We are unique, but it is not our suffering that makes us unique.
Self-Care Tip #202 – Be aware of your feelings and your body.
Wordsmith SuziCate commented to our post three days ago on finding depression in those of us who appear “fine.”
It can be more apparent in what is not said…. When I was depressed it was the absolute last thing I wanted to talk about. I evaded the subject, and if forced to talk it was about anything but what “I” was feeling.
Yet again, the comment completing the post. It was on my mind and in my face somehow over these sum of days. When I would start thinking about something else, a patient would nearly quote SuziCate and I wondered if you all have met behind my back on some other blog site with intent to trip me out. (Grandiose delusions….)
Margo said yesterday in clinic, with hands moving, eyes wide and leaning in,
When I was really down, I just quieted down, stayed low, did my thing. The last thing I wanted to talk about were my feelings. I felt afraid of the Nothing that waited there.
She was talking more quietly now and her whole body receded a little.
You aren’t interested or interesting to anyone. You don’t have anything to say.
We were both quiet for a bit.
These flattening-of-the-spirit symptoms used to be called “Pseudodementia” because they resembled dementia so much. A muting of the mental and physical function. A disease progression slowing the nerves and body. We now refer to them as “Neurovegetative Symptoms.” **
When thinking about getting friendly with ourselves, we can’t forget about what we don’t say or feel emotionally. We remember also, that the brain is connected to the rest of our body. Brain is sick, the rest of us is sick too. This can be a good check point once we start realizing that something is wrong either by insight or by comments from others.
It can be more apparent in what is not said….
Hear more than words.
Not all depressions are these muting processes. Some of them are activating and agitating types leading to anger and irritability. Those are hurtful too.
All types of depression are dangerous when left untreated. The reason isn’t only the risk of suicide or the distance it creates from others. The reason also includes the less familiar brain changes that it causes on the brain function. The sooner we are able to pull out of a depression, heal and return to ourselves, the better health our brains will have the long term. The longer a depression is left untreated, the more damage is caused to the brain’s health.
Questions: How did you figure out you were depressed now or then? Or that someone else was depressed? Please tell me your story.
**Neurovegetative Symptoms are the things about affective disorders that most of us don’t know about. We think about emotions – depressed, sad, happy, angry and calm when we think about mood or anxiety. We don’t think about the body. We don’t think about cognition, concentration, memory and what SuziCate or Margo described so well.
It can be more apparent in what is not said….
Neurovegetative symptoms are called “neurovegetative” because they are caused by the changes in the nervous system and they limit our ability to function.
- Depression and anxiety differentially influence physical symptom reporting (physorg.com)
- What is Melancholic Depression? (brighthub.com)
Self-Care Tip #115 – If it’s not serving you well, don’t waste your time on it. Be a friend to yourself.
Trixie Hidalgo, advocate to end violence in America, tells me that many of the people engaging in gang crimes tell her that they are put in their life positions (poor, stereotyped, impoverished) by the people who have the power, to keep those people in power and to keep them down. They have some credible arguments we’ve shared before in history relating to oppression such as race, color, gender, money, or status. Are these people victims? Sure, why not. But is that the point here?
The victims reminded me of a clinic I was in the other day. I was working with Marcus and his father. The father was torn about where to go to get his disabled son, Marcus, treatment. Marcus was disabled with both brain illnesses and severe psychosocial stressors. Currently we found Marcus, 2 years into treatment with me, and as of yet, father and mother (divorced without amicable terms) had yet to engage in treatment with me. They wanted to know why Marcus was the way he was. Father pointed at Mother and Mother pointed at Father. They blamed other things as well, the schools not providing the right services, the medications for not working, his genes, and more. Meanwhile, Marcus is tearing up his classroom and his own life. He is barely functional socially. Moody and volatile. Anxious with physical symptoms. He was having multiple medical work-ups going successively for various physical complaints.
Before I let them go, I told his parents, “Who cares what his diagnoses are? It’s not about the diagnosis.” The purpose of a diagnosis is to serve the patient. The patient doesn’t serve the diagnosis. Right now, Marcus was serving the quest for his diagnoses. If all they can see is that, and they miss the fact that their son isn’t functioning, he’s depressed and anxious and violent and no one can stand to be around him, Marcus is worsening continually while they go on debating – they’ve missed “IT.”
They’ve missed it. And so have we when we waste time counting up the offenses we’ve directly or indirectly suffered. We miss it when we increase our injury by holding ourselves responsible to our history. I asked Marcus’ parents what the point of what they were doing for Marcus was. I ask the victims of America, what the point is when they point to history to answer for their present condition. If it’s not serving you well, if it’s not doing something good for you, than what are you doing with it? Do good things for yourself.
For the victims, for Marcus, and for Marcus’ parents, 1st make sure we weren’t missing something medical that was keeping them from having life quality. You can’t give what you don’t have. Then move on to the psychosocial issues and spiritual and so on. What ever we ran into that missed our point, we’d walk past it together and on to something that served us well.
Question: How have you managed to move past things that weren’t serving you well? Please tell me your story.