Yes, that’s right, I see a psychologist. I have seen psychologists since 2009. I have seen 4 psychologists from 2009 to present. When I see my current psychologist in her office, I do sit on a couch, while she sits in a chair placed across from the couch I sit in. There is also a couch to my left and a chair to my right, as seats that can also be chosen by patients. I don’t know if she calls us patients…I’m fine with the term. I have never laid down on any of the couches I’ve sat on in my psychologists’ offices, though I think this is the stereotype of going to see a psychologist. I sometimes think, though, that I would like to lie down on the couch and see what it’s like. I think it would feel weird since my current psychologist sits in a chair–mimic her, you know, that’s my thought. It might be relaxing, though, who knows; and she hasn’t set out any rules for sitting. She did notice that within my first few appointments, I decided to move from a chair to one of the couches…that’s because sitting in that rigid chair was uncomfortable in comparison to a couch. It’s a comfy couch, just to let you know. Not like the Big Comfy Couch, but it’s comfy and it’s a well-sized, oo, loveseat, actually (If I’m remembering rightly). Alright, I guess I’m finished describing the furniture lay-out of my therapist’s office. Thanks for listening 🙂
So, as I may or may not have said in a previous post, the topics I discuss on this blog are not always going to be the happiest. These topics don’t often fit well into polite conversation, so I write about them here. This topic, for sure, isn’t polite. In fact, even if people do talk about it, I suspect, in public, it’s probably a “Poor _________, he/she/some other pronoun is dealing with suicidal attempts, he/she/… is in the hospital, or he/she/… passed away by suicide.” It’s good to talk about suicide at all, I suppose, but talking about it in a hush-hush manner, as I think it often is talked about, doesn’t do much for dispelling myths or uncovering the authentic.
I, myself, luckily have never tried to commit suicide, and neither have I successfully committed it, given that I’m writing to you now. Now, you may say it is stupid of me to say that…but I’m just reminding all of us here that there’s no way to hear from “the other side” what someone who commits suicide thinks after the event (unless you believe some people have the ability to do that). Is it a, “Ah, thank goodness I’ve escaped that nightmare”? Or is it, “Oh no, I left people who are very upset by the event and I feel bad about that”? We don’t really know, and the answer may be both or neither. And if you don’t believe in life after death, than the matter is moot.
Through my series of depressions, I have run up against suicidal thoughts, however. The worst of them being probably a couple of years ago and just this past summer. If you’ve never felt like you’ve wanted to kill yourself, it’s interesting…? I don’t know. It’s not good. Basically, for me, I would get so anxious and obsessive about whatever was haunting me the most at the time (not a ghost, but a thought), and the only solution I could think of was dying. I would lie in my bed, worry or obsess like this for hours, find no solutions, cry, maybe sleep for a few hours, wish that I would die, and the chaotic cycle would continue. I didn’t always want to harm myself; in fact, most times I didn’t…most times I just hoped to walk outside and be shot. I would mostly imagine hanging myself if I did imagine hurting myself. These thoughts usually weren’t so real, though, that I wanted to get up, find a belt, and do the thing. I’ve heard that usually suicide doesn’t come without some energy…so when you’re in the worst of your depression, really not feeling like you have the energy to exit your bed covers, you’re probably not going to commit suicide. I’m sure there are exceptions to this rule, but again, this is what I’ve heard. In my experience, suicide was a symptom of depression. For some people, it might be its own illness, as I’ve heard some scholars in Andrew Solomon’s book The Noonday Demon describe it, or part or a symptom of a different disorder.
Now, this really just covers the basics of suicidal thoughts as I’ve experienced them. Those were the worst suicidal thoughts…but the thought of death is kind of always looming when you’re in a serious enough depression. Buuuttt, I would like to keep these posts ASAP (as short as possible), so I will stop. Thanks for listening.
So guys, as I said, I visited the organization that supports victims/survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence. It. was. awesome. Not in the “Oh my gosh, that rock concert was awesome!!” kind of way or the “Wow! That painting is awesome.” kind of way either. It was more like, “It was awesome for me.” Lol. But really. And unfortunately, it turns out I have more to take care of in terms of my experiences with sexual assault and abuse than I thought I did. Not quite exciting, let me tell you. But you know, (and I wish I were religious so I could say something super religiously sexy like, “I thank God for all my blessings, that my situation isn’t that of so many other less fortunate women.” Oh well.) I am thankful my situation isn’t worse.
Just so you guys have an idea (if you don’t know much about depression)…This is going to be like the scene at Veronica’s (played by Julia Stiles) dinner table in Silver Linings Playbook…
I’m currently on 2 anti-depressants and 1 anti-psychotic. The two anti-depressants are called Viibryd (a new-ish anti-depressant on the market that is reported to have fewer sexual side effects, such as low libido, that other anti-depressants have) and Trazodone (which I take at night, and which helps me sleep most of the night through and wake up at a decent time). The anti-psychotic I’m taking is called Abilify. It is also a pretty new pill and is used as a supplement to anti-depressants…it’s kind of an extra pick-me-up. I am also taking birth control for the second time in my life to help balance my hormones a bit. It seemed for a while when I was on Prozac (from August until November of 2012), that my PMS would consist of me falling back into an anxiety-ridden depression for a few days or a week.
That’s it! Hope you enjoy! 😉
So, today I gathered the courage to call a local organization that helps victims of domestic violence and sexual assault pro bono publico. I don’t know how I did it. Perhaps it’s the new medication I’m on. I’ve been scared for a long time to do it. I think what might have finally pushed me is asking the guy who raped me if he was still on our college campus. I asked because, though I’m not in school where he is right now and where the rape happened, I was planning on visiting ACTUAL friends up there and I absolutely did not want to see him. Yes, it might seem weird to you that I’m in contact with the guy who raped me. It was an acquaintance rape, by the way…which, IF YOU WERE WONDERING, is just as legitimate as any other kind of rape. It fits under the definition of sex without consent. Anyway, I’m in contact with him sort of in an effort to keep track of him. For a while after the rape happened, I wanted to talk to him about what had happened, but that conversation never ended up happening. Anyway, I’ve had his number for a long time, and have only used it recently to ask him what I want to because I’ve had the courage to do so.
Right now, I’m listening to Ra Ra Riot’s new album called Beta Love. It’s quite electric and quite good 🙂
Okay, so I have my appointment with this organization tomorrow. We’ll see how it goes…I’ll probably let you know. The service I’m taking advantage of at the organization is called Individual Crisis Intervention and is a one-on-one meeting, survivor to counselor, to talk about the situation in which the survivor currently deals with or did deal with when they fell victim to sexual assault or domestic violence. Prematurely, I have great respect for organizations like this…we’ll see if my respect persists after actually meeting with them.
Wish me luck!
Okay, this is stupid, but I’m trying to learn to thread my own eyebrows. I really want a shape to them, but this is definitely not an easy skill to learn. Euughh! One YouTube video I watched recommended practicing on my legs, which I’m trying, but OW! Lol. Does anyone who’s tried this or knows how to do this want to give me some tips? Ah! I could go to get them done, but I don’t have a lot of money to spare. I want to be self-sufficient!
So, for those of you who have seen Silver Linings Playbook…I actually wasn’t too much of a fan of the movie. I thought Robert Dinero was great and the woman who played Bradley Cooper’s mother was good, too, but the movie itself didn’t impress me much. However, since seeing it, I’ve been thinking about the implications of the movie in terms of society’s view of mental illness. I do think it has helped pave the way for conversation on mental illness. It is widely known that there is a stigma attached to mental illness, but the way the movie approached this serious subject, with humor and candor, I think has helped release some of the stigma. For example, I might have waited longer or never started this blog had I never seen that movie. Who knows?
When I was first diagnosed with clinical depression this summer, I wanted to learn more, for I honestly didn’t believe I had depression. There had been many years of people telling me that I was being childish or I was just stressed about the break up of a relationship, or that I was lazy. A book that fell fortuitously into my hands was called The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression by Andrew Solomon. I never finished the book, for it is quite detailed and a bit too much to take in if you’re not in a good mood, but what I did read of it was inspiring and very educational. In the book, Solomon describes his and others’ experiences with depression and backs up what he says with a lot of research (culminating in a 400-something page book, not in large print!). Since reading what I did of the book, Andrew Solomon has become one of my heroes. He is one of the best writers I have ever read and I have great respect for him for not only his writing skill, but his bravery in sharing his experiences in such a raw way.