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Mental suffocation

I keep on thinking. And thinking and thinking and thinking… And it makes it hard to relax, to sleep, to function in basic tasks and to get up and moving. It makes me feel very anxious, sad and angry. I feel as though I’m suffocating and I think that I am, mentally anyway. I’m thinking of financial issues, my past behaviours and actions, my current estrangement from my family (for good reason, I assure you), I’m worried about my health and well-being, I’m still having thoughts of jumping or simply dying or being injured (and wonder how much people would actually care or be upset with me being gone or hurt). I feel helpless and feel as though things are hopeless. I don’t want to die, but sometimes I feel as though things will never be different, like I can’t stop struggling and like I will never be content, mentally stable or a functional and functioning human being. I don’t even know what that is… It’s too soon to say if these medications are helping and it doesn’t help with me being very hopeful either. I don’t know if I ever will be okay and that makes me feel very badly.

Accepting that I have a problem

I had initially shared this as a note on Facebook, but since decided to take it down.

I suppose that we could file this under “TMI”, or inappropriate for the typical Facebook postings, between Instagram-ed pictures of food, game wins and requests, check-ins and overall general status updates about random life observations. Something like this would detract from the fun of a social medium and, if your goal is to not think about such things that this post addresses, then, by all means, close this link and move on. No hard feelings.

I’m trying to pinpoint the reason for my sharing this and I’m coming to the conclusion that I just don’t want to live in denial any more. I also want the shameful thoughts about this very touchy subject to dissipate into acceptance, self-loving, willpower and awareness.

I’m not ashamed to state that I have begun taking anti-depressants for some strain of depression that is currently infecting my brain. Quite honestly, I should have commenced this medication, at the very latest, in February. Why do I emphasize that in italics and why do I point out February as a cut-off time? Those are excellent questions.

For several reasons, which I won’t exactly delve into here, I have always felt a sadness that I couldn’t really shake. While experiencing many good and happy moments in my childhood and adolescence, with various friends and even relatives, those moments were clouded by fluctuations in my mood and feelings of unease, anger and sadness. Low mood, low self-esteem and a lack of confidence were pervasive into adulthood, during which I self-medicated, first with marijuana, and subsequently with alcohol and most recently with much healthier methods of self-medication: exercise and healthy eating.

Still, the inability to handle stress effectively, leading to heightened anxiety and thus poor life choices with regards to a healthy lifestyle inevitably results in a mood crash. By now, I can recognize the cycle and see that, for a long time now, I have been riding out waves of emotion and just waiting for the storms to subside into very elated and happy thoughts. It has been happening exactly like this for years and, more specifically, in the past 12 months. I now see what I initially believed to be a personality defect, or flaw, being moodiness, for what it most likely really is:  low serotonin levels, due to inability to cope with stress and anxiety, affecting my moods and making me feel really down, irritable and sad.

Advice that I have previously received from various friends, relatives, now ex-boyfriends and acquaintances tended to superficially address the problems that I have been experiencing; some thought that estrangement from certain relatives who are a major stressor would help, while others counselled that I should spend more time with my son and focus on him and myself, read self-help books, exercise, be patient with myself, change neighbourhoods, make different friends, start a new job, go back to school, get more sleep, meditate, do yoga, clean my room, get a dog, spend time with loved ones, dress differently, listen to music, shop, travel, socialize, volunteer, et cetera. However, when my energy levels, morale and general mood are low, it is difficult to engage in most of these activities. As well, many of them are in-and-of themselves very stressful and can decrease interest or desire to engage. Enter medication.

It will be a week on Monday that I will have begun taking the anti-depressants and more consultations will need to be done to assess exactly what strain of depression I am suffering from and to choose the appropriate therapeutic techniques.

So, I think that is all I will write for now, except for adding that denying that there are problems will only prolong the persistence of the problems and they will eventually elevate into something much further beyond the sufferer’s control.

Till next time.


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