My first SSRI for aaages. Like it says, I’ve just finished 20 weeks of therapy at Strathclyde, for social anxiety, but dealing with broader issues too. And it’s been a real uphill journey – each time I’ve thought I was getting somewhere, along would come some family issue or another to throw a spanner in the works.
But generally, my anxiety’s improved. The only thing is that right at the end of the course, I realised that underneath it all, I have bad depression. I’ve had it pretty much unbroken since I was 14, but I think in my mid-20s I found a way to just ignore it, and pretend it wasn’t an issue. But it is an issue – it leaves me without motivation, willpower, and makes small problems seem big, it encourages prevarication, and when it’s at its worst, I basically become comatose and can’t really do anything.
But all that said, I’m glad I know. I think the anxiety is the sort of outward manifestation of it – it’s the part of me that gets nervous that people will know underneath that I’m depressed. The part of me that is depressed, and wants to stay at home, screaming inside my head that the world is a bad, fearful place. It’s all inextricably linked. And now that the screaming has died down, I’ve had an opportunity to look this place inside me head on, and recognised it as something I’ve had for twenty (TWENTY!) years, and never dealt with…
Just back from the docs and that’s me back on the Citalopram… apparently this new doc thinks I was on too low a dose last time, so I’m starting on 10mg but going up to 20mg in two weeks. Been feeling a bit better the last few days, but I’m basically in the middle of the deepest depression I’ve been in for about three or four years…
So, if there’s anyone out there I’ve ignored, if there’s anything I’ve forgotten, emails not replied to, deadlines missed, that sort of thing, over the last three weeks, I’m sorry, but I’ll hopefully get on top of things by the end of this week. And of course, there will no doubt be some strips to follow as I start back to therapy and try this whole thing again!
…but thankfully it’s still not as bad as it’s been in the past. Self awareness is a hard journey, but it helps you put things in perspective when the black dog does return. For instance, while I’m feeling this shitty way, I know it’s temporary, and that I can ride it out if I just have patience. In the past, it felt all-consuming, and like it would never end.
Some links if this is something you experience yourself:
Living Life to the Full
The single best thing you can do if you’re feeling shitty is to get it dealt with. Go see your GP, contact a local counselling service, or even just talk to a friend or family member. The worst thing you can do with depression is to bottle it up – it will get worse. Feelings of isolation are worsened by depression, but talking about it does help.
Person Centred Counselling tends to be more suited to depression and anxiety, while CBT is best for short term anxiety problems, although it also depends on your own personality type, so talk it over with a GP or free counselling telephone service.
Feel free to comment too or send a message if you want to share.
Please don’t call the p’lice. I’m not a knife wielding murderer, honest. It’s a visual metaphor!
This is literally to most honest thing I’ve ever drawn or posted in my life, the deepest I’ve ever gone, and potentially the most self pitying I’ve ever been in public but fuck it, it needed to come out. All you cool and groovy straight guys I know, don’t think this in any way diminishes your importance to me – I’m talking about groups, that’s when I feel it most. The social structures of heterosexuality, that kind of thing. The same doesn’t apply in more structured groups either, by the way.
And if you’re at all unsure of what all this means, or want to know, I’m totally down with you leaving a comment, tweeting, FB’ing or ‘ask’ing me depending on what method of social transportation you’re using to read this 🙂