Depression, I Remember…

bluesI can’t believe this. Last night as I was going to bed and pushing out thoughts of, “I’ve been depressed for years!” and remembering periods of feeling ill; I recalled that I was treated with anti-depressants in my early teens. I even remembered the medication name, Triavil, with blue triangular pills.

Holy cow. I hadn’t been sleeping and was missing school. I had no energy. I felt sad and took no pleasure in any of the stuff I loved. I was up all night and when I did sleep, I’d sleep until late afternoon. I was in bad shape. I was thirteen.I felt so tired. My folks took me to the doctor (it had been weeks of this) who prescribed meds to “help me sleep.”  I had forgotten this entire incident of my life.

Distinctly, I recall my mother telling me that the medication was an antidepressant, but that it was only for sleep. In fact, she emphasized this to me so clearly, that I thought it odd at the time. I was to take the medication every night for several weeks and see the doctor again. Withing six weeks I was weaned off of it and never followed up on the medication. Huhn. I have a family history of depression, bipolar and schizophrenia on both sides. In retrospect, my mother must have been scared for me and perhaps a bit resistant to the idea that I had depression.

All through school, high school, college, others labled my “problems” as nerves and stress. This does make a certain amount of sense, since I am “high strung” just  like my dad. We are two anxious peas in a pod. I “did too much” or “tried too hard.” Shit, I wasn’t doing too much, I was frantically fighting off the symptoms of depression (which I never recognized). Nevertheless, I had an intuition that if I stopped, inertia would strand me in bed and I would never be able to shake off the weight holding me there. I felt so unbelievably tired.

Eventually, I’d get a flu or a cold and I would stop and it seemed like my scrabbling was too feeble to push the exhaustion away. My pattern for some twenty years of schooling has been, doing okay, doing okay, anxiety, anxiety, agitated depression and then clinical depression.

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