Depression is a serious, deadly disease, a slow cancer of being, of consciousness. And it should be treated as such: seriously. And especially, without shame.
How we talk about SUICID in a way that helps those most in need. Suicide is our problem, of all, not just the one who uses this gesture.
Four deaths of some famous people occurred last week. Four deaths by suicide. We also add the suicides of ordinary people. Anthony Bourdain (CNN) died at age 61, and fashion designer Kate Spade died at age 55. Italian writer Alessandra Appiano (59 years old) and sister of the Queen of Holland (32 years old), all suicidal, all depression …
Looked outside, they were successful people, valuable people, people doing things admired by other people. But here success did not matter, and depression grinded them slowly, slowly, until the final and irreversible act.
The well-known writer Petronela Rotar-Cotoban wrote an exciting article about the danger of the disease called depression, which she calls "severe illness, not mild" even "the seven-headed dragon." We invite you to read this article, which can be very helpful. to many people who feel at the end of their powers.
"I know you have been through depression, sometimes I can no longer simply, please, tell me, what were you doing when things got worse and you didn't see the liman? Any advice would help me "
"I am bad-bad-bad for about two and a half months, dizziness from that awful, fainting state (like every moment a little down), palpitations, breathing that I have to always control, chills, sweating, nausea, blurred vision – everything gets worse when they are in open spaces, in shops, in the middle of people. "
“Panic attacks are not classic, I don't have half an hour of strong and ready panic, sometimes I have half a day or more. I can't sleep anymore. ”
“I am desperate all the time, I do not know what to do, it always seems to me that I either die or that I will never come back. I stay longer at home, but I can't concentrate on anything, I can't read, I can't watch a movie, I can't sit on the net … Have you ever been in a similar situation? How do you escape? And will the treatment be effective in time? "
"Did you happen to have strong dizziness at all, not being able to stand, and feeling so that at any moment you collapse, that you faint? I have been doing this for two days and I do not know what the hell to do anymore ”
"They are part of the messages I receive, always. Every time I try to talk to the man who writes to me, to encourage him, to share them from my experience, because I know on my own skin how important it is not to be alone then, to know that you are not the only man in the world that goes through that hell, that hell is just a purgatory and that you can be saved, you can be good if you fight. I decided to reopen the subject of depression / anxiety, in the hope that I bring a ray of light to those who lead this ungrateful and unequal struggle.
The most important thing to say and that I will not be tired of repeating is that depression is a disease. A serious, deadly disease, a slow cancer of the being, of the consciousness. And it should be treated as such: seriously. And especially, without shame. We are not ashamed when our heart, stomach, liver get sick, why are we ashamed when our brain gets sick?
I suffered from depression all my life. I have what psychologists call background depression. Like a program running in the background. I learned to accept it and live with it. I call it existential sadness, which I think sounds more sophisticated. The crying eye, no matter how laughing the other. I took her back, sometimes harder, sometimes easier. There were times, however, when I sank into it like black water. If anything saved me from drowning, it was my children, the huge love I carry and a sense of exacerbated debt.
I lived for almost two years only on the surface of life. I woke up with a claw in my throat that sucked me, with a stone slab on my chest, which did not allow me to feed myself with sufficient air, without any will to get up from my bed and live. I didn't understand the meaning of life. I didn't understand him anymore. It seemed to me that death had revealed to me the futility of the act of living. What good is all this, if the premature earth swallows us anyway, what is chosen from all that you were, thought, created, had? What purpose does all this have, when even from the memory of those who have loved you above themselves the cruel and irreversible act of forgetting erases you? But from my crib my baby cried and, with superhuman efforts, I got out of bed and smiled at her, took her in my arms and found my strength to breathe again one more day.
At every blow my life gave me, I woke up thrown into the bottomless pit of depression, but I was not allowed to stay. I was a mother. I had to be functional, I had no right to have depression, to lie, to complain.
I worked like a seizure, I took care of the children. When, at one point, I felt I could no longer, I asked for psychiatric help. I was, at that time, a bag of ancient bones. I just happened to tell the psychiatrist that, among other things, I have nothing for many months in my stomach, I live with continuous diarrhea and immodium as a meal.
He laughed and told me that it is a digestive component of depression and that it will pass after several days of medication. I couldn't believe it, it seemed to take my leg. I had done a lot of investigations, analysis, I had a diagnosis of irritable colon, the pills taken for this had not helped anything. He was right. After not three days, I was fine. I took medication for 6 months, very low doses, so as not to affect my life and activity in any way. I was chemically balanced, but it needed more than that.
Antidepressant medication is what is anti-inflammatory in an inflammation caused by an infection. Treat the symptom, relieve pain, but do not eliminate the cause. To get well, you need to treat the infection. In depression, the infection is treated with therapy. Lots of therapy. And that is what I say and I recommend to anyone who asks me what to do: therapy.
There is a great deal of resistance to therapy. Even those who come to the psychotherapist's office. Because it's hard and painful to get back to you. Because, most of the time, the elephant in the room is not the problem, but the room itself. And pain-free healing in therapy does not exist. Awareness does not come that way, at night, in a glass of wine. They come from exercises made difficult, from uncomfortable questions to which you never wanted to know the answer, from the struggle with the demons of the past, from a return with cruel sincerity to oneself.
It's fucking hard and we are full of mechanisms of resistance and denial. After so many years of therapy, after so much writing and digression in myself, I discover in astonishment, at some group exercise (I will not stop to enjoy the benefits of group therapy!) That things are totally in me other than I thought, my repressed pain is reactivated. , they make clicks in areas that I thought they were welcome, resolved, closed.
The worst time of my life, when the anxiety (with which my depression was always minimized and repressed) broke out and literally put me down, was 8 years ago. I was experiencing some very strange physical conditions, which brought me to the weekly emergency room. Sudden drops of tension, vomiting, trembling as in septic shocks. We left every time from emergencies with a ticket that wrote food poisoning. I went to all the doctors, I did all the tests. They couldn't find anything, like in that sinister bank, the tests are perfect, the patient is dead. Please find me something, I can treat myself, I can do well. Then, on my birthday, live on TV, I did the most violent panic attack, which I could swear was a stroke or heart attack. The same day, I went to my psychiatrist, I had some programming done for a while, because I thought I'd try that too, if I wasn't lucky enough in other specialties.
Then I learned what a panic attack is, what ailments can mimic, how treacherous, insidious it is, how it can change your habits, pleasures, life course. How it keeps you captive in the fear that it will repeat itself and how the fear that it will repeat it makes it repeat itself. That night, on the way to mine, I did six more, at the wheel.
It was only the first of my hardest roads, in which I seemed to swim through gelatin, unable to reach the destination that was so close. Scared, pulling right from minute to minute, unable to breathe, my heart bubbling madly, but especially with a terrible feeling of vertigo and depersonalization, of unreality, as in a lucid dream.
That's how I lived for months, with all the medication I was taking. I was sleeping a lot, from the pills, and when I woke from my sleep, I woke up with a terrible inner vibration, a tremor of the internal organs that terrified me terribly. I no longer had the courage to go live without having the emergency pill on the desk. I was only driving for very short distances, never outside the city without being accompanied, myself, who found myself so driven! I was always afraid that the attacks would not return, my days were counters of breaks between them, I lived as if I were wrapped in cotton, with a perpetual feeling of dizziness and generalized evil.
For months, I worked at 10-15% of my capacity. I could not read, he writes, the little remaining vitality went to work and interactions with children. It also helped the medication. Therapy helped a lot. It helped the will to be good even more. I began to fear my own brain no more than before. I began to know when the attack was approaching and that it was just a panic attack, like all the others who had hit me but had not killed me, and defeated them before settling. I started to do more sports, to spend time outdoors, to resume the things that I was afraid to do and to face my fear.
Wasn't I afraid? Oh yes! But I didn't want to live the rest of my life terrified, with the fear of my own shadow. The worse the attacks, the more I was getting them out of my mind and they were getting worse. They never disappeared. I can have years when I don't have any, then, suddenly, I feel overwhelmed by the known sensations. I always have emergency medicine with me in a pillbox: a quarter of anxiolytic under the tongue and I'm almost instant. I hate pills. Good years, after the attacks had stopped, I continued treatment with antidepressants. I got fat from them, I thought I would become addicted to life and I could never get out of that vicious circle.
Each time, I asked the doctor to remove them, I experienced horrible withdrawal for weeks, but I managed to be well without it. But I wouldn't have been able to without the long therapy. I have been 6 years since I no longer needed to take an antidepressant at least once. However, the anxiolytics are always within my reach. I take it rarely, extremely rarely, but it's about my psychiatrist: you put under a tongue a quarter of a pill, in three hours a piss, don't be stubborn, don't let yourself get in that bad state if you can avoid it. And this I do, when it cannot be otherwise. I'm still susceptible to a panic attack at the wheel, alone on long roads or on the plane. But that doesn't stop me from going on the road.
I have had periods of high anxiety. Last year we came to the MRI due to extremely strong dizziness and pain in the head area. I didn't have anything, I just summed up anxiety. Now I know why my neck stings, when it stings. Because depression is a strong dragon, with seven heads, and anxiety is the strongest. Cut one, grow two instead, when you're not careful.
I have often had thoughts of futility and death. I wanted to disappear simply because suicide, I have long established, is not part of my options. I was often caught in a head that was either too full or too empty, unable to escape from it.
The writing helped me a lot. Running. The read. Good people and flour around me. The trips. The time spent outside, in nature, with which I have a wonderful connection. The state with me and the forgotten in me. Love.
But the combination, individual and group therapy helped me the most. Awareness that depression is a disease that I must treat with all responsibility. They are far from being, to be thousands, psychically resolved. But I descend into myself every time with the will of the diver. Whatever is there, mine is, I have to know and assume. It's hard and it hurts. I also want to give up, to find reasons not to go to a meeting with a painful topic, but immediately I notice my resistance mechanisms, I pull out two palms and drag myself to therapy. Many times I have the feeling that I'm fine, I'm ready, I'm done, what the hell am I looking for in therapy? Then, after a group meeting, I laugh and understand that it's still a long way off. But the road is beautiful. And I am the best in my life, I won the great fight with the dragon, I cut off almost every head. Sometimes, another one grows older, but I'm trained and I cut it again. Being good is a constant struggle when you're built like me. A hard fight, but beautiful. And now, I breathe well.
When I look back and see the black and bad water from which I came out alive and unharmed, I smile. I feel liberated. I know that the depression program, installed at a far too cruel age, still runs in the background, but does not control me. I do not need pills to be well, I am aware that I am an extremely lucky woman and strong enough. That my life is beautiful. I can enjoy mornings, sunbeds, the multitude of moments I gather as jewels.
Depression is a terrible disease. Being strong means, above all, knowing when you can no longer be alone and asking for help. Ask for help. I always hear that it's expensive to do therapy and I smile. I especially hear from people who would allow themselves to give up some fuss if they really wanted to. But they won't. Unfortunately, those who are sent to the psychiatrist come to therapy, especially when things get out of control, when the disease is already advanced. Don't wait to get there. Ask for help! ”, Concludes the writer Petronela Rotar-Cotoban, which you can find here.