27 and a PhD

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Monthly Archives: April 2015

It’s still here. Alive and kicking

I didn’t know how long it would be since my last post admitting to myself and to the world that I have depression. I don’t know how far along I’ll get. I still get my bouts of not feeling, or sometimes feeling too overwhelmed by what I perceive as being too many stimuli. I guess the easiest way to compare it is to an insect that has been sprayed with bug killer. Constant signaling that eventually fries your brain. I feel a little fried. I’m not in the highest highs I was immediately after I came out of the intensive treatment, but I am not not feeling. So, in that sense I think I’m in a bit of a better place. But I sure can tell that I need to see a therapist soon (it is happening in the next few days).

I haven’t had anything major happen. I haven’t seen too much of my trigger (it’s a person, actually). And even when I’ve seen them, our interactions have been minimal and cordial.

I’ve been trying to keep busy at home. I’ve cooked a bit, and not just for me, but for the hubs too. I’ve managed to go outside and into the world and enjoy some things. But just like I mentioned above, sometimes the stimulus seems too much and I retreat. I remember seeing that in my husband, as he was getting better from his own battle with depression. And I’m hopeful I’ll get there.

I’m also getting support from another lab and its members. They’ve welcomed me and we’ve talked about the last few days and it’s been good.

But I can tell I’m not totally recovered and that this is a hell of a long trip to recovery. I’m a bit afraid of who I’ll become at the end of this (even though I’m well aware that depression is more of manageable thing, that it doesn’t completely go away) and of course, I am afraid of being in touch with my feelings. I can tell that today is a difficult day. There’s nothing in particular that I can think of that’s causing it to be difficult, but I recognize that I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed. Luckily I’ve talked to the hubs and I’m also reminding myself that I need to fight this battle little by little. I need to celebrate my accomplishments, because I’ve come a heck of a long way since a month ago. But it sure is a long road to recovery.

Apologies for the spottiness in appearances here and on Twitter. I’ll be OK, but I need a bit of time for me to regroup. Thanks.

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That moment I couldn’t feel anymore

A neglected blog. A sort of inactive twitter account. General feeling of meh. I would smile, but it wouldn’t last for long. Little sleep. Overeating. Gaining more than 10lbs in 6 months or less. Showing up to work, but feeling demoralized. Not wanting to get out of bed. Oversleeping on weekends. Taking naps even after sleeping for half a day. Not feeling up to anything. Clamming up. Avoiding people.

The list could go on and on. But that’s just a sampler of what was going on (or not) in my head for the last year (maybe even more).

My husband noticed that I started 2015 in a really bad place. I was anxious all the time. I was silent (very uncharacteristic). Every time I had a staff meeting I felt this sense of dread. I wasn’t finding excitement and happiness in my job, something that even under other stressful circumstances was sort of a constant.

He uttered the words. You are depressed, go see a therapist. And I couldn’t. I didn’t want to admit it to myself. I wasn’t showing the same signs that he did. I thought I had to be on the verge of crying every second to be depressed. Lack of feelings? Lack of enjoying stuff that would normally bring me tears to joy to my eyes? Nah, that couldn’t be depression. Plus, I was taking an anti-depressant to keep at bay my harsh PMS. I was already medicated. It couldn’t be.

Then I read this and this. And things started to make sense. I wasn’t feeling content, joyful. And if I thought I did, it didn’t last. I was like a zombie. I was going through the motions, but didn’t feel a thing. Not a single damn thing. That’s partly how depression manifested in me. That and a whole lot of anxiety due to some harsh things happening at work.

I contacted my regular physician. Since hon had been directly admitted to the psych hospital, and his therapist was there, I asked them to send in a referral to see the same guy. But they said they couldn’t, unless I was suicidal. Was I suicidal? I didn’t feel like creating a plan. It felt like too much work. But I was depressed. I was somewhat sure of it. My physician asked me to contact a special office at work where they do give you referrals to doctors outside the psych hospital. They also do a something akin to an intake interview, to determine what risk you pose to yourself or others.

It happened so fast. Early one morning I walked into the special office. 30 minutes letter I got my diagnosis: depression and anxiety. Through the roof. It was miracle I was still standing and hadn’t resorted to anything drastic. Of course I hadn’t done anything. I didn’t feel like it. I didn’t feel. At all. The only thing I thought I felt was dread and emptiness. I was a hollow blob, just going about my business. Trying to not burden anyone.

Instead of re-routing me to a counselor, I was referred to the psych hospital. I was to be taken in as a patient. I needed urgent treatment or something would break. I guess things were caught at the right moment.

I had a series of emails, calls and authorizations to take care of. I called my husband. He was just as surprised as I was. He sure thought I was depressed. But to the point of requiring immediate attention? Admission to the psych ward?

Two days later I was in. I was assigned a social worker, a psychiatrist and would see a nurse and receive intense treatment. Kind of a jump start.

I was very skeptical of how talking to the three of them, and eventually joining a group of like-minded fellow patients would do me any good. Had modern science and medicine produce a way to re-wire my brain? To make forget my traumas? Was I ready to face all the BS the would sure want me to bring to the surface? How would talking solve anything? It sure wouldn’t. Talking about not feeling would solve shit. I was damn sure of it.

I can tell you that after a few weeks in treatment, I am feeling again. And that is amazing.

to be continued ….

PS. I created a hashtag about my depression. Feel free to check it out.