Friday, July 15, 2011

Depressed anyone?

I am generally very good at avoiding depression.  I lived with a major depressive (mom) and I hate depression with a passion.  A few years back, I put myself through therapy for a year because as good as I am at working out my own crap (with special thanks to good friends!!)  I had hit a wall I couldn't seem to climb.  Digging deeper and deeper into a rut with a need to find a way out.  I turned to therapy.  We did make some major progress and I learned some things I still practice and share with others today.  

(2x4 Moment:  Yes, I made progress in therapy but only after arguing with my therapist for 3 months about how this would be accomplished.  Finally, in what I can only imagine was exasperation, he looked at me and said, "Who has the degree?" (pause) So I let him run things and we started making progress.  Imagine that!)

A friend said something recently that made me stop and think.  Do I discount how much stress I am under and overestimate my ability to deal with it?  I see this in other people, but her comment made me think perhaps I need to see it in myself as well.

She (I'll call her K) commented on my sharing that noise really bothers me.  It never used to.  I can remember being the teeanager with the music blaring and my parents telling me to turn it down.  (talk about hearing your mothers voice come out of your mouth, it's my turn to say this to my kids!)

So, K told me that being bothered by noise is a sign of depression. 

Truth sometimes hits you square upside the head.  There was just truth in that statement.  So now I have to stop and I depressed?

I'm still working out the details of how this might be effecting my life.  I personally have a major fail in the personal caretaking of me category.)

If you're interested:
These are general symptoms of depression:

  • difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions

  • fatigue and decreased energy

  • feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and/or helplessness

  • feelings of hopelessness and/or pessimism

  • insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping

  • irritability, restlessness

  • loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable, including sex

  • overeating or appetite loss

  • persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment

  • persistent sad, anxious, or "empty" feelings

  • thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts

  • I find a few of these interesting.  Things I have attributed to aging, medication and my own general nuttiness.
    • difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
    • insomnia, early-morning wakefulness (I wish), or excessive sleeping
    • overeating or appetite loss (again, wishful thinking on appetite loss)
    • persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment
    See, many of these would pertain to me anyway, so it's easy to write them off.  I'm slowly going down a path to living more healthy.

    I'm wondering if these are also symptoms of stress.  (According to the Mayo Clinic they are.)  Could I be struggling with depression in ways other than the typical mope around the house with a little black rain cloud over me? 
    Guess I need to sit down with God and work on this stress and depression.  Do a little self care, something so many of us are truly bad at.  

    I started today with a pedicure...but I should have spent more time being quiet and still and praying than looking at trashy gossip magazines, I would have felt better.  I don't want to keep seeing "should have" on my list.  I need to make better decisions.  Starting right now, I'm going to do that.  I'm going to shut down and go to bed 1 hour earlier than I have all week.  That sounds like a positive step for now.  

    How do you take care of yourself? 

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