aphrodite: (Default)
[personal profile] aphrodite
So a few years ago I was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder and Anxiety.
A little part of me got up and danced, singing "Hallelujah!", another part exclaimed "Well, DUH!" and I had this weird mixture of relief, gratefulness and exultation at having finally been taken seriously by a medical professional, and a sense of shame and disappointment that there really was/is something 'wrong' with me.
I know now that it's not normal for most people to throw up because they're worried literally sick about something they said or did offending or upsetting people. Most adults don't cry themselves to sleep for the same except in rare circumstances. They don't find themselves crying for no reason at all, at various points through the day, or suddenly have difficulty breathing because their chest feels two sizes too small for their lungs.

I realise now that I was very lucky. The first course of SSRIs my doctor suggested to me worked really well; minimal side effects, that passed quickly, and although everything didn't get "All Better" it got so much easier. I could make it through my day without obsessive worrying about others' opinions of me or reactions to tiny things. I could sleep at night. the random crying jags stopped. I could explain how I felt to others, again. It was wonderful.

I told my mother, a few months after I'd begun taking antidepressants.
But when I was growing up, my father's family... they used to sit around the dinner table talking about people they'd gone to school with, children of acquaintances, who'd killed themselves, or tried. Girls who'd had anorexia, men who were now schizophrenic. They used the word stupid a lot. They were scathing. They had no sympathy at all, for any of these people. None.
I was shocked, before my diagnosis. I didn't understand how they could have so little empathy for anyone in trouble, in pain. After my diagnosis, I was afraid.

And last night, two years after I stopped taking the antidepressants, I finally told my father about it, during a phone conversation. And I told him why I'd never said anything before. Still waiting for the fall-out from this one.
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aphrodite: (Default)
The Evening Star

July 2011

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