I’ve been feeling pretty good lately, not at all angry and as unhappy as I was before. My depression, if that what it is, seems to have diminished or become depressed itself. I was never 100% sure it was depression but as I understand there is a broad spectrum of symptoms and I had a number of them. In some ways it’s hard to remember really what it was like during the bad times but I think some mental health issues are like that, in that when you start feeling good you forget a bit about what feeling bad was like. I have a sense I didn’t like it much. Being as I’m in a good space now I thought I could update things a bit. Have a seat with me and let’s roll.
Originally the collection of my thoughts was one of the purposes of my journaling (on paper), and through this blog, so I could track my progress and see where I’ve come from. May not have been a long trip but sometimes it seems like it.
Flash back to a year or two ago and I really wasn’t feeling all that swell mentally. One of my problems was I was waking up a few times during the night, had trouble sleeping much past 4 am, and when I did get up it was always with this angry, aggravated feeling. I wasn’t mad at anything in particular, just pissed in general with life and my lot in it. I hated my job, found no satisfaction in my work, and it was spilling over into my personal life.
I guess to be accurate I’d have to say I wasn’t always angry when I awoke, but certainly 99% of my working days I was. On weekends or on vacation my mornings and moods would generally be more “normal” but before you know it I was back into the unhappy loop of frustration and tired pissed off’edness (I like making up new words). My self diagnosis was that my work/job was the key. It seemed obvious to me and when away from work I typically felt and slept much better, and most of the symptoms abated or disappeared altogether. While I did feel better during that time I still had the unresolved angst of knowing I had to return to work.
In the interests of becoming better I saw my doctor for some tests and a diagnosis. He felt Depression, or a mild form of it, was evident and prescribed a small dose of Mirtazapine. This particular drug has one additional benefit, that of improved sleep when the meds are taken at night. That was one of my more obvious problems and in his mind the lack of a good sound sleep caused or contributed to my bitchiness.
Along the way, on this trip called Depression, I also sought professional help (say psychologist) in the form of a counselor in our local EFAP. For those unfamiliar, EFAP is Employee and Family Assistance Program, a system of professionals trained in anything from family dynamics to substance abuse counseling and perhaps even gender issues (I’m guessing on that one). This all comes at no cost to the individual using the system as it’s funded by all of the businesses or organizations that belong to it, in my case my employer.
My counselor, Gloria, was very helpful for me. She gave me lots to think about and as we discussed those things in my life that were bothering me she would explain why that was happening, or perhaps what I could do about it. One thing in particular was my “adapting”, where I would achieve a chameleon type persona when in certain social or work situations. The link will take you to the post explaining it further. Essentially I was expending mental energy adapting to any number of situations. This left me tired, mentally drained. At any rate I felt our sessions were good and I did get things out of them. I haven’t seen her for awhile now and think of her occasionally, and possibly visiting and updating her as well.
One thing we discussed infrequently was the loss of my son. She would sometimes ask me if I thought it had an impact on my situation, if it caused or contributed in some way to how I felt or how I saw things. I had to answer that I honestly didn’t believe it did. Sure, it certainly impacted my life but did it contribute to how I dealt with depression, or did it cause or contribute to the depression itself, I think not.
I will carry on with the story in part 2. Stay tuned.