Wednesday, 5 January 2011

....2 Ponder.........Asking A Formspring Question About My Depression......

...............I had a question recently that said "Wow. Do you have to make everything about your depression?".........

.......The short answer is yes..............

.......The long answer is ................... well...... long..........

Here's the thing - living with depression is not about making it ALL about your depression - your depression makes it ALL about your life... you see, it drives....... I'm the passenger.

Another question was asked by someone that wanted to know what it actually is so here goes....

Clinical Depression is a mental illness. Which means - to be blunt - that to some degree, those people - Your Blogger included - are a little mental :)

Not certifiable, but certainly a little ......... shall we say.......... eccentric.

For example..... here are some of the symptoms of my depression........
  • Problems with my short term memory.....
  • Mood swings....... when I am off my Anti Depressant my moods range from almost manically energetic to verging on catatonic-ally morose.....
  • My primary symptom is fatigue........ I am tired ALL the time. Doesn't matter how good a sleep I have or how much, I am physically fatigued ALL the time.......
  • Irrational thoughts pop into my head ...... I'm not going to go into them but they are usually light years away from what I am actually doing or actively thinking - somewhat embarrassing.......
  • Sometimes when people try to help me, I think of them / treat them as the enemy.....
  • Criticism - even constructive criticism - makes me feel like a failure.....
  • Decreased libido and erectile problems - not all the time - but it can happen at the MOST inappropriate times :) - other times, my cock is like a brick - won't go down............
  • I have the attention span of a nanosecond......... I have to TRULY work to focus on something.....
  • I see intent in people that isn't there............ I'm practically paranoid ALL the time....
  • I have to consciously take time out during the day to remind myself to watch those warning signs that could be an episode coming on..........

So............. why does it rule my life - and this blog...........at times........

I take an Anti-Depressant, vitamin, and I have access to anti-anxiety and sleeping drugs.

The Anti-Depressant - Cymbalta - smooths out the highs and lows of my moods - rather than running from side to side of the road - it gives me a middle of the road to work from.

I have behavioural excercises that can assist in "veering the car" away from a 'potential' accident - that is a depressive episode.

The vitamins assist my brain in producing those hormones and neuro-transmitters that can assist my moods.

Anti-Anxiety drugs and sleeping drugs, have obvious purposes.

So basically every day - every hour - is devoted to managing my depression before it defeats me... multi-tasking of course with work, gym, life etc....


Now......... what happens in an episode........... the following......in any combination and / or all combinations......
  • My mind can shut down.... making work impossible........ making basic interaction impossible....
  • I can sit for hours on end crying with no discernible trigger - it can be as silly as that cute toilet paper ad with the puppy and BOOM - Niagara Falls.......
  • I can be highly aggressive and experience violent impulses that completely scare the shit out of me.....
  • I get disturbing and almost psychedelic dreams that can make SAW look like a Paula Dean cooking show....
  • I have no "off switch" for my hunger (this one actually is permanent) -that switch that tells someone to stop eating coz they are full - I don't have that.........
  • I get fearful of crowds of people.......... going to the store or a cafe or a movie can be an experience that causes me to want to crawl out of my skin....

An acute episode happened back in the holiday period of 200-2001. I had been prescribed sleeping tablets and they sat in the unopened bottle on my nightstand. For a week I would look at them and consider taking the whole lot. During this period my fatigue was so bad that there were times I was physically unable to get out of bed and would wet myself because I couldn't get my body moving enough to go ten steps to the bathroom.

Pretty huh?

So ............... that's a summary of MY clinical depression.

For others it can be very different - and it does show up differently in different people...

Clinical Depression is a mental illness of emotions..........

It's bigger nastier cousin is Manic Depression or Bi-Polar Disorder, that is a mental illness of sanity sprinkled with periods of utter IN-sanity...... Manic Depressives truly do it rough.

Thank you for the question........ hope this has provided an insight........

More will come I am sure....

Shalom all.... thanks for your support.....

Damien
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3 comments:

Sean said...

Even with counseling, it took forever before I could explain to people what depression is and how when they "get depressed" it's not depression.

Sadness is when everything still matters. Depression is when nothing does.

Also, people with depression tend to hide it and they tend to isolate themselves. The isolation helps to hide the depression and the depression lies to you and tells you to stay away from the ones you love and who care about you because they really don't and they want to hurt you.

Wonder Man said...

Thank you for explaining this, Damien

Damien Oz said...

Sean - I hear you... same happened with me - i get almost violent when ppl say "OMG i am so depressed that 90210 went off the air!"

WM - you are welcome boo. (Did I use that word correctly?)