Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Depression and Anxiety




Let me start this blog with two things… The first is depression sucks…the second is I have it and I wish I didn’t.


When I am not on my medication I have days where I feel great where everything is fine and I am very happy…I have days where I am normal and everything is ok…Then I have what I call dark days… Days where I am panicked, anxious, sad, worried and stressed out. Where everything feels ten times worse than it probably is, where every irrational fear is jammed up in my mind in a swirling mess. I want to scream, cry, yell, run away, hurt myself, curl up in a ball and just be rocked until it passes.

The alternative is being on my medication…. Then most days I feel pretty normal, my sex drive lags a little bit and I feel gray sometimes like nothing upsets or excites me… Mostly I feel normal… Even with my medication however I have dark days, where I feel like everything sucks and I can’t get a head and the world would be a better place without me in it. Those days don’t comes as often or last as long, but they are still there, just not as strong.

It is a hard thing to talk about with people who have never experienced depression. They don’t understand what I am talking about, they say things like, “get over it” “don’t let it bother you.” They don’t understand that these are IMPOSSIBLE concepts and they don’t work. That is takes meditation, extra medication, breathing exercises and usually some form if distraction or sleep to make the bad thoughts go away. That I don’t have a ton of control over it and I don’t say and act the way I do for attention. I am literally drowning in myself and reaching for a life saver.

Right now is a dark day… Where even the thought of my children, friends, boyfriend, family, cats…all of that doesn’t help me with the funk I have fallen into… And I currently am on my meds… However I also have a cold and my TMI monthly yes-I-know-I-am-a-woman time. So I don’t feel good, which means any stress that happens right now only serves one purpose, to push me farther down the despair highway, away from the happy park on the path of life. Does that sound like prose? Over dramatic? Well then point proven.

My life is like a map. In the middle is a small normal fulfilling city, to the left a green busy happy park and lake with two roads connecting it the highway of despair and the freeway of fucking FANTASTIC. To the left is a solemn, quiet, peaceful cemetery. It also connects to the highway and freeway. They all make a huge circle. I want to live in the city, with occasional trips to the park or the cemetery, you know like a normal person. What winds up happening is I get in a car, driving to fast and wind up down one of the roads in an endless circle. CITY, PARK, HIGHWAY OF DESPAIR, FREEWAY OF FUCKING FANTASTIC, CEMETERY, CITY…. You get the picture. There are no stops signs, no breaks, no lights, no hot cops on motorcycles or cross walks. Until I take my medication, then, thankfully, road blocks go up outside the park and the cemetery so I can’t access the other roads. I don’t know if this makes sense… maybe it's just more crazy ramblings…. I don’t know.

I do know that I think I feel things more than other people, hope, love, despair, happiness, betrayal, pain, joy, wonder, amazement, sadness etc…etc.. All those wonderful things that make being human so incredible.

Is my depression worth some of the great sensations I have when in a happy phase? Probably not, but good luck getting me to admit that when I am on the Freeway of Fucking Fantastic.

So I understand, I understand what its like to not know what’s wrong with you, not have people understand you or believe you, or even look at you weird because of the stigma surrounding depression. I understand and I know those feelings all too well. If you are reading this and you suffer from or think you suffer from depression. You are not alone.

I am a cutter

I have tried to commit suicide on three different occasions.

I have depression and…I am going to be ok.



Statistics

Right now 1 in 10 adults in the US have depression. Women are twice as likely to have depression and 12 % of women experience symptoms of it at some point in their life.


4% of adolescents develop depression and suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death in people ages 10-24.


6 million people in the USA have bipolar disorder and over 80% of people with a form of depression are not being treated.



Treatment for Depression

Medications

Psychotherapy- or talk therapy…which I do.

CBT- Cognitive-behavioral therapy- this works to reduce depression by reversing and challenging negative beliefs and attitudes in the patient.

IPT- Interpersonal therapy- over coming problems with social skills.

Healthy living:

Sleep well

Eat well

Manage stress

Exercise

Set realistic goals

Accept help from friends and family



Symptoms of depression


Difficulty concentrating or making decisions

No energy, fatigue

Feelings of guilt, worthlessness or helplessness

Pessimism or hopelessness

Insomnia or excessive sleeping

Irritability, restlessness

Loss of interest in things

Over eating or loss of appetite

Headaches, digestive problems

Persistent, sad, anxious or empty feelings

Thoughts of suicide or suicide attempts



Types of Depression

Major Depressive Disorder

Chronic Depression

Atypical Depression

Bipolar Disorder/ Manic Depression

Seasonal Depression

Psychotic Depression

Postpartum Depression


Anxiety

 

Now on top of depression I also have anxiety, no they are not the same thing. Though many people who have one, also have the other. It is when you have a sudden attack of terror ( a strong word, but useful) where your heart pounds, you sweat, sometimes become weak or faint, flushing, chills, nausea, chest pain, feeling like you can’t breathe. An anxiety or panic attack usually makes me feel like I am losing control, full of worry and tension, like something bad is about to happen. I get thoughts in my head that won’t go away, sometimes old upsetting memories or even just the list of things I have to accomplish that day and suddenly BAM anxiety attack. Basically it's all about excessive irrational fear and dread. The key term is:  irrational. I know it's stupid and I KNOW it's irrational, but it doesn’t stop it. Again, telling me to calm down and get over it or stop thinking about it…well it just doesn’t FUCKING HELP…In fact it will probably make it worse.

Anxiety disorders affect about 40 million American adults 18 and older.

Types of anxiety disorders

Panic

OCD

PTSD

Social Phobia

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) this one is mine

Other specific phobias


So that’s today’s blog… I know not really happy, but it's truth, and it is hard fact and something people need to deal with. I am tired of being looked at like I am crazy because of my emotions and things I don’t have much control over. I just want people to understand and accept me.

If you have anxiety or depression please reach out to the people around you. If you suffer from or are thinking suicidal thoughts please contact:

Suicide Prevention Hotline
1-800-273-8255

Links/References


http://www.healthline.com/health/depression/statistics#1


CDC


http://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/depression-types


http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/anxiety-disorders/complete-index.shtml


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