recently in the first few months of my daughter’s life. It makes you feel lonely and isolated and like no one else could ever understand. I think it’s empowering and encouraging when we share our stories with others so that they can see that they aren’t alone. Thanks again for sharing and I’m so glad you are in a better place right now!
    Lori recently posted…What I Learned from My 21 Day Sugar DetoxMy Profile

  11. Hi Lori. Thank you for your kind words. You are absolutely right that only a handful of my closest friends and family knew about this darkest time in my life. The more I became well the more I knew I wanted to find some way to help others. The best way I could think of was to be completely honest and hope that others would see themselves in my story. I believe that feeling of being completely alone is one of the worst feelings in the world. It was very empowering for me to put it all in writing and share it. I’m sure there are those who don’t agree but I also know that this was the right thing to do!

  12. Crystal, thank you so much for sharing your story. By sharing your experience, you’ve started a discussion that needs to be had. Depression can be so taboo, but there’s no shame to it. So glad you sought help and that you’re using your voice to help others!
    Casey recently posted…How I’m Learning to Love the Good DaysMy Profile

    • Thank you so much! I hope that by sharing my story it will give others the strength to share their story as well.

  13. Wow, such a powerful story Crystal and thank-you so much for being brave and sharing it. Depression is real and more people need to realize that it is a real thing. A lot of people secretly struggle with it and it’s important to realize you can ask for help, and should. Amazing post, and I’m so glad you received the help you needed to get back healthy again! 🙂
    Cara recently posted…Things Inspiring Me LatelyMy Profile

    • Thank you so much! Yes there are so many who suffer silently and it doesn’t have to be that way. We can and should support those who need the help and go to get it.

  14. Thank you for sharing your story

  15. Ahh so glad that your friend realized she needed a bit of help when she did! Very brave that she checked herself in, that’s not very common! It’s impossible to be everything to everyone, but Lord help us we try don’t we.

    • Thank you for your kind words. I will say the hospital staff were a bit surprised when I said I drove myself. I could not be happier with my decision to get the help I did.

  16. Thank you for sharing your story Crystal. It was so raw and beautifully written! I had tears in my eyes, but I am so proud of you for knowing when to ask for help. <3
    Erin recently posted…What I Wish I Knew About Money in CollegeMy Profile

    • Thank you so much! I’m so overwhelmed, in a good way, with the positive responses I have received! I have had many people reaching out to me and I could not be happier that my story can help others.

  17. Thank you for sharing this. You are not alone! I am an anti-depressant and birth control lifer.

    • Thank you for reading my story! Yes I will also be a lifer! I used to think I could get off but if taking a couple of little medications daily helps me then that is what I am going to do!

  18. I had to walk away before I could comment on this. I needed a minute to regain my composure. You were so wonderfully brave and even though I don’t know you I am so proud of you. I know how hard it is to not only ask for help but to tell your husband you are falling apart. I did it myself two months ago. I have always struggled with depression but I finally reached a point where I thought about being dead every day. Every single day. I was confident that I would not actually hurt myself but I *wanted* to. I just wanted to be done. Soul tired. I am still in awe at how incredibly understanding and supportive my husband was (and is). Treatment has been a roller coaster, I am not awesome (yet) but I am in a much better place mentally and emotionally. I haven’t done a lot of the talking therapy, I am not sure I can but reading your words makes me reconsider…Thank you so much for sharing.

    • Crystal Hinojosa

      Hello Amanda! When I read your comments I also needed time to think about what I wanted to say to you. I could feel your emotion in the words you wrote because it was so much of what I have felt before. I love that you know you may not be awesome yet but you will be. As for the talking therapy I consider even just talking with my girlfriends therapy. A person doesn’t have to have a degree and title behind their name for you to be able to talk with them. Sometimes even just saying the words out loud and getting them out of your head helps you see things more clearly. You are so brave to be able to admit to needing help as well!

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