Tag Archives: depression

Recovery: Taking a different perspective towards Depression

There are several diagnoses that includes depression in the DSM, i.e. Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), dysthymia, Bipolar disorder etc, they are just useful in helping you identify what is the core difficulty you’re suffering.

Despite having a rough diagnosis of Bipolar II, I like to think of my rather moderate depression as just a collection of unpleasant sensations. Mostly, I experience a constant low mood, my heart feels empty and cold and it seemed like I will never get out of the rut and it will be a vicious cycle.

There are better ways to view depression or your state of unpleasantness as I would call it. Over a period of experiencing on and off depressive states, I find these perspectives useful.

1)  There’s no point worrying, for you cannot predict the future.

“It’s a metaphor, see: You put the killing thing right between your teeth, but you don’t give it the power to do its killing.”   (Source: The Fault in our Stars – movie [book by John Green])

When worry / anxiety comes, acknowledge that it is there but adopt the perspective of Augustus Waters in the movie The Fault in Our Stars, “Don’t give it the power”. Brush it off, drop it.

What you WILL lose if you worry is Time. Anxiety uses a lot of your time.

A personal experience: When I get into a depressive state for the night after a few productive days, I fear it will haunt me over and over again. But it’s a FACT that we cannot predict the future, I don’t even know if I will still be alive tomorrow, the next hour or minute.

2) It’s just a collection of symptoms

Your diagnosis you get from your psychiatrist or psychologist and the similar words countless articles on the Internet tells you “It is a serious condition that needs medical attention” etc may scare the hell out of you initially, just as I did.

A personal experience: Back and forth I try to find out if there is actually a problem with me, as I do not understand why I get into intense episodes of low mood and confusion but later feeling ok and have a gut feeling or perception that I was faking it.

3) It’s a daily routine of picking yourself up

It takes patience and perseverance. Just like the economy, it has its peaks and troughs, it’s like a sine curve, it goes up and down then up again.

With depression, it may be very difficult to envision hope and a future when the dark clouds of sadness hover over our heads. Some of the people with depression take medications such as Cymbalta, Zoloft or Lexapro to help cope with the symptoms, but know that you will not be cured of depression by just obediently popping pills like your doctor told you to.

You can take charge the minute you decide to. Be an active fighter, don’t let transient periods of low moments/horrible feelings/delusions or whatever you face bog you down. Soothe yourself down, learn to cope with them if they appear to stick with you most of the time.

About the stigma:

In the country I live in, there are much stigma surrounding the subject of mental illness or people seeing psychiatrist. I feel offended when my peers talk about people being crazy if he/she has schizophrenia. I am unable to explain to them as I would not like to disclose that I go to therapy and take meds. When I recover, I want to become an advocate and not be afraid to share my story. They can judge all they want and I don’t care.

I cannot guarantee you changing your perspectives like I’ve listed above you will entirely be free of symptoms, but I can assure you that you can be hopeful again, you can be a fighter and you can learn to cope with support from your loved ones.

 

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When is it going to end?

The dark clouds of depression seemed to always loom over my head. It comes for a moment, a period of time, could be hours, days, sometimes weeks and months. I don’t know if my life is going to be full of depression episodes, it seem like it won’t go away.

I am lost. I am now aware that I began to lose interest in things. Things I do I don’t know why I do them. There’s no meaning in it. It’s like me going through daily motions.. like a robot, a soulless robot. I hardly feel anymore. All that is within me is a heavy rock over my heart, constantly pressurizing it, my inner being.

Wrecked: Emotionally destroyed

Many times, I can’t prevent depressive feelings from rushing into me, into my soul, deep within it stirs. Tonight is one of those nights… Just hours ago, I was just elated for Im starting my university life officially tomorrow. I can’t wait~!! But never did I knew, after a few hours of Movie Marathon straight, it’s as if my mind was playing tricks on me.

It was as if my mind was playing TRICKS on ME!!!

It’s so UNFAIR, my soul shouted and wailed from inside of me..
I feel so down all of the sudden, I feel things are going dejavu / repeating again!!
I think of cutting myself again, I haven’t thought of doing it or done it in many many months, but now the feelings rushed back into me, deeply I feel hurt.

I am afraid, always overwhelmed in fear during these moments, not in those happy moments of mine where it seems like the new world is so so overwhelmingly POSITIVE, Nothing could break my will to be strong and to hang on and to see a positive silver lining at every adversity, every trouble.

But WHY??? Why does that seem impossible when these FAMILIAR, astonishingly FAMILIAR feelings come back?
They are intruding my every being as of now, just like it did before, mostly in the same depth… YET there is nothing I could do to stop the feeling from destroying my inner soul by the minute.

As much as I try to tell myself, “It’s okay, it’s gonna be alright, soon, it will be”, I STRUGGLE during that whole duration…. I feel hopeless, beyond help, and at the same time wishing I was no longer here, to end it all.

It seemed that the sadness wasn’t the type where it is at the CRAZILY sad till the CORE, BUT Because it has been SO SO consistent, and at the same severity, same type of gush of the emotions invading me, MY SOUL, MY HEART no longer can stand it anymore.

It’s been a really happy time where I have been living my few weeks literally anticipating the bright future I may have in UNI, the great experience etc etc..

BUT NOW IT SEEM TO BE ALL GONE>>>>>> NO one knows if I will get any better, because simply they don’t know I am having a problem. BUT I AM SO SO DEPRESSED AND FEELING SO HOPELESS to the point where I can’t even read a single paragraph of the book I bought by Anthony Robbins : Awaken the Giant within.

I am totally messed up!! How am I gonna help others with mental / emotional issues when I am unable to solve my own as well???? Someone SAVE me

Visit to the Pdoc

this day is the day where I am supposed to see my Dr again.

During this appointment, I had many things to tell him.  About my crazy hyper cool yeah mode at work which just happened out of the sudden… and also the days where I don’t feel like doing anything.

As usual, he offered possible explanations to my complaints. Making as if things are normal. As in it’s normal to feel restless, not wanting to work on some days, while passionate to do what I do on other days.

I questioned his diagnosis this time, asking him if he was sure it wasn’t a pure depression.  I forgot his response, as I was just out-of-it at that time.  I often get distracted in sessions.  Just like my counselling sessions before.

Frankly speaking, i wanted myself to be able to stop medications and all those sessions a.s.a.p. !! It makes me feel dependent on medications.  But i just knew I would be desperately wanting to go back on meds when I start to face problems particularly emotional problems or make-believed problems.

I seem to always want to understand everything I deal with on a daily basis.  It’s like something I NEED TO ACHIEVE.  unsure why.

When I told Dr I called a helpline for some comfort during my sadness, he said that he doubt how they would be able to help.  As I contacted a clinical psych to ask for charges, it turn out to be 300 over bucks for a one-hour session.  Even though I should be able to claim the money, at this point of time, I do not see a need for that yet.

What was even more depressing and making me suspect his motives is that he said it could take months and months for me to get to the level of “normal” that I want. He asked me what I expected from him,  I don’t know.. Now I think of it, I would probably say Miracle.

I got to learn to be patient, he says.  I don’t want to!  I just need to get back on track ASAP and do what I love, at my very best!

I also asked him if my history of depression and this thing now would affect my future employment. He believes not as seeking medical help is a private matter, NO ONE needs to know.  I agree to this too!  I CHOOSE WHO and WHEN to tell.  No one else can tell me otherwise.

What I forgot to tell him was that the medications seriously affect my concentration. I could not focus on driving nor playing the piano.  I have a piano exam soon in March.  I got to focus which I hardly can with the meds playing around with my brain.

FInally, I got my prescription for Seroquel and Lamictal at the same doses again. This time, surprisingly, he charged higher fee of 120 bucks compared to its usual 90 bucks consultation. it was 45-50 minutes long. Not sure why he charges at a higher rate, didn’t bother to ask at that time either.

Tada, that’s all

Messy Me

Overwhelmed with fear and sadness

I FUCK LIFE!!!! WONT YOU MOOD SWINGS and BP2 LEAVE ME ALONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I AM SO TIRED, I CANT SEEM TO DO ANYTHING RIGHT darn it!!! Another hours of suffering… that will never end. What’s the POINT!!! look at the bright side. what bright side? You feel a little ok now right? Then it’s gonna be fine. You always do get fine. I will be soon..

Today is yet another day where I feel the downs again.  I just am disappointed in my inability to predict what my mood will be in the next moment.  I don’t know, really.

I waited for a time where I could have my privacy. I called a local helpline, not putting any expectations, just calling hoping for someone to lean on, who will listen to me.

As usual, the beginning of the conversation while calling a helpline is full of fear.  I trembled as I try to explain my condition to the stranger at the line on the other side of the phone.

I felt comfort as the person emphatise with my condition.  She seemed to be able to comprehend what I was saying.  I felt relieved.  After 1 hour of talk, she gave me some tips to cope with my overwhelming moments of depressive states.

I slept the night feeling peaceful. 

imageLife is a rocky road..

mood swings are again troubling me..  Just the day before yesterday, I was Crazy happy as an intern, at a local news firm.  I was given an assignment involving research. I spent 4 hours working on it and finally got it done.  Yesterday, I had a music concert to perform in, but I was really unhappy.  Unsure what’s wrong with my moods, but seriously I don’t feel good.

the concert was a huge success, towards the end my mood brighten up.

removing the make up was tedious though.

Today. Was equally a bad day. I feel really upset, sad n disappointed in myself.

i feel I can’t breathe. I feel sick, unwell…

one minute I feel slightly okay, one minute I feel so consumed by depression… I struggle with the inner pain, it consumes my being, my soul felt crushed for the whole situation of being in the whirlpool — of constant suffering.. Mental suffering.

just a while ago, few months back. I thought things will get better and so it did.

I’m afraid.  As I go to work everyday, I fear myself breaking down again.  I seem to be constantly aware of what’s going on inside of me. The emotions, are so obvious yet so difficult to part with.

Not sure of why, I seem to desperately telling other people about my difficulties.. 

Am I trying to seek attention? I don’t know.. But what I know for certain is that these sad, flat feelings and conflicted mind, seems to be repeating over and over again.. When will they end? And if they do end, what will happen to me? Will I change into a totally different person?

it sucks to feel depressed while working, pressured to deliver Work of certain quality and standard. I’m tired, of feeling all these feelings. No one guides me to the help I need although I am already on medications

Journey in Therapy #1 : Background story

This is the beginning of my story, describing my journey in counselling in year 2013, starting March ’13 and ended November ’13.

That is a 9 months long journey, haha, me giggling here, because it is the same number of months for pregnancy lol.

Anyway,

An Introduction: 

High school

Towards the end of year 2012, I was in my final year of high school / secondary school (as we call it here).  It was an important year as I was going to take my public examination at the end of the year.  We call it a “Passport” to anywhere you want to go.  High school certificate was the requirement for any job out there that does not need much qualification beyond that level.

– The trial exams

Put it in simple terms, I screwed up the exams.  I was in the best class in the whole form.  I was in Science stream, aspiring to become a doctor.  I was panicking throughout the examinations, I remember clearly, I couldn’t handle my most confident subject, English.  Now, recollecting the memories, I feel the anxiety.  I was in a mess.

– Doctor’s visit

I was going crazy.  I was (still sorta am) a perfectionist.  I was very very anxious, I couldn’t really handle the emotions, needless to say the exams.  It was horrendous.  I got to a point where I couldn’t take it anymore, I asked my parents to bring me to a doctor, someone, whoever, who can help me get better.

– GP’s office

Initially, my parents were considering to bring me to my younger sister’s school counselor, but somehow it was a Sunday.  And I didn’t want to do anything… So, my dad was searching online, desperately finding any GPs who work on Sundays.  Finally he found one.  We went.  And I recalled, I was crying and crying in the lady doc’s office, telling her how I screwed every single test, I couldn’t study or remember anything I read etc.  She then gave my parents a card, referring me to a psychiatrist.

– Pdoc’s office

I went to visit this Pdoc (slang for psychiatrist).  He was friendly. But after my complaint about how crazy I was during the exams, he insisted that I take medications.  And so I did.  It was May 16, 2012.

I remembered how apo-lorazepam calmed me down instantly and miraculously.  Then came in Lexapro into my system for the first time.  It didn’t work.  Pdoc suggested a change in medication, saying that it takes a few tries to find a right one.  Next was Cymbalta  for my depression & anxiety and Ritalin for my focus and concentration.

– Sessions

The Pdoc therapy / med consulting sessions were always pretty long.  I appreciated that he’d spend a lot of time with his patients.

– The turning point for the worse

The medications was working, but not as well as I wanted them to.  I emailed Pdoc saying I feel better off without the meds.  And I have stop taking them, only taking them whenever I feel like it.  He replied saying I should not stop the meds as the good effect will be lost.  I didn’t like him.  I then terminated treatment hence stop taking the meds.

– The research

Because this Pdoc didn’t tell me anything about what’s wrong with me, or how can I help myself etc.. He practically sighed most of the session too.  Hence, I began my extensive research on mental disorders, then it went to psychiatric drugs, then Psychiatry and Psychology specifically on therapies.  During those months, those were my only reading materials and the only subjects that interest me.

– Life turning out well

I went for Pdoc visit from May to July.  Since then, I joined a cell group at church and had many friends there.  I felt loved for the first time.  At church, I felt peace and comfort.  God saved me.  I was healed.

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