Carys Weldon Blog

Monday, April 09, 2007

Depression

My friends and I were having lunch last week and we got to talking about depression and counseling. I am sad to say that too many people suffer from mind numbing depression. I honestly don't know anyone who hasn't dealt with it at some point in their life. Some people deal with it daily.

I love to talk philosophically, ask questions about "what would you do if...?"
So, a couple things came up.

1)If you were depressed and someone asked you to rate that on a scale of 1-10...and you said 10 because you'd thought about suicide (daily)before you got out of bed...and they replied that you couldn't possibly be a ten since you were out of bed, what would you think?

My friends, who have both been THERE said...On a ten day, you can't kill yourself because you're too depressed to do it. On a nine day, could you do it? I don't think so, because you struggle with how, and your guilt for all the things that have you depressed are ruling your brain too much. You know, you can't shoot yourself in the head or slit your wrists because someone will see the mess and have to clean up after you one more time, and guilt and fear of it are paralyzing. Ditto with nine days being the days you sit around and cry too much to really think.

Or would it be a 7 or 8 day? The days you actually feel good enough to think and process and reason out how to do it...?

Or would it be a 5 or 6 day? One of those days where you actually smile at points thinking of all the good reasons to be "out of here." And how relieved others around you would be if they didn't have to deal with your mood swings and crying jags?

I think it's important to discuss issues like this because some people (health care professionals and family, maybe) don't realize that it isn't the day you can't get out of bed that is the day to worry. It's the day that comes after several of the 8, 9, and 10 days. The day when you feel good enough to change your life.

Now, ideally, we have a support system that takes care of us somewhere in the middle of this, that helps us through the days that are dangerous. On 5, 6, and 7 days, get out of the house, meet with friends, go to places where people are, like a mall, and do something mindless like window shopping and or look at cars and houses and dream build.

This is just a theory my friends and I came up with on how best to deal with those middle days. I try to bury myself in a story. Usually a book I want to read, or write. You know, a fantasy world that has NOTHING to do with my real life.

2) Another question that was asked was, "If you knew you only had a year to live (or less) what would you do?"

Unequivacably, the three of us said, "Well, I sure as hell wouldn't diet another damn day."

I've been thinking about that. (over and over again because I'm obsessive compulsive, all or nothing)

If I was dying today, or on a set day and knew it, I'd write letters of love and apology to my family and friends. You know, tell them how much they meant to me and apologize for any of my failures. And I'd probably want to take some one on one time with each of them and give them presents, shower attention on them, so they'd always have that one last day to remember me in a sweet way. Ya know?

One of my friends thought she was going to die a few years ago and she took all her money and bought a very cool vacation and traveled alone. She's still here, alive, and talks about how it was the best thing she'd ever done...because she is a giver personality and she needed to do something for herself once and for all.

My mom bowled the whole time I was growing up and she told me that those 2-3 hours each week on that league was the only thing she ever did for herself, but that it kept her sane.

I guess my point today is to encourage you to take time for yourself. Think a little bit about what you need to stay sane. Take time to show the people you love that you love them and that you value your time with them.

Give me your two cents. What do you think about the depression scale? What would you do if you knew you only had a short time to live? Would you go to work? Would you clean house? Would you go for a drive and look at the scenery? Would you sit quietly and write letters?

Sometimes I think I'd write letters of forgiveness and other times I think I'd write certain people some notes of "I died thinking you were an ass." Or "I went to my grave thinking that you did more damage to me than anyone else I'd ever known. I wanted you to know that I thought you were horrible and never forgave you."

Then, of course, I think I better pray and meditate on that because, bottom line, I want to forgive everyone, including myself, for all mistakes made. I want to love and be loved, and spread that message everywhere I go. BUT some days, on those 5, 6, and 7 days, I think "I'm not going down alone." LOL

Am I alone in this? (The answer is NO. I have at least two friends who struggle with the same dilemmas.)

Any thoughts?

Posted by CarysWeldonblog :: 6:27 AM :: 3 Comments:

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3 Comments:

Funny/odd that you post this on a day where I'm primarily working on mental assessments in transcription.

I haven't met a pdoc yet who doesn't ask for a patient's rating of their depression on a scale of 1 to 10. Some have 1 being the worst, some have 10 being the worst. They're consistent among themselves, though, so that's what counts.

In doing mental assessments for Social Security, there have been a few times we've called the hospital ER and (on one occasion) even the police to get someone EOD'd. These were people who had actually rated their mood as a 5 or 6 but had very detailed plans on what they were going to do to kill themselves. One had even planned to take her favorite grandson with her. I kid you not.

You are so very right that the 7-10 days aren't the ones where someone is likely to do something. It's usually on 4-6 days.

As for me, I can only say I think I've experienced mild depression on a couple occasions but not chronic nor persistent. I've only once (that I can recall) thought of suicide but that's been it.

By Blogger Jen, at 8:16 AM  

Thanks for agreeing with me, Jen!

By Blogger CarysWeldonblog, at 8:51 AM  

Well, ya know, it's easy to do when it's backed up by science and practice. lol.

Seriously, though, you're right on. :)

By Blogger Jen, at 10:16 AM  

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