Thursday, May 04, 2006

Coping

I've struggled with chronic depression since high school, so I'm no stranger to the feelings that are currently overwhelming me. It's not to say I'm immune to them, just that I've learned to recognize them and ride them out. Here are the symptoms I have to deal with when I go through an "episode," and what I try to do to get through them:

Motivation. When a bout of depression hits me, I become almost completely comatose. Every little task becomes a monumental chore, and it's all I can do to fight curling into a fetal position in my bed. I let even the most routine tasks slip: taking the trash out, cleaning up the kitchen, brushing my teeth, answering the phone, mowing the lawn, etc. I generally try to find just ONE thing to accomplish per day, so that I feel like I've at least tackled something. This helps me.

Irritability. 99% of the time I am a docile teddy bear during a depressive episode. However, I am fully aware that I can snap at any second and unleash my inner psychopath. Yesterday, in fact, when Casey (once again) took a shit in the living room because he refused to go outside in the rain, I lost it. Thankfully, because I'm aware of this tendency, I made myself sit down on the couch and count to 50 before I did something I would later regret.

Self-abuse. This is my trademark. During a depressive episode, if it's bad for me, I'll do it. Smoking, binge drinking, over-eating, hyper-sexuality, etc. are all coping mechanisms for me. I wish I could say that I have a magic bullet that kept me away from these things, but I don't. I just try my best to recognize them for what they are and try to talk myself out of doing them. Most often it doesn't work, as evidenced by the 6-pack of powdered donuts I just ate out of the vending machine. Ugh.

Sleep. This is a symptom I don't try to fight. I feel like my body is telling me I need to rest, and I gladly listen. I've been known to sleep from the time I get in from work until the time I wake up for work the next day. In fact, I did that last night, and I will probably do it again today. Usually sleep will center me, and so I rely on its healing powers to put my brain chemicals back in the right place.

Bear with me. I'll be back to my old self soon. Just as soon as I eat this half-gallon of raspberry sorbet...

3 Comments:

At 10:47 AM, Blogger KipEsquire said...

Do you find that Casey helps? No matter how bummin' I get, Diamond will always snap me back to, or at least close to, "okay-ness."

Then again, "bummin" is of course not the same as a true episode of depression.

Also important is to avoid facilitators who encourage the drinking-eating-hypernaughtiness stuff.

Hope it passes quickly.

:-)

 
At 4:45 PM, Blogger Micah said...

I've been thinking about you a lot today. (Not in a creepy way, but like in a 'hope you're okay' kinda way).

Do you know why you're depressed or are you just in a funk of sorts?

That's all. Just wanted to let you know I'm ( and we the people of your blog) are here if you need anything.

 
At 9:28 PM, Anonymous David in KC said...

Having just come through a six month depressive episode, I can totally identify with you. We use many of the same coping mechanisms - sleep; accomplish one thing a day; binge eating. At my age, hyper-sexuality is not an option.

Do you use any medications? I finally got up enough motivation to get back on one. My friends practially had to hog tie me and take me to the doc.

You have my thoughts and best wishes during this time. Since I'm retired and live close by, I could run errands for you, walk your dog, share some raspberry sorbet.

Keep on writing. One way I kept myself together was to read blogs. Your's is a favorite!

 

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