Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Symptoms

Because this is an experiment I thought I should be a little bit scientifc and list my physical and emotional state at present - or my symptoms.

PHYSICAL: I have developed dermatitis on my arms and knees – maybe due to the winter but may also be related to my mood? I feel tired ALL of the time. Some days I sleep up to 12 hours a day and I could still sleep more if I allowed myself. I am reasonably healthy, I don’t drink to excess (on a regular basis) and I don’t take drugs. At present I believe I am a healthy weight (although I’d quite like to be littler), on the Body Mass Index chart I am considered to be overweight but that’s shit. I am 5’6” or 167cm’s and last time I weighed myself I weighed 70kgs.

MENTAL/EMOTIONAL: I feel down a lot of the time. I think negative thoughts and sometimes I think about how much I don’t want to be here. That doesn’t mean I want to die, just that I don’t want to be here. I get grumpy and angry a lot. I cry nearly every day. Sometimes I have what I’ve termed ‘crying days’ I wake up crying and I cry all day..even when I have to go out and buy milk. Often I find it difficult to go out. I let my friends down at the last minute a lot because I can’t face seeing people. I have very high expectations of myself, I ruminate all of the time and I beat myself up emotionally nearly constantly. I get overwhelmed easily and procrastinate. I take on too much until I am over committed and have to let people down again. I have had oodles of counselling (and I mean OODLES)...I know all about CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy), NLP (neurolinguistic programming), Gestalt therapy...I know what I’m doing I just can’t stop.

SUPPLEMENTS: I have taken a vast array of supplements over the years, some help I think? I tried anti-depressants once (much to my loathing) and I hated them. I took myself off them. YUCK!

Currently I take:
one fish oil capsule a day
an iron tablet (as I am a meat minimalist)
sometimes a multivitamin (I just ran out)
and some zinc (cause I read it helped)

I have taken a photo and my measuremets as well in case my body changes in the next wee while. I'm undecided if I will publish these at the conclusion of the project, I guess it makes sense to though huh?

From The Black Story to The Present

As long as I can remember I have always battled, more than the regular person, with my moods. Along the way I have worked hard to find out as much as I can about me. I have come to the conclusion after much therapy and my own research that I suffer from what's known as Dystemia  - a long lasting depressive disorder that shares many characteristics with Major Depressive Disorder. It tends to come in waves and is particularly difficult in the winter.

Throughout my twenties (I'm now late 20's) I have noticed the effects of my plaguing moods more and more as they have fought to destroy my relationships, my career and passion for life in general. I have made progress I believe. I used to be quite socially phobic which I have managed to overcome, which is great 'cause people are great. I have suffered from severe anxiety and panic attacks in the past which wasn't any kind of fun - I found Rescue Remedy really useful for this. I have been medicated once - it sucked and I stopped it after a few weeks. I won't lie, at times I have been very ill - that is hard to admit here...and hence why this experiment is titled The Brave Girl Project.

Depression is one of those funny things (not really ha ha funny), it's hard to understand, to get the gist of and it's different for everybody. I am lucky and have a very supportive partner and a handful of long distance friends who I know are there for me no matter what. It's a difficult beast and it makes me angry when people make fun of those John Kirwan if you do that, please don't a meany. If you only read one book it should be "I HAD A BLACK DOG" by Matthew Johnstone. I can't reccommend this book enough. I read it regularly and so does my partner, it's refreshing, concise and fun (fun and depression, who would of thought!?)

not THE END.