So, Depression Is A Part Of My Life

Puig (Siamese Cat) Dopey in a Box
This article touches on some dark stuff, so here’s a cat on drugs to cheer you up (It was after her dental cleaning!)

A Brief History of my Experience with Depression

I was diagnosed with depression in 2004, but I likely had the condition at least 3 or 4 years before that–early in, if not before, high school.

I’ve been on antidepressants, in and out of therapy, and even hospitalized a few times over the past *thinks a moment* 16 years. At this point, I believe my diagnosis is roughly Chronic (or Recurrent, depending on who you ask) Treatment Resistant Major Depressive Disorder (without Psychotic Features).

I giggle at that phrasing, psychotic features. Like they’re menu items I could choose to order.

But yeah. It’ll likely always be a part of my life. Getting enough steps, for example, will matter not just for physical health, but for maintaining my mood and mental health, as well. Adequate sunshine matters, yes, for vitamin D–but also mental health, maintaining a healthy sleep cycle, stabilizing my mood, and so forth. (Yes, I recently got a therapy light; no, I’m not ready to review it yet.).

But You Don’t Seem Depressed?!

I’m generally a happy-go-lucky person.  And I’ve been hospitalized for depression.  How do I square the two? Well, you wouldn’t ask how a happy-go-lucky person wound up with cancer, would you?  (I really, really hope the answer is no.) (Actually, plenty of people think we somehow bring disease upon ourselves with our mindsets, so maybe let’s say broken leg, instead.  Diabetes. Carpal tunnel.)  

Depression is, of course, a biochemical disease of the brain, with possibly greater reach.  Mindset really doesn’t play into depression. Neurochemistry does.

Resources & Recommendations

This article is, for now, very much a work in progress. I’m brainstorming sections worth expanding upon, and am happy to hear your opinions. What do you wish you knew more about? What do you want to ask someone who has spent time in a psych hospital? What do you not get about depression?

Potential Categories:

  • Anti-Depressants, SSRI and Otherwise
  • Behavioral Modifications
    • I’m A Nazi About My Sleep Schedule
    • No, Instagram Didn’t Cause Your Depression
  • Light Therapy
  • Electroconvulsive Therapy
  • Talk Therapy

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