What Depression is Like For Me

Sara Silverman once gave an interview where she described her childhood depression as feeling homesick while at home.  How would you describe it?

This post was inspired by Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop.

I have been sick with Lupus for around three years, before that, Rheumatoid Arthritis.  In March of 2008, I was laid off and because of my Lupus, have never been able to go back to work. My husband is also ill and does not work.  (What are the odds, eh?)  We are both going through the lengthy disability process. Obviously no work and seeing your savings disappear is something that would make anyone depressed.  That is referred to as Situational depression.

Clinical depression comes on so slowly you don’t even recognize it at first.  If I look at the list of clinical depression symptoms I have 13 out of 18 of them. I felt sad all the time and I cried a lot.  I couldn’t eat any more.  Doing things with Tyler was no longer fun for me.  I didn’t want to leave my home but I didn’t want to be there, either.  I felt enormous feelings of guilt over what I couldn’t give to Tyler any more because I was sick.  I felt that my life was hopeless and we would never come out of the situation we were in.

I was being treated by my primary care doctor for depression but nothing was working any more.

I credit my husband with recognizing the signs of a more serious form of depression.  He even made me an appointment with a psychiatrist who told me that I had been situationally depressed for so long my depression had now become clinical.

It is fortunate perhaps that this prompt from Mama Kat came up this week because I am in the middle of a severe depression so I can tell you how I am feeling now.

I had a very bad experience last Thursday that kicked off this depression.  I refer to experiences like that as my “hot button” issues.  I just can’t shake this depression off.  I am angry at it.  “Go away!”, I want to shout to it. I feel as if I am moving through molasses.  I am forcing myself to do everything the household needs but it feels like an enormous burden to me.  I am exhausted due to this burden.  I’ve got a child so I am careful to “put on a happy face” for him but that in itself is exhausting.

As I am writing this, tears are rolling down my face.  It is just so hard.  I don’t feel positive about anything in my life.  There is very little joy except from what my son gives to me.

I see my psychiatrist next week and we will talk it over.  The brain is so hard to figure out, I feel like a guinea pig.  What if we raise this medicine or put you on this?   It is a constant balancing act.  “This is your brain on drugs…”

Since I am depressed I know this post has come across as very negative towards seeing a psychiatrist.  Psychiatrists and psychiatric meds CAN help you.  Mine is one of the most caring in the world.

I urge you who are seeing yourself in this post to get help.  There can be joy and happiness in your life again.  I am just going through a particularly bad time.

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About mamasick

Emily Cullen is a pen-name. I suffer from chronic illnesses and diseases which include Bipolar Disorder, Asthma, Diabetes and Fibromyalgia. I had battled Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis but there is no longer evidence of me having these diseases and my Rheumatologist has declared them to be "burnt out" of my system. I am separated from my husband, “Grant”. Our son, “Tyler” was born in September of 2006 and suffers from tics and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and is delayed in fine and gross motor skills. In my blog I seek to let sick moms know that they are not the only ones going through this, and to educate people about what can happens when one becomes catastrophically ill. I also strive to break down stereotypes of what a “Welfare Mom” is like. Anything that I have gone through due to being sick, is written on the pages of Mama Sick.

10 Responses to What Depression is Like For Me

  1. Paula Kiger says:

    Dear “Emily,” I know there is ZERO I can say to “get you out of it.” So, lacking that, I will send TONS of caring thoughts your way. I was struck out of the blue Sunday at acting class when told to tell the group a “scary” experience from the age of 10 (and someone else had to play me). I talked about how my mom could go from “complete zero affect/depressed mode” to “perfect normal mom” when a stranger knocked at the door. All these years later (I am 45) the impact of having depression in the home (and my own to a lesser degree) hit me – it colored so many things I decided about the world. I know we only know each other through blogs/Mama Kat but never hesitate to drop me a note if you just need to vent. With many warm thoughts ……
    .-= Paula Kiger´s last blog ..In The Notebook A Mama Kat Writers Workshop Prompt =-.

  2. FeliciaFibro says:

    I don’t think you came across as negative in regards to psychiatric care. I think this post was wonderful and might even inspire someone who feels depressed to have the courage to see a psychologist/psychiatrist for help. Thank you for sharing your oh-so-real thoughts and feelings with us. I’m glad to hear you’re seeing you psychiatrist soon to create a plan to feel happier! Sunnier days ARE ahead! *hugs*
    .-= FeliciaFibro´s last blog ..Fibro Feelings – Trivia &amp Holiday Gifts =-.

  3. Josanne says:

    I too am glad you have someone to talk to, and your post wasn’t negative-it was just real.
    I have a friend who lost her health due to work, and had to retire before age 40. She cannot just shake it off either, and I have called her before, finding her sobbing when she answered the phone. She is not trying to be negative either-her illness has taken over her life, as much as she has tried to not let it.
    And for both of you ladies, I can see why it would-most of us do not deal with what you are dealing with. And most of us cannot truly relate, unless we have been there, or we live with someone who is suffering.
    ((hugs)) to you–I don’t have the right things to say at this point either, but do want you to know that people care, and people don’t mind when you are real.
    .-= Josanne´s last blog ..Surprise!!! =-.

  4. Caroline says:

    I’m so glad you found me at Mama Kat’s writing workshop, because I had not clicked on your link before, and we wrote on the SAME topic.

    You were very real. It brought tears to my eyes. Tears of recognition, but also tears of joy. Joy that other people have the courage to share the truth.

    I suffer from Bipolar Disorder. So, I know how hard the brain is to treat. I also went through the lengthy disability process. Mine came out positive after two years of struggling. Thank Goodness! I suppose it is worth the fight, and I wish the very best for you and your husband’s cases. I look forward to reading more from you.
    .-= Caroline´s last blog ..Villanelle – Yep- I did it! =-.

  5. Los says:

    I lost an aunt about 2 months ago … she had ALS. She was once VERY active, water-skiing, traveling the world, dancing, etc. ALS took all of that from her, including her will to leave … depression is a dangerous thing.
    .-= Los´s last blog ..Weekly Homework Assignment =-.

  6. Valorie says:

    I don’t think this came across as negative. If anything, it was inspirational. I have seasonal depression, so I’m starting to feel it coming on, and hearing about someone else making sure they get help is reminding me to make sure I get help too. So thank you for that, and I am virtually sending you all the support I can muster at this point to help you get through this. <3
    .-= Valorie´s last blog ..Confessions =-.

  7. I’m sorry it’s so tough right now. Here’s to better days to come.

    .-= Pissed Off Patient´s last blog ..17 Day Challenge Update =-.

  8. Mrs4444 says:

    I’m so sorry for your circumstances. Clinical depression is incredibly tough. I will be praying for you, my friend…
    .-= Mrs4444´s last blog ..Saturday Sampling- November 13- 2010 =-.

  9. Francesca says:

    “It’s a balancing act”, you can certainly say that again. Just look at how perfect that fit into your story.

    Glad we can be there for each other. We are definitely on the same wavelength. Your post has transmitted depression’s messages well.

  10. Jennifer says:

    Hey, Mamasick–

    Thanks for visiting my site.

    Thanks for being so painfully honest about your struggles. I am sending your blog link to my a lot of the ladies in my family who I know will either relate or who will see the mamasick’s in the family and understand them better.

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