Breakdown

I had a nervous breakdown. I might as well just say it like that, and get it out there, even though the words “nervous breakdown” make people envision someone pulling out their hair, shrieking uncontrollably, thrashing about in bed, and it wasn’t like that at all. It was much more… quiet. The psychologist I am seeing prefers the words “major depressive episode,” although those words leave a lot to be desired too; they are too clinical, and leave too much to the unknown.

So I decided to create this blog as a part of my recovery, to help me get it all straight in my head. Depression causes confusion and memory loss, and while they are not permanent symptoms, for me, they are one of the more frustrating components of depression.

The details are fuzzy to me, but somewhere around April 3rd of this year, I started crying. And I just couldn’t stop. It was all too much, all I could feel was a crushing sadness. Even when I wasn’t crying, it was only because I felt I had used up all my tears, and there weren’t any left. At first I tried to deny that I was sick. I went on autopilot. I thought I could ignore it. But I couldn’t. It wouldn’t go away. All I did was cry or sleep. I forced myself to eat. I tried to do normal things, like laundry, and baking, but even that was very difficult. I took no pleasure in anything. I slept a lot. I could barely get out of bed.

That was at the beginning of the month. The past 3 weeks have been the worst “depressive episode” I’ve ever gone through. I am very familiar with depression, having a combination of that and anxiety for roughly a decade. I have never felt the incredible sadness that I have felt this month, before. This time was different.

Luckily, I had the insight to know that this was a serious episode, and was able to get to my doctor. She added a new, atypical antidepressant to the one I was already on, and I have been on it since April 9th. I am also on a waitlist to see a psychiatrist and seeing my psychologist weekly. I am doing everything possible to take care of me. Things aren’t better yet, I am still moderate-to-severe depressed. It takes between 4-12 weeks for the antidepressant to take full effect, so it’s a waiting game now. But this past week I have seen some improvement, enough to have some clarity, perspective and hope. I’m really glad. Without hope, you really have nothing. And while this illness has won this round, I refuse to let it win for good.