How to Overcome Depression
I had been depressed all over the Winter of 2010/11, mostly over my financial position and thinking I would lose my home. In February 2011 I went to see my doctor and was told I actually had depression, but that treatment was possible.
My symptoms included a total lack of interest in cooking and gardening, two things I used to love. My brain was all over the place. I could not focus on any one idea and the thought of writing was, and is, very stressful. I have had occasional “short thought days” when I have been up all night before, but this was every day. I went into panic mode at the thought of tidying the kitchen and other very basic chores. I was not sleeping and was wide-awake at 2am most mornings.
I have read about depression previous to my illness and understand its cause to be a lack of a chemical called seratonin in the brain. Seratonin is a neuro-transmitter that helps electrical impulses to propagate from one neurone to the next in the brain. This chemical is made in the brain and there are other chemicals made that absorb it called seratonin inhibitors. I was put onto tablets called SSRIs (selective seratonin receptor inhibitors).
The first effect of these tablets was to make me terribly thirsty all the time; that took a few months to wear off. I slept at night and for about three hours every day for two months. The daytime sleepiness has now worn off.
Every day I can feel my brain getting better. Initially my brain felt as though it was the junction of twenty hollow glass tubes, each one being one thought. Before I started taking the tablets I knew the tubes were there, but each one was blocked by fog. I could not progress any single thought. Day by day the fog receded and I could travel further down each tube. My thoughts were becoming longer again as the seratonin levels in my brain were increasing.
After two months I regained interest in food and a month later I was enjoying gardening again. I found writing to be extremely stressful, especially longer pieces. After six weeks I could do 300 word blog posts, but anything longer sent me into a near panic.
This is the first article I have written since my illness and I have to fight to keep my panic under control. I am hoping that writing will have a cathartic effect and that I can make more progress by setting myself monthly targets. I have to overcome the fear barrier that deppression has set up in my mind.
My anxiety levels are high, even as I write this, but I can feel them morphing into less formidable obstacles minute by minute.
This month, May, I will write:
5 articles on Infobarrel
2 or 3 posts every week on all my blogs
Start using Postrunner again and write 31 backlink posts on there over the month
This list might sound very unambitious, but even writing them down like that is something I find very difficult to do. I want to make sure that my targets are achievable.