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. 😉
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. Its impact on functioning and well-being has been compared to that of chronic medical conditions such as diabetes.
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. In severe cases, depressed people may have symptoms of psychosis. These symptoms include delusions or, less commonly, hallucinations, usually unpleasant. Other symptoms of depression include poor concentration and memory (especially in those with melancholic or psychotic features), 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. Insomnia affects at least 80% of depressed people.[medical citation needed]Hypersomnia, or oversleeping, can also happen. Some antidepressants may also cause insomnia due to their stimulating effect.
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. Appetite often decreases, with resulting weight loss, although increased appetite and weight gain occasionally occur. Family and friends may notice that the person’s behavior is either agitated or lethargic. Older depressed people may have cognitive symptoms of recent onset, such as forgetfulness, and a more noticeable slowing of movements. Depression often coexists with physical disorders common among the elderly, such as stroke, other cardiovascular diseases, Parkinson’s disease, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
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)?