I meant to write this blog a few days ago, but you know how life is, you suddenly realize 3 days have gone by in the blink of an eye and you are exhausted and have no clean socks left. The freezing cold weather here in “sunny South Africa” hasn’t helped either. That and I’ve been studying so much I’m sure theories and case studies and facts are pouring out my ears.
I was going to blog about ways to help deal with depression , like I said, some ‘simple day to day activities that can help the sadness’ – then when I re read that it sounded very self help book like and it annoyed me. I hate pretentious self help books – “ways to beat your depression in 5 easy steps”. No. As if it was that easy.
This blog is more than just about depression, I want to cover bi polar and epilepsy too, but that will all come later.
Right now, I want to focus on what it’s like. What it feels like to go through the motions of depression and bi polar. I will be giving two accounts from two different people, one who suffers from depression and the other bi-polar. The third account will be from the perspective of someone who has watched their loved one go through a depression. Here they are, completely unedited and raw and to the point:
Depression – I’ve suffered from depression since I was little but was only diagnosed at the age of 16. I’ve pretty much been struggling with it as I never really accepted it and always thought I was a mess up because I had depression. I have been on many different anti depressants but have finally settled on my cymbyalta, which makes the most difference for me. The last 6 years have been the most rough patch for me, growing up, finishing school and trying to find meaning in life, but I have finally learnt to accept that just because I have a chemical imbalance it doesn’t mean I can’t do what I want to do, and be who I want to be, and that with help I can get through depression and actually live a great life. I have learned not to bundle everything up inside and to reach out to those who really want to help. I hope this story can help someone out there.
Bi-polar – When first diagnosed I was insulted for two reasons … firstly how dare they say my brain is broken, and secondly if it has to be broken why can’t it be because of something cooler than Bipolar 2 disorder. I tried to argue that it was not me at all, having been around people with Bipolar a lot in my life I felt like I knew what it was … long periods of depression and then the opposite of periods of manic or as I say excited periods for a while, I told them that if ever I am depressed its maybe for a day and then I am over it as though it never mattered.
Then they (well she, but I will say they to imply the institution) introduced me to what you call ultradian cycles in Bipolar two, pretty much rapid changes in mood, so to explain, in a day I can wake up super early, clean EVERYTHING and find ways to keep myself busy (often not good ways), I feel my body shake with energy and end up running everywhere and having random outburst just to release some of that energy, I feel like there is so much of it that I could crack my boyfriends ribs if i hugged him hard enough like I want to. This being my ‘manic’ phase can last for a few hours instead of the norm of days or weeks at a time and after a few hours I can turn to wanting to peel the skin off my body because I am so disgusted with life and myself.
Some other symptoms (if you want to call them that) are major aggression, irrational, extreme thinking (he hasn’t spoken to me in a few hours, I wonder who he is sleeping with…) everything is extreme and I mean everything! Easily distracted or trying to be everywhere, like your energy oozes from your body and fills the place around you. I read that often people with Bipolar can’t finish things they start because their brain is in a rush in a way, after I read this I looked at my bookshelf finding 18 books that have book marks in them half way through… *hand over eyes* something that never occurred to me before.
I know things aren’t good up there when I’m sick all the time even when I can’t think why. I forget what my point was but I suppose to share my experience thus far with others is the point
Outsider perspective to depression – The following is an editorial on my experience with depression and the disastrous effects it has on a relationship.
Right after school, I fell in love with a girl that was not only beautiful, but was intellectual, funny and optimistic about life. We dated for two years and a lot changed during that time. My dad has always been suffering from depression, but I guess I was so used to it that I didn’t know what to expect when something like that overcomes someone for the first time.
Strange things started happening between us. Arguments, full on screaming matches etc. It was never like this and it was definitely a shock to the system. Things started to happen to her as well. Missing work was often the case, she became a hypochondriac, and she didn’t seem to care about the bare basics of life. Things like keeping your room tidy became unimportant. Basic hygiene was also thrown out of the window.
I can’t describe how watching someone you love change like that throws your balance off. I was scared for her and started to doubt myself as a boyfriend. I was very strong on giving her advice, and keeping her out of harms way. I watched her make decisions that I advised against that changed her whole life. She was kicked out of the place where she was staying with a roommate and she overdosed on medication.
I broke up with her shortly after major incidents happened because I just couldn’t face being in a relationship that was never going to go anywhere. It crushed me to the point where I didn’t want to meet another girl again. It hurt me more to find out that she was engaged to another man three weeks later. Depression is a killer, and if it weren’t for it, im very sure we’d be getting married ourselves. I think about it every single day of my life. But hey, that’s just my story..
As you can see by the above accounts everybody re acts and goes through the motions in completely different ways. It is hard to understand bi polar or depression… you need to live it. Either as a sufferer or an observer.
Depression is a dark passenger (ok, ok, I watch a lot of Dexter) it is there. No escaping it. Bi polar is a game, and very often there is no winning. Swinging from sadness to happiness sometimes on a daily basis (as one of the stories show) is as exhausting as swinging through moods over months at a time. It all leaves you with battered self esteem, torn up emotions and a mind that just circles and circles and just doesn’t stop. That’s how I can explain it so far. It just never stops. Like an endless roulette wheel, where will the ball end next? The black – darkness, or the red – exhausting mania?
Well, that’s a little depressing, yeah. Haha. Explaining depression and bi polar is depressing. Haha.
Anyway, just wanted to do this “what it’s like” blog for anybody who is interested in hearing different perspectives , as mine can be exhausting and one sided.
Please, if you would like to share and have me post it up here or just get your experiences out there, leave a comment or you can email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
That’s the point of my blog. I want it to be more than just my meaningless ramblings. I’m not alone in this. Neither are you.
I thought a nice touch would be to post the lyrics of a song called ‘what its like’ by Everlast.
Sorry this post is so long!
We’ve all seen the man at the liquor store beggin’ for your change
The hair on his face is dirty, dreadlocked and full of mange
He ask the man for what he could spare with shame in his eyes
Get a job you fuckin’ slob’s all he replied
God forbid you ever had to walk a mile in his shoes
‘Cause then you really might know what it’s like to sing the blues
Then you really might know what it’s like
Mary got pregnant from a kid named Tom who said he was in love
He said don’t worry about a thing baby doll I’m the man you’ve been dreamin’ of
But three months later he said he won’t date her or return her call
And she sweared god damn if I find that man I’m cuttin’ off his balls
And then she heads for the clinic and she gets some static walkin’ through the doors
They call her a killer, and they call her a sinner, and they call her a whore
God forbid you ever had to walk a mile in her shoes
‘Cause then you really might know what it’s like to have to choose
Then you really might know what it’s like
I’ve seen a rich man beg
I’ve seen a good man sin
I’ve seen a tough man cry
I’ve seen a loser win
And a sad man grin
I heard an honest man lie
I’ve seen the good side of bad
And the down side of up
And everything between
I licked the silver spoon
Drank from the golden cup
Smoked the finest green
I stroked the fattest dimes at least a couple of times
Before I broke their heart
You know where it ends
Yo, it usually depends on where you start
I knew this kid named Max
He used to get fat stacks out on the corner with drugs
He liked to hang out late at night
Liked to get shit faced
And keep pace with thugs
Until late one night there was a big gun fight
Max lost his head
He pulled out his chrome .45
Talked some shit
And wound up dead
Now his wife and his kids are caught in the midst of all of his pain
You know it crumbles that way
At least that’s what they say when you play the game
God forbid you ever had to wake up to hear the news
‘Cause then you really might know what it’s like to have to lose
Then you really might know what it’s like
Take care for everyone