As a student researcher on mental illness stigma I was impressed to see an article about high functioning depression recently. Unfortunately in my opinion it fell a little flat of the full picture and per usual, unless I’m reading an empirical case study, I’m selfishly irritated with the pop-psych paragraph or two about the strong Suzie Superheroes that go to school and work full time and are still sad inside (but her peers just can’t tell!)
I’d prefer reading an article collaboration by a collection of highly functioning depressed adults that show the individual unique experiences as well as the common struggles. Where is the paragraph of Suzie Superheroes that talks about how the only time she feels relief from the physiological discomfort that rises from her anxiety and depression is when she’s laying in bed and can’t sleep and thinks about how tension relieving it must feel like to pop your teeth out one at a time? Are all Suzie Superheroes having that thought? Likely not, but it’s an accurate example portrayal of how everyone’s depression oppresses them differently, and how brutally gritty it can be.
Today I was ready to quit my job, hitchhike to New Zealand and sleep on a beach for the rest of my life. Like legit, sleeping beauty 100 years of ZzZ’s kind of sleep. That or hop into traffic. Of course I know better, so I went through the motions and have socially self isolated myself to deal with my emotional tetanus privately. THAT way, I don’t have to feel the associated guilt about being a pathetic mope whose no fun to be around. I merely just pine after and resent the lack of an out pour of love and hugs and verbal reassurance that I am special and loved. I know the lows get better eventually, they generally do, but the perpetual sadness even in a baseline state of being is no way to live.
Kleenex must make bank off of folks like me. Shit.
After 2 failed attempts at finding a new psychiatrist (one is booked for the next two months and the other is listed as taking my insurance then e-mailed to say, “just kidding! I don’t take any insurance; though for a small fee of $450 upfront in full I can give you 90 minutes of my time for an intake”.
My mixed bipolar episode of 2-3 weeks and counting (once I caught on that’s what was happening to me I had to go back in time to measure when symptoms started) has destroyed my bank account, led me to making a huge fool of myself, overwhelming numbers of grandiose projects started, absurd thoughts, lost sleep, crying before and after work (and at home, and driving to the grocery store…) and most recently the urge to drop dead (as well as an increase of run on sentences). It’s destroying me!
Today I felt as though I had reached rock bottom, then reminded myself that it’s a simple step to keep digging even if I don’t mean to and fall even further down the jagged path until I reach the center of the earth and burn to a crisp. Worry not though readers, I’m WAY too terrified of the idea of hell to off myself.
Oh yeah, the psychiatrist thing. I threw a metaphysical dart at the pdf file that Blue Cross sent; a list of doctors who take my insurance plan. Looks like I’m seeing some quack Monday morning. I did some snooping for reviews after I made the appointment which either said he was horrible and should take up a job cleaning up vomit or that he’s fabulous.
Regardless, I’m hoping for a medication adjustment and a STRONG anti depressant. CBT, mindfulness, gratitude journals, listing all the things I’m great at and why life is worth living can take you only so far. At the moment it’s all a bunch of ineffective or joke worthy garbage in my state of mind and Obi Wan-Kenobi (obviously a metaphor for expensive Western medicine) is my only hope.