Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Stabilizing the Boat & Overcoming Bad Habits

(I started this post on 2 Nov 2011 and published it 18 Jan 2012. I'm so used to writing rough drafts before my final "essay." (; And I haven't figured out how to change the date yet!)

A couple of months ago I kept track of how many days I was depressed and how many days where I wasn't. Two months of depression passed and then I had three good days where I felt happy and content. After those three days I slipped back into another cycle of depression.

I was shocked.
It surprised me to see how long the periods of my depression were. 

This pattern was pretty typical. While the medications that I was on helped pull me out of my first (and hopefully last) severe and deep depression
I still had some symptoms of depression. 
I thought that this was as good as it was going to get...
it wasn't the deep, deep depression that I had experienced years earlier and for that reason alone I was very grateful.

A few good days and then several days of not wanting to socialize, sleeping longer, and doing what I call "brain dead" activities such as the Internet, the t.v., reading books...things that for me numbed the pain of depression.  While none of these activities I participated in were bad, they became unhealthy coping skills because I did them in excess. I thought I was able to escape for a few moments but in reality I was making my depression worse.
I told myself that something finally needed to be done about this lingering depression so I called my psychiatrist, whom I'll call "Dr. L." My medications were adjusted and those days where I feel depressed have dramatically lessened. Thank heavens for modern medicine. (I am very grateful for the medications that have lessened the severity of the mood swings aka stabilizing my boat). I never knew nor did I expect that I could have this many good days in a row. I still have cycles of depression but they don't last as long.

I am very blessed.

***1 May 2013 I have since learned that medications actually helped stabilize the "boat" of my mental illness symptoms. I feel it is SO IMPORTANT to work together with my Psychiatrist AND THERAPIST. I think mental Illnesses are part "thinking" diseases, aside from the obvious physiological symptoms. Sometimes the way I think and feel about myself or my life is messed up and I need the guidance of a therapist to help straighten me out. (: It is so important to FIGHT against this disease, to seek help from health professionals, to manage your disease and not let it manage you. Everything on my blog is my own opinion and I am not a licensed medical provider. I can only share what I have learned from my own experiences. I made a subconscious decision that I didn't want to wallow in the severe depression anymore. It's very empowering to realize that I can actually fight against this disease because I have PROOF! I am not where I was 10 years ago. I want others who suffer from this horrible disease to 
 that they too have the
 ability and power
 within themselves to fight against mental illness. 
You are empowered
You are stronger that you realize.