Breaking My Circle

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Tomorrow, I have an hour with my therapist. At 7:30 a.m. For I like to start my morning with a good, cathartic cry.

I have been skimming the edge of another depression. I am not sure if it is hormonal - I am soon to be 36 and all - or Seasonal (Shine sun, damn you!), or just bio-chemical in nature. It is, however, messing with me. I have been foggy and unfocused. Wavering in and out of participating in my life. I cried this morning when Terrance tried to get me to explain what the matter was. I can't explain it. I'm just hovering.

Depression, for me, is a state of being. I have said often that I come from a long line of folks with some serious mental health issues. I suspect that my biological father is a still undiagnosed bi-polar and my mother has her own struggles with depression. Like two parents who wear glasses, odds are the apple isn't falling far from the tree.

There was an intriguing study that came out last week. Studies are showing that the children of depressed Mom's who do not seek treatment are vastly more likely to have mental health issues themselves. To them I say, No shit. Another dissertation I could have ACED! Oh well.

But how do we coax out these mothers? How do we - other parents- coax out the recognition of being depressed, so that treatment can be sought? How do we de-stigmatize the state of depression so that it becomes acceptable to seek treatment?

Depression doesn't scare me the way it did the first time. I was once terrified of being back in that place ever again. You know that well in the movie "Ringu"?(and here I am being an art house snob, cause I L-o-v-e Japanese horror in it's un Americanized versions) My depression was that Well. I about fell off the bed when I saw that movie, cause there is was - in image form. My Well, my depression.

After a couple of managed episodes, I don't fear the depression the way I first did. It feels awful, but I now know what I didn't know after the first one - I will get better. I am also better at seeing my signs - Constant Headaches, cravings for Sugar, and realizing that this is what my body does when trying to flag me over to the side of the road. I no longer need the additional irritable bowel, shingles and pneumonia to get me to pull over.

After the first episode, I talked non-stop to my friends about how much BETTER I felt - Because I did. In fact, I had forgotten what not being depressed felt like. It was a revelation! I don't do that as much now. What I do now, however, is to bring the word up when people are showing signs. Gently. When you are in the midst of a depression, you often don't see it, because the stress of just getting up has become tantamount. You have no room for emotional metacognition. When another person names what you are feeling, there is a space there that allows the word to resonate.

We now know that the children of depressed mothers are vastly more likely to have mental health issues later in life. Knowing this, how could we Not talk about it?

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And Now .... Here is the back of my new shirt. With Kristen's post about "Mommy Bloggers", I find it apt that I made this one yesterday.

25 Baleful Regards:

Marcie said...

Hang on, Spring is almost here. Whoops, Spring is here. Okay, warm sunshiny weather is almost here. I always get in a funk this time of year, for myself I definitely think it's seasonal. It's always been comforting to hear that other women out there deal with the same thing. It makes you feel less broken and more normal.

mama_tulip said...

Yes, talk about it, because with depression comes that horrible feeling that you're the only one in the world who feels that way (at least, that's what it's been like for me, anyway...). It does wonders to hear that you're not alone, that others feel the same way, too.

krista said...

As for the depression stuff, I'm right there with you.

It's the treatment part that freaks me out. I've had such bad experiences with medications and psychiatrists that I tend to try to ride my depressions out without treatment... and sometimes it's been pretty clear that that wasn't the best choice for me to make.

Anyway though, on a more fluffu note, Your new shirt is awesome!! I love it.

Anonymous said...

My depression manifests itself in risky behavior. I turn to men "friends" and try to prove to myself that I am still attractive, desirable and worthy by turning them on. It is dangerous and I know it, on my good days; on my bad days it seems like the only thing that will make me feel better.

Kristen said...

LMAO - Dawn - rock on sister....

And I've been going through some crazy hormonal stuff as well - not necessarily depression, but obviously something beyond my own control. Thanks for sharing this.

Fraulein N said...

I'm glad you've learned to recognize what your body's trying to tell you. It's dicey work, trying to get your brain to work just so.

MrsFortune said...

I hope everything works out for you, Dawn. I've struggled with these kinds of issues all my life so what you write really resonates with me.

I. Love. That. Shirt.

mothergoosemouse said...

Fabulous shirt. I really, really like that one.

How was your session this morning? I shall be making my own appointment with my PCP to get a referral. It's important to take care of ourselves; I'm just sorry that it took me as long as it did to figure that out.

TB said...

I know what this feels like too. I'm so glad you can read your body's signals and that you are taking care of yourself.
Hang in there, you KNOW it gets better and you are not alone.

Mignon said...

Shingles? Our bodies can be so damn bitchy can't they? "Take care of me or I will implode on you and turn into a painful rash, with a side of hacking cough and heartburn." Damn body. Mind your own business.

Best wishes with the therapist, Dawn. I'll be thinking of you today. xx

Catherine said...

I'm with Krista... I've personally not had much luck with medications and therapy and, therefore, have dangerously tried to ride the wave in the past. I'm glad that you can see the signs, that you are getting help, and that you blog. You've got a whole crew of ladies across the country who empathize and are rooting for you, Dawn.

And I NEED that shirt!

sweatpantsmom said...

As usual, Dawn, you are so good at articulating these things. I know what it feels like to be 'hovering.' Props to you for being so in tune with your body and emotions and knowing the steps to take.

GREAT SHIRT!

jen said...

put that in the right magazine, and they'd call that "the money shot".

Not that I would know what that means,

jen said...

Oooh, that shot totally reminds me of Karen Walker from Will & Grace!!

Lisa said...

Love it. I should have worn it to that Christian mommy conference I went to. I would have surely pissed a bunch of people off.

Also, I wanted to do a post on Easter Crackpipes. Just for YOU! But when I goggled it, all I got was my own damn site. HA. Go figure.

And so glad you'll be getting help. Been through that and it ain't fun. And I hope you pull through very soon.

E. said...

This is a really eloquent post on a subject that's not easy to talk about, yet so important. The fact about kids w/ depressed moms who don't get help is chilling, but also must be inspiring. All the more reason it's important that you are articulating your own knowlege about your depression. I'm sure you're getting many people thinking.

It sounds like you're listening intellegently to your body and your mood. Hope the steps you're taking lift you into a better place soon.

Jess Riley said...

Thank you for your honest & heartfelt post. I'm glad that you've recognized the signs and are taking action. I have had my own run-ins with these feelings, so I thank you for your candor. You are not alone; We're all rooting for you.

Sugarmama said...

To me, it's so bizarre that there's a stigma against depression and mental illnesses in general. We are cellular beings run by our hormones--where's the judgment in that? Well, plus I come from a family history of all sorts of mental problems, too, so it seems, well, "normal" to me. That said, do what you need to do to get out of this before it gets hold of you. It sounds like the first time was rough, but at least it's good that you know what to watch for. I'll be thinking about you.

Elizabeth said...

Because I only take Wellbutrin for seasonal depression, I am always grateful when my husband points out that it might be time to call the doctor and go back on it. Like you said, I don't always pick up on my own signs.

Depression will affect one in five women in their lifetime, so we need to talk about it. It's nothing to be ashamed of. I hope you felt better after seeing the therapist.

Meghan said...

Hey Dawn,

I was a depression med virgin until this winter when I had a frightening and disorienting bout of it complete with sleeplessness and panic attacks. Lexapro is a good mild one. I think now that spring is approaching I may try to get off of it. I will kee you posted about the withdrawals.

I can 100% relate.

halloweenlover said...

I'm sorry you have to deal with this, Dawn. I wish you could be back in those happy times, but I hope this new diagnosis helps. I think your self-awareness will help Emily if she ever has to face depression herself. Hugs.

C.ELLA said...

You are doing the best thing you can for yourself and all women, sharing your story. When women realize they are not alone they will stop feeling the stigma.

Love the t-shirt!

sparklykatt said...

Thank you for saying it like it is. I feel like I just wrote that post.

Kristine

Nancy said...

Dawn, I am sorry that I have been out of touch for a couple of days and am just now reading this. You know I am here if there is anything you need, personally.

With respect to the depression -- I absolutely agree that it is helpful to talk about it to avoid the stigma. I know it's valuable to receive treatment. I see, and have been concerned about, the signs that my mother suffers from depression and hasn't done anything about it (which affects my own views of seeking treatment). Yet, I still struggle internally with all of these same things.

I really appreciate your analogy of your body trying to flag you to the side of the road. That makes a lot of sense for me right now.

Danny Haszard said...

Appreciate your blog,mental health consumers are the least capable of self advocacy,my doctors made me take zyprexa for 4 years which was ineffective for my symptoms.I now have a victims support page against Eli Lilly for it's Zyprexa product causing my diabetes.--Daniel Haszard www.zyprexa-victims.com

 
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