Me and The Boss-revised

NOTE: After I initally posted this, I began to think back, as closely as I could remember, about all the tiny details that eventually led to my diagnosis of depression. I do that quite often in the shower…think…intently…LOL…and I suddenly realized I had left a huge chunk of this discovery out of the story! Why? I am not sure, but, I did. So, in the interest of truth in autobiographic story telling, I am revising this post to reflect my more exact memories. 

What an interesting thing happened this morning! As I tuned in to Good Morning America, they were talking about BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN and that he was opening up about his depression. As I sat and listened to the short piece, it was as if they had just read what I wrote in my last post, down to starting out with the comment that depression is an insidious thing!

This is such a good thing…every time someone famous opens up about the deep hidden issues that haunt them and that are so very misunderstood by the public, GOOD comes from it. It is my fervent wish that people truly read his new book and listen closely to his words as he shares what life has been like for him, living with his depression.

This Depression-Bruce Springsteen

For me, today, I think I will share my personal discovery of the depression that dogged me silently and hidden into adulthood.

My life really was tripping the light fantastic as far as I was concerned…I had an avocation that I adored (speech and language therapist); I had a job that I also loved going to each day (itinerant SLP going to several schools in different school districts); I had a husband who, I have learned over the years, loved me absolutely unconditionally; I had started my family and was studying for my doctoral degree.  What more was there to have?!

But, something was wrong. DEEP down inside, I felt that I just wasn’t right. I couldn’t put my finger on what it was, just a nagging feeling that I didn’t feel good.

Then, a bizarre thing happened. You will read this and say, WHAT THE HECK?!

My son was about a year old, which made me around 35. I was cleaning the house (a rare thing in and of itself…a story for another day!) and as I was vacuuming the carpet,  I saw a lump on the carpet near the sliding patio door that the Hoover didn’t pick up. I just bent over to pick it up to throw it out and it was a big dead spider all curled up in a ball. (Just writing this now is making my stomach churn and heart pound with the memory). I picked it up, realized what it was, dropped it, and

I SCREAMED at the top of my lungs and started to cry and shake UNCONTROLLABLY.

And I could not stop. I was hyperventilating, could not breathe, sobbed, shook like I was having a seizure, crumpled to the ground, completely out of physical and emotional control.

From a dead spider.

I am not afraid of spiders. They do have a certain ‘ick’ factor to me, but fear them? No.

My reaction to this situation? WAAAAAAAY out of the possible realm of normal, and I knew it. Nobody was home at the time, I can’t remember why the kids weren’t there, but, I was able to eventually get myself under control and sat on the sofa thinking “I am sick. There is really something very VERY wrong with me. I need help.”

When E got home, I shared the experience with him and said that I felt I needed to see someone, quickly. He agreed. Thankfully, I had a PCP who was easily accessible and after a phone call had me connected to a psychologist who could see me quickly.

I must interject here that the person who provides the psychological support services to you is CRITICALLY IMPORTANT. If you don’t like the first individual, you MUST find a different provider. It makes all the difference in the world.

I went to my first appointment and we talked, he completed an assessment, and diagnosed me with an Adjustment Disorder-NOS. He gave me a book he had written (RED FLAG THERE) and then we scheduled a followup appointment.

I met with this gentleman for several months and pretty much talked. I honestly can’t remember what we talked about aside from learning how to relax…sad…he should have had more impact on me than that. But, the talking seemed to help in that he had taught me some specific relaxation strategies which I was starting to use any time I felt myself become anxious. And that was it.

That worked for just a little while. Then the anxiety started again.

Studying for my degree, having a family, and working all at the same time is certainly a recipe for some anxiety, but, that something really feels wrong  feeling had returned, stronger than before.

Well, around the same time, there were ads on both TV and radio for a Depression study that was being conducted where I was attending school. I thought, “What better place to go than to the Western Psychiatric Clinic and become part of a study to help figure this out?!”

I called the toll-free number and made an appointment to go in to their office to see if I qualified to be a part of the study. I actually felt a bit hopeful that I would find another answer for the way I was feeling. Adjustment Disorder-NOS, his self-serving book, and the subsequent work done with Dr. F had not made me feel any better, and I knew it…as I would learn later…KNOWING it is huge.


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