Daily Archives: December 7, 2015

Ideology

Robert heinlein quot

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The Most Common Lie About Depression

“If you wanted it bad enough, you could try harder.”

Oh how sick I am of that one. It’s as common a platitude you will find in life, and especially, with depression. If a company were to eschew it, you bought their product, and didn’t get what you wanted…you could sue for false advertisement. Yet any Tom, Dick, and Yolo can spew it your direction like an expert and YOU are the failure when it doesn’t work.

More than anything I don’t want to feel this enveloping darkness. So don’t fucking tell me I just don’t want “not to be depressed” bad enough.

If desire alone counted for a thing with any sort of mental disorder, I’d be queen of England, president of the united states, I’d cure cancer, win Dancing with the Stars, AND get the mom of the year award.

Because I WANT to be better, do better, accomplish great things. I want, want, want it so bad it’s a perpetual grueling ache in my muscles, bones, veins, arteries.

Unfortunately…it’s not enough with depression. Frankly, it’s not enough for most people to simply “want it that bad and work harder.” This notion that anyone can do anything they set their mind to is a fallacy. One who doesn’t have a grasp of science and anatomy is unlikely to become a doctor (except if they go to University chihuahua like mine do). If you can’t keep numbers straight, you’ll fail at being an accountant.

I would never encourage limiting people based on not being “good” at something but reality beckons eventually. So the notion that hard work and desire will turn someone who is tone deaf into a brilliant opera singer is…well, insane.

YET it is perfectly feasible to tell someone with a chemical imbalance in the brain that all their problems will be solved if they just try harder and “want it bad enough.”

Kind of makes you wonder who the “crazy” people really are.

This weekend I did fuck all. Literally. I mean, I took a pizza over to  cos he was so sick, but my dad had my kid for the night so I had nothing better to do. Came home. Slept. Kept waking up. Slept some more. In fact, I slept until 4:30 yesterday afternoon. I felt an instant of slothful shame then decided, with how many times I’d wakened and wandered about…I’d earned the rest. It was sad to have lost “me time” but truth be told, in a depressive state like this…Me time is meaningless aside from letting the nerves settle down.

They returned her. With new socks cos her wearing mine is apparently uncool. Whatever. Then I was informed all the clothes she’d brought with her had been washed because my stepmonster can’t bear the smell of cigarette smoke in her home. (Former smokers who pull that shit are the worst hypocrites on the planet.) Then my dad noticed the bumper of the car was a little loose. I didn’t mention that bumper bender and all, so I just said I’d nicked a drive thru barrier by gauging my distance wrong. (I do it all the time.) Then he started in with, “What are you going to do about the title and transfer and all that so it’s not in your mom’s name anymore?”

Hmm…I’m two hundred bucks in the hole as is (yearly cost as opposed to anticipated monthly budget)  and gotta get through christmas, plus this depression…I didn’t explode but I did firmly say, “I’m gonna survive Christmas, then worry about it next year.”

If he’s so fucking worried about it, he could help. Hell, a couple weeks back he just bought ANOTHER SUV. That makes 5 vehicles they have. Has he offered me one? Nope. Five vehicles for three people and he’s on my fucking ass. A five minute visit from him is enough to make me want to bash in his skull with a shovel. Ten minutes with him makes me pretty sure I should bash in my own skull to escape him.

Yeah, yeah,ungrateful brat, I should be thankful I have family, blah blah. When 70 percent of your anxiety and low self esteem stems from how shitty your family treats you (as diagnosed by every therapist who ever met your family)…Gratitude isn’t really an appropriate word unless used in terms of “oh they haven’t called me in a week, yayyyy, I have two self esteem points back.”

I am trying to atone for my weekend laziness by “working” on laundry a bit.  It’s like metastasizing cancer, though. No sooner than I excise six baskets full, i’ve got two more and third piling up. Laundry is like a mogwai.  Get it wet and it just starts popping out evil gremlins.

Dishes…pffft.

I showered last night. That was my weekend victory. Today I’m on laundry. Maybe tomorrow I will do dishes. Can’t say the cold wet gloom (afuckinggain) is helping my motivation at all.

I never thought I’d say this again…But I want back on lithium. The anti depressants just aren’t doing a damned thing. If anything, I am wondering if they’re what have my anxiety so heightened. I am gonna talk to el shrinko, but he pretty much cut me down last time simply because I am not manic thus the Lamical must be working. It’s less about mania and more about how clusterfucked my thoughts are. I can’t get well when every third week I go menstrual and start sobbing cos the toothepaste cap fell down the sink. I wonder if I am undersedated. I am gonna tell him to check my files from 06-08 when Dr M had me on a lithium/lamictal combo and I did far better than this. I don’t want the side effects or blood work or that dull emotional state but..I can’t keep on like this, either. Maybe if he sees my chart and that I did ok (not cured, but ok) on that combo, he might be inclined to hear me out.

Or he’ll just give that condescending, “We’ve tried everything else…”

Maybe he can tell me I just don’t want “badly enough” to get out of the depression.

In which case maybe I should bring that purse sized folding shovel along with me…

That’s a joke, btw.

Grenades fit much better into a purse.

 

 

 


Guest Blog: Lola Bipola

Originally posted on Our Lived Experience:
Tēnā koutou, Sanibonani, Hello, Howzit ek sê Greetings from the Land of the Long White Cloud, Aotearoa/New Zealand. I’m an ex-pat South African originally hailing from (I’m sure my greetings may have tipped you off) KwaZulu-Natal, living in New Zealand for the past 6 years. I was honoured to…

Guest Blog: Lola Bipola

Originally posted on Our Lived Experience:
Tēnā koutou, Sanibonani, Hello, Howzit ek sê Greetings from the Land of the Long White Cloud, Aotearoa/New Zealand. I’m an ex-pat South African originally hailing from (I’m sure my greetings may have tipped you off) KwaZulu-Natal, living in New Zealand for the past 6 years. I was honoured to…

Guest Blog: Lola Bipola

Originally posted on Our Lived Experience:
Tēnā koutou, Sanibonani, Hello, Howzit ek sê Greetings from the Land of the Long White Cloud, Aotearoa/New Zealand. I’m an ex-pat South African originally hailing from (I’m sure my greetings may have tipped you off) KwaZulu-Natal, living in New Zealand for the past 6 years. I was honoured to…

Guest Blog: Lola Bipola

Originally posted on Our Lived Experience:
Tēnā koutou, Sanibonani, Hello, Howzit ek sê Greetings from the Land of the Long White Cloud, Aotearoa/New Zealand. I’m an ex-pat South African originally hailing from (I’m sure my greetings may have tipped you off) KwaZulu-Natal, living in New Zealand for the past 6 years. I was honoured to…

#FeatureFriday: Ashleigh Davids on #mentalhealth

Originally posted on Our Lived Experience:
Our next submission comes from another dear friend of ours, miss Ashleigh Davids. ? I was a depressed teen and adolescent. As a result, I had a few mediocre years according to my own standard. Most people  thought I was doing fine, great even. Besides the harrowing pain and…

Facing Demons

I had a meeting with a publisher for my memoir in Cape Town this past weekend. I should be glad, right? I am. I’m sure deep down inside I am. Maybe. On the surface, fear of being judged bubbles. The thought of writing thousands of words about my manic depressive life shoots my anxiety levels way […]

Brain Study Seeks Roots of Suicide

A clinical trial will look at the neurological structure and function of people who have attempted suicide

 Researchers hope to elucidate the brain mechanisms associated with the impulse to kill oneself.

Suicide is a puzzle. Fewer than 10% of people with depression attempt suicide, and about 10% of those who kill themselves were never diagnosed with any mental-health condition.

Now, a study is trying to determine what happens in the brain when a person attempts suicide, and what sets such people apart. The results could help researchers to understand whether suicide is driven by certain brain biology — and is not just a symptom of a recognized mental disorder.

The project, which launched last month, will recruit 50 people who have attempted suicide in the two weeks before enrolling in the study. Carlos Zarate, a psychiatrist at the US National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, Maryland, and his colleagues will compare these people’s brain structure and function to that of 40 people who attempted suicide more than a year ago, 40 people with depression or anxiety who have never attempted suicide and a control group of 40 healthy people. In doing so, the researchers hope to elucidate the brain mechanisms associated with the impulse to kill oneself.

Zarate’s team will also give ketamine, a psychoactive ‘party drug’, to the group that has recently attempted suicide. Ketamine, which is sometimes used to treat depression, can quickly arrest suicidal thoughts and behaviour — even in cases when it does not affect other symptoms of depression. The effect is known to last for about a week.

To some researchers, such findings suggest that ketamine affects brain circuits that are specific to suicidal thinking. But John Mann, a psychiatrist at Columbia University in New York City, says that abnormal brain chemistry and genetics could also predispose a person to attempt suicide in times of great stress, such as after a job loss. “They’re part of the person, they’re a trait,” Mann says. “They just get more important when the person gets ill.”

Written in the genes?
There is evidence that genetics influences a person’s suicide risk. For instance, biological relatives of adopted children who kill themselves are several times more likely to take their lives than the general population.

Fabrice Jollant, a psychiatrist at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, suggests that this genetic influence is related to impulsivity and flawed judgement, rather than a specific mental illness. He has found that close relatives of people who killed themselves were more impulsive than a control group when playing a gambling game designed to test decision-making. “It seems that this is something transmitted,” Jollant says.

Other researchers are seeking biomarkers that would allow clinicians to spot people most at risk of suicide. Alexander Niculescu, a psychiatrist at Indiana University in Indianapolis, and his colleagues have identified a set of six genes whose expression is altered in the blood of people who have killed themselves. The team has found that combining these biomarkers with data from an app that tracks mood and risk factors can predict, with more than 90% accuracy, whether people with bipolar disorder or schizophrenia will eventually be hospitalized for a suicide attempt.

And Mann is using positron emission tomography to track the best-studied biomarker, for the signalling molecule serotonin, in the brains of people who have attempted suicide. Their altered serotonin patterns are similar to those seen after death in the brains of those who have killed themselves, says Mann.

Although serotonin levels are altered in people with depression, Mann has found differences between people who attempt suicide and those who are depressed but have no history of suicide attempts. He has also shown that serotonin levels are altered to a greater degree in those who make more serious suicide attempts — such as taking an entire bottle of painkillers — than in those whose attempts are less drastic.

Ethical challenges
Researchers hope that a better understanding of the biology underlying suicide will lead to more effective treatments for suicidal impulses. But studies such as Zarate’s present difficult logistical and ethical challenges. Researchers must consider whether a person who has just attempted suicide can make informed decisions about whether to participate in research.

Michael Minzenberg, a psychiatrist at the University of California, San Francisco, knows these concerns all too well: he studies suicidal people with schizophrenia. Many of these people struggle with basic life skills, such as keeping a job or finding housing. “They’re a challenging group to treat, let alone to study,” Minzenberg says.

He and other researchers who study suicidal people say that they treat them with special care — and that the overall benefits of such studies outweigh any risks. “In most clinical trials, people at high risk of suicide are excluded, so we don’t know how to treat them,” Jollant says. “We need to assess this population, not just say ‘exclude them from trials’.”


Pill Popping

A couple of weeks ago, SassaFrass posted about her Sunday Ritual of filling her pill containers for the week.  I also do mine on Sunday, and last night I finally got around to taking a picture.  Just one, as I was too lazy to do a series like she did, but as a bonus I’ll explain […]