About the background

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Since I don’t feel like enough time has passed since yesterday’s post for me to given an update that’s more than a couple of lines, and I’m going away to a place with very limited reception tomorrow before I’ll have time to post something, I figured I’d try to give a bit more background on my condition as well as more on what I envision this blog will be.

The blog

Starting with the blog, cause that’s easier. I’m going to be aiming to be posting in the evening every 2-3 days, sometimes more often, sometimes less. My main support person can bug me if it’s been too long.

For staying up to date, posts will be pushed to my Facebook account when I remember. There’s also RSS and Atom feeds for those of you that use feed readers. If you’re still looking for a reader after the demise of Google Reader, I’m using Newsblur.

Comments are moderated and are going to stay that way. When I’m away, like this weekend, that means it may take a day or two for comments to show up.

I’d also welcome turning this from a monologue into a conversation. Ask questions and I’ll try to answer them. Not sure if that’ll be in another post or in a comment. I guess it depends on how much I feel like writing in response.

Some background

I have no idea what people would like to hear about, so I’ll just ramble on about whatever I feel like rambling about, gosh.

The main way my depression makes itself known is through lethargy, which makes doing anything incredibly difficult. While I do have periods of great productivity, they usually only last half a day before I’m back to my general state of meh.

This makes it really hard to do the tedious, repetitive things that my job involves (make a form, validate the data, save the data, display the data, rinse and repeat). This causes some rather unproductive days at work which just feeds back in due to the lack of any sort of achievement.

I usually have maybe one half-day a fortnight of productivity, 3-4 of complete lethargy and then the rest are spent in a sort of “meh, I suppose I can half-arse something” sort of state.

Then there’s the bad days. These days usually start out fine, and I’m all chirpy (well, relatively). Then, with no external stimuli whats so ever, I’m suddenly wallowing in the pits of despair, though with no accompanying albino. These, usually monthly, occurrences end up with me just wanting to curl up into the fetal position and cry. Since I’m usually out when this hits, that’s rather hard to do. It was a more extreme version of one of these episodes that finally lead to me doing something.

In the past, my usual coping mechanism was to go walking with a certain playlist. That hasn’t been working since about the major breakdown I had in 2011. I tend to be fine when in social situations I enjoy, so long as I don’t run out of my rather limited supply of social energy. Though then I’m usually hit with exhaustion as well as lethargy.

That’s all I can currently think of to ramble about. Perhaps the proof-reader will have some more ideas or you can ask questions and stuff.

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Categories about, q&a

Comments

  1. Corinna

    I’m interested in what medication you are taking, and why you refer to them as ‘happy pills’, when my experience was much more about keeping on an even keel – with no great highs or lows?

  2. Simon (Author)

    I’m on Citalopram, currently taking 20mg/day. It’s too early in the course for me to be able to say what they actually do to me but “happy pills” is what one of my teachers called the pills he had to treat short-term stress. Sure, not the same type of pill but nicer connotations (and easier to type) than antidepressants.

  3. Andrew

    Possible reason for “happy pills” – I’m hearing impaired, but usually say “deaf” when talking about it with others. I can’t speak for Simon, but my use for it is intended to be shorter and incrementally more humorous/positive than “hearing impaired”. In the same way, I suspect that “happy pills” is shorter than “antidepressants” or “pills that keep me level”, and reflects positivity in the benefit of being pulled out of the pit of despair in the same way that “deaf” reflects positivity because I am actually obviously a hearing person and am making the most of it. At the same time, “deaf” avoids dwelling on moments where I really struggle to hear and it sucks, and “happy pills” avoids dwelling on moments where Simon would otherwise have been pretty happy but is pulled into the middle by the medication.

    At least for me, the use of the correct term brings to mind the burden of living with the condition and a weight of political correctness, so getting away from it is helpful. In the same way, I would imagine that if Simon were to say “antidepressants”, the involuntary first response from others would be “Oh no, Simon has depression, I’m so sorry, I hope he’s doing okay”, whereas “happy pills” mitigates that response to a large extent.

  4. Stephanie Dekker

    Hey Simon, not sure if you remember me – I am Guy’s mum & we met you in Texas at Guy & Summers wedding. You are so brave to share your journey young man & I look for ward to your updates. Hang in there with your medication as it takes about 6 weeks to kick in!! Will catch you next time :)

  5. Lara

    Simon, I think it’s great that you are blogging about your coping with this diagnosis. ‘Happy pills’ is also a common nickname for anti-depressants in the US. I find it fitting because it’s nicknamed after the job it seems to do in people, take them out of depression and chemically balance them to where they can find happiness in the little things in life. – It also helps remove the stigma that saying you’re on “Anti-Depressants” seems to give people. It SOUNDS nicer.
    Most everyone battles with some degrees of depression throughout their life. Some find a temporary prescription (ie, 6 months to a year) is sufficient to help them, but I know some do need them long term. Having a solid support system of faith, family and friends also helps with any degree of depression. You are certainly blessed with a all three (Caitlin included <3 ).

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