Saturday, January 8, 2011

An End to It All - Criteria 5 / Suicidal Gestures and Ideation

I haven’t tried to kill myself since I was 16. Nearly 13 years have passed since then. My life was so scheduled away, so full of pressure, unobtainable standards, and emotional pain I couldn’t imagine feeling that way for an entire lifetime. When you’re in the moment it’s often hard to see that there is another one just around the corner. To understand that these feelings will pass. Especially when they’re persistent and don’t go away. Don’t actually pass. 

I have known of my mood disorder since I was 12. I could see my increasingly shifting moods reflected in my grades. Where I would be an A student normally, as my depression worsened, so did my grades. The material wasn’t difficult, maintaining my interest and ability to care, was.

I’ve been clinically depressed (Major Depressive disorder) all this time, nearly 17 years. It’s hard to tell me that these feelings will go away, when so far, this has proven to be untrue.

You can’t just tell someone that is Major Depressive to cheer up, to take a look at all the wonderful things in our lives and be happy. The real bitch of it is, it’s often impossible to pinpoint one major reason. Often there is no reason. Just a pervasive melancholy that won’t go away. Everyone feels depressed every now and again, but usually this follows an appropriate event or situation. With a mood disorder, there’s not necessarily one good reason. Sometimes there’s none. The sun is just too bright, the air too biting, laughter grates the nerves and nothing smells so sweet. It’s not a rational issue that you can logic away. However gaining an understanding of depression is a first step in controlling it. Be it with medication or cognitive behavioral therapy, it first needs to be recognized. Without recognition all there seems to be is one vast grey, gloomy horizon stretching onward forever into the future. Who wants to live like that?

What’s more, who can imagine living like that for the rest of their life? Waking up everyday to the same dull outlook. Getting up in a shroud of unhappy feelings, it’s almost logical to ask yourself if it’s worth it to continue like this. If there’s nothing better to look forward to, what’s the point of going on? It’s often not an individual glaring reason that kicks on the ideation of ending it all, it’s the monotonous drone of hopelessness that seems endless. The resignation that things have been this way for so long and most likely will continue to be this way for even longer.  

For me, it’s often this monotonous drone. I’ll have moments, maybe even a day or two of brighter happiness but this never stays. However, I’ve also had a lifetime of turbulent relationships, one after the other, abuse, abandonment, that make me fear the pattern will continue on forever. My anxiety spikes at the smallest infraction and I relive all the horrible emotions that have crippled me before. After a lifetime of build up, the little things now set me off. One small thing in and of itself is not the reason I’d think of killing myself, it’s that proverbial straw that broke the camels’ back.

For me, it’s not a grand suicidal epiphany. It’s a quiet resignation that if this is all I can hope for, then it’s not worth continuing the trauma.

 I’d never even considered killing myself, again, until last year. I slammed the door on any thoughts of suicide a long time ago. Then the thoughts started creeping back. I wasn’t forming plans, rather it was a small voice in the back of my mind questioning if it was worth it, offering me release from the bleakness. That even after I’d done so much to change my life, my environment and now in a more stable one, STILL nothing ever goes my way, still faced with even more upheaval, it doesn’t stop, it will never stop. I should simply end the turmoil of my days because nothing will ever get better.

Fortunately, I have a good therapist and psychiatrist that I am diligently working with to get through these issues. I’ve found that one or the other isn’t enough for me. I need to balance my medication with my cognitive behavioral therapy. It’s a lot of work, but now I have hope that I can open myself to better experiences and live a better life.

3 comments:

  1. It's good that you're working against the grain of nagging suicidal tendencies.

    Do anti-depressants only work on depression that isn't chronic? Or do they not work with what you have?

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  2. I have no idea if they only work on situational depression or not. Mine is chronic (though I seem to be ok right now)and coupled with all my other issues thus far I have not been on the right drugs. I've only been on three different mood stabilizers/anti-depressents/anti-psychs plus a couple anti-anxietals. The drugs work for my anxiety. So far nothing has worked in the long term for my depression, only for short amounts of time, and that could very well be the product of my environment and not actually the drugs. I'm still trying to figure it out ::shrug:: Next time I see my psych I'm going to have him try me out on yet another drug. Yay for the medication-go-round.

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  3. "My anxiety spikes at the smallest infraction and I relive all the horrible emotions that have crippled me before. After a lifetime of build up, the little things now set me off."

    Yep i get this. This is partly why I have trouble getting the emptiness that borderlines are supposed to have. With me, I feel so full up that i'm overflowing constantly, and it takes the slightest thing to bring all my insecurities and defensiveness to the surface. I guess in place of emptiness, what I certainly feel all the time, is a coldness. A cold feeling that just doesn't go away. The kind of thing you feel when you are alone or detached from everyone/thing. Unconsciously however, i must feel empty since I spend my life compensating for something lost or missing, through other means.
    But it's hard to feel empty when my emotions are so vivid, and strong and ever-present.

    As to depression and BPD in general, a few years ago my aunt said to me (I was going through a bad depressive phase), that if I don't cheer up soon, people will think I enjoy being depressed. I swear, I could have smacked her for that. lol. It's that kind of ignorance that we encounter from time to time, and it's normally always from my family.
    I also found it insulting given how in public, with my friends etc, I'm always the life and bloody soul of a place. People never imagine me as a depressive until they really know me/live with me and I happen to be having a hideous phase.

    But yeah, i can sympathise with how you describe it. I used to get terrible PMS when I just couldn't get negative thoughts out my head. My entire past, but only the bad things, would flood into my mind and I wouldn't be able to get it out. It would transform me. So, I'd go for a run, still detailing the crap in my head. It's like that song by Jewel, where she talks about wanting to be able to outrun her skin, and become pure wind. Nice.

    This sounds crazy but I also love the sound of a strong shower above my head - I turn it on and it drowns out the thoughts in my head. It's always about sublimation for me.

    Still, it's great your getting support from your treatment.
    Whenever i comment here, i always intend to make it short, but I just end up going on and on! lol.

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Leave me a comment! It makes me feel good and less paranoid about talking to myself =)

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