Old News and a Rant/Rave About Mental Health

Over a year ago, when I last posted here, I had just bought a house, adopted two cats, gotten new jobs, and so forth. Things only got crazier in 2015, things which kept me from doing much here with the website.

For one, we had some changes in our family:

  • We had another child in May (another boy!)
  • Kyra transferred departments to be closer to home
  • I had increased responsibilities in the day job
  • Kyra’s grandfather became very ill/passed away
  • My parents experienced a job loss which led to…
  • A new job, with a relocation across the country.

Needless to say, things were a little crazy at times, and it’s been a year of emotional highs and lows.

Also, thanks to theĀ Altered Perceptions anthology, specifically Seanan McGuire‘s personal experiences, I decided to seek help from a mental health professional. I knew I had depression, but had been resistant to doing anything about it because of one less-than-positive experience with a therapist/medication many years ago. What Seanan’s essay made me realize, however, was that depression wasn’t the only battle I was fighting.

After some time working with an excellent professional, I was diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and (as I already suspected) Depression.

While I tried some alternatives to medication for many months, I eventually came to the conclusion that I needed pharmacological help as well, and was prescribed an antidepressant.

It’s been life-changing.

My previous experience being medicated had been scary. I was a young teenager and (to make a long story short), I felt like my medication turned me into an emotionless zombie. I stopped taking that medication and returned to a life of feeling, but at the cost of dealing with depression every day. I was frankly scared of going on another medication ever again.

This experience has been great, however, and I STRONGLY encourage people who are dealing with mental/emotional health issues to seek out professional help. Even if you suspect of have the SLIGHTEST inkling that you MIGHT have something like depression or OCD going on, please go see someone. Not only will it increase your quality of life, but it will help out those around you who love and care about you. When members of my extended family found out that I was planning to enter therapy, many of them were SO relieved, and my close friends have been nothing but supportive. What’s more, is that these people have seen a marked difference in my attitudes and behaviors, and they find me more pleasant to be around.

SomethingĀ just as important is that I have noticed a difference. I realize now that a life filled with overwhelming depression is NOT normal, and that I can accomplish so much more when my depression is more under control. I am physically healthier. I feel like I can go outside. I find enjoyment in hobbies again. I don’t have days where I just want to lay in bed buried in the covers.

Does this mean I still don’t have rough moments? No, not at all. I still feel my “negative” emotions. It’s not like I started a magic pill and a few weeks later noticed I was happy all the time. On the contrary, there have been some difficult things happen in my life since I’ve started the medication, and I have experienced emotional responses to them.

The difference is this: it’s manageable. It’s no longer overwhelming. It’s a normal, reasonable response.

So, my takeaway here is seek help if you need it. Please. Even if you have a doubt, please talk to someone. Friends and family can help support you as you begin to accept that this is an illness that needs to be treated. They can be with you as you start the journey to find a medication that works for you, or sit next to you when you see a psychologist, or WHATEVER. People love you and want to help.

Well, there we are. Me on my soapbox. Really this DID just start out as a catch-up post for what’s happened, but then these words fell out of my fingers. Wahoo.

 

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