Being In A Dark Place

All right, up front warning – this isn’t going to be one of my fluffy, light posts.

First – you may notice a change in the menu options above. There are no longer links to pages for my Dream-Walker War books. That’s because as of last night, the rights have reverted to me and I am no longer a published author. I asked for the rights back because let’s be honest, I was an embarrassing failure for Evernight, and I’d rather start fresh, have no horrid sales track records to hold me back if/when I sell a book again.

Stay tuned on the book thing though. I’ve got something in the works on that end that I’m hoping to announce in the next week or so. ūüėČ

Second – I wonder – can I call myself depressed if I don’t have a psychiatrist or psychologist’s official diagnosis? While I won’t claim Wikipedia is infallible, this is what it says are the symptoms and signs:

Major depression significantly affects a person’s family and personal relationships, work or school life, sleeping and eating habits, and general health.[4]¬†Its impact on functioning and well-being has been compared to that of chronic medical conditions such as¬†diabetes.[5]

A person having a major depressive episode usually exhibits a very low mood, which pervades all aspects of life, and an inability to experience pleasure in activities that were formerly enjoyed. Depressed people may be preoccupied with, or ruminate over, thoughts and feelings of worthlessness, inappropriate guilt or regret, helplessness, hopelessness, and self-hatred.[6] In severe cases, depressed people may have symptoms of psychosis. These symptoms include delusions or, less commonly, hallucinations, usually unpleasant.[7] Other symptoms of depression include poor concentration and memory (especially in those with melancholic or psychotic features),[8] withdrawal from social situations and activities, reduced sex drive, and thoughts of death or suicide. Insomnia is common among the depressed. In the typical pattern, a person wakes very early and cannot get back to sleep.[9] Insomnia affects at least 80% of depressed people.[medical citation needed]Hypersomnia, or oversleeping, can also happen.[9] Some antidepressants may also cause insomnia due to their stimulating effect.[10]

A depressed person may report multiple physical symptoms such as fatigue, headaches, or digestive problems; physical complaints are the most common presenting problem in developing countries, according to the¬†World Health Organization’s¬†criteria for depression.[11]¬†Appetite often decreases, with resulting weight loss, although increased appetite and weight gain occasionally occur.[6]¬†Family and friends may notice that the person’s behavior is either¬†agitated¬†or¬†lethargic.[9]¬†Older depressed people may have¬†cognitive¬†symptoms of recent onset, such as forgetfulness,[8]¬†and a more noticeable slowing of movements.[12]¬†Depression often coexists with physical disorders common among the elderly, such as¬†stroke, other¬†cardiovascular diseases,¬†Parkinson’s disease, and¬†chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.[13]

Insomnia? Check. Thoughts and feelings of worthlessness, guilt/regret, and self-hatred? Absolutely. Low self-esteem, and all of that. No tragic childhood, no big black moment in my past, simply I feel worthless and though as far as I can tell I would never actually¬†do it because I’m too scared of what comes after, I sometimes seriously have no interest in continuing on. But I do – not just because of that whole “OMG, I will¬†so go to hell if I do something that stupid” but also because if there¬†is something in the afterlife, I’d probably continue just never forgiving myself for leaving my beautiful babies and husband. I’m not a coward either, and suicide (or so I’ve told myself) is the coward’s way out.

I’d been taking an antidepressant (citolopram) ever since I miscarried up until about a month or so ago. Husband had made a couple of comments about “I didn’t think you were going to be on them forever,” etc., and I didn’t think they really made that big of a difference so I stopped. Cold turkey. (BTW – not a fun thing, nor are you supposed to. Again, I’m bull-headed.)

Fast forward to the present. I thought I was doing okay. The temper/mood swings that the medication supposedly helped me even out didn’t seem to be any better/worse than on the medication. Then hubby spoke up. We were talking about my brother (whole angsty issues there that I won’t go into) and he said “I see shades of your brother in you. The whole self-hatred thing.” And then he went on to say that there was a clear difference between me on and off the meds. I still mood swing–I’m a woman after all, he said with that little smirk that let’s me know he’s just razzing me–but off, the dark moments, the absolute hatred of self and lack of happy belief in myself are magnified.

He’s right. Looking back over the past month, with all it’s various ups and downs, there’s definitely been a major increase in my dark moments. It got brought to head this week when I started almost crying in my boss’s office (got dinged for unprofessionalism), and then yesterday boss said she and the head of the firm were getting concerned because of all the things I’m forgetting/failing to pay attention to (though part of that is an ongoing issue that has only slight relationship to the depression thing).

So – I’ve gone back on the medication and hope to climb back to at least get my head out of the black hole I seem to be stuck in. Hopefully it will help me before I burst out into a crying ball of hot mess in my boss’s office again.

Here’s my question to you – do you suffer from depression? If so, what do you do to alleviate the worst of it (if that’s even possible)?



  1. While I don’t suffer from depression, my best friend did. She was a talented, creative, beautiful person. Laura’s was driven to do things perfectly. Life isn’t perfect and often can’t be driven in the direction we want it to go. While I talk about Laura in the past tense, she passed from breast cancer, she figured out to be happy was to continue to do what she loved and not worry about what others thought. We have so many wonderful things left by this creative person that would never be if she had given up.
    Now, on to you not being ‘a published author’. I have books on my shelf and in my computer that prove me otherwise. You are a gifted author and I am so happy I found your work.


  2. I’ve suffered from depression on and off all my adult life (and a lot of my teens, with retrospect). The first thing I definitely recommend is talking with your doctor. Meds help, but they won’t solve anything on their own and it can take ages to find the medication that’s actually right for you!

    The second thing I recommend is to be kind to yourself, and that means not judging yourself as a “failure” in terms of your writing! I’ve read your Dream-Walker books and thoroughly enjoyed them. A writer’s career is full of ups and downs, but you’ve achieved a lot already in having your books published and getting an agent. Those are things to really be proud of, so please don’t talk harshly to/about yourself in that respect. Keep on trucking! x


    • Thanks for your thoughts, Naomi. I avoid letting the darkness hit too hard, at least publicly, but with the retaking of the rights (or at least as easy as it was to get them back), I just hit a particularly low spot and needed to let it out.

      The doctor’s who put me on them. They’ve recommended seeing a counselor, but that’s just something I won’t do. Maybe some day I’ll be comfortable with the idea, but I’ve never liked the idea of the couch with someone scribbling notes and saying “Mm-hmm, and why do you feel that way?” The citolopram works well enough. I’ve got a second one to add back in if I need/want to, but it doesn’t really seem to make too much of a difference. It’s the citolopram that does the trick for me.

      I appreciate you chiming in. There seems to be a pretty heft subsection of authors that deal with depression. I wonder if there’s ever been a study done……


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