An update

So I’ve been seeing my psychiatrist for 11 months. I can say with some certainty that my depression has lifted, but that my anxiety continues, and every day I battle with it. The med combination that I’m on now seems to be working and both my dr and I are hesitant to change it.  Dr. L. allows me to determine how much clonazepam I need daily. I vary between 1 – 2 mgs. It honestly depends on the day. The other two meds are fixed doses and we are going to stick with them right now.

This year (it will be a year on June 6) has been difficult, but I have noticed a difference in the past three months. I feel better about my thesis and doing work in general. I have more calm days than agitated ones. The days that I am agitated I try to remember to take the higher dose of clonaz. I’m kind of working on a “Let Go and Let God” sort of mantra. I do not consider myself very religious but that phrase does help me, and I do consider myself to be spiritual.

I am still me, a year later, and I’m pretty happy about that. I’m still afraid that I’ll jinx it somehow, if I say that I came out on the other side, but I do feel like I survived. And for anyone who has ever battled depression and anxiety, survival is what we’re going for. So here’s to you, fellow survivors.

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Taking care of me

So, one of the things my therapist told me when I was really depressed was to try to have fun, to play. It was as if he was speaking Japanese to me, it sounded so foreign a concept. The vicious cycle of depression makes you not want to do the things that you used to enjoy. And by not doing those things, by staying in bed, or just sitting in front of the TV, you can make your depression worse. You don’t do those things you like because depression robs you of the will to do them, to your agency, and energy. That’s why depression is so horrible. It is literally a thief. Of your time. Your happy feelings. Even your will to survive.

Because of a combination of meds and therapy, my depression lifted. I feel very lucky that I was able to get through it. That I had a good support system and the tools to ask for help. I know a lot of people suffer because they can’t ask for help, for a multitude of reasons.

I still consider myself to have severe anxiety and moderate depression, even if the depression is in remission. But I am back to doing the activities I like, the ones that make me happy. From April to July I was unable to do them. Things like baking and cross-stitch. Tonight the simple act of making blueberry muffins made me feel good. And they were tasty too!

I guess I am coming to the realisation that I have to be careful. Treat myself kindly and keep doing my self-care treatments. Because after three major depressive episodes, it’s a certainty that I will have another depressive episode in my life. Likely more than one. Knowing that, maybe I will be able to recognize it earlier, and help it to be less severe.

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