Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Depression Party!

Today is Mental Health Blog Party Day. Did you bring the streamers? Fuck, well, me either.

Mental illness is one of these invisible diseases. Much like arthritis and lupus, others cannot tell that you are sick and often just plain out don't believe you. "It's all in your head," we are told. "You don't *look* sick." Someone said yesterday that mental illness is a disease, not a choice.

In the interest of this important day where we are all getting together to promote awareness, I will be candid. Well, even more candid than normal.

Most of you know that I suffer from depression, panic disorder and agoraphobia. Depression is severe sadness along with feelings of hopelessness and inadequacy. It is not just I am having a bad day or I'm so depressed because my dog died. Depression doesn't leave when you are done grieving and it certainly does not wait for something bad to happen to rear up. Panic disorder is an anxiety disorder where you get anxiety, or panic, attacks. Anxiety attacks are where you are so anxious about something that you can't think straight, you can't breathe, you can't function. And finally agoraphobia is defined as the fear of open spaces, but that is a little misleading. It's really the fear of leaving a safe place. A fear of going into a situation that will cause anxiety. Personally, I think it's just playing it smart. But I'm no MD.

Personally I'd rather have anxiety than depression any day. With anxiety, at least I get shit done. When I am depressed, forget about it. The only thing I want to do is lie in bed and not move.

I refer to depression as a black hole. When you are sad normally, it feels like there is a black cloud following you, right? Depression is more like falling into a black hole. It surrounds you, gnaws on you, keeps you prisoner in it's deep recesses. When the depression is really severe, I feel like the darkness is inside me. It is actually coursing through my veins. It has tainted my blood. It is times like these that cutting, thoughts of suicide and hospitalization come up. I have never been hospitalized but I've been extremely close. Like one day away close.

People always comment on how happy I am, or how patient or how calm and down-to-earth I am. It's very deceiving. I put on a pretty good act, if I do say so myself. Being depressed or panicked can be embarrassing. People say things like just cheer up. Just calm down. Just snap out of it. As if it is that easy.

Do you know what I am talking about? Can you relate? I hope you can't, but if you can you should talk to someone about it. At the very least, you can email me. I don't judge. There is no equal to professional help, though. I see a psychiatrist who gives me meds to help stabilize me and a therapist who helps me through life. They are indispensable to me.


  1. Excellent post! Yay for talking about it!

  2. When you're standing at the egde of the abyss it's good to know that there are people around you that undrestand and can pull you back.

    Just remember, one day at a time, one problem at a time, one piece of sanity back at a time. :)

  3. I love this post. I always feel like Eeyore with his cloud. It follows me around or the shadow that is stalking me where ever I go.

    Frannie, is right though. One day at a time.....


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