My Brother Might Have Found My Antidepressant

This weekend, I asked my brother to change the oil in my car. However, he decided to do it while I was over at my grandpa’s. It would not have been a problem but I had come with my mom and did not have my keys with me. I was pretty sure they were back in my purse at my parents’ house but I was not sure. I just knew that I did not want my brother to go looking for them because if they were in my purse, then he would be sure to find my antidepressant. I keep it in my purse when I am traveling. My brother was insistent on changing my oil at that moment though and decided he would go looking for my keys. I hope that if he did see the medicine in my purse than he did not recognize the names. After all, the only reason I am familiar with antidepressant names is because I suffer from depression and have done a lot of research on the topic. Otherwise, he is one that will not understand my problems and will make jokes. Soon, the whole family will know that I am mentallly messed up.

Why I Will Not Get My Masters

Today, I was asked if I would go on to get my masters. This semester, I took a self paced class in order to renew my teaching certificate. I guess the person that asked me figured that I might as well get my masters because it would mean a pay increase.

However, I will not be able to get my masters. I nearly killed myself in college because I could not handle the stress. I would not be able to handle the stress of a masters class on top of work. I could handle the self paced class because I could work when I wanted and if I was too depressed, I could take a break and not get penalized. Plus, this class was based on completion. For me, good grades are a big deal (I was valedictorian in high school and graduated Summa cum Laude in college).

I know this person was disappointed when I told her that I could not get my masters because I could not handle the stress but I do not expect her to understand. I am disappointed in myself that I will never pursue a higher degree because graduating with such honors means that I should be able to do great things with my life academically.

I know that I am more useful alive with just a bachelor degree though than dead with a masters degree. I can still do great things without the extra education.

Back to the Doctor, Again

I went back to the doctor yesterday. My medicine was helping my depression but not my anxiety. I constantly felt like I was experiencing a panic attack. Work often makes me feel anxious but I was experiencing anxiety even on the weekends.

When the doctor found out that I was no longer feeling depressed, he decided to keep my antidepressant at the same dosage. However, he did recommend an additional medication that will help with anxiety. However, it is long lasting which means that it will take awhile to start working, just like when I started the antidepressant. I really hope this works. I am tired of the monthly trips to the doctor.

Red Flag

The other day at work, there was a health fair in which we could answer this survey and get our blood drawn. I got a call yesterday but I missed it because I was working that said I needed to call the wellness team that was in charge of the health fair. Apparently, they could not wait because they tried to call again while I was at work.

I debated about whether I should call them back. I really do not like talking on the phone. Plus, I had a feeling it had something to do with my survey. But then I wondered if maybe something was wrong with my blood. I decided I had better call them back.

The person I talked to was concerned because I had mentioned that I had been suicidal in the last month and that sent up a red flag. That was what I had originally thought they had been calling about. So I did my best to explain that I had been switching medicine and that was causing the suicidal thoughts. And now that the medicine is starting to work, I was feeling much better.

I guess I should be pleased that they care.

Obsessive Christmas Disorder Controversy

I wash shocked when I heard about the sweater that Target was selling that said ‘OCD, Obsessive Christmas Disorder.’ As someone that suffers from mild OCD, I do not find it funny. Sure, some people might be obsessive about Christmas, but it goes away. Plus, there is reason to be eager to celebrate the Christmas season. However, I cannot control my obsessive thoughts. My obsessive thoughts lead to compulsions that I cannot control. My OCD controls me. Christmas does not control people. And the obsession will go away once the holiday season is over.

Some people say that they are not offended by the sweater, despite suffering from OCD. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. However, people would be offended if the sweater laughed at people with cancer or diabetes. Why should mental illness be an exception?

OCD is not a joke. My life is controlled by the direction things are facing. I am controlled by whether my teeth were brushed a certain way and whether I use the right light switches in the correct order. I hate that I am controlled by those things. I know my thoughts are irrational. But I feel that if I do not do things a certain way, I will be fired from my job.

OCD is real! I am offended by the sweater.

Mental Illness Sermon

As a Christian writer with a mission from God to write about mental illness, I often find myself writing sermons that focus on mental illness. It is very interesting the appearances depression makes in the Bible. It is hard to believe that famous Biblical characters such as Jonah and Elijah might possibly have suffered from mental illness.

A couple weeks ago, one of my Facebook friends wrote about how mental illness was being discussed in the church that I attended when I went to college. The sermons there get posted online so I eagerly got on the website that Sunday to listen to the podcast. It was not there. Nor was it there the next day or the day after that. After a couple weeks, I had finally given up hope and that is when it was posted.

The pastor’s sermon was very similar to the ones I write about famous Biblical characters that could have been depressed and also expanded on the topic in ways I never have. I felt that I could relate to it so much. The pastor ended the sermon by talking about his struggle with depression. This news was kind of shocking. This person never appeared to be depressed. Plus, even though I know it is not true because I am a Christian with depression, it is hard to believe that a person of God could ever be unhappy (I had that misconception shortly after I was baptized in 2010).

I loved the sermon so much that I emailed the pastor and thanked him for being honest and for addressing such a difficult subject in church. I also thanked him for the church and for the college youth group. It was because of both that I formally gave my life to Christ. And it is because of both that I am still alive today. I was suicidal in college and the only reason I am still here is because I knew that God had plans for me that did not include suicide.

What’s in My Pocket

I suffer from trichotillomania. I have no control over the pulling of my hair and often have bald spots in my eyebrows. Recently, I got switched to a different antidepressant and it is making me more anxious than before. I read that that is normal at the beginning though. But with the increase in anxiety, I have been pulling even more. I was complaining to my friend and told her that I have read online of people that have stuff in their hands to play with in order to control their pulling urges. I told her that I sometimes use a stress ball when I am talking on the phone but have nothing to use when I am at school. I could not hide the stress ball from my students. My friend suggested that I keep something in my coat pocket that I could play with when I wanted to pull. That is why I put a little pompom ball in my pocket.

Today, I actually did play with it. It would have been better if I could have put it in my hand rather than play with it in my pocket but at least I have an option besides pulling.

False Alarm

I was feeling better. I really was. I was smiling for real. I was actually living my life. I felt so normal. I was no longer pulling out my eyebrows. I thought I was better. I thought I had finally found the right antidepressant.

And then on Thursday, I felt extremely anxious that night. I could not understand where this feeling was coming from. Friday was going to be an easy day at work. And yet, I was nervous.

I also pulled at school one day. I am now missing even more of my eyebrows.

Then, on Friday after school, I still felt anxious. I should have been calm. I had nothing going on. I had a break from school.

Book Review-Suicide Notes

Awhile ago, I checked out an audiobook on my iPad called Suicide Notes. Since I suffer from depression and have been suicidal a lot this year, I felt the title really spoke to me. The book started out slow. The main character woke up in a psychiatric hospital for teenagers and we learn nothing about why he was there. And it became very clear very early on that we were not going to learn because he did not take his sessions with his psychiatrist seriously.

I stuck with the book though because I was curious to find out why this guy was in the hospital. I got the feeling that something had been behind his suicide attempt. Unfortunately, I will never get to find out what that reason was really about.

About two thirds of the way into the book, the guy checks on some other guy who is in the shower and then from there, an odd relationship begins to form. As a Christian, I was very uncomfortable and hoped that it would end quickly and the book would continue with the reasoning behind the suicide attempt. But after awhile, I had to realize that this was starting to become a major development and I deleted the book.

My Cure for Trichotillomania

I recently joined a Facebook group for people that suffer from trichotillomania. Everyone in the group offers support for others that have problems with hair pulling. I like being part of the group because it shows me that I am not the only one that suffers from this problem. But at the same time though, it bothers me because nearly everyone in the group is focused on ways to stop and I am definitely not one of them. I realized awhile ago that I have no control over my hair pulling. It is hard to stop something that is so impulsive. I have made small attempts such as using a stress ball when I talk on the phone just so I could not use my hands to pull but all that really did was cause resentment towards the stress ball.

Yes, having trichotillomania bothers me because I always have bald spots in my eyebrows but it is not like the problem will just magically go away.

Yesterday though, something amazing happened and I did not even realize it until this morning. I always call my mom on Sunday night. I always pull my hair when I am on the phone with anyone. I gave up using the stress ball at the beginning of the summer. I did not pull once though. And it was not until I looked in the mirror this morning that I realized that my eyebrows were no worse than before the phone call. It was absolutely amazing!

I attribute it to my newest antidepressant. It is starting to work miracles in my life.