Rodin-Serpent and Eve
This is a candid pic of me during a severe depressive episode in 2007
The Hell Of Depression...
Usually I'm a "pint low" as one would say. I always seem to "level out" on the depressive side and I always have an underlying and persistent sense of sadness. However, when a seriously debilitating depression comes on, this is what happens to me.
I begin the struggle within my mind; it's an enormous battle trying to fend off the overwhelming grip of despondency. At first, I try to push away the gloom, but for some reason, it always a rushing downward slide that I cannot protect myself against. My rationale begins to dwindle. In a short time I am basically defeated. I don't wish to talk to anyone. My ability to communicate fades. I hide from the world in my bedroom, which becomes a lair that I do not wish to leave. I don't leave my home period. I cringe anytime the phone rings and I never pick it up. The voice mail shields me. I get out of my "online" pattern and go for days without opening my E-mail or taking care of my web site. The pain is unbearable. My mind is breaking.
My sleep habits are totally opposite of the norm. Sometimes I stay up into the early morning hours and sleep all day. On other days I reverse the pattern, and sleep for 12 or more hours waking at night. I actually crave sleep because I can escape from the despair of being. On occasion, I have taken extra pills just to put myself to sleep so I don't have to feel. The TV is constantly on despite my varying concentration skills. Reading becomes difficult because I can't grasp anything clearly. I read the same sentences over and over again. I don't cook, eat, do any household cleaning, read my mail, pay the household bills, read my mail, etc. I go for days on end without appropriate hygiene habits. I am completely helpless and disheveled. My bed is my solace. Greg, (my husband) cares for me in his kind and gentle way, and pushes me to eat and take my meds. He encourages and supports me as best he can, and calls my psychiatrist or psychologist and or takes me to see one or the other. Usually, I have to be hospitalized by this point. I think he gets bewildered and doesn't know what to do about me sometimes. This illness makes Greg's life a living hell at times.
Making a decision as simple as what I might want for dinner is too perplexing for me to answer. My husband describes me as going "blank" when I'm depressed. My entire body language changes along with my facial expressions. My speech slows; I have terrible memory problems, and often reverse what I am trying to say. I'm in another realm completely. Sometimes I am quite tearful and cry for a long time while other times I am just flat and numb. Suicide is a constant and comforting thought, like a warm blanket. I scheme and plot on how to end my life. I have attempted suicide three times thus far (the first time I was just 17) and have been hospitalized too many times to mention. I am often asked to "contract for safety" which doesn't really mean much to me. Eventually over time and being hospitalized while taking a good "cocktail" of medication or undergoing ECT, I eventually come out of the deep depression. Sometimes it takes agonizing months to begin to feel some sense of "normalcy". However, I seem to feel rather peculiar and have a sense of this lingering underlying depression that is not devastating, but I'm not quite "even" either. It's rather hard to clarify.
Hypomania, Mania and Mixed States
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