Today is the end of Mental Illness Awareness Week.
I have Major Depressive Disorder.
I don’t talk about it much since it is treated with Abilify and is so much better than it was.
It was extremely difficult with chronic pain. Depression lies. A lot. And with chronic pain those lies seem to be very true. Rationally true. And, to be honest, those lies still seem true but they are not so powerfully compelling to me anymore. You cannot mask the reality of chronic pain. It is real. It is tangible. And it impact every aspect or your life. Depression simply amplifies the very real facts of chronic pain that we constantly deal with. To the point the Noise of it is constant torture of its own. It is a dark, dark place.
I would think with depression:
- I am worthless. I am functionally useless to society as a whole and if I ceased to exist the world would actually be a better place without me.
- I am a burden to all those that love me
- That chronic pain is essentially torture and I wouldn’t put a pet through the pain I have.
- That life is definately not worth living because of the above points. And suicide is a well played out fantasy. I did actively attempt suicide twice, so those thoughts are dangerous. But partly that was due to antidepressants which, for me, amplify my depression to massive suicidal levels. Thus why I am on Abilify and can’t be on antideprrasants like I was off-label for chronic migraines and fibromyalgia.
And now all that is to a dull roar. Not an inferno of torcherous thoughts.
I still have self-worth problems
My psychologist would point out my acomplishments. Even with this like the work I do on this blog. Or my fiction writing. And I wouldn’t feel anything I do was worthwhile. It didn’t make me feel productive. It didn’t make me feel accomplished. And I have a very difficult time taking compliments on any achievment I have. Almost like I don’t own that. It was luck. Happenchance. Not Me.
I still feel like a burden
I think with chornic illness this is extremely common. We are not doing what we Feel we should be doing. The lack we feel is there means everything we do isn’t enough. And everything we do do isn’t sufficient. Since I have been off work… but not yet compensated from my insurance, so need financial assistence from my mom. And I can’t drive, so she drives me where I need to go. Anyway, it is difficult not to feel really useless. Like my problems would be solves, if I could only work full-time… and yet I can never maintain it without serious issues. So I feel it is all my fault because I can’t.
I still feel chronic pain is torture
It just is. There isn’t any part of your life that isn’t impacted. When we have to try and function with it, it is a really brutal thing.
But, I am not suicidal
I no longer have suicidal ideation or intent. It is like it just poofed out with the medication. Even in high pain, which was always a really difficult time for me. But I also don’t work as much, which with high pain is literally torture. It just begins to break you. But between therapy and medication this is something I don’t deal with right now.
And I feel better
The medication diminished the intensity of the depression I was experiencing. And that means some of the other symptoms like sleeping too much, lack of any motivation at all, hopelessness, and lacking joy in activities are gone as well.
Sometimes people are shamed for ‘being weak’ by taking medication, but it vastly imroved my existence in every way. There is no shame in taking medication when needed.
Clearly medication doesn’t Make you Happy or decrease the effects of chronic pain. But it definitely can dull the inferno of depression. I feel the sunshine now, although that pain makes for quite a storm on its own. Life is worth living in those pain gaps. And it isn’t such an effort to exist.
Mental illness affects 1 in 5 Canadians. There is no shame in it. We should be able to talk about it and treat it without the pervasive stigma there is out there. I hid mine for years because I felt like it was a weakness I had to Overcome. Or it was Natural with pain, and to a degree I think mood regulation is very difficult with pain, but clinical depression isn’t normal.