Hey everyone! I feel I’ve been relatively forthcoming about my depression. My first novel, Unveiling the Sky, was based on my experiences. For a long while I was ashamed of it, and it still gives me pause to talk about it, especially in person. But I want to be better about that. I think silence is the greatest disservice to mental health disorders and I’d like to devote more posts to the subject.
After seeing this tag on Jenny in Neverland’s blog (you can read her thoughts here), I knew I wanted to participate.
What is your mental health issue?
Major Depression & Anxiety
Do you have medication and/or therapy?
Yes, I take bupropion twice a day. I have considered therapy, but I haven’t pursued it yet.
What therapy/medication have you tried and have any worked for you?
The medication I take helps tremendously. I can always tell when I’ve missed a dose. I haven’t tried much else though.
How long have you had problems for?
I wasn’t diagnosed and put on medication until the beginning of 2011 (I believe), but I was experiencing symptoms as early as 2009.
Do your family/friends know?
Yes. I believe some of my extended family is wary of it, but my immediate family and close friends know.
Does this affect your work and daily living?
Absolutely. I get incredibly anxious when trying new things. Most of the time I can’t eat before doing something new because I get so nervous I get sick. This has gotten a little bit better, but my depression still rules my life at times. While I love writing (and feel it’s my true passion), I do believe at times this has exacerbated my depression. I get down thinking about the possibility that my career as an author won’t amount to anything and that it’s pointless to keep going.
Two other symptoms that can cause problems are irritability and lack of concentration. When I worked in the food industry, I got irritated often, but my depression blew it way out of proportion. I even knew that it wasn’t appropriate, but I couldn’t help how enraged I felt. My inability to concentrate also affects my writing at times because I can’t sit still. In the infancy of my diagnosis, I would pace my room for hours because I was so unfocused.
What makes you feel calm?
Reading, writing, and playing with my dogs.
What do you do in crisis?
Unfortunately I don’t have many coping techniques. I rely heavily on my medication being effective. I’ve actually been having trouble with this for the last few months and I haven’t been able to do much. My doctor and I have discussed it recently and have upped the dosage of my medicine, but I am considering preparing a steady exercise routine because I know this has helped in the past.
*I do have a tattoo on my forearm that says “Still Is” from Charles Bukowski’s quote…
“It has been a beautiful fight… still is.”
I look at that when I’m struggling and it does help.
What advice would you give to others suffering?
Don’t be afraid to admit that you need help. Don’t be afraid to reach out. And PLEASE don’t think there is anything “wrong” with you. Talk to your friends and family about it. Drop it in normal conversation, even with people you don’t know, it’ll help normalize it. Allow yourself to have setbacks, it’ll happen and it’s okay. I promise.
What makes you smile?
Books, writing, my dogs, my family & friends, getting book-related mail, anything related to autumn and winter, organizational stores, and pajamas. I seriously love pajamas (particularly yoga pants) 😂
Describe your mental health issue in 5 words –
Frustrating, obnoxious, confusing, permanent, necessary