Sept. 30, 1999

Depression Ramble

Ouch, I haven't updated for 9 days. Must get back on the horse..

I tend not to write when I'm depressed. I prefer to just withdraw until it subsides or until I climb out of it. I doubt I'd even write in a paper journal at those times. I just feel like I have nothing to say, like I haven't been anywhere or done anything or had a thought worth conveying. The feeling is magnified for an online journal, since I imagine I'd be bringing down others as well as myself.

I avoid reading depression journals, pages, or mailing lists. They're not supportive for me, rather, they exacerbate the feeling. Even seeing that there are those worse off than myself is not a comfort (not even a cold one) as it shows me how it could become if I happened to slide down that gradient. So, writing something along these lines just doesn't seem like a viable option. It's the same in "real life".. I withdraw and try not to bother anybody. (My family probably wouldn't agree with that assessment.. however, the operative word is "TRY"!)

People often ask what I have to be depressed about. It's not like that, with clinical depression. It isn't caused by problems or misfortune, or even emotional weakness. It's an imbalance of brain chemicals. It has a PHYSICAL measurable cause. (Don't take my word for it though.. look here.) It's no more due to a character flaw than diabetes or anemia or cancer. Just finding that out had the effect of lifting a tremendous load of guilt for various questionable decisions I've made through the years, during bouts of depression.

I also understand now why it was so difficult for me to cope with Older Son's infancy. He was somewhat high-strung and I felt completely overwhelmed by the responsibility of caring for him. Hubby once remarked, in an accusing sort of tone, that I didn't seem to have any joy in my life as a mother. Time took care of it, of course, but sometimes the pain of depression can't wait for time. Luckily, prozac works well enough for me so that any relapses are shorter and much less severe than before.

One excellent source of information I've found on the web is A must-read for anyone affected by their own or another's illness.

I could go on and on about this.. if anyone is interested in my experiences and/or opinions, please let me know. I'm never quite sure how much detail to go into, here!

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