Changes

Hi everyone. Again, sorry about a nearly month-long hiatus. Soon after posting “Waking Up Happy”, I started dealing with some pretty bad depression (the worst I’ve had in a long time), actually skipping work because I felt so bad. Though I have been feeling better for about a week, I’ve been preparing for the so-called next chapter of my life: college.

Other than excuses, I have some pretty significant changes I’ve experienced in the past month or so. After over a year of enduring depression, my parents-well, mostly my mother-caved and agreed to take me to a psychiatrist before I go to college. I was exceedingly anxious prior to visiting the doctor, knowing that I usually cry when discussing this topic. And, of course, I did cry when he asked me to start describing how I had been feeling. We discussed the symptoms of depression, how depression affects the body, and how antidepressants can help.

I was relieved when he told me he certainly believed I had depression; I had been clobbered with self-doubt, wondering if maybe I wasn’t really depressed and was just going through a rough patch in my life. But depression is a real illness, which can be treated just like any other disease. When we started discussing antidepressants, my mom related her worries, and pointed out that, based on the symptoms he had described, most of the people she knew could be depressed.

He then related the most important symptom of depression: the disease affects one’s life and prevents one from functioning as they would without the depression. Though she claimed she did not see it interfering with my life, I reminded-or rather confessed-I had skipped work and school because of how I felt. The psychiatrist also stated I had been trying to solve the issue through other means, particularly therapy. Though I feel therapy helps me tremendously, I seem to have reached an impasse and can no longer progress forward in healing.

Soon after, I was prescribed some antidepressants, and have been taking them ever since. It’s been about a week now. In the past week I’ve had trouble sleeping, but I’ve started to fall back into my pattern, and last night got 7 whole hours of sleep.

I’m also looking forward to college more than I have thus far. Prior to this week, I’ve been terrified to embark on my college adventures, to the point where I was dreading my departure date. For some reason-maybe after talking with my roommate, feeling less depressed, rediscovering my love for biology, or a combination of the three-I’ve become obsessed with going to college. It’s one of the first things I think about when I wake up and the last thing on my mind before I fall asleep. I’m done with paint crew, my summer job, and just want to get back to academic work.

What’s Wrong With Me?

No, this is not some deep psychological or personality-related question, or even self-loathing. I’m just seriously asking, what exactly is physically wrong with my brain?

So far I have received few answers. My therapist believes my depression is genetic, not situational (which we both thought at first), but naturally I doubt this because I do not have any concrete evidence and often wonder how I could possibly be depressed when I have so many wonderful things in my life.

In response to my therapist’s theory, she suggested a low dose of antidepressants again, and I obliged willingly. My mother, who may not completely understand depression and is considerably against antidepressants (while they do not frighten me, I know they scare the life out of her), took some persuasion. Somehow my therapist convinced her to look into a psychiatrist and possibly schedule an appointment.

Then, my therapist thinks I might have seasonal affective disorder, which I am not so sure about. In previous years I have never noticed being sadder during the winter months; notwithstanding this, my therapist also suggested I get a full spectrum lamp/light bulb which would combat SAD (pretty ironic, that acronym, eh?).

If that was not enough, she also believes my sadness could be related to those “female hormones” and “that time of the month” because just before “that time” I usually get a tad more depressed than normal. I think.

I also think I have some symptoms of BPD and Bipolar disorder, but self-diagnosal is not effective, so I will keep my mouth shut on those two.

Unfortunately depression is one of these diseases that are quite arbitrary in the process of discovering what is really wrong. I suppose I should just sit back and enjoy these multiple doctor visits because many people do not have the opportunity or support required to seek answers.

Nerds, Snow, and Drugs

The end of this semester has been pretty busy. Though I don’t have to take any finals, I’ve had the FAFSA and CSS profile and a final college application to complete; however, it feels awesome to be done applying, and now my parents just have to update the FAFSA and CSS when we finally get our actual taxes done.

This last week has also been crazy stressful due to the Shore Bowl. My school’s Science League entered this year, and we practiced a lot this week in preparation. The event, which was on Saturday at Rutgers, was a buttload of fun and pretty interesting.

The adventure started off as any true adventure should, with a major setback or conflict. In our case, our adviser did not show up on time. He had accidentally overslept and his wake up call had not come to wake him up, which resulted in about an hour and a half of waiting on the school bus, worrying our butts off, before arriving at the Shore Bowl very late.

Our A team missed their first match, but they later thanked our adviser for being late because the team they would have gone up against turned out to be the winning team and slaughtered the competition. I was on the B team, which I attribute to the fact our adviser tried to split us up by strengths, and the only other AP Chem kid is my genius boyfriend who definitely should have been on the A team. I did mind quite a bit, but it didn’t matter in the end because both teams lost all of their matches. =D

It was fun to see that I actually knew some things. I let my little sister, who was the alternative for our team,  punch me in the face (not really) because she had a right answer and the rest of the team (mostly me) thought she was wrong. We ended up getting 0 points for that round. We had a ton of fun together though, and it was one of those rare days in which I was truly happy.

Plus I got a snazzy shirt, two awesome pins, and a Rutgers bag out of it. Considering all of the other schools were academies, two of which specialized in oceanographic studies, we did pretty good.

Flash forward to today, and it’s snowing AGAIN. I’ve accepted the fact I will never get out of high school (really they’ll just take off from our spring vacation). Not that I cared because I wouldn’t have had to go in anyway, but this means I can’t go to my friends house today.

Finally, I’ve been thinking about the prospect of antidepressants a lot more lately. Nowadays I literally hate everything and everyone, and I can only see all of the bad in the universe. To me, the world is a terrible place and nothing seems to change that image. Furthermore, this view of the world decreases my motivation, because, honestly, what’s the point? There is so much in the world I will never be able to experience-I only have a small sliver of time in the vastness of the universe and will only be able to witness things from my limited point of view.

Then I hate myself for being so negative and am certain I need to isolate myself from my friends because I”m sure my negative nature is bringing them all down. I can’t stand to be around my family anymore, and often need to hide away from them because my anxiety level skyrockets around them. I’ve started to believe I am truly a bad person, and have spent a lot of time doing absolutely nothing productive.

When I make a mistake, it ruins the whole day. I was supposed to fill out a scholarship from which I was sure I would get some money, but because I emailed the wrong person about my recommendation, I started to hyperventilate and cry and hate myself. The rest of the night I locked myself in my bedroom and cried and triggered myself with Tumblr and sad songs. The pain of sadness is so familiar that, when given the chance, I seek it out rather than try to fight it. The time I had put into that scholarship, as well as the time my teacher had spent writing the recommendation, had been wasted.

The worst part about all of this is that I see how much I’m completely wasting my life being sad and unproductive, and that depresses me even more. My mom is really against antidepressants-I think they scare her-but my therapist has promised small doses.

So why haven’t I considered antidepressants an option until now? I’m not scared of side effects or getting addicted. I really just don’t like the idea of messing with my mind. Because depression is a disease of the mind, I feel like it’s almost a part of me;  depression, to an extent, is who I am. By using antidepressants I will be suppressing or at least regulating an immense portion of my being. I’m not sure if this is making any sense or going anywhere, but that’s how I feel.

I’ve begun to accept the idea of antidepressants being like any other medicine which helps to cure a disease.  Sometime before my next appointment I have to bring the subject up to my parents (or at least my mom). I’ve discussed it already with my friends, and two of them support my decision. The third is a bit frightened by antidepressants, but states if they can help me then it’s okay.