NDR: everything was looking up…and then BAM!

This is a personal post, not about dolls. So if you want dolls please wait until I post something else, please?

Okay, let’s be clear here. I’ve been struggling a lot with my depression and have only within the last two to three weeks started to feel more “rawr” and a lot more motivated to do things in 1/6 and finish outstanding projects and commissions.

Hey, I was loving that.

I got two commissions finished, I started making doll jewelry, I picked up another commission that I had outstanding and I felt all kinds of inspiired and jonesin’ to make stuff and try new techniques. When I’m in that state it is fucking great.

It was like how I used to be before my mental health really began to be a big problem for me.

Hey, I know everyone has their problems and issues and I am not the only one out there. Knowing that doesn’t make things any easier or nicer. For the majority of my life I’ve had dysthymia and for the most part I coped. Along the way though, through the years something changed in my chemical/biological make up and I was treated to repeated bouts of major depression that are awful. My third psychiatrist explained that what I had was basically a low wave that was constantly there (the dysthymia) and over that I had a larger wave (the major depression disorder) that they were mostly separate except for when the two periodically intersected with each other. When that happens it becomes everything that I can do to get out of bed and _do_ anything. Being depressed really wears on your soul and except for brief sparks of “up” it’s a nasty thing.

I’ve gone through all kinds of therapy and attempts to manage it. Some worked better than others, and I’ve learned to try to avoid triggers. I’ve taken many different medications in the past (along with therapy) and without therapy and gone for periods with no medication at all (generally when I had no health care coverage).

So anyway, I’m going to talk about this a little more.

I feel I need to explain why there are long silences on the blog, why I haven’t done a crap-ton of photographs or photostories. Why I haven’t done much repainting, and customizing.

The answer is pretty simple. It is because of my stupid depression. I hate it but am still learning to live with it 30+ years after diagnosis. I still struggle and sometimes things get to difficult to bear. I have to credit my cats initially for keeping me from committing suicide, and later (now) my cats and my husband keep me from that.

So along with my various dorms of depression I also suffer from what my doctor called crippling anxiety yesterday (I’ll get into that a bit further down this post). I get panic attacks in the middle of the night, or day, being social and around a gathering of more than a few people makes me feel sick to my stomach because my brain is trying to figure out the “right” thing to do/say/be because of that. Meanwhile all my muscles tense up and stay that way. I don’t grind my teeth but I subconsciously clench my teeth and developed TMJ. I cannot relax the muscles in my face, and my shoulders become rigid.

It sucks.

It used to be I was moderately anxious (I always have been, even as a child when I was frequently told I was a worry-wort.) but like the depression it’s gotten worse through the years. I have been medicated for it, I’ve tried therapy for it, and CBT and sometimes I can manage it pretty well. But a lot of the time–not.

I thought that the best way to try to push against my social anxiety (different from my general anxiety) would be to force myself to go out and meet new people and socialize. I have been forcing myself for the last 3 years to be part of a group called the Society for Creative Anachronism. It’s a way for me to try to get out with people which of course is also supposed to help me cope with my depression. I like the SCA, but like with my 1/6 stuff, my involvement depends highly on my state of mind. I’ve met a lot of cool people, a few douches and learned new things. That’s all great stuff (well, not the douches). But I remain in the grasp of anxiety.

Did I mention that I like things to be fairly stable? Yeah, I do. When things stop being stable, or something pops up that I wasn’t prepared for I mentally freak out and it isn’t pretty. This is where I am now.

I was tooling along having escaped the deeper depression and was doing my stuff and feeling good. Not great, but good and to me, that’s probably equal to everyone elses great. I am still having severe anxiety and it started affecting my quality of life. The fact that my mind and body remained under constant stress didn’t/doesn’t help my health. So anyway…

I went to my doctor (who up til this point had been doing my med-management with some reluctance) yesterday. I took my husband with me because I wanted her to have someone else’s POV on how I was doing/living etc, and also, because sometimes it is just plain nice to have some support when going to the doctor’s.

She told me that my depression and anxiety are too much for her to continue to take on and that I would need to find a psychiatrist to do my meds because she feels they need to be changed but as she is a PCP she isn’t familiar with all the new treatments and drugs since she doesn’t have to read that literature for her continuing medical education reqs.

I wasn’t really surprised, but I ended up crying anyway. I felt like things just suddenly crumbled and that pylon of stability was gone. She thinks I may do better on anti-psychotics to deal with the anxiety but that I would still need medication for the depression…and she said it is much farther out of her scope than she feels comfortable with. Hearing that, knowing that was the case messed with my head (I have abandonment issues) and dropped the “good” mood/state I was in right down to full panic-mode. I didn’t sleep last night, I binge ate, and in general feel crummy. BUT I am trying to remain positive about how this will work out. It’s got to get better. It really does. I am so freakin tired of being on a constant low. And I’m super sick of being so on edge about everything.

So now I am on the hunt (again) for a psychiatrist to 1) accept my medical insurance, 2)is accepting new patients, 3) isn’t much further than an hour’s drive since I don’t know how often I may have to go.

Right now I’m pushing myself to try to keep doing the things I was doing before I went to the doctor’s. Playing with my dolls, thinking about scripting them for photostories, trying to get my repainting skills back, posting on forums.

If I disappear from posting–now you’ll know why.

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8 thoughts on “NDR: everything was looking up…and then BAM!

  1. Please don’t feel that any blog has an obligation. This is something that you do for fun and you share out of the goodness of your heart. There is no rule about how often you have to post or what you need to post about. Post when you have the content to share, or when you want to.

    I subscribed to your blog so I would know when you add a post. I never expect any blog to update constantly, I simply enjoy the posts when they are there.

    I’ve been struggling with some depression and anxiety myself. I haven’t posted on figurevore in months because I have nothing new to share. But my roommate let me know that while my realistic dolls kind of freak him out, my Monster High are less of a phobia trigger for him. So I’m going to see what I can do with them, and share pics when I can.

    We all have times that real life gets in the way of hobbies, for a whole host of reasons. I have found that for all the hobbies I have, people understand that.

    Do what you need to do for yourself first. I hope that your dolls are something fun and relaxing for you, to get away from the anxiety. Have fun for you. Share your projects here if you want to, or keep them personal. I hope that helps.

  2. My mother, sister and daughter were all told they had dysthymia. I was the lucky one and somehow missed out, but I know the struggle. One problem they all encountered getting medical help, is that there is a lot of difference in who does what and it’s hard to find treatment from someone who can/will do it all. When they saw a psychiatrist for a brief appointment, the Dr.’s rarely seem to have much interest and quickly make out a scrip for a different med to try. None of my family have ever said, “what a great psychiatrist” they saw. There seems to be a lack of bedside manner and patience/time missing, with this in and out type of diagnosis.(from what they describe anyway). Psychologists seem to be a good fit for them, but then, they cant write scrips, so you’re left to see someone who knows the medications but not so much the person. I understand how you feel since I have spent much of my life being a good listener, and sometimes that helps, just a little. I agree with what Eseme said, we don’t expect anything, it’s not your job. We’re just happy to check in with you every once in a while and enjoy seeing what your creative mind has come up with. It’s always great, no matter how long it is in between!Hugs!

  3. I’m sorry you’re going through such a rough time. I very much relate on the anxiety, “right” way to act in a crowd, and perpetual muscle tension. And absenting from social groups. Like Eseme and Jane said, your blog is here for you to post when you want to, no obligation. Best of luck in finding a psychiatrist and a balance of meds that works for you.

  4. Well, I am glad that you have a husband and cats to help you cope. I hope that you get a good psychiatrist, too. Please remember to treat yourself kindly … never forget that the world needs artists. Cyber hug.

  5. Good comments have been left. Just want to add that I will be thinking often of you and praying hard. Also sending positive vibes.

  6. Wow! I was just stopping by to let you know that I’m interested in purchasing the four chairs that you have on Mister Dollface. I tried to send you a message there, but kept getting the notification that the message was never sent. So if you get a bunch of messages from me (not posting my last name here but first name is the same) you’ll know why.

    However, I can totally relate to this post, because I am bipolar, and have struggled with the depression part of my illness for about 35 years. I’m having the same issues with getting quality psychological care here in the greater Cleveland area. Psychiatrists spend little time with you because their time is incredibly expensive: they must complete medical school AND get a Ph.D in psychiatry, so by the time that they’re done, they have a boatload of schooling. Since I’ve been through all this myself, I have some ideas you might want to try. 1. Find a psychologist or counselor to help with the CBT part. You can see this person far oftener than your psychiatrist, so he can be a good sounding board. 2. Look for a psychiatric nurse practitioner or D.O. in psychiatry to do your prescribing if you can’t find a psychiatrist.

    I have to say that I absolutely love my psychiatrist. No, I don’t spend a lot of time with her, because her job is really just to make sure my meds have me in a good place. But she’s super understanding, and has given me good ideas about how to deal with things like my SAD. I hope that you can find some qualified people to help you.

    1. Barb, thank you for the advice, I’ll try seeing what I can find going those routes! 🙂 I’ll email you in a sec re: chairs.

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