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Posts Tagged ‘sad’

.AOTW. .The D Word.

This is quite ironic, I felt, seeing as though I’m doing a psychology degree…

The D Word (depression).  I’ve been suffering from it quite severely for a long time.  Two months ago I hit rock bottom and finally knew I needed to get help.

I hadn’t experienced any trauma, injury, bereavement or any other kind of major life stressor that usually triggers an onset of depression but for the last 18 months + I’ve just had this sadness.  Sadness that has been looming over my world like a dark rain cloud and for no apparent reason.  I have a wonderful family who I live with whilst going to Uni and I have a great boyfriend who I have been with forever!  Why am I sad, then? I always wonder.  I have a feeling it derived from sixth-form.  I had to stay back a year due to failing my exams and it was the loneliest time of my life.  Although I left there with good grades and acceptance into my chosen University, this sadness or loneliness never seemed to go away.

I had good days and bad days.  I found it hard to sleep at night because I felt sad and often cried.  I would finally drift off around 3/4am and wouldn’t wake up until 12pm the next day.  I was always tired and unmotivated and started to have the urge to just stay in bed.  Some days I wouldn’t even want to have a shower.  Sometimes I didn’t want to speak to or see anyone.  I had terrible mood-swings.

Words to describe how I felt: SAD, down, low, unmotivated, lazy, tired, like a loser, guilty, ashamed.  I would pity others and get sad for no reason.  I felt like a freak, someone not normal.  I didn’t belong in this world.

The thing is though, no-one knew how I felt.  The only person I mentioned it to was my boyfriend – and I only told him half of it.  I was ashamed at how I felt and was (am) very good at hiding the extremity of my feelings.  I only cried and let it all out when alone in my room.  I blagged my ‘not-wanting to get out of bed’ on my late sleeping pattern.  I didn’t explain how I can’t sleep so late due to my constant worrying and crying at night.  I’m a very proud person, which I know isn’t always a good thing.  Mostly though, I knew it would really upset my mom if she knew how down I was.  It’s hard to understand unless you’ve been there.

I was ashamed and felt like a fraud – how could I possibly explain my feelings when I don’t appear to have anything to feel sad about?  How do I tell someone without coming across as a pathetic attention-seeker who’s just feeling sorry for herself?  No-one had died!  I had my health!  Why was I doing this to myself?  It wasn’t until I did a psychology module on depression at Uni that I realised it wasn’t my fault.  It was an imbalance in the chemicals and hormones in my brain.  I was lacking serotonin.  That’s all well and good, I thought; but I still feel sad…

My depression took a serious turn for the worse in a week in December last year.  I was behind on all my Uni work; I’d missed loads of lectures because I was too sad to get out of bed.  I didn’t want to leave my house.  I was disgraced at myself.  I didn’t care whether I lived or died.  Although I wouldn’t have self-harmed or committed suicide, I really didn’t value my life anymore.  I just didn’t care what happened to me.  I don’t know what was wrong with me, I just hit rock bottom and got into a vicious cycle of sleeping, eating, crying and going hungry.  It got even worse when I forgot I had two exams the following week.  I should have been sitting two very important papers but instead I was in bed, sleeping.  I didn’t intentionally miss them; I’d had them marked in my diary for months.  I was just in such a mess that these two immensely important exams slipped my mind.  I found out when my friend text me asking where I was and why I didn’t attend the exams.  I felt sick.  I thought this is it!  On top of everything I’m going to fail my second year at Uni!  I screamed into my pillow and decided enough was enough.

I went to see my doctor.  I told her everything I’d never told anyone before.  I broke down to a total stranger in a small room.  She was shocked as my record showed nothing like this previously.  She listened and said she’d help me.  She’d help me get back on track and inform Uni and work of my ‘illness’.  I felt like I’d lifted a backpack full of breeze-blocks off my shoulders.  It was a weird feeling I’d never had before.  She told me to come back after Christmas and I did.

On my next visit she asked me how I’d been feeling.  I said no better (because I hadn’t) and she explained the range of options I had.  I could take pills, I could have CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) or I could have counselling.  After talking some more she advised that anti-depressants may be the best option for me.  I said OK and she filled in my prescription.  I was scared though and didn’t like the idea of ‘popping pills’.  Taking meds that altered the chemicals in my brain and messed with my mind.  How would I feel?  What effect would it have on me long-term?

I went to the chemist and paid £7.50 for 30 tablets of fluoxetine that were supposed to make me better.  At first I didn’t take them.  A few days later when I’d stayed in bed for too long I gave up and swallowed one.  The side-effects were said to be increased sweating, lack of libido, headaches and an increased desire to commit suicide.  Seriously? I thought.  But I wanted to get better.

I’m a month into taking them now.  I have to re-visit the doctor soon.  I can’t say I feel much better inside but what I can say is that I feel quite ‘emotionless’.  I mean I can’t cry.  Tears don’t flow when I feel sad anymore which I’m not sure is a good or a bad thing.  I wouldn’t go so far as saying I’m like a zombie because that certainly isn’t true.  I’ve just noticed small changes.  We’ll see…

Although I sought help, I still haven’t told my family what’s going on in my life yet.  Only my boyfriend knows I’m taking anti-depressants.  I know it’s best to talk but I really don’t feel ready for everyone to know.  Wondering if I’m sad right now, why I’m in my room alone – am I crying?  Am I going to kill myself?  I just know it would make things 10x worse.  I don’t want people worrying about me and I don’t want to be fussed after.  I just want to get back to normal.

I bet you’re wondering why I can post my troubles online but I can’t tell those closest to me.  Well I’m anonymous here.  I feel free and safe to discuss my feelings here.  I’d really love it if this post helped just one person who felt like me.  If you are suffering with depression, whether it’s mildly or severely, speak to someone.  Whether it’s one person or 10 people, just speak.  It really does help, I promise.  I wish I’d plucked up the courage to get it sorted earlier because I’ve got a lot of catching up to do.  I’ve spoken about my gloomy journey in the hope to help anyone I can.  I still feel ‘sad’ but I’m making the right steps to get better now.

If anyone at all in the world wants to speak to me: missderrie@live.co.uk

I’ll always reply.

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