Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Time for some Honesty: Anxiety & Depression

I usually try to write a fairly upbeat blog. It doesn't always work, but for the most part I usually try to keep it that way. The reason for this is that I don't generally think that people want to hear the gory details. Plus, a lot of things are too personal for public consumption.

I have spoken on here before about my husbands battle with depression. A battle he has fought and won several times over.

What I haven't really spoken about is my own...

These last few months have been extremely difficult for me. I have mentioned the anxiety in brief but not the full extent of it. For several months I have been having ongoing general anxiety as well as full blown anxiety attacks. It has been almost crippling at times. I have been trying to deal with it as best I can, sometimes with success, sometimes not so successfully. Deep breathing exercises have helped somewhat. The whole time this has been going on I have been aware of it.

What I had been remarkably unaware of, was the depression that also seeped in over the last couple months or so. I am so good at picking up on it in Ross, yet I completely missed it in myself. I think a few of my friends knew something was going on. E asked me several times if everything was okay as I seemed unhappy, but I just blew her off saying work was getting to me. Other friends had noticed I have been remarkably unsocial. But I just claimed I was busy.

Several weeks ago it was bad. Very bad. Which is when I realised what was going on. I won't go into details. Let's just say my thoughts no longer felt as though they were my own, and the severity of them is what made me realise something was very much not right...

As is usual for me, once I am aware of something with my moods, I am usually able to take some sort of control. The first thing I did was go off the Pill. Massive MASSIVE difference. I started taking vitamins again and upped my vitamin B intake. I also realised I was behind in my vitamin D meds, so I caught myself back up. Having these holidays has been a Godsend. I did not realise how much I needed the break.

The other day I also talked to Ross about it. I was so scared to do that as I don't want to trigger anything in him. But he is in such a good place within himself right now that he has been wonderful. Talking about it has made a huge difference.

I am now doing really well and feel almost back to my old self. I am reaching out to old friends and hoping that shutting myself away these last few months has not burned too many bridges.

So why am I sharing this here?

Honestly, I am not sure. Mental health is so often kept in the shadows. We don't talk about it. We are afraid of it almost. I admit to feeling a certain amount of shame. I don't know why. Maybe because I feel like I should always be in control. God knows I have had to be for the last couple of years. But I know I shouldn't. There is nothing shameful about it.

But I think mainly I just wanted to put it out there. I think the key to my recovery is honesty. Also I think I wanted to put some awareness out there. Most people who know me would have had no idea that I have been going through this for months. I am great at covering my feelings. I think I just want people to be aware. That someone close to you may be fighting some pretty serious inner demons they may not be showing you. Keep your eyes open my friends. Your kind word or tender hug at the right time may make all the difference. And may be the line between someones recovery and a fatal alternative.



Megan said...

Hugs to you Kylie - my thoughts are with you. Well done for getting it out there. Anxiety and depression have been things I have struggled with over the last couple of years too, and admitting it to yourself and to others is so hard, but definitely needs to be done.

I think in many ways we are similar creatures - the strong, reliable, in-control ones, and the ones who everyone else dumps there problems on. It feels like a massive failure to admit you can't always be strong, and that sometimes you need support too. We need to try and look at our lives from a third party point of view - we would be nowhere near as tough and demanding on someone else as we are on ourselves.

Look after yourself, and let other people help when you need it. You are SO worth it.

M xx

spunkysuzi said...

How very true! I've had bouts with clinical depression and my husband suffers from schizophrenia. A kind word or a smile can make a huge difference to someone going through a mental health issue.
Thank you for bringing this up!

Tracy said...

Hello Kylie,
I hope that sharing has helped you somewhat. I think most people blog about their lives through rose coloured glasses because we think no one wants to know about the less than glowing aspects of our lives. We all have them and it is great that you have brought it up here.
I had my own set of problems over the last year or so and I found that being more healthy and staying away from caffeine made a noticable difference.
Take care,

Jess @ THIR said...

It might not be what you think people want to hear when you are blogging, but you also find that when you need to... is when you have the most support.

Every single one of us, even though at the other end of the computer, and not "real" we're here for you :)

It's good that you were able to catch it early. When things like this happen to me, I've already spiralled a little to far to catch myself... I am getting better though :)

Trace said...

Wonderful Blog thank you for sharing ox Trace

My Life and Running said...

I'm a big believer in asking for help when needed. And a big believer in that there is no shame for your emotions. Glad you are open and sharing your experience.

I read this yesterday and liked it... the mind is such a powerful thing, but it needs constant training too, doesn't it? ...We have the tool of thought within us to create a thousand joys or a thousand ills... ~James Allen

creativedawn said...

Hi Kylie,

You've got NOTHING to be ashamed of. So often we miss things in ourselves that are so easily observed in others. It is good that you took the time for introspective look "see". Being aware of our thoughts and knowing ourselves is key to taking steps toward our "well" mental health. It is as you say so easy to go to the ER, say to set a broken limb; heart attacks, and other clearly observable injury. We all need to recognize that our emotions also experience injury. I applaud your actions you've taken to help your body regain its chemical balance. That is very important to your mental health.
I'll be keeping you in my thoughts and am sending you positive vibes!