Working On Us Week #6

It’s week 6 for Beckie at Beckie’s Mental Mess mental health prompts! Go check out her blog if you haven’t and join in to help further advocate the seriousness of mental health and mental illness.

Prompt #1

There are so many varieties of depression out there, such as Bipolar Depression and (SAD) Seasonal Affective Disorder. What type of depression do you suffer from, or have?

I have Bipolar Depression and PTSD Depression. They both like to peek their heads out in different ways.

When I have Bipolar Depression, I don’t always realize it at first. I find myself hiding away, in the comfort of my bed. I don’t take care of myself and could care less about showering and brushing my teeth. I only leave the house for work or if I need my nicotine.

When I’m in the middle of a Bipolar Depression, I feel weak and numb. I disassociate through movies and television. I feel this inner bleakness. Colors are dulled and I don’t get pleasure out of the things I normally do.

My PTSD Depression hits me when I’ve been triggered. If something reminds me of my childhood, it starts with rage and anger. I react without thinking.

Once the rage ends, the despair washes over me. I break down crying. My chest aches and my heart aches. It feels like this pain inside won’t’ ever stop. I hear all the horrible things said to me, including things I’ve said to myself.

I feel worthless. This is when I use to self-harm. It was the only thing that would momentarily take the rest of the pain away. It made me feel real when I felt like the world around me was fake, including me.

What do you do to fight your depression? (Meaning: therapy, medications, meditation, ECT)

I go to therapy to help with my PTSD triggers. We’re starting EMDR therapy this upcoming week.

I’m also on Citalopram and Wellbutrin (which I’m also prescribed for my ADD). I’ve been on and off anti-depressants since I was 13. Citalopram has always worked best but since Wellbutrin was added to the mix, it’s been even better.

My Bipolar Depression rarely rears its’ ugly head and when it does, it’s manageable.

Speaking of, I can feel the Bipolar Depression creeping up on me again these past few weeks.

Does anything help you, and if so… what?

Writing is my everything. Writing helps me release all my pent up depressed emotions. I can get all the nasty feelings out on paper or I can distract myself by writing about something else entirely.

Music is also a big helper. It’s my second everything. When everything feels like too much, I put on my headphones and crank up my punk rock.

When I feel depression coming before it hits me too hard (like right now), I try to distract myself. I keep busy with writing jobs and applying, applying, applying. I spend more time with my boyfriend and cuddle with my furbabies.

24 thoughts on “Working On Us Week #6”

  1. Casey, I so appreciate you joining once again on “Working on Us” – I can feel your pain as you describe the bipolar depression coming on. I can relate to that on so many levels. I know that bipolar depressive cycles are different for everyone, out of curiosity, have you ever kept track of when they begin and when they end? Also, how often do they hit?
    It seems like there are several of us that find writing to be cathartic and that music is another go-to to soothe us when we are feeling low. Do you seem to utilize these more than normal when the depression is at its worse, or do you start to shut it down?
    I feel when my bipolar depression hits, and boy, oh boy has it hit hard… I’m less motivated, and when I push myself I’m exhausted and sleep for hours at a time. It’s as if I know this platform of writing helps me but at the same token, I’m so utterly worn down from it. It’s a vicious cycle of guilt that I experience when I don’t write. Obviously, I’m having difficulty trying to explain my point as well. LOL!

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    1. No, I’ve been thinking about tracking my moods to see if there’s a pattern. I know they’re a lot less lately. When I’m not medicated, I’m pretty much depressed 24/7 except one week a month where I have hypomania. What about for you?
      If I notice I’m starting to get down, I use my coping tools. But if I don’t realize it, I end up shutting down. I’ll just watch tv and sleep. When it’s my PTSD, it’s like I have to write or I’m going to explode. I think it’s because I replaced self-harm with writing when they hit.
      I know what you mean! When the depression hits hard, it’s hard to make you do the things you love & even if you do, you don’t get the same enjoyment out of it.

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      1. Back in April of 2017, I was in fairly good shape with my bipolar depression… I was more active, and felt really good. Then, by Sept 2018, it all fell apart. I was down for close to a full four months… Nothing mattered to me, and all the tweaking of meds was messing with me more.
        I was doing fairly well again in January of this year, and come May, was sliding again. My psychiatrist just prescribed Cymabalta, and in three days I was sick as all high heaven. Today is the first day I stopped taking it, and I actually have felt better.
        I’m so happy that writing has taken the place of self-harm, Thank God! Besides, I love reading what you write. Very insightful always!

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      2. You’re not Debby Downer to me. I understand exactly what you mean. For a few months the meds seem like theri doing their thing, then all of a sudden… “Nope, I don’t feel like working for you no more.”
        It’s like being stuck in a ditch and the wheels keep spinning out all the muds from underneath the tires… All that effort and nothing. It’s very frustrating indeed.

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      1. Oh, I understand.

        No, I’ve never tried EMDR. It originally wasn’t recommended because of my complex dissociation, but I would love to do it.


  2. You aren’t alone when it comes to personal hygiene when in a bipolar depression. I always think that I am alone, and feel shame on top of the depression. But from reading mental health blogs, I realize that I’m not the only one with showering/toothbrushing issues.

    Are you excited about starting EMDR? I’ve heard of it, but I don’t know what it entails. I hope it works for you!

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    1. I know what you mean. My ex was mean to me about it when I didn’t take care of myself while depressed, plus we were doing drugs. Of course, he was just mean about everything. But he made me feel awful about it. He couldn’t understand that it was part of my bipolar. I am excited about starting EMDR! It has high rates in helping people with PTSD and other mental disorders too. It’s pretty much processing the things that trigger you and replace the negative feelings with positive feelings. How you survived, that you’re okay now, etc. The main way is a therapist talks you through it and you move your eyes around. It’s hard to explain but somehow it helps with reprogramming those bad feelings from the past that come up through other situations, being triggered. My therapist also has this cool machine. You hold this little controller in each hand. It buzzes in one hand, then in the next. We use it when I talk about bad emotions. It activates both sides of your brain since when you’re stressed or upset, only one side of your brain is working. If that makes sense? LOL

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  3. I’ve never gotten into punk rock but I’m currently listening to a band called Tangled Hair. They’re a mix of punk and math rock. I kind of like it. Music is definitely great therapy. Thank you for this Casey. It made me realise that I’m too hard on myself often.

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      1. True. Math rock is a type of progressive rock. Bands use odd time signatures and borrow a little from punk or post rock. A melodious math rock band is 65daysofstatic. A not so melodious one is The Dillinger Escape plan. Check them out and let me know what you think!

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