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Sep 05 2009

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Depression Is A Thief

We wouldn’t put up with it if a stranger entered our home and demanded all of our time, our energy, our hope. But that’s the net effect of depression. It robs both you and the ones who love you. It takes what you cherish and makes it seem worthless. And it digs in its heels, fighting every step you make to try and rid your life of it.

Over the years I’ve tried to vanquish depression in so many ways. Sometimes it works, sometimes … not so much. I’ve done depression both on and off of prescription anti-depressants. (Although I never tried them until my father died in 2000, which was a weird source of pride to me before then.) Maybe it’s just me, but I think all those years on Wellbutrin I could have taken a placebo and never known the difference. I wanted it to work, which may be some of why it did.

I know DIDers who are on (plural) anti-depressants, and it’s hard to get a read on whether they really work within a DID framework or not. For chemically based depression, perhaps — although DIDers are notorious for different alters presenting with different brain chemistry and PET Scans. Plus, I had at least one alter whose mission in life was to confuse me about whether or not I had actually taken my pills, so I know I missed some doses.

What I know works, from experience, is to move outside of my “depression radius”. It’s like a blast crater when it hits, rippling outwards. It feels all-encompassing, and as if I am a leaf blowing on the wind, without control or discernible direction. It takes time and tremendous determination to crawl outside of that crater, but that’s always my goal. Anti-depressants probably help me to focus on tasks that are do-able and helpful, when I would otherwise zone out. (The tasks are not always “productive”, as that’s a kind of setup for me. But helpful is good.) If I can step outside of the blast zone, I can turn myself around.

I went off anti-depressants six months ago, because I was feeling more energy and enthusiasm than I had in a long time. The meds did their job, as far as I know, and I was ready to move on.

And take my life back.

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