Anxiety Level: High

I am at home after almost two months and let’s just say that it is demanding. Not that my family is to be blamed for that, really. I was having anxiety problems since Thursday and no way to deal with it in healthy way, like crying or trying to solve the problems that trigger me. I was at work on Thursday, eleven hours dealing with customers in bookshop, no privacy, just smiles and helpful welcoming attitude. And it got worse yesterday, I faced some mistakes I made, in various areas, I got depressed and anxious, but couldnt deal with it, because I came home and my mum wanted to see me and talk to me…

Don’t get me wrong, my mum has been great these days. She huggs me, makes me feel welcome and loved, she was interested in the wedding rings I liked, my work, how I feel, if I’m ok or my problems got worse… Really, she has been loving so much that I’m almost ashamed for feeling this way. I don’t know what triggered me, I guess many things just appeared, but I just feel ready to explode, full of fear that I’m trying to keep at bay. It didn’t help that one of my facebook friends tried to explain to me, that we are in the third world war and Europe is just blind to see it and that there are some prophecies about doom or what… That was the last thing I need it to get over the line, because after that I needed to medicate myself to gain control again. I still feel afraid and anxious, but at least it’s not so overwhelming.

I need to write a short paper to school and note down some points for my diploma thesis, so that my supervisor can go through it and decide if I can continue in that direction. Because I work almost full time and I still need to finish my studies in autumn, which does not scare me at all, really, absolutely not, why would you think I’m terrified of that…

So that’s my vent for today, I hope it will easy some of the tension in me. I have some other things I want to write about, but I lack energy and ability to concentrate. I thought I would do so much work today, but I guess not.

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Marinashutup: What They Don’t Tell You About Depression (and my commentary)

Today I’m going to share two videos made by a youtuber Marinashutup, where she talks about her experience with depression. I agree almost completely with her and I will comment more down after the videos.

The first video is true in the sense that after starting taking antidepressants, you can experience a lot of energy and positive feelings, because your brain is on fire, metaphorically speaking. I know this, because I experienced it too, after taking the pills several weeks, I felt like I was bathing in sunshine and positive feelings every single second. It was great, but it didn’t last forever. Back then my psychiatrist told me that this is normal experience, way to kill my buzz… It is kind of naive, but I like the numbers she mentions, about the number of people affected and treated. It’s scary and sad.

I agree a lot with Marina with what she says in the second video. It is hard to admit to yourself, that you’re not ok. Getting diagnosed and treated is not easy, there is a lot of stigma. I mentioned in my previous post that I waited too long because I was afraid of the label “mentally ill”. And also, because I read about this, of course, but I had never thought it could happen to me. What she calls a relapse in the video, it’s what I call a roller-coaster in my blog. I go up and I go down and it can be really exhausting. In my case, the relapse can take from several hours to several days or weeks. Usually I can spot it, I get too tired, too emotional, too restless and anxious, sad and feel really bad… Really, after years with this disorder, I usually get the message. I can even spot it in my blog, the very bad and sad posts I put here, those are the moments when I relapse. It’s not permanent, I get back eventually, but it is exhausting.

I also like that she stresses the problem of disbelieve. Mental problems tend to be dismissed, especially in teenagers. I wrote a post, which you can find here, when I was really sad and emotional after reading a discussion on a page dealing with mental disorders. I admit, when I read about people dealing with similar issues, I get teary a lot. It hurts me that so many people go through this, nobody deserves this! And saying to them they just made it up? That’s the worst, don’t do that. Somehow, some people think I need to flaunt my disorder to feel special, yeah… It feels really special to know my brain is not working as it should, I feel like a totally  special person.

I think Marina makes good points and I admire her courage to share her experience.

Helpful Advice

One of the things that can always make me mad, or miserable, is when I hear people talking about depressions as it’s not really a problem. I guess it’s because people don’t talk about it much and we use reference to depression in connection with being just really tired or feeling not very happy because of something. So what people think is that depression means just being really sad or tired or not being in the right mood. Which it is, but on much higher level that any normal person normally reaches. As a result the real depression is diminished by people around us, because we are thought to be “just sad, just overreacting, exaggerating, we should try to be more positive” etc etc etc. And when you already feel like a piece of shit (excuse my language) and someone comes and tells you this, it makes you even worse, because you know you are the worst person and you’re also apparently really weak and good for nothing. Because if you’re not, then for sure you would be able to as happy and able to live your life as people around you…

All this is wrong and really does so much more harm then good. Yes, it is good to learn to be more positive, but when you diminish feelings of depressed person, you’re just making them feel worse. I know because I’ve been there. I had friends telling me that if I was really depressed I would have killed myself and not talked about it. They were unable to understand that I was trying to reach for help. Well, they weren’t friends for much longer, but that was pretty long ago, although I don’t think I will ever forget it. But I have friends, friends now, who didn’t know about my problems, and I heard them saying that antidepressants are for nothing and how bad it is and how they don’t believe it all. And I sat there, listening, feeling really awkward, thinking “Should I say something? Should I try to explain, talk to them? Should I embarassed both of us?” Even my parents have problems coming to terms with my illness. When I told them about my depressions last year, my mum kept asking me for months if I think I will ever be ok or if I have to take pills all my life or what I plan to do when I get pregnant…

It was so frustrating! I don’t know answers for any of that and it scares me to think about it! Also it feels pretty weird to just talk about depressions in real life with my friends, because of all these opinions around. So please, respect depressed people around you.

And here are two comics from Robot Hugs to explain that depression is just an illness as any other and helpful advice might not be as helpful as lot of people think it might be (click on the picture to make it bigger).

2013-11-21-Helpful Advice        2014-06-24-More Helpful Advice

What Was I Waiting For?!

When I was fifteen or so, I realized that the “strange” feelings, thoughts and emotions I had had for some years already, are depressions. I felt terrible, because I was taught that I should be strong and should be able to deal with everything. And I wasn’t. I was eighteen, almost nineteen, when I went to psychiatrist and got antidepressants. I was twenty-three, when I decided to visit psychologist.

I was twenty-three just about nine months ago… And things got much better after that! I can’t keep asking myself “what took you so long?!”. I could have been so much better now, if I had started years ago, as my boyfriend wanted me to. To be honest, sometimes I get pretty angry at myself, but on the other hand, what was I supposed to do, I was fifteen when I realized the nature of my problems. I was ashamed to tell my parents, because I knew they wanted me to be strong and I thought they had enough problems with my older sister and her kind of emotional teenage years and just emotional life. I didn’t want them to have more problems, I wanted them to love me and I thought they wouldn’t, if they knew. I was ashamed of myself. I wanted to kill myself when I was fifteen, because I thought I didn’t deserve to live in this world. I tried so hard to fit in my class, to fit among people, but I always felt apart. I always felt much older, I felt like I’m not even from this world. I felt such pain inside and I didn’t know how to handle it. I was fifteen! At this age, I also “learnt” from my “friends” that I shouldn’t trust people. I had a group of friends, I thought it was the kind of group that stays forever. I tried to told them, I tried to explain, but all I heard was that I was too touchy and close and they turned away. They spoke ill about me behind my back, they bullied me and to this day I remeber one thing one of them told me…he said that if I really wanted to kill myself, I would do it and not only talk about, that I just wanted attention. Such thing really helps a mind that can store all those bad things… And it really “helped” me to think that I can tell something like that to my parents.

I finally went to psychiatrist for the pills when I was eighteen and legally adult, so I didn’t have to tell my parents about it. The pills helped, they helped a lot, but I despised myself even more for being weak, for not being able to deal with it on my own. The guy I dated at the time, I think he actually broke up with me because of my illness. I know he had hard time being with me, I was emotional and all, but in anger, he also said things I remeber to this day. I know he said one day, that he is tired because he had to spend his time worring what I was going to do without him guarding me. I have new boyfriend now, well, “new” as we are almost four years together, but to this day, I’m afraid he will leave me, because he will realize that he can’t live with me, that I’m too much trouble, too much worrying, too much emotions and just too much… I know I’m hurting him with these doubts, but after all this and much more, I have really hard time believing I’m worth all this trouble I cause.

I went to psychologist after I almost broke down before graduating university. Me and my boyfriend argued a lot, I was nervous, it was just too much… I started cutting myself, which was something I hadn’t done for a really long time. I felt so much pain I wasn’t able to stand it. I felt like it’s going to cut me from inside. I stopped caring if anyone see the cuts. I actually showed to them to one of my college friends, who said in a very disapproving voice that I didn’t need to do that. Yeah, like she knew anything… So I went to the psychologist and almost broke into tears there. I was just so exhausted, to this day I have no idea how I was able to study for my exams, pass them and actually pass them well. I wished someone would come and place me into some hospital, where I wouldn’t have to do anything and people would just tell me what to do, because thinking was so much trouble…

But, things got better, I even talked to my parents and told them the truth. They took it pretty well, it was hard for them, it’s still pretty hard, but our relationship have gotten much much better since and I’m grateful for that. And I keep thinking, why didn’t I go to a psychologist before? I knew where to go, I just felt like I have to deal with it on my own, otherwise I’m weak. I get pretty angry at myself fromt time to time, because I could have saved myself so much trouble and pain, if I just decided to go to this psychologist earlier. I know it’s something I need to forgive myself and I’m trying, but…

So if you’re out there, having problems, please don’t wait and find some help. The pain it’s not worth the waiting and there are qualified people, who can help you. I know it’s hard, I know nobody wants to admit these problems, but please, do it for youself. Things will get better, you will get better!