My Mental Mind

Current Conditions: Dysthymia (Depression), ADHD Inattentive, Asperger’s, hormone imbalances and hyper-active liver function (Will explain relevance)

Past Conditions: Season Affective Disorder, Major Depression (18 months) aka “Double Depression”

Current REGULAR* Medications: 60mg Lexapro (Anti-depressant), 40mg Dexamphetamine (ADHD), Levlin (The Pill)

 

Dysthymia, for me, is a condition from birth. I do not remember a time when my frame of mind or thought patterns changed, nor can I recall a lack of anxiety and over-sensitivity. My earliest memories (At 2 years of age) are tinged with a hue of anxious depression. But it is difficult, I imagine, for anyone to think that a toddler is depressed when her 4 year old sister is the image of perky happiness. The biggest hurdle I’ve found in having this type of depression is that I literally never experienced a healthy frame of mind until the age of 22. Being able to remember a time before the depression is a saving-grace I wish I had.

ADHD for me was only diagnosed late because my other untreated issues overshadowed its’ symptoms. Being on medication for this has increased my focus and productivity so much so that it has actually aided my depression by giving me something to be continuously proud of.

Asperger’s is best described by Autism Spectrum Australia (.org.au) as …a lifelong developmental disability that affects, among other things, the way an individual relates to his or her environment and their interaction with other people.” Funnily enough, Asperger’s is now no longer used as a diagnosis, and has been replaced by a spectrum indicator of Autism. The main identifiers,( which are in children, as adaption happens naturally by adulthood) are social awkwardness, difficulty making friends, recognizing social cues and body language, and clumsiness! Some other signs that I personally have are obsessive interests in limited areas (TV, movies, rocks, stamps etc), advanced language (‘Little professors’ they are called) and monotonous speech.

Hormone Imbalance refers to my period mostly. Every month my medication was made ineffective by my suicidal mood-swings. The hormone type found in the implants that allow you to speak your cycle actually make this issue worse (As does pregnancy). I am on Levlin (The pill often given to 15 year old’s) and I skip the sugar pills and have only one period a year (in private with a week of annual leave)

Hyper-active liver activity is something I only found out a few weeks ago. Every year I’d have to have my anti-depressants increased as I seemed to build a tolerance. After a liver test, the 60mg of Lexapro I take daily (3 x maximum tabs) should have shown a trace of 0.15% but I only had 0.01%. This suggested that the chemicals would increase but not absorb/release properly.

 

I am currently trialing mood-stabilizers to help regulate the release of these chemicals and prevent another tolerance build-up.

 

 

Seasonal Affective Disorder happened to me in November of 2007 when I went to Fort Nelson in British Columbia, Canada. Coming from Perth, Australia and stopping through in NYC on the way made the 9:30am-3:30pm light cycle a  shock to my system. This was my first experience in circumstantial depression that didn’t seem to make sense to me at the time. I did not treat this condition, simply left Canada (Blame Canada!)

 

Major Depression/ Double Depression I am sorry to say dear readers, this topic requires it’s own long entry and I will enjoy sharing it with you shortly!

 

 

 

*Trial medications and anything not agreed upon yet doesn’t count!

Dysthymia vs. Depression: The different and differences

Different types of depression

*Disclaimer: All forms of depression are chemical, but I do believe most people are susceptible to depression, even for those who don’t have symptoms until menopause.

Major Depression: Most commonly referred to as the ‘severe’ form of depression—hence the title ‘major depression’. It can last for around 2 years, sometimes brought on by circumstances and most often requires medication to intervene. It usually requires long term medication or intensive therapy to function and get past, what I believe to be, a shocking and sudden plunge into a frame of mind unimaginable and initially terrifying.

Chronic Depression: Often starts during puberty or by mid/late twenties. Chronic implies it is longer lasting than major depression, however the possibility for life off of medication may be low, but still exists. Some type of CBD or CBT is very helpful depending the individual.

Seasonal Affective Disorder(SAD): As the name suggest, it is brought on by seasonal changes, mostly the switch to longer nights and shorter days in winter. While essentially a circumstantial depression, it can still last beyond the season. Light therapy is a popular solution in mild cases.

Dysthymia: Often called the mild chronic depression, the serious issue is its duration and onset. Most depressive symptoms begin at puberty, to late twenties.* Dysthymia can begin in early childhood, and in some cases it can be argued it’s a born condition.
It has the highest suicide rate of any other type of depression

This, ladies and gentle, is the main point or ‘theses’ of of my posts on depression.

*I’m speaking of the majority of chronic depressions.

Pumpkin Posts: what I’m doing

I am Pumpkin and I am starting this blog to inform and share.
I plan to share on two broad topics exclusively: mental health and art.

The two main topics for discussion are separate and will not be incorporated.

These are the largest aspects of my life and are the areas I want to share on.

I believe mental illness should be shared and discussed this way to allow for other like minded souls to relate.

As for my art, that’s just for my pleasure.

Stay tuned: it’s going to be a fun, if slightly bumpy, rude.