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David Brider [userpic]

Depression - an update-y thing

April 10th, 2013 (01:11 pm)

So...I think I mentioned this at the time, but a recap = a couple of months back I went to Redemption (for those not in the know, a wonderful sci-fi/fantasy media-based con that runs in Coventry every couple of years. Well worth going, IMO). I made the mistake of running out of anti-depressants shortly before I left, thinking I had a replacement strip, not being able to find it, and not being able to put a repeat presectiption request into the GPs until I got back, so going about a week without anti-depressants. As anyone will tell you - big mistake. What was it Churchill called it - the big black dog? It came back, with a wee bit of a vengeance.

Oh well. That's all in the past. Been back on the tablets now for the better part of a good month-and-a-half, with the occasional lapse (weekends are my worst times, but I'm getting at better at being vaguely organised), and now feeling not too bad at all. Felt a bit...weird yesterday; I have this thing where occasionally my brain feels like it's sort of shooting off in all possible directions at once; whether it's to do with my depression, some sort of anxiety thing, low self-esteem, or something else entirely, I have no idea, but it leaves me feeling totally utterly unable to concentrate. Anyway, yeah, that happened yesterday. Feeling much better today. It helps, I think, that spring seems to have well and truly sprung out there. It's quite a lovely day. (Dear Spring: you took your time getting here. Now stick around a bit.) Made the drive in quite pleasant, which considering I drive in up the M1 is quite an achievement.

For the past few months I've been attending a therapy group that runs at my local GP surgery. I'm determined to get something out of it (even though I'm not entirely sure what), but I must confess that a combination of reflecting on my own issues whilst listening to other people discuss theirs kind of means that I feel quite a bit more down afterwards than when I went in. Still, like I say - I'm going to work on this.

There's a couple of reflections I've had about the depression, at least in part because of the group sessions (although whether I'd have made them without the sessions, I don't know). Firstly, I think I've reached the point where I've separated "depression" from "cause of depression". If you'd asked me up until fairly recently, I'd have said, "I'm depressed because my ex-wife left me." But that's...not really true. The reality is, I'm depressed because chemicals in my brain are all screwed up and are screwing me up. There have been real life events that have been catalysts in bringing about my current state of mind, but singling out Jane leaving me isn't really accurate, nor is it entirely fair on her. I read once that depression can be brought about by any one of a number of life-changing events - divorce/breakup of a marriage is definitely one of them, but the thing I was reading said that so is marriage itself (it being a really stressful thing to happen). So is graduating, so is getting a new job, so is leaving a job, so is experiencing bereavement, so is starting a college course...anyway, I did the maths, and I'd had about seven life-changey catalyst trigger-y things happen to me within the space of a year. Yeah. No wonder I'm depressed. But like I said - I'm separating "depression" from "real-life events that caused it," because even though there's a lot of things in the past that may have contributed to it, they're in the past. Indeed, as far as Jane's concerned, unless I actively think about the unhappy times with her and the ultimate separation and divorce, most of the memories I have left are happy ones (because I've pretty much suppressed all the unhappy ones).

I guess what I'm trying to say - and not really being terribly articulate about it, sorry - is that I've come to regard the depression as Its Own Thing. And I'll deal with it on those terms. Whether that means taking (and, gorram it, remembering to take) the antidepressants, or working out coping mechanisms for when it strikes, or whatever.

But the other thing that really struck me at this Monday's session - and I think there's a danger of it apparently contradicting what I just said, but - there are still things that influence my mood. Particularly, memories of Jane, the desire I still have for some sort of closure, the desire for reconciliation with her and with some other people (two in particular) who I managed to upset but who (IMO) treated me far worse than I really deserved in response. The bottom line is, I'm looking for closure that in all likelihood I can never have; I'm looking for reconciliation with people who as far as I can tell have absolutely zero interest in reconciling with me.

And what that means is: I have to move on. I have to accept that I'm not going to get the closure and the reconciliation that I want. Other people might be able to help me with that process of moving on. I have a wonderful family, wonderful friends, a wonderful wife, all of whom have been there for me and hopefully will continue to be there and support me. But ultimately, if I'm not going to get the closure and reconciliation I want from the people who can actually give it to me (but won't), I have to be the one who, at some point, closes the door on the past and moves on to the future. Nobody else can do it for me. Acknowledging that - even though I don't feel ready to take that step, not quite, not just yet - feels like quite an important step forward in itself.

On a related note, I found this article really rather helpful.

Comments

Posted by: Jamie (lifefailsme)
Posted at: April 11th, 2013 08:00 am (UTC)
1 - Worried

Depression is a crippling and life altering thing, devastating and so difficult to express to those who don't understand. When in a wheelchair everyone can see, when wearing a pot for a broken leg, everyone can see, that they can't see some are sceptical about. A number of people, I believe, think it's like "being sad" or "being a bit fed up" because they don't understand the depths it can drag you into. I've been there, it's a place of deep despair nothing can match and to know the misunderstanding of society can makes it worse.

You wanting closure is a good step forward I believe, wanting to round something like this off and have it full loop gives a sense of completeness to us and can really help the struggle with such things.

Good luck and my best wishes to you about all this, I hope you find what you need to. Thanks for trusting me with this post.

Posted by: The Exile (tehexile)
Posted at: April 12th, 2013 12:56 am (UTC)
owl

I don't understand #17. Cheerfulness in games doesn't make me happy, it makes me paranoid, because sudden cheerfulness often devolves into very disturbing imagery, or else is made by Nintendo, who are still my enemy. Comedy doesn't make me laugh, because comedy is about things going wrong, and I'm scared of things going wrong.

Then again, I don't have actual depression, I have Asperger's but a lot of my intrusive thought patterns, which are getting worse, I have been told are the same as with depression.

I find the most helpful of the advice is to find a constructive project (one that I can actually finish, because it is *finishing* something that is a genuine challenge that causes genuine happiness), and to avoid people who make it worse. Not drinking all the caffeine I can find should probably help, but I've never found it to help. I don't sleep either way, and I can work better when I have caffeine. Alcohol during a low mood is a really bad idea though.

Edited at 2013-04-12 01:19 am (UTC)

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