Friday, June 26, 2009


I readily admit that I have a chemical imbalance. That does not mean I am a bad person or crazy. All it means is that I have an illness that needs constant monitoring; just like a person with diabetes, thyroid disorders, or any number of other medical conditions. My medications may need to be adjusted or changed depending on how I am functioning. Also the stressors in my life have a major role in my mental status.

Over the last month, I have really been struggling. Things with a very important person in my life started to fall to pieces and it seemed like everything else was going against me. I knew that I was on a downward path so we increased my medicine dose. That seemed to help some, but the longer things went on, the weepier and crazier I seemed. At one point we added a nerve pill to see if that would help - it did to a point, but not enough. I knew I needed more help so I set up an appointment on Tuesday the 16th to see about getting my meds changed.

My doctor agreed that it was time to try something new, plus add some counseling. I was okay with that because it is a neutral sounding board. I was just ready to be myself again. I know that it can take 2 to 6 weeks to see the full effect of a med change. By day four though my moods seemed to stabilize. I wasn't as weepy, acting desperate, and I started to want to function instead of forcing myself to.

I could not believe the emotional roller coaster I had been on the previous 3 weeks. I actually don't remember it all I was so out of touch with myself. I do remember feeling completely hopeless and lost. My world seemed to fall apart; what felt like my only support was gone and I felt robbed. I gave 110% because I cared and when I needed something she wasn't there.

Because of ALL the stress I have been under (not just the last few months) I have been diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). MDD profoundly affects an individuals quality of life. It may interfere with everything in their life; family, friends, jobs, sleep, appetite - EVERYTHING. As much as 15% of people who suffer MDD will attempt and succeed in suicide - making it have the highest mortality rate of any disorder.

My secondary diagnosis is one of Adjustment Disorder. This is a short term condition that occurs when a person is unable to cope with, or adjust to, a particular source of stress; such as a loss of a loved one. With this disorder, a person's reaction to the stressor is greater than what is typical or expected. It may also cause problems with a person's ability to function.

I am comparing my actions to the stages of grief. If you look closely at the pattern I went through you will see why. Grief can happen over any loss, not just a death.

Grief Stages
The first reaction to a loss is Denial.
You tell yourself that it isn't happening. You think that you cannot accept that it is ending, and you refuse to see the obvious signs that it is over for the other person. You think that you can talk or cajole them out of leaving. Sometimes, the main denial was in believing that the relationship was a good one in the first place when it really wasn't, and that's why so many people have a hard time accepting loss. In general, your mind refuses to accept what is happening.

Anger comes as you begin to accept reality.
In a loss, the frustrations that have existed begin to come out. You become angry at the way you were treated, about your life that has suddenly changed, about the way you were lied to and deceived, at the future you expected that will never be. You can become angry at fate, at God, at yourself for not doing enough. If anger is turned inward (not felt or expressed), one becomes depressed. Anger should be gotten in touch with, expressed properly and dealt with. It is important not to be destructive in your anger, but it is equally important to express your anger. Expressing anger is a sign that you are beginning to deal with your loss. If anger isn't expressed, it will make you bitter and hamper your recovery. It is important not to bury your anger, and it is important to express all of your anger before you try to forgive that person. Warning - Anger must be expressed appropriately, not recklessly. Most importantly - do not take your anger out on anyone in an unhealthy manner. Expressing your anger over the loss in the wrong way will only do harm to yourself and create an unmanageable relationship with others (OOPS! that would be me). Express your anger in such a way that you do not harm yourself or anyone else, and in such a way that you do not totally alienate anyone with your actions. You can also write letters to the other person and express the anger in any way you wish, but you should not give the letter to the other person. It is merely a way to release your anger (OOPS! that would be me again).

Bargaining is trying to get them back.
With losing someone, you promise the person you will change; you will do anything they want if he or she won't leave. You make elaborate plans for what you both can do to make it better. You make those plans when the person who wants to leave doesn't want to get back together. You grovel, you cry, you beg. Sometimes people compromise their values and beliefs to try to keep a person from leaving. Reaching the bargaining stage shows that you have begun to face the fact that the relationship is ending. You are past the denial stage. This is a necessary stage, and it helps you to look at what caused the problems in the first place.

Depression is an inevitable part of loss.
It comes during the anger stage, and the bargaining stage, and in the letting go stage. It can come at any stage, actually. Depression is normal. It may last longer in some people than in others. During the depression phase, you will cry a lot. Crying is normal, and tears are healing. Let yourself cry when you feel like it. If you cry constantly, everywhere, and it goes on for months and months, you probably need to seek medical help. (I DID!)

Acceptance means that you have reached the final stage.
When you have worked through all of the other stages, you will come to acceptance. You accept that everything happens for a reason. You may not see why yet, but you accept that it happened. You will see that you were friends with this person for a time for a reason, but that it is now over. You will realize that it is final, and you are ready to get on with your life. You will begin to feel free from the pain and the hurt. You will be finished with your grieving. You are ready to move on to a new life and let the other life remain in the past. You will be able to remember the good as well as the bad. You may always love and miss that person, but you realize that you are alive, and you have to go on living and make a new life for yourself without that person. You stop trying to bargain, cajole, and beg; you accept the inevitable, which is that you are going to have to get on with your life and make the best of it.

Remember: Even if you thought it was good, the person who left you isn't the person you needed to be with or they wouldn't have left you and caused you so much pain.

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