I'm just thinking out loud here because I feel the need to communicate and I'm not fond of communicating with people in my own life. How depressing is that? This isn't a Serious Blog Post (tm) but a Me and My Messed Up Head Post.
Sometimes I wonder if I am depressed. I get paranoid that, all those years ago when I had The Year That Wasn't (when I slept all days most days, didn't go out very often and only then to 4 places that I had deemed safe and only by routes that I had deemed ok, didn't really want to see anyone, etc) and my GP offered me anti-depressants that I should have said yes. But I said no. Because I thought that they just masked symptoms and because the few friends I had who had been on them spent large portions of their time talking about how they really wanted back on them, and that sounded unhealthy to me. Also, I was an idiot back then. I'm trying to not be an idiot so much nowadays.
I've been researching for a new thing I wanted to do both for this blog and also because I just plain wanna know. I wanna know what services are available for people/women in Scotland to help them when they are in crappy situations and want out of them. I intend on making list posts here so that I always have the information at hand and also because I have in the past been in a situation where I or a friend could have used help and I want to know what to do in that situation should it happen again. Look at me, conscientious community member.
During my wanderings round charities and help-sites I found the Depression Alliance which, so the website tells me, is "the leading UK charity for people with depression". Being me and me being a person who constantly does all those stupid online tests about depression and neurosis and so forth I couldn't help but click and have a look. There's a section on "What is Depression" and in it comes this:
Here is a list of the most common symptoms of depression. As a general rule, if you have experienced four or more of these symptoms, for most of the day nearly every day, for over two weeks, then you should seek help.
* Tiredness and loss of energy
* Persistent sadness
* Loss of self-confidence and self-esteem
* Difficulty concentrating
* Not being able to enjoy things that are usually pleasurable or interesting
* Undue feelings of guilt or worthlessness
* Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness
* Sleeping problems - difficulties in getting off to sleep or waking up much earlier than usual
* Avoiding other people, sometimes even your close friends
* Finding it hard to function at work/college/school
* Loss of appetite
* Loss of sex drive and/ or sexual problems
* Physical aches and pains
* Thinking about suicide and death
I have had all of those symptoms. I have had all but the last two for the last few weeks acutely. I'm getting no work done, when I try I feel overwhelmed and hopeless even though I know intellectually I can do it, I just don't quite feel up to the task. Sleep is a source of endless misery for me and for the last few weeks I've been sleeping as much because I didn't want to see anyone as because I was just tired. I always ache, sometimes more than others, I've this persistent headache at the moment that just doesn't want to go away, but I always put that down to just being fat. The third one "Loss of self-confidence and self-esteem" seems inaccurate because I don't remember ever having either.
Actually the self esteem thing has been coming up alot of late. I was at a training session yesterday about presentation skills and part of my feedback indicated that I needed to stop being so self-deprecating and uncertain- even if I'm just pretending.
This is where the entry ended. Clearly I must have wandered away. I remember writing the entry and I was feeling particularly crappy that day (BTW, I have to say I think the Depression Alliance Scotland's Look Ok... Feel Crap? campaign has an awesome title). I was crying at nothing and I wanted to go to bed but didn't see the point since I wouldn't sleep anyway and... it was bad so I'm not surprised that the entry wasn't finished or posted. I'm actually quite surprised how well it reads.
Anyway, to finish the post:
My supervisor has banned me from being self deprecating (she's already banned the phrase "if that makes sense"). My ex-support worker (the provision ended) suggested self-esteem and confidence building courses. Even my mother gets annoyed at me for the constant put downs (of myself).
Which is really beside the point, the point being that I wonder if I am depressed. I wonder if I should be medicated, even though my track record with remembering to take my meds is irritatingly low and my trust of meds is lower still. I am starting CBT next week, and when I told the woman I was cynical about the whole thing she asked if that was me or if that was the trauma talking- the trauma being Asshole- and we realised, or I realised, that I really have no memory of who I was or how I was or of there being a pre-Asshole time. Asshole occurred too early in my development and I don't know if there is anything about me that isn't tainted by him, including whether or not I am depressed because, truth be told, I've been having episodes like this month (I've largely not gone out, not interacted with anyone, not done anything this month- I'm starting to get out of it this week but I'm still a bit... prone to feeling like crying over nothing) for as long as I can remember. So perhaps, if these episodes are evidence of depression, or are depression, I've actually been depressed for as long as I can remember too.
Lots of perhaps and maybes and I don't knows in there. I'm going to try this CBT stuff and if it works great, and if it doesn't then we'll try something else. I'm sick of feeling this crap