Sunday, January 31, 2010
I Got The Blues
When I was a child, people used to refer to it as "nerves".
These days we call it depression and I'm on first name terms with it.
It's pretty well controlled thanks to my GP, some good meds and some regular(ish) exercise.
Now and again I have a dip though, when the black thoughts come swirling back and circle in my head in an unstoppable loop.
I want to unplug the phone, pull the duvet over my head and curl in a small, tight ball until sleep gives me some temporary quiet.
I am very wary of coming out (there is still a huge stigma about mental illness, no matter what century we live in), partly because it seems to embarrass other people, but mostly because I fear that people will automatically assume that it's a reaction to Bob's autism.
Now, dealing with the usual madness that makes up a typical autie day would tip the strongest, most optimistic, person into wells of despair. But people on the "outside" often don't see the hugs, kisses and sheer joy that Bob brings into our lives. And while depression can be reactive, in my case (as my GP said) I just don't produce enough serotonin.
So I take a tablet to correct the imbalance.
I had my first bout of depression at the age of 14, in a time when the answer to every ailment was a dose of Andrews Liver Salts. It was assumed that I was just in a Really Bad Mood.
Needless to say it was ignored, but unfortunately depression doesn't Do Ostrich for very long.
Depression came back, unannounced and uninvited, at various intervals throughout my life. It squatted like an unwelcome family member until it would quietly slip away..... until next time.
As I grew older and stronger, and a little more caring of myself, I got help and haven't looked back. It just isn't always easy to talk about.
Even when I am buried underneath my duvet, it is so important to know there are other people I can reach out to, even though, like Contrary Mary I really don't want to.
That's why it's called mental illness.
Posted by Jean at 11:29 PM