22 Oct
Mel Brooks in High Anxiety (1977). Pretty much how I feel just now.

Mel Brooks in High Anxiety (1977). Pretty much how I feel just now.

I live with depression. I’ve been aware of it since I was a teenager, and over the last decade have grown used to it. Accepted it as part of who I am. Learned how to track its movements. Become savvy to the triggers. And it continues to develop and surprise me.

For most of the summer I’ve been circling a depression. Or its been circling me. At the same time I’ve had huge upheavals in my life, massive changes which have made the entire situation incredibly challenging. And I’ve been keeping much of it to myself.

My experiences with medications weren’t good. While I only tried one form of anti-depressants (citalopram), I found they exacerbated the situation and resulted in psychotic experiences. Since then I’ve refused to use medical interventions as a way of dealing with my depression. Instead I edge to talking therapies. I’m lucky, I have a therapist I see regularly. But most of the time I have a small body of friends who I can share things with. Some of them have depression too. We’re our own support group, and not seeing them so much lately has had an impact felt.

For the last couple of weeks I’ve also noticed my anxiety levels have been up. And I’ve been keeping quiet about that.

To be honest, I’ve never really accepted just how linked my anxiety has been over the years to my depression. I know I have social anxiety issues, but not to an extreme I don’t think. Its all managed. This last week I can’t escape the pounding in my heart, the butterflies in my stomach, the crippling fear. Any moment I have idle to myself its been creeping up on me and overwhelming my senses. Not dissimilar to the stage fright I sometimes get when I’m about to perform, but about 20 times worse. My head is buzzing and I’m running through things over and over again.

I want to talk about it, but I can’t. There’s a backstory, and it takes too long just to explain that to most people. I’ve had aspects of myself challenged and something has stirred and will not rest. I don’t know what to do with it. I don’t really know how to deal with it. I’m sitting by myself right now, and only typing is keeping the anxiety at bay. Every time I pause it comes back again.

I’m used to the ebb and flow of my depressive moods (that can last months). But this is new. Frighteningly so. And bottling it up isn’t helping.

And so I’m giving voice to it here as I have with so much else. In the hope that going public helps ease the pressure as it often does. By trying to take ownership before it owns me.

Advice welcome…


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