anxiety, depression, emotions

Functional

I am functional in many ways. I have been most of my life. I’m a functional alcoholic. For most of my life I had functional depression. I was great in school and at the top of my class. I was going to be a nuclear engineer. When that didn’t work out, I went into retail. I worked my way up the ladder over the years and was very successful in my stores.

Nobody really knew what was happening in my head. I was moody or sad. I was emotional or distant. I was shy or unfriendly. But in reality, I was suffering from depression. People couldn’t tell because I was so good at masking it and I was successful.

That all changed a few years ago. My walls starting crumbling faster than I could rebuild them. My success was starting to falter. My skills were becoming dull. My bed and my bottle were becoming my sanctuaries. All of the tricks that I learned in my life to mask and deal with my depression were failing me. I was failing. My career was failing. This was a new dimension that I had never dealt with.

I now know that my depression worsened. I was no longer suffering from functional depression. I was becoming less functional in everything. I was suffering from MDD (major depressive disorder). I was trapped in the walls of my mind that my depression built. Instead of my containing it, it was now the key master. I was the one being contained. My cage was a fiery pit while my body continued on throughout the day. People noticed that something was different, but my depression was able to fool even the best ones.

I ended up in therapy because the idea of being on medication for my whole life was too much to fathom. I was young. I didn’t want to be involved with anything until death. Well, except my husband of course. So I did therapy. It helped. I became functioning again, but not for long. After a couple of years, my walls keeping me prisoner were thicker, taller, and stronger than ever. I needed help and I couldn’t talk my way out of it this time. I couldn’t snark or schmooze my way past this gatekeeper.

Drugs have helped, of course, but I don’t know if I will ever get back to being fully functional again. I think the MDD is here to stay this time. I think I have a new companion for life, but at least I have my husband as well. I guess you could say that we are in a thruple, for better or worse.

Hopefully for better.

anxiety, depression, Sleep

Drugs

I don’t understand medication. If I have a headache, I take aspirin or Motrin and it goes away. Or I have a glass of Coke. These are consistent. If I have a rash, I use an ointment. It goes away. When my eyes are dry and itchy, I use the same eye drops and they feel better.

After 6 months of having great success with my current anti-depressant, I started to feel not quite as good. Each week the medication seemed to be less and less effective. This week, I finally bit the bullet and called my doctor to see about getting a new medication.

Getting out of bed in the morning is getting harder and harder. Some days it takes me two to three hours to finally get up. When I lay down, my heart races and my mind goes wild thinking about everything in the universe that could go wrong, that needs to be done, or that I messed up. It takes a couple of hours to finally fall asleep, but then I only stay asleep for a few hours at a time. I was exhausted all week with barely any sleep.

So now I get to start a new med with fun new side effects and see what behaviors pop out of me. Why can’t anti-depressants be like aspirin and just freaking work?

anxiety

Attacks

I have spent most of my life mislabeling my attacks. I thought an anxiety attack was caused by outside forces (crowds) while a panic attack was random. This may have caused some confusion with doctors.

When you have an attack caused by large crowds, daunting places, or anything else that you can pinpoint the cause, that is a panic attack.

When you are in bed, minding your own business and suddenly your heart rate jumps to five hundred beats per minute, that is an anxiety attack.

Understanding the difference can be crucial for the proper treatment, whether you do home remedies or Western medicine.

anxiety, depression

Balance

When it comes to depression, doctors recommend avoiding alcohol. With anxiety, however, alcohol can relax your mind enough to have fun and enjoy being around people.

This causes a difficult balance with you have both. Trying to have a few drinks to soften the effects of your anxiety can deepen your depression. But not always. Avoiding alcohol can help reduce the effects of depression, but social functional can wreak havic on your brain as your anxiety cranks up.

Avoiding social functions can lead to increased depression and feelings of solitude and defeat.

I often feel that I’m in a constant juggling act, but I also feel that I handle these struggles pretty well. But when I slip up, ugh.