So, I went to see my shrink, and it was confirmed, I was having a manic episode. I have ADD and anxiety already so I have maintenance visits to see her and we chat about things and see how I’m doing. This was long before I was ever diagnosed with any of my illnesses, but I have noticed now that anxiety and ADD also play a part in my illnesses.
According to my GI doctor, and the Mayo Clinic, my IBD is related to an overactive nerve, ADD is overactive and so is anxiety. I have had GI issues since I was in my teens. My shrink and I talked about increasing my ADD meds the last visit but held off in hopes that I was just over working myself and could get things under control. Also with my new diagnosis of Lupus we knew that there was going to be some mental changes I would have to go through, just like with my diagnosis of Ankylosing Spondylitis, and I was willing to put my faith to work and get through it.
I also found out, that the prednisone I had been taking for 4 months to help with the Serositis that the Lupus caused, that I am now weaning off of is giving me withdrawal symptoms. I have never taken prednisone before, so I had no idea that it could do that to me. I am tapering from 10mg one day to 5mg the next, back and forth. I know everyone’s body is different, and apparently mine is wigging out. Not to mention, it is getting hard for me to breathe again, the pain is back, and I’m guessing I’m having a mega flare on top off a manic episode.
So needless to say my visit to the shrink was much needed and very informative. She corrected my meds and added a mood stabilizer to my cocktail of “But you’re to young to be sick” invisible illnesses, to help level me out while I am tapering down from the prednisone.
Please, if you are ever feeling down or like something isn’t right, please go see a doctor. Do Not be ashamed! There is absolutely nothing to be ashamed about! NOTHING!!
These are signs of Chronic Depression (Dysthymia), which according to According to the National Institute of Mental Health, approximately 1.5% of adult Americans are affected. So there is no reason to feel ashamed or embarrassed if you feel this way. The stigma that there is something wrong with people that are depressed needs to go away. You need to do what is right for you! This is your life, not societies!
- Sadness or depressed mood most of the day or almost every day
- Loss of enjoyment in things that were once pleasurable
- Major change in weight (gain or loss of more than 5% of weight within a month) or appetite
- Insomnia or excessive sleep almost every day
- Being physically restless or rundown in a way that is noticeable by others
- Fatigue or loss of energy almost every day
- Feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness or excessive guilt almost every day
- Problems with concentration or making decisions almost every day
- Recurring thoughts of death or suicide, suicide plan, or suicide attempt
These are the warning signs of Major Depression according to WebMD and The National Institute of Mental Health. Major depression affects about 6.7% of the U.S. adult population, and about 20% – 25% of adults may suffer from an episode of major depression at some point during their lifetime. If this sounds like you, make an appointment and talk to someone. I can tell you from experience, it doesn’t get better from here, especially with a chronic illness smacked on top. Bottling up those feelings, no matter what they are, is no good.
- Fatigue or loss of energy almost every day
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt almost every day
- Impaired concentration, indecisiveness
- Insomnia or hypersomnia (excessive sleeping) almost every day
- Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in almost all activities nearly every day (called anhedonia, this symptom can be indicated by reports from significant others)
- Restlessness or feeling slowed down
- Recurring thoughts of death or suicide
- Significant weight loss or gain (a change of more than 5% of body weight in a month)
These are signs of Severe Depression and they should not be ignored. If you are feeling this way or you notice someone you know or love or are caring for is feeling this way or acting this way please seek help immediately. According to WebMD and The National Institute of Mental Health these are the clear warning signs that could potentially lead to something far worse.
- Alcohol or drug abuse
- Insomnia or excessive sleeping
- Loss of interest in activities that used to be enjoyable
- Persistent thoughts of something bad happening
- Thoughts of death or suicide or suicide attempts
- In very severe cases, psychotic symptoms (such as hallucinations or delusions)
Risk Factors for Suicide
Not all people with risk factors will be suicidal. In addition to depression or other mental illness, risk factors for suicide include:
- Past history of substance abuse
- Past history of suicide attempt
- Family history of suicide
- Family history of mental illness or substance abuse
- Firearms in the home
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Suicidal Thoughts: An Emergency
For people who are severely depressed, suicide is a real threat. Each year, about 30,000 people in the U.S. take their own lives, although the true number may be higher. Some suicides go unrecognized because they’re classified as accidents, drug overdoses, or shootings. Among people whose depression remains untreated, up to 15% will kill themselves according to WebMD and The National Institute of Health.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline says to be on the look out for these signs that someone you love or know could be thinking about taking their own life. Unfortunately in some cases, you will never know. The person doesn’t want anyone to know and will often carry on as if nothing is wrong so that no one can stop them. Sometimes they will give away things that mean a lot to them out of nowhere. They can get to a point where they are no longer showing signs of asking for help on the outside. Almost like they have come to terms with their decision.
- Talking about wanting to die or wanting to kill yourself
- Looking for a way to kill yourself, such as searching online for methods or buying a gun
- Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
- Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
- Talking about being a burden to others
- Increasing use of alcohol or drugs
- Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly
- Withdrawing or feeling isolated
- Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
- Displaying extreme mood swings
Struggling with your mental health is no joke, and should be taken seriously. I have lost people close to me to suicide and it is not something that should ever be taken lightly. Our minds are very powerful and what we put in them, our thoughts, our influences, our self- talk, can hold a lot of weight. Be kind to yourself and to those around you, you never know what is going on in someones life. Just because they are smiling and look like they have it all together, doesn’t mean they do.
If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide click this link. Your life is worth saving. Hope is a powerful thing, and if you hang on to the notion that you Hope things will be better. They just might end up better. Always Hope.
cited sources- WebMD/National Institute of Health/Suicide Prevention Lifeline