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The mind is a funny thing. I’m not an especially quick thinker. I usually think of things, mull them over, examine an idea from every side and then, ten years later, call someone up and give them a response.

The other day, though, I went to the grocery store. It was a nice day so I had both windows down. I was sitting in the car blasting music (Anthrax this time) and using my phone to check into Foursquare (because everybody loves knowing when I go shopping and, by God, one day I will be mayor!) when some lady holding a kid leans into the passenger side window. She was holding a baby.

“Excuse me,” she said. And, quick as a mongoose, my mind was racing trying to figure out why a woman was talking to me. She was holding a baby. Was she about to complain about me playing the music too loud in the parking lot? I turned down the radio and said, “Hi.”

Then she started to say, “You have a wicked — ” and, again, my brain leapt into action. A wicked what? Dent? Hole in my trunk? Flat tire? I had a vision of a bumper hanging off the back of my car, dragging on the ground. And I don’t think it can actually do that. “–ly cool car!” Oh. Ah. Okay, I can deal with that. I thanked her for her kind comments and let my heart slow down to a more reasonable speed.

Why does my brain work that way? I couldn’t rightly say.

I’ve been surrounded by the word ‘depression’ lately. Most people think I’m depressed. I don’t feel particularly depressed most of the time, but I’m told that’s different from clinical depression. I thought it would be nice to go through the symptoms and see how I fare. I invite you to come with.

1) Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions

Come to think of it, I do have trouble concentrating; especially on things that I really want to concentrate on. For some reason I don’t have any trouble while writing these blogs but trying to get a real story going? Yeah, that can be hard. I don’t have problems remembering details that I know of. I’m not sure what kind of details they mean. And as for making decisions? Yes, I’ve always had a hard time with that. For instance, if I want to buy something and I have a lot of choices I’ll generally give up and not get anything. So, let’s call this +1.

2) Fatigue and decreased energy

I reckon this is the case. I have a hard time getting up the energy to do anything. Sure, I get up and go to work but I really have to; I can’t afford not to work. My apartment, though, is a wreck because I find it hard to get up the energy to gather up stuff and put it away. 1+1=2.

3) Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and/or helplessness

Well, this is a biggie. I do have feelings of guilt. I feel like I have a lot of reasons to feel guilty. There are some things I don’t feel guilty for that I feel I should and that makes me feel guilty, too. Feelings of worthlessness? Absolutely. I couldn’t tell you why, exactly. I’m good at my job. If I’m with someone I’m a good person towards them. But, still, there’s always that nagging feeling in my head that I’m really just not good enough. After all, I’ve got a decent mind and what have I used it for? Writing a blog. A blog that gets less attention than someone who posts about buying a bag of Cheetos.  I don’t feel helpless, though. Useless, worthless, not helpless. Far from it. So… 2+1=3?

4) Feelings of hopelessness and/or pessimism

Nope. I really don’t. I always feel that tomorrow can be a better day. I may not say that, but that’s how I feel. Everything has a cycle; life may be heading downwards today but that doesn’t mean that tomorrow might be the day it all turns around.  So, ha, that’s a 0. Still at 3.

5) Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping

Excessive sleeping? Nope, not me. Insomnia? Not really. Early-morning wakefulness? Oh, yes. But I have a cat who demands to be fed early in the morning and two birds who raise a ruckus when they wake up (at dawn). So, I’m going to have to go with a ‘0’ here. 3.

6) Irritability, restlessness

I sure do get irritable. Everyone does, I’m sure. I would give me a ‘0’ for that just because it’s amazingly broad. Then there’s restlessness. I get that frequently. I’ll be home, alone, doing nothing, bored out of my skull. Yet, I won’t do anything about it. I won’t go out. I blame that on #2 up there. So, +1=4.

7) Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable, including sex

Well, yes. Except for sex. But I’ve never really had any activities or hobbies. Video games, maybe, but I’m definitely losing interest in that. And writing. Which I’ve largely lost interest in, except for these blogs. I never tire of sex, though, and it’s only a pity that it’s out of the picture. So, what? +1? 5?

8) Overeating or appetite loss

This is a funny one. Yes to both. I really don’t feel hungry anymore, except a few minutes of hunger pangs here and there. I don’t eat breakfast, I don’t eat lunch, I don’t snack during the day, but I do eat dinner. And I eat dinner more because it’s time to eat dinner than out of hunger. It’s the rare occasion when hunger pangs happen at dinner time. Yet, I’ll overeat. I’ll do that because I feel I need to. For whatever reason. Not enough for leftovers? Sure. To clean my plate? Okay. There are children starving in India? Why not? Whatever. I’ll eat and eat and eat because I feel I’m expected to do so. It’s only been recently that I’ve realized I don’t have to be this way and have acted to curb it. This is the reason why I’m still losing weight and can remove my pants, with the belt on the last hole, without opening them. Right after they get out of the dryer. So, I’m still going to say +1 here. 6.

9) Persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment

Nope. Can’t say that I do. 0. Still 6.

10) Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” feelings

I guess. I don’t really understand what this means. Of course, I have plenty of reasons to feel sad. Ten years worth, at least. I have acquaintances, but no friends. I’m horrible in social situations. I am… very, very, alone. I’m not sure what “empty” means, so I guess that’s no. Still, +1. 7.

11) Thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts

Before anyone freaks out, make sure you read the whole thing. No, I have not attempted suicide. I have no desire to end my own life. However, I do think of suicide, in general terms, quite frequently. Not in terms of me, though, but to other people and why they would do it. It does give me pause, though, that I’ve been told, by people who know, that when depressed people go on anti-depressants they finally get up the energy to kill themselves. This worries me because if I were to go on medication for depression (which seems kind of likely if I’m up to 7 out of 11) I wouldn’t want to suddenly start thinking about saying that long goodbye. There’s too many interesting things going on that I don’t want to miss. Sure, my life isn’t one of them, but there’s other stuff. So…. let’s say 1/2. Seven and a half out of 11.

That doesn’t sound very good to me. I bet my therapist is sad that she doesn’t read my blog now. Er, not that she’d know to be sad… Well, whatever. The question now is: What to do about this? Being more open with my therapist will probably be a good start, and I’ve already started that. We’ll see how things go. But I’m still worried about taking medication. I have no idea how much that would change me, if it did at all. Worse, what if it made my life tremendously better and then I got depressed because I could have been that way my whole life? Conundrum! On the other hand, one of the things I hate the most about me is my weight. Maybe feeling better would curb the dinner binge. Who’s to say?

I hope you all found this as interesting as I did..

Well, I was going end this on an upbeat note so nobody else would get the blues. I can’t really think of anything, though. I didn’t do anything interesting this week that I remember. So you’re stuck with it.

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