Tonight I want to take a break from my usual positive-type post and write about the struggle and the signs. I try to stay positive and blog things to reinforce Positive in my life and my thoughts; that's what Positive Warfare is all about, but lately it's gotten really hard. My posts may come across as cheerful, hopeful, or maybe even easy, but the truth is that fighting depression is not easy, but what choice does a person have... wallow in it and let it get worse, letting yourself drown in it? Or fight it every step of the way, even if it seems like it's an uphill battle?
F I G H T!
So I fight,
and claw, and slip
I slide down the slippery slope,
grasping desperately to climb back up
S L O W L Y
only to slip again
I have struggled with depression since childhood. I have what they call Reoccurring Chronic Depression that I have learned to fight, and yes I do win...eventually, but it does take time and work. The trick is to keep trying, no matter how much you want to throw in the towel.
Life goes on, and so must you!
But in mid December I was slammed face first into a wall that I am having difficulty overcoming. Right before Christmas we had to take Mom off of life support. I was the main decision maker as her Power of Attorney but we all agreed to abide by Mom's wishes, so basically it was a family decision (a decision which she spoke of many times for the past 6-7 years as well as including it in her Will). It was the hardest decision I have ever had to make, and I hope I never ever have to make a decision like that again!
I know it was what she wanted, and it was the right thing to do, and I was actually doing ok... until her birthday came along in February and gave me another whammy; I never recovered from it. I just can't shake it, and it's tearing me apart! I can't even describe the heartache and the loss that I feel, and the guilt, even knowing it was what she wanted. I replay that day over and over like a broken record, and I go back and forth arguing with myself that we did the right thing, but my heart and my brain are just not on the same page.
Here it is approaching mid March, and I have finally broke down and decided to get help. It's gone beyond what I can deal with by myself; its caused severe insomnia, anxiety, and mood swings, and back pain... and yes they are all interconnected. It's time for help, and oh, do I hate the idea, but I recognize the warning signs.
I went to my doctor who diagnosed me with severe depression, anxiety, and surprise surprise... high blood sugar (a new thing for me). The Doc thinks the high blood pressure is the result of the depression and anxiety and it will go away once the others are treated. She wrote me a prescription for an antidepressant/anti-anxiety, and something for high blood pressure, as well as recommended that I see a counselor.
I was a good patient and got both filled and began my new regime, however it became very obvious very quickly that the antidepressant was going to be a no-go. Nothing unusual there, my body does not respond well to antidepressants. I tried it through the weekend, but there is no way in hell that I can take this medication and work... I was a doped up zombie, listless, weak, I was even uncomfortable attempting to drive, and I had began having problems breathing (a listed side effect). So I stopped the anti-depressant BUT I made an appointment with a counselor for later this week. Yay, me.
Do you know the warning signs of severe depression; are you able to recognize when you need help?
Prolonged periods of a combination of the below listed symptoms, which nothing seems to help and may even seem to be worsening rather than improving:
Sadness or Unhappiness, Easily Irritated or Frustrated, Loss of Interest, Insomnia or Excessive Sleeping (or both), Changes in Appetite, Agitation/Restlessness, Slowed Thinking or Movements, Indecision, Distract-ability Decreased Concentration, Forgetfulness, Fatigue, Worthlessness, Guilt, fixated on the past, frequent thoughts of death or suicide, Crying Spells for no apparent reason, Physical Pain (headaches, back pain, etc).
And with all that being said, I leave you with this...
Depression can turn very serious, very quick.
KNOW THE WARNING SIGNS
Don't risk it, get help!