Tag Archives: Mental 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?

Weekly Update #41

Today I actually had motivation. I wanted to get things done. It’s a change from what feels like my usual lethargy, and a welcome one at that! I got so much done today – I checked everything off my dauntingly long to-do list!

This sudden burst of productivity makes me want to just keep chugging on and plow through this depression-based lack of energy. I’m hoping this marks an upturn in my mood, but if not, maybe accomplishing small goals every day will help me manage this illness.

Today, I cleaned my living space, played a little Minecraft with M, switched my sheets from my spring/summer cotton to my amazing,y comfortable fall/winter flannel sheets and washed my comforter for the first time in probably two months.

I also started on the second of four cross stitches that I’m making for friends and family for Christmas. Trying to get an early start this year since needlework isn’t all I’m crafting. Also, it’s hard to craft things for people when I live with them and share the space that I need to craft in with them.

The other thing I started working on is revamping my blog. My goal is to have everything redone by the start of 2015. By everything, I mean redoing the layout, the pages, the posting schedule, the post structure itself, even redefining my blog. I’m basically aiming for a fresh blogging start for the upcoming new year. It gives me something to work towards.

Other than that, I floorwalked a bunch this past week and will hopefully do it a bunch more in this upcoming week. I also have my fingers crossed for a possible interview on Monday for a promotion within the company. So, we’ll see how this all goes.

Stay tuned to find out!

Anti-D

If you’ve been keeping up with my more-sparce-than-usual-lately blog, then you know that I was on an antidepressant called Fetzima from February of this year until the end of September, when my prescription ran out and my financial situation and a switch in insurance forced me into a tough choice to go without the medication.

It’s been a rough time.  At first it wasn’t too bad, but day by day I feel the mental illness creeping back in, making itself at home in the familiar crevices of my mind.  I’m more irritable and I feel like crying at the drop of a hat.  Negativity clouds my every thought.

This makes it hard not only for me, but for the people around me.  I do a pretty good job of keeping it together at work, but my significant other has a time of it, too, just by living with me.  M really does his best, though, and I love him for it.

M’s actually the reason I’m holding it together so well.  He understands what I need when the depression takes an especially firm grasp.  He doesn’t tell me to “just cheer up” or to “get over it,” he lets me feel whatever feeling that I’m feeling – however strongly it needs to be felt.  Whether I’m crying over wanting to heat up the cheese dip for my chips or overly annoyed with the cats being cats, he doesn’t tell me that I’m overreacting or that I need to calm down or get over it.

In fact, when I do get irritated at tiny, insignificant things and take it out on him – “M, why do you always just kick your shoes off and never put them away” or “Do you always have to put your coat on in such a weird way?” – he doesn’t take it personally.  He complies in situations that call for it, like putting his shoes away.  Or he calls me out on it, like telling me I’m being hurtful.  His honesty helps keep me grounded.

His honesty when I’m being hurtful and his validation of my feelings helps me keep my emotions in check and helps me manage my depression.  I really do appreciate M standing by me as I live with this illness.  He’s so supportive and I wouldn’t be handling being off of medication as well without him.  He’s like a real life antidepressant, and I love him for it.

Here’s a song that I’d like to dedicate to M.  I know it’s rough to deal with me when I get lost in my own head.  This video is a tribute to M and to the fact that while medication does help many people, it’s not the only thing that I need to treat my depression.  I need love, and M, you give it to me.

Without further ado, Anti-D by The Wombats:

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.

National Suicide Prevention Week

As some of you may know, this week is National Suicide Prevention Week.  NSPW is centered around September 10th, which is World Suicide Prevention Day.  This year is the first year I’ve really paid attention to this sort of thing – bringing awareness to suicide and mental health in general.

I debated all week whether or not to post something on the topic of suicide.  It’s a difficult thing for me to talk about.  But that’s what this week is really about – removing the stigmas attached to discussing suicide.  We, as a society, have a long way to go in terms of dealing with mental health issues.  It seems like it’s either throw medication at someone who has a mental illness or simply tell them to “get over it.”  And even then, it’s seen as something worse, something fundamentally wrong.  Not like how physical illnesses or injuries are viewed.  For example, when I had a fractured knee and was in a leg brace and on crutches for several months, I got a lot more sympathy from friends and teachers at university.  But when I was diagnosed with clinical depression (also known as major depressive disorder) and it interfered with my life, I got far less sympathy.  I was told to suck it up and get over it.  I was told that all I had to do was “think happy thoughts!”  But as anyone who suffers from depression knows, it’s not that simple and it’s not that easy.  I’ll delve more into my battle with depression next month, as the first week in October is Mental Illness Awareness Week.

Suicide is the reason I even went in and got diagnosed in the first place.  There was one night in my sophomore year of college where I took a bottle of ibuprofen in an attempt to give myself a heart attack.  At the time, I didn’t know how low the fatality rate was for an overdose of ibuprofen.  All I knew was that I had heard that taking too many would cause a heart attack and that that’s all I had on hand.  I spent the next several hours sitting in the kitchen holding a knife to my wrist, wondering if I should just do it the old-fashioned way.

Clearly, and happily, I didn’t.  A few days later, my roommate confronted me and made me promise to go to the Student Health center.  Again, I’ll detail my issues with depression in another post, but long story short, I did not seriously treat my mental illness until the beginning of this year.  That’s 7 years that I went largely untreated.  And while I never attempted suicide again, I have seriously thought about it.  I’ve made plans.  I’ve done research.  When I moved to Minneapolis just over three years ago, I had to redo all my research and planning.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve ventured to the tops of parking ramps or meandered over bridges, looking for ways to jump.  Mind you, I’d long since decided that jumping was the method of suicide for me.  There’s no taking it back, you can’t really fuck it up, and I’d get that sensation of flying before I hit the ground.  I even went so far as to note how many people or cars were around at whatever time I was scouting locations.  I might have wanted to end my life, but I didn’t want to inconvenience anybody.

Wow.  those few words took me hours to type.  It’s still very hard for me to talk about.  Even with all I’ve gone through, it still seems like I’m admitting to a fault in myself.  A fault that I’m somehow responsible for.  Like I didn’t try to be happy enough.  It’s this sort of mentality that’s so pervasive in society.  Suicide is the third leading cause of death amongst people ages 15-24.  All the time you hear those left behind by people who’ve committed suicide that they never thought this could happen.  That they never expected someone as happy as So-and-So, whose life seemed so perfect and put together, to do something like this.  But there’s a reason suicidal thoughts go unsaid and suicidal tendencies go unnoticed.  There’s still this huge stigma around the topics of suicide and mental health.  Once society can recognize that mental illnesses are a real thing and cause real harm and are a real problem for those dealing with them, maybe we can get suicide rates across the globe to drop dramatically.  People like me will be more willing to seek help if we stop viewing mental illness as something to hide, as something that can be ignored and still somehow get better.

I’ll end this post before I start rambling and crying as I type.  Here’s a list of suicide hotline numbers, listed by country.  And if you are struggling with suicidal thoughts or depression, it’s 100% absolutely okay to reach out to someone close to you.  More often than not, there’s at least one person who knows what you’re dealing with, who can relate to you, or who understands that your problems are real problems.  I’m pretty new to WordPress, but if you feel like talking, I’m available as well.

Whatever the obstacles, enjoy the journey.

-Kate