Depression is a weird phenomena. I have been spiraling into a season of depression – yes I live in Washington state where we have some of the highest rates of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), but it often seems to hit me in the Spring rather than the winter. I’m not sure why. I admit it isn’t as bad as last year or even two years ago. Last spring, my depression was more anger concentrated. I really felt very angry a lot of the time. I wanted to rip off the heads of my children (and any of their friends who annoyed me), cried because I couldn’t do anything right as a mother or a minister, a lot of performance anxiety as far as getting my job done as a mother, minister, and wife. Now it is more of a lack-of-motivation, lack-of-confidence-in-myself, insecurity-of-who-I-am, low self-worth, and always wanting to sleep and slip away from everyone else type of depression.
The hardest part about depression is coming out of the fog admitting it and then having to pick up all the pieces that have fallen apart and figuring out how to glue them back together and catch up with life. Having depression makes you feel worthless and then having to put life back together means you have to admit you’ve been slacking (somewhat on purpose – even though you didn’t realize it was happening). You have to apologize, but its not your fault. You have to work to get better, even though it is likely a condition you’ll always have. You want to get better and yet you feel so held back by all the hurdles in front of you. And even with a lot of support and encouragement from those surrounding you (which is helpful!), it is still hard to get going again because you’re afraid to let those you love and careful down – again.
A little over a year ago I was diagnosed with PMDD – PreMenstrual Dysphoric Disorder. Now, the new DSM-V does not acknowlege PMS as a disorder but is does acknowledge PMDD. (Not to be confused with PPD, PostPartum Depression – or PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). It is a hormonal imbalance disorder that I have been gifted by my genes – I’ve discovered via conversations with my mother and observation of women in my family line.
I’m still figuring out how to live with PMDD, it might go away some day, it might stay with me forever. I have medication (flouxetine) and I believe that has helped me to manage a great deal of anger and anxiety. The next step is tackling the depression that I’m certain is both a product of and contributor to having PMDD.
I think I’m blogging about this to share with others why I may seem so “out of it” or non-committal to many things. I’m wanting to continue on with life, just needing naps to stave off fatigue and achy muscles and it sucks my motivation to get even the smallest tasks accomplished on time. I’m not intentionally lazy or whatever else one might label my actions. I do wish I could change it all over night and just make this bad dream go away.
Another thing about depression – living with it you still feel like your ‘illness’ is nothing compared to cancer (of whom I know so many are fighting), diabetes, and so many other physical ailments. It seems like it is something so easy to shake. All the research, articles, and blogs tell you it can be just as debilitating but you can’t bring yourself to believe it and you feel so ashamed of your lack of accomplishments.
Praying for my healing and praying for healing for others dealing with PMDD and depression and similar hidden illnesses today.