It’s been a minute since I’ve published anything. I’ve been writing, just not posting. Some of my writing is too heavy and might worry people in my life so I don’t share it. I also work in an environment where every word I say is scrutinized or shared and usually twisted. So I have to regulate myself.
It’s amazing how age and experience can open your eyes to things you have dealt or struggled with your whole life. My topic of “struggle” today is depression. I’ve been diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder, Moderate. What does that even mean?
I guess it means different things for different people. For me, depression comes in waves. I can go weeks with a good attitude, no napping all day, hitting the gym, staying on top of paperwork, being patient to my kids. Then a bad day or few days will hit. When I get out of it, it is like starting all over. I can’t just pick up where I left off. Then after another undetermined amount of time, I lose it again. It’s a cycle on it’s own time line that I can’t predict.
I still function and get the important things done, like pick up my kids from school. Feed them. Mostly cereal or pb&j, but damn, that’s food!! But these days are filled with guilt over not getting things done. Like walking right by the overwhelming clutter in my house.
You know it’s bad when you kick on the heat for the first time in a year, the house immediately fills with smoke, setting off all your smoke detectors, and you refuse to call 911 because you don’t want the firefighters to see your messy house.
Do I like these days of being so overwhelmed I don’t even start? Or being unmotivated to do anything I used to love doing? Or slacking in the wife and parent departments? Hell no. But how do you snap out of it?
Not too long ago I realized I didn’t give a damn….I didn’t give a damn about anything. Nothing phased me. I walked around in the strangest, neutral state. To be honest….it was awesome! I didn’t give a crap about what people thought. I didn’t care what I said. And I let some people know what I was really thinking. It felt great!!
But when you don’t give a damn about anything, even joy doesn’t exist. And that was a problem.
So I found some joy and some motivation after going to a psychiatrist, Marie Beasley, at Riverview Psychiatry. She added Welbutrin to my “cocktail”. It helps your endorphins, unlike Prozac, which is for cortisol. So it helped even me out.
I highly suggest if you choose to take anti-depressants, that you seek guidance from a professional….a psychiatrist. Not your OBGYN, your family practitioner, your dentist. A psychiatrist.
Marie put what my medication was doing in easy terms for me to comprehend. Trust me, when you are a lost ball in high weeds it is imperative to have a professional give you easy-to-follow instructions to help you begin to feel better enough to chop down the weeds.
Seeing a counselor is also a great idea. I lucked out and found Linda Graham who specializes in trauma, traumatic stress, etc. Traumatic stress is a constant in the emergency services whether you run a bad call in a shift or not. You are always waiting for it. I found myself assuming the worst and not engaging with anyone because of the anticipation that something bad would happen.
I still correlate good things and bad things. For some reason it seems that every time something good happens, something bad is right around the corner. But I’m getting better at seeing these things for what they really are. Just life. Linda is helping me with that as well.
I just want to share some of my experience with depression in hopes that someone will read this and come to some sort of realization about themselves. I hope it is a positive realization and motivation to get help or help others.
Functioning with depression, even major depression, is possible. You just have to see it in yourself and own it. Only then will you accept the idea of help for it.
If you are in the Chattanooga area and need help, please consider the following: