Ms. Catalano, you're not alone.
As someone who comes from a long line of
crazy broads depression-prone women (men too; sorry Mom, it had to be said), I can relate. I have my bouts with it, un-medicated, as I have for years (used to self-medicate, but that went out the door with the cigarettes).
There’s at least one bi-polar in my maternal line—boy, is that one a broom-rider--and all of us have experienced some chronic depression of varying degrees. Of course, over the years, more than a few have speculated that the broom was my primary form of transportation also.
For me, it’s there, always there: the rage, the sadness. Just don’t talk to me. The sound of your voice is infuriating (especially if it’s higher in tone). However, I seem to have developed a trick that none of my relatives seem to have: I can become rather detached from my emotions, as if I’m a separate person watch the other me get PO’d, frightened, upset. Some have called it cold-bloodedness.
I had been offered anti-depressants by a psychologist I was seeing. My response was, “not only no, but Hell no.” From what I had seen of those who’d been taking anti-depressants, it seemed to take care of one set of neuroses while introducing yet another, weirder set. To put it bluntly, everyone I knew that took those things seemed crazier taking them than they had been before. Anti-depressants disconnected some chains of logic in some people, or so it seemed to me. I suppose those things help some people function, get them through the day and/or keep them from murdering someone. I just can’t see myself taking them.
It’s said that depression is a chemical deficiency. I suppose that explains why, sometimes, exercise alleviates it, as it does with me, to a point. As I turn up the intensity during the walk/run/lift, I can feel whatever dark mood I woke up with lift off of me. The blood is flowing, the sluggish system begins to run smoothly. If I miss one, however, don’t talk to me until noon.
So I’m stuck with the neuroses with which I’m familiar and will continue to forego the Paxil-induced ones that Michele has described as having one’s emotions “too under wrap.” (Having observed enough folks on similar meds, I would describe the phenomenon as what I naturally do myself: disconnect from emotions. Except that the anti-depressants seem to go overboard in this area, as some meds are wont to do.) I’m totally un-medicated, unless you count caffeine. I exercise, I meditate, I wrestle my demons into submission and, best and most of all, I pray.
Be well, Michele.