Day 31

by dennisedmons

Depression is a very real thing. I need to reiterate that. And the only thing that is common among people suffering from clinical depression, depression, seasonal affective disorder, and generalized anxiety is that each case is extremely unique. I have two friends that are clinicians (one therapist and one psychiatrist), and four friends that are currently on medication for it.

And they all agree: while it seems to be a wide-spread issue, each case presents its own problems. One of my friends’ triggers is sappy love stories (either in television, movies, or commercials). He has to be extremely mindful of his emotions during any sort of representation of sappy love that he sees. His therapist prescribed sertraline as a counter-balance to his clinical depression, and it has helped him stay mindful throughout the day. When those triggers arise, he usually breathes and notices the emotional state that he’s in, hoping to talk himself down.

He’s been taking the medication for three months now, and he feels that every day, he approaches that feeling of manageability that most people would like to feel.

My therapist said to me that I have symptoms of depression, ADHD, generalized anxiety, and possibly a “mild case of bipolar disorder.” (His exact words)

The relief that I originally felt when diagnosed soon turned to anger and resentment, followed closely by intense introspection. I think that it’s a natural response. If I were to ask people all across the country how they felt day to day, I think many of the people would experience these same symptoms. That’s not to say that it’s not real, or that my case is rare, or that my case is less real than others. It’s just my constant ruminations on something that I think that we all feel: emotions and the human condition.

You see it with the Occupy Together movement: no there is no label, no concise list of grievances with those in charge (either elected or otherwise). Instead, it’s a list of symptoms that people have noticed: corporate greed, preferential treatment of the rich, and the consistent relegation of humans to cogs in a machine, able to be quantified and wrapped up in a tidy little bow.

I am more than my therapist describes, just as you are more than anyone says. You have the capacity for so much love, anger, care, depression, sadness, and joy that sometimes it’s pretty scary.

Wherever you are in your life, be it coping with emotions that are running rampant, a melancholy outlook on life, or manic happiness, there are people out there who can help. Talk talk talk. Open up to one another. Find therapists who are affordable, search for forums dedicated to helping people like you. We are the 99%, and that’s a good number. There are a lot of humans out there, some of us have been there, some of us will be there, but I would argue that there are more people who care than there are people who don’t.

Humanity can be such a wonderful thing.

  • physical self: 12 minutes of cardio (I’m trying to get to 20 in the morning)
  • mental self: I read a lot about the Occupy movement, and you should to. Start here (Occupy Together)
  • emotional self: I wrote some notes about my objectification of symptoms (it’s not the thing that instigates emotion, it is my response to those things)
  • spiritual self: 10 minutes of Zen breathing exercises and meditation.