I am struggling today and I have no idea why. Maybe it’s all the depressing news contributing to a low mood or my daughter’s incessant shrieks of boredom and blaming me for everything including the Lindburg kidnapping. Or maybe, even though Cymbalta helped lift me out of an abyss, depression artifact remains.
There’s a common misconception that depression is merely acute sadness. Even I believed this, until a couple of half decent doctors educated me on what depression really entails. Unfortunately, even these doctors are so busy covering their own asses and treating my depression conservatively, I am the one flailing in limbo here, being throttled by depressive artifact. A dose increase might help, but it would also help if they’d call me and inform me who I’ve been assigned to since my doctor left and I kind of need an appointment in the next couple of weeks.
Depression is so much more than just feeling sad and hopeless.
It is anxiety. It is lack of focus. Lack of motivation to do things that desperately need to be done. It is guilt and shame and self loathing. It is chaotic thinking, a swirling funnel cloud in your mind, so you can’t organize your thoughts enough to begin to accomplish things. It impacts memory so that you forget something that was spoken 30 seconds before and those around you either think you’re ignoring them or a total flake. It is lack of concern with basic hygiene. It is a rabid aversion to doing anything remotely social involving other humans. It is irritibility. Sometimes inexplicable anger. Sometimes heightened emotions that aren’t comparative to what is bothering you.
Depression is a machine with many moving parts. Nothing works the way it should. Parts that should go up and down move side to side. Stationary parts move wily nily and it creaks and groans like a dying furnace choking on a rusty chainsaw.
The worst part is that, this is your life, 24-7, and the so called professionals often blow off your concerns, your feelings, and make you feel like you’re not even participating in your own care. Because they have degrees and know best yet they spend maybe 15 minutes every two months with you and don’t know you at all. The doctors don’t have to live this way. They’re not left trying to explain to the people around you why if your medication is working well enough that the doctor won’t increase dose, why do you still act so cranky and not want to be around others? Obviously, the doctor thinks you’re doing well enough. But again…the doctors don’t see us struggling after the appointment where we were in a good mental space.
I am grappling with artifact here. It was all I could do last night to get my kid and myself bathed. I’ve been doing battle with myself all week to do dishes and stick a pot roast in the slow cooker and…I got nothing. I go in to maybe run the water…and within 20 seconds, I’ve gone off track and my disorganized brain won’t let me get back on the track. I did manage to clean cat boxes today, but I meant to do that 2 days ago so the accomplishment comes with procrastinator’s guilt.
Anxiety is another artifact of depression. Today I feel it though I don’t know why and it manifests with cold sweat pouring down my side despite multiple applications of anti-perspirant. I wasn’t sweating this way during the 6 straight days it was in the 90’s and the house was 88 inside even with the AC and fans running. Nervous sweat is baffling. And other than the phone ringing a couple of times with irritating telemarketers there’s been no trigger for nervousness. It’s random, it’s brutal, it’s…artifact.
So, no, depression isn’t just sadness. It is furnaces grumbling and rusty chainsaws roaring and you cling for whatever vestige of sanity you can find but…hey, your brain is not on board with this because it’s so disordered.
Depression is hell on Earth, 24-7, and anyone who says otherwise isn’t clinically depressed. A condition that negates your very identity and turns you into a hot mess despite the best intentions of efforts…That’s so sadistic, Satan himself must have created it in conjuction with the Marquis de Sade.