Tuesday, 25 November 2008

[TMI] Depression

I wrote this a couple of weeks ago (on the 14th) and then never did anything with it. I probably thought noone wanted to hear what I had to say so I just saved it and ignored it. But I've decided to publish it anyway. If you're not interested you can just not read it.

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
* Self-harm

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 allmost of the time.

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