Wednesday, March 28, 2012

SHINY

UPDATE!!!1! Here's what I've been up to, all.

First, I cut my hair--like chopped it off. I practically have boy hair. I have to overemphasize my femininity so people will remember that I'm still a lady-type. Here's the before and after:

Second, I watched The Hunger Games. Rue died. She was too yoooooooooooung...

Third, I went to The Gem Faire. IT WAS SO SHINY. Really. There were sparkles EVERYWHERE I LOOKED.

I think I touched every gem they had at the fair. I couldn't help it. Maybe I have a disease now.

Other stuff went on, but none of it was as exciting as the stuff above.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

I got 800 awesome points today

Today I went to class and it wasn't terribly boring and I enjoyed doing the homework assignment. That's worth 800 awesome points, I think.

I was thinking about the things that have helped me with depression, and the things I wish other people knew about it. I wrote down a few ways for people with depression to help themselves, and ways for loved ones of depression sufferers to help. They're merely suggestions and observations from my experience, but I'm all for sharing knowledge. If YOU have any further suggestions, please comment!

If you're depressed:
-First, remember that you matter. You have value and inherent worth. Even though life is stormy right now, it's still beautiful and worth living.
-Love yourself, and be patient with yourself. Depression is a real illness; not just a mood you're in. Take it as seriously as you would any other illness.
-Find the help you need. If it's medication, do it. If it's therapy, do it. If it's both, do it. Find what works for your body and your needs.
-Start small on the road to recovery. Do very small, manageable tasks, and don't pressure yourself to get things done. Try to do one or two small goals a day, but forgive yourself if you can't.
-Find things that help you feel better--for me, it's writing and visiting family.
-Don't just focus on the mental health part of depression; remember to take care of your body and spirit too. I've noticed how closely my mind, body, and spirit are connected to each other. When I'm struggling in one area, it usually affects the others. Paying attention to all three is important.
-Try to stay in touch with people you care about, even though you might want to isolate yourself. Their support will make a big difference.
-If you happen to be a BYU student, take advantage of the Counseling and Career Center's services, as well as the Accessibility Center. They've been tremendously helpful for me the past few semesters.

If someone you love is depressed:
-Check in on her often, and never stop checking. It's hard when someone has "given up" on you.
-Be aware of what's going on in her life.
-Offer a listening ear. Sometimes talking about emotions and thoughts helps.
-Show her love and patience and support.
-Do not make her feel like you're judging her; don't tell her she's lazy or weak. She's not. She's sick.
-Offer to go on a walk with her or some other non-demanding activity to get her out of the house.
-Befriend her.
-Be there when she needs you.
-Help her keep a good perspective. While I don't appreciate someone being obnoxiously cheerful when I'm depressed, it does help when others are positive, and remind me of the blessings in my life.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Continuing antidepressant adventures!


It turns out that when you stop taking an SSRI, you can have withdrawal symptoms. From what I understand, the likelihood of experiencing withdrawal symptoms increases the longer you use an SSRI, or if you stop the medicine abruptly.

I'm in the second camp, and this week has been... weird. I've felt uncharacteristically confused,

felt kinda out-of-touch with reality,


and have had the privilege to simultaneously feel sleepier than normal and insomnia-ier than usual.


Here's another tricky thing: some of the symptoms of withdrawal can be similar to side effects of antidepressants, or even just symptoms of depression. When you're feeling irritated at something irrational, like someone giving their baby a ridiculous name, you're not sure what you can blame--the withdrawals? The meds? The depression itself? Society?

Depression isn't fun, but it certainly keeps things interesting.