Let’s talk about depression

Lowering the tone of my blog now because I think it’s important to talk about mental health – no matter how gloomy.

I am a long time sufferer of depression, I’m usually okay thanks to my medication and counselling that I had a while back. You can read more about how it started and how I dealt with it here. I’m basically writing this to vent a little bit and to tell you that this week has been a struggle for me. I think the issue is that I’m pretty much dependant on my fairly high dose of medication (Zoloft/Sertraline if anyone’s interested) but when I’m on them I feel fine, I feel balanced and like the clouds have been blown away so that I can see the sun again. The problem is that when you’re enjoying staring at the sun you can forget to look out for those clouds which are just out of sight but still just sitting there waiting to block out the sunlight the second you have your back turned. This is a thinly veiled metaphor for forgetting to take my medication because I feel good and as though I don’t need it. On top of that my routine has changed slightly: my boyfriend is working away so I’m staying at my mom’s to keep my little sister company whilst she’s on holiday. That may not seem like a big deal because in the grand scheme of things it isn’t but routine is really important for anybody’s mental wellbeing and a shift in this can really throw a spanner in the works.

This isn’t the first time this has happened and you’d think I would learn from my mistakes but for some reason this one keeps sneaking up on me. Basically after a couple of weeks pill free, things start to get a bit shitty and it’s all downhill from there really. The most irritating part is that when I start feeling crap again it’s like a reminder “Oh shit I need to take my tablets” but by that point it’s too late, the tablets don’t have an immediate effect and it could be another 2 weeks to a month before I even start feeling good again. Going cold turkey is not recommended at all for my tablet or dosage, to properly stop taking SSRIs you need to ween yourself off them by slowly reducing your dosage to nothing. Simply stopping SSRIs essentially takes your serotonin and dopamine levels from a healthy high straight down to minus figures, so a pretty dumbass move on my part. I suppose my point is that being propped up on medication is really not ideal, slip ups happen and when they do things can go south pretty quickly but I’m not sure what the alternative is. If I could have some sort of slow release implant in me at all times I honestly would, it would solve a lot of my problems.

I had all sorts of plans this weekend, I was supposed to go out and take some photographs for this blog and have a bulk writing session. I was supposed to go out for a friend’s birthday and risk having a good time. I was supposed to go shopping for my Mom’s birthday present. Depression basically has blown all of these plans out of the water in one fell swoop. What did I do instead? I slept, I stayed in bed, I ate, I threw up, I cried. I wouldn’t want to share the gory details of what was going on in my head as I don’t want to trigger anybody else but let’s just say that it was pretty unbearable to be subjected to my own thoughts this weekend. Today I’ve decided that I’m going to force myself out of the house at some point and take some pictures in the woods – staying in just feeds the beast and god knows it’s already gorged itself on my misery enough.

Dearest readers, I didn’t mean to bum you guys out so much! I don’t want any sympathy and this is not a plea for advice (although if you wanted to share some with me I’d gladly take it on board). I’ve perfected my “I’m fine” mask for the times when it’s not appropriate to show how I’m feeling inside but I’ve decided not to wear that mask with you guys. I guess I just wanted to tell anybody else out there that’s feeling this way to just keep going and get outside. Do the things you love and sometimes you will need to force yourself to have a good time even though your gut instinct is to wallow in your misery. Sometimes you will have to prise yourself out of that bed as though you were anchored to it by your sadness and it will be worth it. I’m confident that I’ll start to feel better in a couple of weeks when my medication kicks in again but until then I’ve got to try to help myself.

On the up side, I should have some photos to share with you this week so stay tuned for that.

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