Depression

Warning – shit is about to get real

It turns out I have depression and anxiety…also turns out i have had it since I was a little person.  I’ve often been a bit on the unhappy side of life and have frequently tossed my toys out of the cot, but it was fantastic to actually have the understanding of a professional explaining to me that there is indeed a “why”.  My Psychiatrist (yes, I went and hung out with a head doctor…no, I did not lie down on a couch) seems to think some of it stems from when my mother told me she hated me and reminded me of my father.  My father was absent in my life…which also lead to possible abandonment issues (if you know me, you know I like to be around people and having your parents not want to be around you is pretty darn tough). I think it flicked a switch in me…life became very black and white, happy and angry with no greys (emotions).  Coming to this realisation has been a long a tough road…it all started a few years ago

“I don’t want to get out of bed”

This was my first issue.  Don’t get me wrong, I love a good lie in like the next lazy bugger, but I was going through a stage where I was constantly tired (well, not even tired, just not wanting to function in normal society).  I’d go and lie in bed from early in the evening and not want to get up in the morning.  I wanted to just curl up and avoid people (and this is quite strange for me as I am generally quite an extroverted person who enjoys being centre stage, putting on “the Phillip Show” and getting attention from all and sundry).

Doctors visits

A visit to the doctor  saw me explain what was going on.  Their first questioning was around depression and anxiety which I immediately laughed at as I am generally a happy-go-lucky clown that was never sad, so I said that I doubted that was my issue.  A barrage of blood tests later over a period of weeks and the doctor was stumped, I was confused and wanting answers.  There had been a Hepatitis scare in Australia due to some contaminated frozen fruit (which were absolutely delicious and saw me consume in vast quantities) and the doctor suggested that might be answer.  Another blood test and negative results.  Painfully, I was physically healthy (a little fat……ok, I was a lot fat, but no fatter than I usually had been – especially considering the frozen fruit that I had consumed).

Psychological maybe

One day, I had a massive argument with my wife.  A rip-roaring, barnstormer where  I lost all control, smashed a full bottle of wine and absolutely saw red.  In a situation where I should have been sad, I absolutely lost the plot.  My wife called me a psycho…which struck a cord.  Maybe I was.  Maybe there was something inherently wrong with me at a psychological level.  Maybe I had some issues in my head that I really needed to deal with.

I ended up catching up with the relevant medical personnel and beginning to learn all about depression and anxiety.  I began to look back and,  while I know it is human nature to see patterns that might not exist, I could see things in my life, moments in my past that could easily be attributed to a depressive state or some level of anxiety.  Who knew anger could be a part of depression?

Medication

I began medication immediately.  I didn’t know how to take it.  Do I tell people, do I keep it to myself.  I felt like a leper, like someone that is broken, like someone who is…..less.  I have always hated not being good at things and not being what I saw as normal really got to me. I wondered how much of me in the past was real and how much of me was compensating for my …issues.  I wished that my issues were something else, at one stage I wished that I had cancer instead, because I can understand cancer, I can deal with cancer, I am not scared of death.  With depression and anxiety, I didn’t understand it, I didn’t know how to deal with it, I knew I couldn’t get rid of it, but most importantly…..I was afraid.

While some people find medical deadens or dulls them, I found the complete opposite, my medication brought with it a plethora of emotions.  Previously only ever experiencing happiness or anger, I began experiencing other emotions which made life initially quite difficult.  Having never felt, what I saw as traditionally depressed, I was not prepared for the emotions that would cripple me, crying in bed for hours on end with no reason whatsoever.  My wife would ask what was wrong, and sobbing, I would cry “I don’t know”.  I’m a technical/scientific thinker and having things happen or having me react certain ways without a reason would upset me.  I would constantly be upset and then upset myself further when trying to workout why I am upset, which was as frustrating as an itchy nose while carrying a piano. Frustration for me, leads me to dark, dark places.

Frustration is not my friend

My wife and I are generally best friends.  But sometimes we argue.  I get frustrated as I feel things aren’t fair and I am not being heard.  Unfortunately, because of this frustration, I have tended to just go wild and break things.  I’m not making excuses, by any means.  I realise a lot of my behaviour has been abhorrent and not something I am proud of.  One moment I’m just saying how I feel, then the next moment I stop feeling and just….do.  I know after the fact that it is wrong, but it happens.

I decided to end it.  I told my wife I was going to drive my car into a tree (what a wanker, really), so that is how I find myself driving along the road with no seatbelt, at speed searching for a suitable tree/pole, sobbing uncontrollably because I have no idea what to do about myself and this seemed like a good idea.

If you know me at all, I’m totally opposed to suicide. I can’t stand it. I feel it is a cowards way out, a permanent solution to a short-term problem and a soft way of avoiding issues that need addressing and in the process hurting a bunch of people that care deeply for you.  At the time though, those thoughts were out the window while flying down the road, until I realised that I was approaching a school and pulled over and parked a km down the road.  Sitting in the car, listening to “Come on Eileen” (in the hopes that this jaunty english 80’s pop would cheer me up enough not to purposely crash myself), head on the steering wheel, sobbing like an absolute lunatic (you know the type of sobbing I mean, eyes full of tears, breathing like you’ve just lowered your privates into ice cold water, snot running everywhere….that type of sobbing), before a tap on my window had me glance to my right.

A policeman is standing at my car window

[to be continued]

Phillipneho

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