Tag Archives: obsess

The Pills That Quell Despair

Everyday part of my routine is to ingest a handful of pills morning and evening. Part of that handful are three specific medications to treat my Depression. One a pretty bicolor capsule, one a small blue pill and one a medium-sized white tablet. Without these, my world would be full of gray, melancholy thoughts, escaping into sleep, and thoughts of suicide. Not a pretty picture for sure. Meds make me feel at least baseline functional. They aren’t “happy pills” by any means. Believe me, I wish there was a pill for happiness, I would be queuing up for that one.

How did I get to be on so much medication? Well, I’ve been on lots of other medications along the way. Started out on the miracle drug Prozac when I was initially diagnosed in 1995. Boy was that a life saver. At the time, I was suicidal and homicidal. Scary even to talk about those really dark days. The thoughts were obsessive, and I felt terrorized day and night. Had the most horrible nightmares too. Plane crashes, fires, murders, any kind of violent mayhem you can think of…it’s any wonder I could cope at all. Prozac took all of this away, so I could participate in therapy and work on things I needed to change. It was such a relief not to have those intrusive thoughts, the kind that make you feel really unglued.

But sometimes the drugs stop working for no apparent reason. So I’ve been through a number of antidepressants to manage my symptoms. I’ve been on four or five different medications between Prozac and my current mix. I’m not one of the lucky ones that can be weaned off medication, but I can say I’ve never been hospitalized. I’ve always kept trudging on, maintaining the status quo the best I can. That is part of my disease, I put other’s needs before my own, so that was one of the main reasons for never checking out…people were counting on me!!!

I understand not everyone benefits or even approves of the use of medication. And I’ve certainly done my share to contribute to the wealth of Big Pharma by taking the newest meds on the market. But medication works for my symptoms, and I need to use them in  combination with therapy to get and or stay well.

Wellness is the ultimate goal, right?

Overwhelmed by the News

Twenty-Four hour news is such a bad idea. We get inundated constantly with information and the news is generally negative in nature. When is there ever any good news? They don’t have time to report that. I always said I would subscribe to a station that showed only good news. It would be so refreshing to hear about people who do good things for each other, not just as an aside or filler to all the bad news that gets reported. That would be fair and balanced don’t ya think?

Problem is it is so easy to get caught up in the world’s tragedies and the quagmire of our government that it adds to one’s depression. Makes me want to stay in bed! Where is the hope? I’m not saying we need  news “lite” or should minimize what is going on in the world. Perhaps it is just too much for some of us to handle in large doses. I know I can’t take too much, because I tend to internalize it and hold it. I can’t walk around with the weight of the world on me, I can’t carry it, I can’t change the world. I can only influence my little circle. Since the news rarely addresses my issues, perhaps I should just shut it off altogether. I feel like that would be the putting my head in the sand approach.

It is of course all about finding balance. As usual. If someone who has depression has been able to find a balance without being overwhelmed by the news, I’d love to hear about it.

Music for Your Mood or, I’m Only Happy When it Rains

When I’m feeling bad and want to wallow, there is certain music that accompanies that mood. Sarah McLachlan, Sheryl Crow and Alanis Morrissette carried me through the dark days of my divorce proceedings. Literally carried at times. Oh, the nineties were a special time in women’s music. Sarah suits the melancholy broken heart, as does Sheryl. Alanis is the one to call on for the days of being not just sad and broken, but definitely that angry edge. Even if she and I have both grown up over the years, We can still belt out “You Oughta Know” in the car together.

When I’m feeling particularly down on myself, Garbage fits the bill nicely. The heavy beat and grinding guitars are good for numbing out, especially to titles like, “I’m Only Happy When it Rains.” In spite of the recommendation to avoid alcohol, I sometimes indulge in a glass of wine or two as well, since I’m already having a bad day. Again, my philosophy is sometimes you just have to wallow for a day or two and get it out of your system and move on.

However, of course there is plenty of music for good days too. But this blog is about depression silly. Please share your favorite melancholy music too.

I’m Only Happy When it Rains by Garbage

Relationships…or More “High School in My Head”

Everyone easily says don’t worry about what other people think, but that is so not easy for a depressed person. We just obsess over what we say or don’t say or should have said and what other people think about it. How we relate to others is a big part of our illness and a big part of how people understand or don’t understand what we are dealing with…which is why I love the Facebook category for “relationship” because my all-encompassing response is, “It’s Complicated.”

Let’s just say therapy was reeeealy rough this week talking about my intimate relationships. Not doing so hot at picking them was the conclusion. Guess because I don’t really choose, I just fall into them. That is all I want to say on that subject for now, because it’s pretty raw, and I’m still working through a lot of details, eeek.

I want to focus more on friendships, coworkers, family relationships. Absolutely loaded subject for people everywhere, not just us chronically melancholy types. Work can always be a minefield. Especially when you are the newbie. Just trying to figure out the culture of the organization, and where you fit in is a big enough challenge…don’t want to make a major gaffe by saying something inappropriate. I think it’s easy enough to avoid edgy jokes and surfing questionable websites during your introductory period, but what about speaking up in meetings, preparing reports or giving feedback? Generally I feel like when hired, they like me for my intelligence and experience, and value my opinion. So it’s hard to temper that with saying just the most “politically correct” thing, or avoiding being in any way controversial or questioning the status quo. Then, what can you say without worrying about having to process it through the “what will they think about this?” filter. By the time you do all that in your head, the moment to join the conversation has passed and the group has moved on to something else. There you sit, worrying what they think about your lack of response! Arrgh. When you do say something, it winds up being an unfiltered blurt, and either people don’t respond and just continue talking, or the room goes quiet like you just had a Tourette’s moment. Oh boy, that sucks.

 Eight hours a day you need to have your guard up, so you don’t screw up by saying something stupid and have people talking about you. Just what you need, is a little paranoia that people are talking about you and are looking to get you to go with the generalized anxiety about work! Always good to build some friendships at work if possible, so you have a sounding board to let you know when you are having a mental meltdown. Just be sure that they are people you trust and who understand and accept your illness. It would be presumptuous to just put it all out there and hope for the best. Feel people out before you give your whole self exposure.

Friendships are so very important in managing Depression. Again, it’s that support system that let’s you know what is good thinking and what is abnormal and when you need to do something about it. When you feel all alone, Depression becomes worse. Not a good place to be. Ever. Sometimes you do reach out, and people just aren’t available, being busy with other obligations. You don’t want to whine and be needy, it’s so unbecoming. That’s when it’s good to have family to lean on as well.

Oh family. Love them, but they can make you miserable at the same time. I think I count on my sister the most. She understands my illness the most, sort of walked a “mile in my moccasins” you might say, but a totally different road. There is a six-year age difference between us, so for  several years, we didn’t have much in common. But we both grew up, and we became the closest of friends. It’s a relationship I count on when things are rough and when times are good. I know she will be there for me. And I know I can say just about anything without worrying that she is going to judge me. And there are no head games. Matter of fact, we can commiserate about the head games others play, and try to figure out how to make our way in this big bad world.

This post has turned out way too long, but I think it’s so important to understand how crucial relationships are, and how depressed people struggle to initiate and maintain them. It’s never easy for us, but if we trust you, be assured that it will be a deep and lasting relationship. Unless you betray us. That’s a different post.