Tag Archives: Health

That’s Too Much, Man!

A lot of people probably think that depression is strictly feeling sad, lonely, and, well, depressed. But depression affects all of one’s emotions – differently for different people, of course. When I’m going through a period of depression, another main emotion that I find effected for myself is anger.

Little things irritate me far easier and quicker. And those little irritations build quickly into frustrations, which snowball into screaming sessions when I’m alone in my car just to vent my anger.

I have an example from just the other day at work. My workday was going by normally, nothing to be excessively frustrated with. But then my computer system kept freezing on me, even after repeated restarts of both the system and the computer.

That initial irritation at the system I depend on to do my job not running smoothly escalated into frustration with the callers on my phone not having patience while I did my best to help them despite the slow system. That frustration maxed out when I had to spend 10 minutes after a call contacting this department and that department and the other department because of an error message that would not let me exit the account to take the next call.

I ended up solving the issue myself because no one I was contacting was being of any help. But the cumulation of one small irritating thing after another was me trying to hold back tears of anger at my desk to the point where my boss came over to ask if I was okay.

Depression is a thing that I live with. As part of that, I have days where I won’t seem depressed. It’ll seem more like I’m on a war path. It’s something that will be a part of my life probably forever. I’m learning ways to deal with it, but I appreciate those around me who are understanding.

How do you deal with mood swings and irritations when you’re depressed?

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Blogging With Depression

I am not shy about talking about my depression.  In previous posts, I go into great detail about my struggle in dealing with depression.  I’ve been blogging for a little over a year now, and I’ve been through various phases of depression, with and without meds.  Currently, I am now off of the medication I’ve been taking since February, Fetzima.

Unmedicated, I have to relearn how to manage my depression.  It does affect my blog.  I have no motivation anymore to do much else aside from sleep and mindlessly watch TV.  Since I’ve yet to get the hang of scheduling posts, I still blog on a day-by-day basis of posting.  A post doesn’t go live unless I write it that day.

Even now, it is a struggle to make myself type out a post.  My bed is right behind me, I have Ghost Adventures playing in the background.  I want nothing more than to curl up under my covers and just stare at the TV screen.  I know I won’t really register the show.  I’m fine with that.  I just have zero motivation to do anything.

I am tired all of the time.  Prior to getting off my medication, I had severely restricted my soda intake, opting instead for water or tea.  But lately, I can drink two to three bottles of Mt. Dew a day and I get nothing from it.  Not even the tiniest energy boost to make it through my workday.

I know I need to force myself to keep working on my blog.  It’s something productive to do with my time and, honestly, I do feel better when I’ve done something I enjoy (or feel like I should enjoy because I’ve enjoyed it in the past).

Especially when it comes to the topic of depression and mental illnesses, I know I need to blog.  I am a very strong believer that the social stigma of depression needs to change.  We need to be able to talk about our mental illnesses in the same way we talk about our physical illnesses.  If I can add my voice to that change by discussing my illness through my blog, then all the more reason for me to push through my depression-based apathy and write.

Weekly Update #39

So, the second half of this week kicked my ass pretty hard. Tuesday afternoon, my phone battery decided it was just done. Apple, while seeming helpful, actually did fuck all. Some personal health issues rounded up the week. At this point, not a damn thing has been resolved.

Wednesday is typically my day off, but this past week I felt like I worked more that day than any day I actually had to go to work. Woke up early, dropped my car off for an oil change, went back home to chat with Apple Support and then make a bunch of calls to places in town that Apple said would be able to fix my phone only to find out that lol jk no they can’t. Then it was a bit of a whirlwind with appointments with doctors and potential future employers.

From there, some personal health issues took off, leading me to call in to work Friday to deal with that whole can of worms I’m not going to open right now.

Saturday was a little easier. Work was fairly slow, making for an easy day. After work, I was able to take my mind off of things by going to the Celtic Festival with M and another friend of mine. It was pretty fun, except for when we ran into M’s ex. That was awkward for me. I’ve never met an ex before. I got jealous. M took the time to talk me down when we got home later that evening, which was appreciated.

Today, I’m posting from game again. I went out this morning and ran errands while M was at his H&R Block class. Got around to doing laundry finally, and just sort of took it easy on my day off. None of the issues started earlier this week have been resolved, but it was nice to just take the day as basically one deep breath after a week of frustrated yelling.

Hello, dear readers. As you may have noticed, I have been a teensy bit absent this past week. The reason has been two-fold.

One. I’ve been having some usage issues with my internet service provider. Those are being worked out.

Two. There have been some health issues within my family that I made a priority.

Things will be back to normal sometime this coming week. I appreciate you sticking with me, my lovely readers!

Skin Deep

Over the last three weeks or so, I’ve been dealing with some weird skin conditions.  Weird to me, anyway, as I never have skin conditions.  Outside of acne when I eat all of the greasy food.  First, I had a weird little rash I ended up convincing myself was scabies.  So, I went to the doctor and he gave me a couple of oral corticosteroids as well as some heavy-duty hydrocortisone cream.

Which seemed to help for all of two days.  On Saturday, though, all hell broke loose and my skin now looks like a chemical war zone.  I’m now getting these fun little battalions of hives that crop up on my arms or legs or hands or feet or some or both or all of the above. They duke it out for a bit, and then off they go, either to celebrate the victory or to wallow in their defeat, only to reemerge for the next battle in an ill-fated attempt to win an impossible war of driving me fucking insane with t all the itching and scratching.

And of course doctor’s offices aren’t open on the weekends. So I got to wake up bright and early Monday morning to call the doctor’s office literally as soon as they open up at 7 AM. I was able to get a same-day appointment, but it was smack dab in the middle of my shift at the call center.  I ended up calling in because a) I didn’t know how serious the diagnosis would end up being and b) I want to rip my skin off it itches so bad.  I’m kinda tempted to call in today, too because I can hardly stand it.

So, the doctor kindly heard out my worries that I might be allergic to one of the pills he gave me and then just sort of shrugged and said, “Well, it’s a possibility, but prednisone is usually prescribed to get rid of things like hives.”  What the appointment boiled down to was the doctor saying hives sometimes just happen and that I should take Allegra during the day and Benadryl at night for two weeks and call him if the hives don’t go away by then.

My response to that is as follows:

Two weeks?  Are you kidding me??  I have to sit around and be physically uncomfortable in my own skin for two weeks.  I get to deal with roaming hives making me look like I’m dying of the plague for two whole weeks.  How fun!  And what happens if I’m still breaking out in two weeks?  Do you tell me to take some other over-the-counter medication and call you in two more weeks?  Man, sounds like so much fun!  I can’t wait to see how this all plays out!

I really hope this shit just goes away on it’s own.  I hope this regiment of antihistamines does the trick because I’m sick of looking down at my arms and hands and feet and legs and seeing a huge patch of hives where there wasn’t any not 5 minutes prior.

At least now that I’ve spent two days at home, I know it’s not something specific to my boyfriend’s house.  Since this all started while I was staying there, he was worried it was something in his house, something that he owned that was causing it.  But I don’t think that’s the case, given the fact that as I type this post up on this lovely Tuesday morning from the comfort of my own room, my hands are screaming to be scratched and hives are running from my fingers to my shoulders.

Weekly Update # 16

A whole ‘nother week gone by.  Time sure does fly!  Except when you’re stuck in a training room for 8 hours a day.  Then time just crawls slowly, in a meandering fashion, in some direction not always forwards.  Outside of work, time seems to go double speed.  Now that I’m a 9-5er, there doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day.

This past weekend, I got to spend time with new friends and old.  Went Christmas shopping (which ended up being oh, that’s cool I wanna buy that for myself shopping) with a new friend from work and then did a bit of drinking with an old friend until the most massive headache I’ve ever experienced hit.

I have a new theory about these mysterious headaches.  I’m about a year overdue for a new prescription on my glasses.  Now, if that’s the main issue or just making things worse, I have no idea, but I will bet money that it is not helping things.  Trouble is, I can’t get in to see a doctor until I’m on my regular schedule for work and have Mondays off.  And I should be on my regular schedule at the very end of the month, but since we haven’t had all the phone time we’re supposed to get before we hit the floor, there’s talk that our training might get extended.  Which means more weeks of M-F 9-5:30 instead of my desired Tues-Sat 11:30-8 (well, 12:30-9 on Saturdays).

Speaking of phone time, we’re STILL not on the phones.  Last week in the classroom before we’re on the phones all day.  We were supposed to start taking calls way back two weeks ago and slowly building up to taking calls all day, building our experience as well as our confidence since we’d only take basic calls at first.  Now we’re expected to do everything straight off the bat, basically.  Yesterday we finally got the OK that we have all the clearances and permissions we need to actually get on the phone systems.  So tomorrow we’re supposed to start on the phones in the afternoon.  Everyone’s freaking out – myself included.  Those of us that have no call center experience are more or less terrified.  And even those of us with the experience are nervous about getting all the information right.  We deal with patient medications and if we say a wrong thing, it could have serious real-world consequences outside of someone getting pissed that their package didn’t arrive on time.  That’s a frightening thing.  On top of all that, I’m a perfectionist, which means if I screw up my first call I’m going to spend the rest of the day berating myself for it, and every failed call after that.  I’ll probably leave work tomorrow ready to burn something to the ground.  (Burning things to the ground is my go-to stress relief saying.)  So, that’ll be fun.

Nothing else is really new.  Slowly working on getting all my Christmas gifts made.  Very slowly.  I find myself going to bed around 8:30 PM most nights.  Then I end up waking up several times throughout the night.  It leaves me tired all the time.  I’ve always had problems sleeping through the night (and by always, I mean I’ve been struggling to find a solution that works for me for the past year), and maybe this is also contributing to my headaches.  And I’m always achey and stiff.  I feel like I need about a billion deep-tissue massages to feel physically relaxed again.  Ugh, I really need to go see all sorts of doctors that I’ve been putting off seeing.  At least I have my work schedule as an excuse to continue to procrastinate with my health. (PRO TIP: Don’t actually ever procrastinate with your health – I am a bad example.)

That’s about it, I guess.  It’s nearly 9 PM and I’m looking over at my bed.  It beckons me.  It’s pillows and comforters and softness and warmth.  Yes, bed, I’ll be there shortly, wrapped in your sweet slumber.

Weekly Update #9

This week has been much the same as the last few weeks.  Applying for jobs online, dicking around online or playing computer games, cleaning the house a bit, and this week I even cooked dinner a couple of nights.

But the big thing this week happened today.  I went running.  Well, more of a brisk walk/slow jog.  But it’s a start.  I’m using the Runkeeper app and doing one of the free couch to 5K programs the app offers.  By December, I should be able to run about 5K relatively easily.  Will I be able to run the quickest time?  No, probably not.  But that’s not my goal.  My goal is to get into shape and lose some weight.

Today’s 2 mile jaunt taught me that I need a few things to continue running comfortably.  First and foremost, I desperately need a sports bra that will hold the girls in place.  Second, I need shoes actually built for running.  Other than that, I’ll eventually be getting some clothes for running since I’m just making due with what I have on that front.

That was my big accomplishment of the week.  I got a reply from a job via email, but they did not include any contact information within that email.  So I’ll be following up with that early next week.  I’m also looking in to other ways to exercise such as yoga or joining a gym or maybe even joining something like swing dancing.  One of the people I met in Seattle does swing dancing and he could not say a single bad word about it.  He suggested that I try it, and I’m thinking that might not be such a bad idea.  I mean, I don’t know anyone around the QCA like I did when I lived here in high school.  So I don’t have any friends to go out with at all.  I need to start meeting people.  It’d be nice to be able to hang out locally instead of needing to drive to MPLS to see my friends.

Well, I think that’s it for this update.  Look out for the next post on Wednesday!

Even if you go slow, enjoy the journey!

-Kate

World Mental Health Day

Today is World Mental Health Day.  It’s the middle of Mental Illness Awareness Week.  And I’m going to tell you about my struggle with depression.

This is going to be difficult for me.

I suppose my depression really started in high school.  Mild, very mild then.  But depression nonetheless.  I was a straight-A’s, straight-laced student and kids like me didn’t have depression.  Kids like me were happy working on their homework more often than hanging out with friends.  Kids like me.

My depression got worse when I started college and fell in with a bad influence.  She had problems of her own that, in effect, brought all of mine to the surface.  It’s because of her that I started self-harming.  She self-harmed, and that both put the idea in my head and made it okay for me to follow suit.  Like I said, bad influence.  It all culminated in a suicide attempt you can read about in this post.  Because of that attempt, I finally sought help after spiraling down for what seemed like forever.  And I was diagnosed with clinical depression, now more commonly known as major depressive disorder.

I went to two counseling sessions at University of Iowa Student Health.  The first session was productive.  I talked about my suicidal thoughts and my self-harming issues and got some good feedback.  The next session was far less productive.  I came in with nothing new to talk about regarding self-harm and instead wanted to talk about other issues like my self-esteem and issues with my relationships.  When I said “See you next week!” to the therapist, she said something along the lines of “You don’t have to make an appointment if you don’t have anything to talk about.” Woah, right?  Okay, devastating blow to me.  That one sentence prompted me to decide therapists were a load of crap and I could and would just deal with myself by myself.

I stopped majorly self-harming in 2009.  I still kept doing things like punching walls, but that’s over now, too.  Moving to Minneapolis has helped me immensely in dealing with my depression.  If I hadn’t moved and met the people I did, I wouldn’t have reached out to a therapist again.  I wouldn’t have asked about antidepressants.  I wouldn’t be on antidepressants.  And while the dosage and/or specific medication needs tweaking, it helps me immensely.  I still have bad days (see yesterday’s post), especially when I neglect to take my meds, but overall I’m starting on a more even emotional level instead of down in the depths of self-loathing.

Depression is a hard thing to describe to people who haven’t experienced it.  I still have a difficult time describing it.  I haven’t found a better collection of descriptions of depression than this list on Buzzfeed.  I know, I know, Buzzfeed.  But it’s a perfect list.

Anyway, I’ve had another bad day so I’m going to cut it short.  Tune in tomorrow for a creative post.  And thanks for reading this special, emotional, important post.

Whatever your problems – mental or physical – enjoy the journey.

-Kate