Just because you deny something, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist…

August 10, 2009 Ka'ela Ja'el
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There’s a kind of freedom that comes with admitting something, partcularly when the something is a problem. Usually for me, there is that epiphanous moment when the realisation is crystal clear, a lifting of the spirit (Heh – I initially wrote syrup there!) and a lighter, happier feel. Whether that’s because it’s good to recognise the problem in question or that now there is an answer there is a way of dealing with the issue I don’t know.

But despite the improvement that is usually brought about by an admission, why is it so hard to get to that point? Why do we pull away from recognising something? I know I can be an ostrich with some things, but I don’t know why.  There’s a resistance in admitting to a problem. I definitely do the ostrich thing with small, annoying stuff that I have no control over, but I sometimes do it inadvertently on the big stuff.

And now I think I’m coming to the point that I need to recognise and admit to probably the biggest thing I ever have.

I think it’s quite probable that I have depression.

Yes, I know I had a horrible year, and I also know there are those amongst my friends who are going to go ‘Well, Duh!’ I’ve had a number of friends who know me quite well suggest depression as a possibility and my response has always been that I think I am in a depressive state, understandable given the year, but that I don’t have depression. You see, I’ve never really believed in depression. Well, that’s not strictly true, I believe in it, I guess I just never understood it. I’ve never understood why people couldn’t just cheer themselves up and think positive and stop wallowing. And the reality is, I still don’t quite understand it, but I am getting closer to it.

I have had at least four instances in the past year where I have shut down. With great effort I have pulled myself out of these pits of despair, but each one has gotten longer and worse than the one before. Another thing that has really surprised me is the physicalness of this and how it has affected me – the tension that encompasses me…I feel like someone has a giant clockwork key in my back and they give it a turn or two every day and crank up the tension to a cracking point.  However, the biggest surprise for me is when I realised that elements of this pre-date the last year.

This was a shock realisation to me. See, I’ve always thought of myself as an eternal optimist. I’m very much a glass is half full person, I don’t like negativity. Two of my life’s mottos are “You alway have a choice, even if it’s just a choice of attitude”, and “Always look on the bright side, and if you can’t find the bright side, try lightening up the dark side.” (My other motto is “Maths is evil” but that’s not really relevant here 🙂 )

I do know that if this is what the problem is then I am going to go down fighting. I really don’t want to go on antidepressants if I can help it, so I will be doing everything I can to not…I am trying to force myself outside to get sunshine, I’m researching natural alternatives, I’ve organised more visit to the councillor, I’m making a commitment to myself to make, and stick to, an exercise regime.



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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. callistra  |  August 10, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    I think one of the things that leads into depression is feeling like there’s no hope, or no where to go, and I think all of the things you are looking at will be combating it. I’m sorry that things have been very hard this year, it’s just been awful for you.
    Do talk to your doctor, they may have other suggestions too.

  • 2. mynxii  |  August 10, 2009 at 5:13 pm

    I’m sorry that things have been so awful, and I hope that all you’re doing to combat the depression really work effectively for you.

  • 3. chuckmck1  |  August 10, 2009 at 9:14 pm

    I know what you mean about not understanding why people with depression ‘can’t just cheer up’. I used to hold a similar view. Then I developed a very deep depression, thought about killing myself constantly, not a great year.
    As Calli says, make sure you talk to a doctor, or anyone, really. Don’t bottle it. Get a referral to a counsellor. It might sound like wank, but it really can help enormously.

  • 4. hkneale  |  August 10, 2009 at 9:35 pm

    Depression can be a medical issue, especially if it’s recurring, even if it’s life events that cause it.
    Sometimes the brain chemistry gets into a certain pathway. While one is able to “shake off the blues”, if this chemical pathway becomes common, the brain gets used to it and if it finds itself sliding more and more into depression, it can be harder to shake off.
    Yes, daily sunshine and exercise, a good diet and regular doses of good comedy can help alter the brain chemistry and get one out of depression. But motivation is the hardest part, as motivation requires the brain to change chemistry (something it abhors greatly; ergo, that’s why habits and addictions exist).
    Sometimes motivation to do those things can be extremely difficult.
    There is nothing wrong with seeking medical help and taking a brief dose of anti-depressants, if necessary, to help alter that brain chemistry enough for you to find the motivation to go and do those natural and proper things that can lift you from depression. They’e a temporary bootstrap. That’s all.
    As long as you acknowledge that antidepressants are not the pill that solves your problem but that lowers that barrier to motivation so you can solve the problem, you’ll be all right.

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