Friday, August 5

Me and Drepression


Ain't it great when you still got followers long after you quit blogging! Thanks all.

Don't know if I still have it.. I mean the ability to write. But since I'm struggling with my depression, and this struggle is all about trying and trying, then be it.

I've done it before. Taken myself as an example and laid it out there for others in hope it will help someone somewhere sometime. However, this time, I'm the one who needs help. It's the same old story.. trauma.. tears.. anger.. depression. And once you slip into this last one, you are sucked in.

Been there for years now since I was diagnosed with MDD (Major Depressive Disorder). Feels like it has become part of me, although I've been fighting it with all I've got. The thing is, it is very difficult to find true help with this battle. It's like a ghost, many talk about it while very few have ever seen one.. experienced what it is.. or is able to define it even.

My therapy sessions were like long arguments between me and the psychiatrist, who is an excellent person by the way, and highly professional. Still, he talks about human conditions which he had studied.. studied very well, but never experienced. He did his best to help me out. Can't say he failed. He was honest enough to tell me he has no exit door to offer.

One of our discussions was about the definition of depression. He went on and on about the medical condition and the chemistry of the brain, bla bla bla. Gotta admit, I learned a lot from the man. What I needed to know, though, was whether depression is a disease or a state of mind.

The good doctor insisted that depression is a disease, yet he made it clear that even when I am 100% cured I have to say bye-bye to my former self.. that is the Fantasia who existed before depression. That is why I thought that treating depression like some disease or virus which takes control over your body for some time and then becomes cured is so far from the truth. Maybe it is more accurate to describe it as a state that will continue to have its effect even after its dangers are reduced.

Our talks were more philosophical I would think. Of course, we discussed personal issues and stuff that led me to this. However, I guess that denying to see things the way they truly are is the root of all evil. Human beings spend so much time and energy in deceiving themselves. My experience with depression proves that the pain is due to the shock of someone who has been blindfolded for years and years and then all of a sudden you open your eyes to this strong light, and you can't deny, no matter how hard you try, that what you are seeing is real, has always been real, but you were simply unable to see it! And you can never go back pretending it didn't happen. It is an educational experience of the first degree.

Now, the only logical reason why someone suffering from depression cannot go back to point X before s/he was hit by this hurricane would be that this so-called "disease" gives you eyes.. which is the total opposite of what psychiatry claims.

What antidepressants do is simply shut down your nervous system, making you unable to feel anything, like constructing a thick glass wall between you and your emotions. The idea is to reduce the stress on your nervous system until you miraculously recover. Antidepressants are the materialization of hell. After 2 years, I stopped medication, without consulting my doctor. His opinion was I gotta live on this stuff no matter how long it may take, or else I'll crash.. like a computer crashes. Being a very scientific person, I waited and waited for things to change, until I could take it no more. Finally, I decided to trust my senses.

Is life any better? No. But I am definitely better.

This programming process that we go through ever since we come into this world is the true disease. Almost every single aspect of our lives is wrapped in lies. You are being trained to practice self-deceit and you go through life depending on this skill. You have to pretend that certain things have value, although they don't; because things which are really worthy are very few in life and are simply not enough to weave a whole lifetime around. So you gotta fabricate your own list of valuable stuff and toil to reach one by one, learn to celebrate when you get them and act dramatic when you lose them.

Of the truest words I found on depression are the words of someone who's been there, Elizabeth Wurtzel. In her book Prozac Nation she says:
"I start to feel like I can't maintain the facade any longer, that I may just start to show through. And I wish I knew what was wrong. Maybe something about how stupid my whole life is. I don't know. Why does the rest of the world put up with the hypocrisy, the need to put a happy face on sorrow, the need to keep on keeping on?... I don't know the answer, I know only that I can't. I don't want any more vicissitudes, I don't want any more of this try, try again stuff. I just want out. I've had it. I am so tired. I am twenty and I am already exhausted."


P.S. I've been on Prozac for over a year.


I can't forget this session when my doctor was trying so hard to convince me that life is worth trying, no matter how many times we fail to achieve what we aspire. He gave an example of a test they perform on lab rats. They place a rat in a cage with a piece of cheese, and every time the rat tries to take the cheese they give it a mild electric shock. The rat then spends longer time between each attempt until it completely gives up and stops trying, although they remove the electric current. The doctor then told me: "You see? If the rat tried for once after it had given up, it would have finally got the cheese." I couldn't help but laugh out loud, and I said, "Doc, are you really expecting me to be more stupid than your rat? If a rat can learn its lesson and spare itself the pain, then the least I can do is learn when to quit trying."

Thanks for reading!

4 comments:

Layal said...

Dear Fantasia ;
I stumbled upon your blog by coincidence a few weeks ago and i love everything that you write.
It comforts me so much that someone else feels and wonders about the same things that i am as well. I admire your honesty! You hold nothing back.
I really hope you find peace with yourself and that you will find happiness. Although i have never met you and i'm just a reader to your blog. I love you =)

Fantasia said...

Hun, you ain't just a reader, for reading creates a bond, especially when you are touched by experiences expressed in what you read. And thanks to modern technology, this reader-writer interaction we're having now made you part of my reality. Thanks for caring to drop me a few lines, they mean a lot. Lots of love to you, Layal.

Shimaa Gamal said...

Hello

You have been missed.

Maybe the lesson the rat should have learned was not to completely quit. Simply to quit doing the same thing that never worked before on a hope it will.

I wish I can be of help. But I will have you in my prayers my dear.

Fantasia said...

Thank you, dear Shimaa. You know what, I used to think quitting is some kinda defeat. Turns out it ain't necessarily so. You gotta reach your limit at one point. You gotta pause and look around, SEE where you are and where the hell you wanna go. Just that I was too young to undergo this shit. My timing was horrible, as usual.

"When I dare to be powerful - to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid" - Audre Lorde