Is It Really That Bad?

Throughout my life, I’ve wondered if I have or will have a mental illness. How would I know?

Whenever I learned of our family history of Depression, I worried about my future. As I noticed others’ outlooks, positivity, and functionality; I thought something might be wrong with my darker views. When a close relative admitted to problems in her adult years and went on medications, I grew more anxious.

I know the darkness of my mind. I’ve felt helpless, depressed, diminished, and unwanted. But I suppose I expected official Depression to hit like a reckless cement truck.

You know: WHAM!

Then, a knowledgeable doctor would pick me up, brush me off, and medicate me so much I couldn’t see straight.

After watching my relatives test medications on themselves like lab rats, I had no desire to voluntarily consider that route. I didn’t want the side effects. I. could. control. this.

What I didn’t realize was that mental illness can be the sort of thing that builds up. Rather, the effects of it can build up. All that time, I kept searching around street corners and avoiding high traffic areas, and it was inside me.

Having birthed a couple of children who already exhibit signs of mental issues, I know these issues can be present from the get-go. I’ve talked to people like that as well.

However, as with all the lovely writers on here, I write from my experience. I live in my body and think with this brain, but still feel a bit lost. So, how would I know about you?

I don’t. You know about you.

Which leads me back to my initial question: how would I know if I had a mental illness? Specifically, did I have to treat it? Specifically, would I have to take medicine, get fat, and lost my limited libido and thinking capacity?

This is where everyone on here keeps hammering this point home: SEE A THERAPIST. Or a counselor, doctor who knows what s/he’s doing, psychologist, psychiatrist, etc.

Don’t have one? Ask around. Seriously -everyone knows one. Go meet with the person and see if s/he is a good fit. Try another one if not.

Worried that you’ll stress the therapist out? Dude; they’re paid to listen to people like us.

I have been seeing a counselor for marital issues. I guess I just can’t have one problem; but, I think a lot of people are in that boat. It may be a cruise liner.

Anyway -during a session, I brought up the fact that I was concerned about the way I behaved each month. You know: women cycling stuff. For the sake of anyone who might relate; I had an extremely depressive day, an irrational thoughts day, one wherein I couldn’t find everything, a few days of skin breakouts, one where I had no tact, and a few hours of manic energy just before starting.

The counselor listened to my description, then joked a bit about how I may feel depressive and irrational, but I wouldn’t do -and she finished with a random, hypothetical situation. I believe it involved whether I’d actually hurt someone in my family.

“Well,” I admitted, “I think I would.”

Remember, she’s paid to listen. Still, I was worried about her responses. Child Protective Services, perhaps?

Very seriously, she said, “It sounds like you need medical help.”

Since we’re being completely candid, I will tell you that no heavens opened for me. No relief came pouring in. Instead, I began sobbing. My worst fears were confirmed: I was mental. I was abnormal. I would have to take medicine.

My counselor seemed dumbfounded at my response, and expressed her confusion. Through tears, I explained that I didn’t want to go on heavy medications and have all the side effects, and I’m sure I rambled even more than I am doing right here to you.

She reassured me that all was not apocalyptic. She knew someone, a doctor who tested hormone levels. She thought I should start there.

I intend to write more about this in another post, but also do not intend to leave you with a cliff-hanger.

So, I’ll tell you that it’s been working so far; “working” being a description for “not thinking irrationally” and “being able to have a different perspective” and “looking back at my old behaviors like a detached anthropologist.”

As James E. Skye himself, and many other contributors, have noted; there’s no cure. However, just the ABILITY TO FUNCTION at a level much nearer that of ten years ago is worth it.

Stop wondering. Go find a talk-doctor; a paid friend. It’s worth it.

YOU’RE worth it.

Photo 1 Credit: Mike Wilson on Unsplash.
Photo 2 Credit: rawpixel.com on Unsplash.
Photo 3 Credit: Dylan Hooper on Unsplash.

(My writing site, in case you’re interested.)

Please Help me Publish my Memoir

I have finished the first draft of my memoir “The Bipolar Writer” and I have decided to go down the self-publishing route. If you can donate anything towards my goal, it would mean the world to me. Those that donate will get a special mention in my memoir on a page dedicated to those that made my memoir possible. Thank you in advance!

$5.00

 

 

 

 

21 Replies to “Is It Really That Bad?”

    1. I intend to elaborate more in a different post; but, initially, she looked at testosterone levels and thyroid. She also felt intuitively that I should take some seratonin.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ok. Thank you so much.
        Someone very close to me is having a difficult time.
        There is a tentative diagnosis of bipolar.
        She has had a full medical work up with labs, cortisol testing seratonin testing. Unfortunately they did not do any sort of testosterone dhea or estrogen testing and she was tried on antidepressant but developed seratoniin syndrome. Thank you for sharing

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Yes, everyone is different. Hormones are a packaged deal, unfortunately. 😦 One affects many things, and too much or too little can be harmful.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. We thought it was the adrenal fatigue at first but we’ve waited a year for the replacement hormones to fix this and it isn’t budging so we are reevaluating with a psychiatrist

        Liked by 2 people

  1. I can’t wait to hear about the hormone testing. I’ve been so sure for so long that they are my issue too. It would be so good if that was a solution for you. (I love the no tact day!) Looking forward to next instalment. ☀️☀️

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’m interested in the hormones tested too. I’m currently on meds but I have an internal fight where I’m not sure if they are working or not. Great post though.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I feel like it’s so difficult to know! When my kids are sick, I’ve pictured how nice a see-through body or a diagnostics printout would be. I could use one for me!

      Liked by 2 people

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