I've been thinking about doing a post about depression for some time. I am kind of in two minds about it.
First of all, who has more right to be depressed than someone who has had a child die? If I want to hole up in my bedroom and watch M*A*S*H reruns and eat nothing but peanut butter sandwiches who is to say I can't? (I lost about 25 pounds the month after Gabriel died. Do you know you can lose weight by sleeping all day? Well, you can)
But here is the other side of it. At some point I need to put the peanut butter down, turn off the TV and get out again. I can't tell you when it is the right time to do that. Or even that you should. But for me, I knew it was time.
My doctor had put me on Zoloft before I even left the hospital. With my history, he just wanted me to have something to take the edge off. To make the highs not so high, to make the lows not so low. Tell a mom grieving her baby that there is a way to make the "lows not so low." I was scared not to take it. You mean if I don't take meds I could feel even crappier than I do now? Is that even possible?
Meds didn't really do anything for me. I didn't take them very long.
I never did try therapy. Maybe I should have. I never went to a support meeting in real life. It seemed that I was trying to schedule my grief to fall into 'every other Thursday from 7-8:30 pm'. And to talk about it in real life was way way too sad.
Some people DO respond well to therapy. Fantastic! I'd love to hear how you find a therapist you trust and relate to. I know I don't seem it but I am actually a very private person. It is easier to blog about my feelings than to share them face to face.
Instead, I turned to SHARE. The internet. Reading as many books as possible as I could. Trying to feel better.
When you are depressed, it is important to get help SOMEWHERE. So many times it seems that depression is just in my head. That I should be able to 'think happy thoughts' and get over it.
I did quite a bit of research online. And you know what?
Depression is considered a disease. Every bit as 'legitimate' as any other disease or other medial issue. If someone had a broken leg would I tell them to 'think happy thoughts and try to get over it'. No, I'd get them the help they need.
So how do you know if you are depressed rather than just feeling sad? This is the checklist provided by web md
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
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
Sound familiar? These are also the signs and mindset of someone grieving.
I know I am starting that slippery slide to depression by some other signs. They are a little more subtle.
I start hearing everything with a critical ear. My husband asks "What's for dinner?" and I take it as a criticism. My mom says "I haven't talked to you for awhile" and I take it as a criticism.
I start being 'less careful'. Like I don't buckle my seatbelt. I don't stop completely at stopsigns.
Honestly, I think if someone is questioning if they need help they probably do. Ask someone to help you get the help you need. Tell your spouse or your mom or your best friend. Call your family doctor or your OB.
If you are having thoughts of suicide PLEASE call someone asap- the suicide hotline in your city or a close friend.
You can get more info on depression at web md
I hope today is gentle for you.