Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Of Depression, Botox, and My Broken Apartment

Depression is an admirable and crafty foe. It gets you where you live. At such a time when you really, truly, need to be getting out and getting sun and doing what you like and being social and trying new things the very thought of even putting on shoes make you want to take a long, long nap.

It took me years to even accept that depression has a major chemical component to it. A mixture of my upbringing and society and the awesome head game that is depression itself led me to believe that it is a personal failure and that I'm a horrible, worthless, stupid person for even having to deal with it. Good therapy, much research, mild positive meditation and education had taught me otherwise, and I am grateful. Now I know that especially at times like this when it hits me hard and dirty that it is chemical mostly, and that if I just relax, observe, let go and give myself a break things will be much easier.

I don't appreciate having to deal with it but I am hugely, wordlessly, grateful that I can see it better now and have some basic coping skills. Oh, I hate it. I hate it with every fiber of my being (though that hate is greatly muffled by the depression; it, like the rest of my life, gets smashed into a big burlap sack which makes all emotions and living much like trying to look at daylight through a window coated in three inches of mud).

It doesn't help that I'm still in limbo apartment wise, ready to come home and find the eviction for the landlord's foreclosure on the door. That, actually, is the least of my bothers with the place. It reeks like mold or mildew that no amount of bleach, baking soda, vinegar or lysol sprayed down the kitchen drain will fix. The garbage disposal, microwave, and now dishwasher are all broken.

When I'm depressed I'm unbelievably overwhelmed by things that I normally handle; the very thought of hand washing all the dishes in the dishwasher growing mold is too much for me to bear so I ignore it. I'm even too overwhelmed to just throw them out and start over, seriously, unless you've been depressed that sounds INSANE but believe me: I can't handle it. When things like that start to build the rest falls apart too; laundry isn't getting done. I don't vacuum. I haven't grocery shopped in weeks. I'm too overwhelmed to make good food choices so I eat crap which makes me feel much much worse (I know what processed sugar and fast food do to me and yet I still eat them, knowing full well I'll feel like hell and sleep bad and have no energy yet I can't escape the circle).

For a variety of reasons I haven't been able to see my therapist for over a month, thank heavens I see her this Thursday. 50 minutes won't be enough, but I'll take what I can get.

There is more on the depression but that should give you an idea. It sucks but I don't want to worry anyone or freak anyone out. I'm not now, nor have I ever been (thank God for big favors) suicidal. Homicidal...sometimes perhaps, but suicidal no :)

As for botox, I went in for the consultation. The woman who gave it to me is the same age as me. Her assistant is 24. They both use botox. Seriously. Whereas I really, really want it and the other night I caught my forehead in a mirror in poor light and wanted to weep I just can't justify the lack of concrete data.

Oh, sure, they tell you that it has been used as a wrinkle treatment on the market for 20 years now and that there are no damaging side effects but really? How many things, let's just say ALL, always turn out in the history of mankind to have lasting severe side effects? We put lead in candy and asbestos in houses and you know back then they insisted that such things were entirely safe.

Even if money weren't an issue (botox ain't cheap) I am too worried about potential long term effects. Which is an awesome catch 22 because worrying makes me wrinkle more and my wrinkle makes me worried and I go around and around and around and the depression just makes it worse and...you get the picture. The super perky, perpetually smiling women that gave me my consult scared me too; when I asked about long term use studies or if it were safe to start killing my muscles so young or if my face would just slide off someday after years of use they got snippy and blew me off. Really? Any medical procedure, even one as "simple" as botox, should be taken seriously, and if you want to get 1200.00 bucks a year out of me maybe you shouldn't be bitchy when I ask what are very basic and logical questions.

So. No botox for me, yet. Maybe in 6 years if there is more conclusive data...or maybe never. I hate my forehead, it ages me badly, in a baseball cap I'm 22, in a ponytail I'm 38, but fixating isn't going to make it any better.

Thanks as always for coming around. I'm here. I'm probably just depression napping (like real napping but without the satisfaction or joy). And developing some dreadful mold related disease.



Breathe Gently said...

The depression.. I've lived through it via people around me and I'd never be crass enough to say that I understand - but I can at least say I've been there with them. I know how much it sucks, and how crippling it is.

But, and I do have to say this before I forget, your comment about your face sliding off after using Botox, has made my entire day. Really. It was JUST THAT GOOD.

Hugs to you, chicka. x

Anonymous said...

Depression sucks. It is my invisible, evil, Siamese twin.

I had a therapist teach me something that helps. H.A.L.T.

When you feel bad, try and think if you are Hungry, Angry, Lonely (bored), or Tired to see if any of those things can be helped or fixed. Sometimes even just figuring out a "simple" reason why I felt crappy helped.

Not that this is a placebo for the research, therapy and meds. Just a quick little helper.

Feel better. It is not you. It is the depression.

Also, after 10 years of pissing away money on various antidepressants, I was placed on Strattera. It is more commonly used as an ADHD drug, but was developed as an antidepressant. ADHD and depression symptoms are often similar. This has done more for me than all of the other drugs combined.

It worked for me, not promising that it is right for you or even an option for you. Not practicing medicine without a license here, but if depression is still messing you up on meds, maybe its time to visit your doc to reevaluate treatment options?