Hitting the high (low) points of the DSM-IV..Major Depression.
1. I am having trouble getting out of bed.
2. Nothing seems fun.
3. I’m crying spontaneously, feeling sad, when there’s no reason. Well, of course there’s a reason, but it’s happening when I should be distracted or when everything in that moment is okay. The crying doesn’t provide relief, like when it’s just grief. Then you feel some relief afterward. It just keeps coming back.
4. I’m tired all weekend.
5. I feel worse in the morning. Melancholia, it’s called. I write in the morning, too, so I’m bleaker on this page.
5. I can imagine things to do, but can’t get myself to do them, unless someone is depending on me. Poor motivation.
6. I feel so trapped by the weather here. It’s a big problem for me. I can’t conceive of moving though, because all my sources of income and support are here.
7. I feel like no one wants me, and I know, in my head, that’s not true. I can point to evidence to refute the thoughts. This is where cognitive therapy fails. I can’t keep up the energy to keep refuting the thoughts.
8. I can’t read complicated texts. I tried to start the Three Musketeers again and I couldn’t concentrate. I can read short blurbs, blogs, and simple texts. I tend to want to reread stuff I’ve read before so I can at least comprehend.
9. I don’t feel hungry. I eat when I feel weak; it’s like an intellectual understanding that the furnace needs stoking, so then I eat. I was so cold yesterday evening, and then I ate pizza, and I warmed up.
10. I feel like I’m going to lose everyone. I’m afraid of losing my therapist, I can’t even really afford her reduced fee. I’ve lost my physician because of insurance changes and I need to find a new one. I”m afraid I won’t see my friend at work who was struck down by a sudden virus that has left her unable to walk. I’m frightened for her.
11. I don’t want to start taking medication again, but I feel that I should. Maybe it would help, I don’t know. Making decisions is burdensome. I’m afraid I’ll make the wrong one, especially financial decisions. But also personal decisions. Who should I spend time with? Should I try to reconnect with old friends or make new ones? I’m not very fun.
12. I don’t mind the idea of dying. This isn’t good. I don’t want to hurt myself, but if I found out I was not going to go much further, I think that would be okay with me.
13. My fear of men is getting too great. I’m not AFRAID to see them, or be around them generally, but I’m positively phobic about involving myself with them beyond professional contact or seeing them as the partners of others, or as my students. I have no sympathy for men who are potential partners; they scare me. Again, I realize that they have their own problems, but I just want to SMASH them now. So I guess I’m angry, too.
14. My horse is injured, so I can’t ride her. It’s okay, probably a muscle strain. No vet bills, no real worries, it’s like twisting an ankle or something, you use ice and heat, and exercise the affected area gently. No big deal. My daughter says I can ride her horse. An obvious solution. I didn’t think of it. I just despaired and cried into the horse’s shoulder, and thought that now I can’t even sell her or lease her as a lesson horse. This means I’m distorting my experience.
15. I feel old and ugly.
16. I cry when I write this blog. I hadn’t done that every time, and now I am.
So physician/therapist, heal thyself. But I can’t. I can get to a doctor for medication, but this health plan allows mental health only about once every six weeks. I know that won’t help; I’m sorry, I just know too much about counseling to believe that every six weeks is effective. That’s why I want to stay with my long term counselor. We need to quit kidding ourselves about that (read-Kaiser; why should I protect them?-they are playing at mental health care, and it’s stupid).
I guess I should find a new doctor. I’m scared of that a bit because I’ve been taking a medication for sleep for several (well, about five) years now and I have trouble sleeping without it. My use hasn’t increased, it’s just I’m afraid they’ll get paranoid about addiction and not renew it. I’m not ready to have that crutch taken away.
Even so, the 12 steps. Admit you are powerless. I think that I best make a call to a new physician tomorrow, and move up my therapy appt. My therapy won’t make or break college for the girls anyway, and I guess if it does, they’ll have to go without the degree and deal with ugly cut throat capitalism on their own.