Depression – Suicide
I have been diagnosed with depression and apparently it is not normal to think about suicide. Who knew?
Depression is an odd animal. It creeps up on you. It was not until I ran out of work in tears that I thought that I should get help.
The history of my story may be well worth talking about for a while. I had an operation about 4 months ago. Nothing major, but it did involve having my anus explored and bits taken out for tests and bits taken out just to get rid of them. That did not bring on my depression. The not being able to go to the loo for a week did not bring on my depression. Finding out the going to the loo after a week was the single most painful thing in the world did not bring on my depression.
It was lurking there already and, looking back I think that it had been there for years.
Many years ago I wrote a blog about fishing and suicide. More properly it was a blog about going fly fishing, not catching, and talking about going home to have a couple of glasses of whiskey (Irish, of course) and a bit about suicide.
What I never knew was that other people did not think about suicide. I do not mean that I thought about how to do it, how many paracetamols, whisky (suicide by spirits has to be Scotch, Irish is to be revered, or Gin and a razor blade with a warm bath) I just thought, what would the effect be? Would anyone notice? I know that the person who found me would be upset, at least I hope so. But, could I do that to someone? I never got to the bit where the discovery and that trauma was justified. My thoughts of suicide were just pandering to a dark corner of my mind. It was not serious, at least I do not think so.
What brought my depression to the fore was the anxiety attacks. After the operation I did not want to go out. I hated having to wear pads, for a certain leakage problem. I hated feeling that I could not talk about how I was feeling, because I did not know.
More that anything was the anxiety attacks. Not being able to see friends, hiding from people in the supermarket on case they wanted to talk to me. Not being able to leave the house to go for a drink with friends because I was scared.
I went back to work, big mistake. I could not answer the phone. I could not talk to my colleagues. I sat there with a rising fear that my head was about to explode. I wanted to pick up something on my desk and throw it at someone, anyone, anything. I considered punching my PC screen. Then I cracked.
It was the best thing that happened to me.
I went to the doctor. Not my normal doctor, broke down in tears and he said “do you want a week off work? Take some Beta blockers”. It seemed like a “man up” get on with it response.
A week later I went back, saw my own doctor. I went with a list of my symptoms;
Irritability, over nothing.
being suspicious of people, what they are saying, what they may mean and how they are out to get me, taking about me behind my back.
Restlessness, just being agitated all the time.
A loss of control, I was not my own master.
loss of concentration. I was so worried about this after the operation that I bought a book of Sudoku, just to see if I could concentrate.
The inability to read books and understand what was going on, and being unable to remember plots.
Being powerless in all sorts of ways. Ignored at work, harassed at home. Not being control of how I felt.
You get the idea. I only got part way through the list (there were many more items on my list) Dr McMeekin stopped me. He said you know that you are depressed don’t you? How long have you felt like this? To that I said I can not remember when I did not feel like this.
We talked. I am now on a 6 months course of a drug, Sertraline. He says that it is not addictive and should not have any withdrawal problems when it stops
I have been to a holistic practitioner for a tincture of herbs (which no way as near unpleasant that Rona said that it might be).
I have started meditating again, but it is a lot harder than I remember, another symptom of depression?
I am taking more exercise.
I have rejected CBT and talking therapies. I do not believe that they work, but perhaps this blog counts as a talking therapy.
Where am I now?
My bad days are less bad. My good days are better than they were. The number of reasonable days are increasing.
Against that I spend a lot of time thinking about “how do I feel?”
I have been open at work, talking about my mental health problems and most have been sympathetic talking about their experiences or those of their family members.
Some have, inevitably, been pricks with no understanding.
I think that I am progressing, I hope that I am.