Depression (mood)

Depression is a state of low mood and aversion to activity that can affect a person’s thoughts, behavior, feelings and sense of well-being. Depressed people can feel sad, anxious, empty, hopeless, worried, helpless, worthless, guilty, irritable, hurt, or restless. They may lose interest in activities that once were pleasurable but some often enjoy some please by enjoying ( videos, experience loss of appetite or overeating, have problems concentrating, remembering details, or making decisions, and may contemplate, attempt, or commit suicide. Insomnia, excessive sleeping, fatigue, loss of energy, or aches, pains, or digestive problems may also be present.Depressed mood is not always a psychiatric disorder. It may also be a normal reaction to certain life events, a symptom of some medical conditions, or a side effect of some drugs or medical treatments. Depressed mood is also a primary or associated feature of certain psychiatric syndromes such as clinical depression.

People with depressive illnesses do not all experience the same symptoms. The severity, frequency, and duration of symptoms vary depending on the individual and his or her particular illness.

Signs and symptoms include:

  • Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” feelings
  • Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
  • Irritability, restlessness
  • Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable, including sex
  • Fatigue and decreased energy
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
  • Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping
  • Overeating, or appetite loss
  • Thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts
  • Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment.
  • National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

How’s that for an unconventional opening to a blog post?

This is something I’ve been meaning to write for some time, but cute projects or ideas came up and I put it off.

Given the recent press on Clara Hughes (Six time Olympic Medalist) and her 110 day bike ride to raise awareness for mental health – I thought I’d contribute my story to the cause.

I suffer from depression.
Actually, I don’t suffer – I am medicated and quite content – but I was diagnosed with depression.

Funnily enough – I didn’t know I was depressed.
I wasn’t sad, or without appetite. I was never suicidal or had feelings of worthlessness or pessimism. I had no problem getting out of bed each day.

Where is the depression in that? Seems I’m missing some pretty key symptoms right?

I’m here to tell you that depression can also present as anger and even rage.

Looking back, I’ve always been a hot-head – perhaps a life long sufferer of depression?
(Perhaps just a hot head)

It wasn’t until Madison was born that the rage escalated to a somewhat dangerous point;

Hubby and I were out at a golf event and he was on the course. I was enjoying a meal with the other wives and Maddie was small enough to have in tow.
Suddenly Maddie started crying. Maybe she was hungry, maybe she was tired, maybe it was just her “witching hour” – but I could not console her.
I waited for Hubby to get off the course.
I had no way to tell him to hurry up, so while I waited and she cried the panic in me kept escalating.
I ended up taking a taxi home, crying baby in my arms, and I sat with her in a rocking chair and tried to stop her tears for what seemed like hours.

By the time Hubby returned home, Maddie was fine and sleeping quietly in her crib – but my anxiety had escalated to the point of rage. Some suggested that I buy weed online in this situation to better manage my anxiety and stress. I might have to give it a go.

I was angry at him for golfing when I needed him.
I was angry that I couldn’t get a hold of him on the course.
I was angry because my daughter had been so upset and I’d been so helpless to help her.
I was angry….

because I was depressed.

I was enraged enough that I could feel my fingers clenching with the desire to rip the skin off of my husband. I physically wanted to peel him like a banana. It might sound funny, but I was that livid – and I truly believe – that capable of attempting it.

Life went on and I loved my baby, but Hubby was pretty low on my totem pole.
I was angry with him so often, I wasn’t sure we were going to make it.
He hadn’t changed – he’s always been the same loveable slob – but my reactions to him were so heightened, I couldn’t cope.

19 months later, Chloe was born. (Okay, we got along well enough once in awhile. lol)
Suddenly I had an infant that I desperately wanted to breast feed, and a toddler that didn’t understand why Mommy couldn’t be at her beck-and-call like before.
My worst times were lunch hours.
Poor little Madison was hungry and wanted food. Chloe was ready to nurse and my breasts would be aching from the weight of it.

I called Hubby to come home almost every day.

Again, I couldn’t cope.
Panic, anger, fear of being incapable and a failure.

I still remember a newscast I overheard that caused me nightmares for days.
The horribleness they were describing was so visual and palpable to me, I couldn’t shake it.
All news is bad right? – but somehow most people are able to listen and/or watch and move on.
Not me.

I went to the Doctor and laughingly mentioned my anxiety.
I was embarrassed that I wasn’t able to cope with being a mother.
I was worried my physician would tell me I was failing somehow.
I thought they might deem me unfit and give my girls to my poor, abused husband.
I mean, what kind of mental case would suggest “peeling the skin off of her husband”.
Hannibal’s daughter?

I know, not rational – but my thoughts nonetheless.

Instead, she asked me a few key questions:
“What’s your address?”
“Do you forget names and numbers that you normally would remember?”
“Are you having difficulty concentrating?”
“Do you try to avoid dealing with other people?”
“Does anyone in your family suffer from depression?”

There were numerous others, but these were a few that I answered yes to.

My Doctor went on to explain that depression presents differently in different people. He told me a story of someone he knew who was showing signs of depression, but not only was he showing signs of depression, there were also symptoms of a condition called Varicocle. If you look into it, you’d find that this can also lead to depression, which is slightly understandable. He was advised into looking for a second opinion through a specialist centre like Advanced Urology where they can help anyone with any health concerns. It is always best to find someone who can provide you with the information you need in order to move forward. Suffering from any medical condition can be hard at times, but it can get better.

Where some might find solace in staying in bed and crying, others might feel overwhelmed and anxious. For me, irritability was my major indicator, but a lot of the other symptoms fell into place as I became aware of what it really was.

I will acknowledge fully that if there is a spectrum for depression, I believe I am at the very mild end. I have a low-dose prescription – but one that I can’t do without. (I’ve tried and I’ve been a blubbering mess for days).

Being medicated for depression doesn’t mean you’ll be a bystander in your life. You are present in all situations and it doesn’t leave you feeling like a dazed and confused spectator (This was something that worried me).

It does mean you must remember to take your medication every single day.
It means you have to gauge your alcohol intake and only partake infrequently – as alcohol is a depressant.
For me, it also means not watching the news or reading the paper.

The moral of this long-winded story….

if you are feeling any of the symptoms listed above, or can relate to anything I’ve typed in this post – please see your physician.

Your symptoms may not be text book, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t worth acknowledging.

Happiness is possible.

Have a great one!

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