The Oatmeal summed it up nicely in his explanation of the worst thing about Valentine's Day: people say they don't celebrate/recognize Valentine's Day, yet they won't shut up about how they don't celebrate/recognize Valentine's Day.
The analogy doesn't translate perfectly, but essentially many people hide depression in order to carry on somewhat with social activities. When you make it known that you're depressed but that you're working to get over it, people feel all sorry for you and shit. "Oh, yes, RG! I've suffered from depression, too! Was your form of misery similar to mine? Let's talk about how miserable you are some more and focus on that." So you end up engaging in fewer social activities because everyone treats you like you have a terminal disease instead of partaking in the social activity that you're trying to do in order to feel better.
I'll have to edit the list of advice from the previous post:
If you are also depressed, what you choose to do with this knowledge is up to you:As for the meds my doctor put me on, at the 4-week checkup we decided to change drugs. I was on a fairly low dose and my doctor hadn't encountered itching as a side effect.
- buck up and stop acting depressed
- take solace in knowing that you're not as alone as things might look
- realize that maybe your depression isn't prominent in others' eyes
- for god's sake keep it to yourself (and your doctor)
I also raised the prospect of ADHD, fearing my doctor would instead diagnose me with hypochondria, and to my surprise my doctor didn't dismiss the idea. They're all to do with something wrong in your brain, and the names we give them aren't black-and-white.
So we split the difference: she put me on something else that isn't as strong on depression, but has an off-label use for ADHD. Without the side effects, I could at least bullshit myself into a psychosomatic recovery. Being a mechanically-oriented person, I have a hard time grasping how a drug can affect your mood (or the concept of "mood" to begin with), so I was hoping that at least my subconscious would fall for the placebo effect.
I think the new drug (or the placebo effect) is working. Or maybe I feel better because the absence of the first drug's side effects makes me feel better.
I do notice that I've been more productive at work and at home, and I've had a natural urge to get many things done, instead of simply feeling guilt for not getting it done. When I would previously put something off to the next day, I've found there are more instances when I just do it and get it out of the way. That's been coupled with a few good days where I thought or feared that it would be a pain in the arse, but things went smoothly or something I didn't want to do was cancelled.
I actually woke up in the morning last weekend, instead of staying in bed.
As for the ADHD thing, I don't know too much about it, and haven't even read up on it on the web (which my doctor suggested. Fancy that.). It's hard to know if I'm feeling "worse than normal" because my lifestyle is too all-over-the-map to have a sense of what "normal" is supposed to feel like.
But what I do know is that I have a tendency to start big, ambitious projects and leave them very shortly thereafter. shorter projects are more likely to get done. It's a miracle I still blog instead of Twittering.
Also, I might be confusing ADHD with OCD. When I do get onto something, I often can't stop in the middle of it. That's why there are so many gigantically long posts on my blog posted in the wee hours of the morning (which, in my book, is anything before 9am). Like the first post in the Ken Gray series. I woke up at 6am and couldn't get back to sleep until three hours later after writing out the blog post. By 11am that day I was very tired. Or how a quick impulse purchase of a digital projector turned into a month-long bout of depression.
A couple of nights after switching to the new pill, I reorganized my cutlery drawer. See?
I was up until 2am doing it and two of the other kitchen drawers. I'd have vacuumed, too, if I knew it wouldn't disrupt the neighbours. My latest theory (which I propose tongue-in-cheek) is that I must have had underlying OCD, but the depression was keeping it at bay because I could never motivate myself to bother.
More rationally, the new drug isn't supposed to have an effect until 4-6 weeks in, so I assume the different behaviour is either from withdrawal from the first one, or from the placebo effect, or possibly from the first drug no longer making me feel worse.
What's the point in all this? I dunno. Maybe you find it interesting. Maybe it's just to spite Ken Gray by pointing out I don't give a flying fuck if my blog posts are so long that nobody in their right mind would read it (helps that most of my friends are crazy). Or maybe it's to say that there's a very real possibility that RealGrouchy's back.