this is not going a normal post that you would expect to read on this blog, there will be no pretty pictures of painted models, or reports on games or just ramblings about the hobby, this post is about me and my relationship with my head.
here’s a fun fact for you Citalopram is one of the most wildly prescribed drugs in the UK and it’s something I’ve been taking for over a year. Citalopram is antidepressant known as an SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) and yes that means that I suffer from depression and anxiety/panic attacks.
it’s odd writing those words as there is a stigma about it, it’s obviously ok for people who have been through life changing experiences (like the military, or emergency services) to suffer from this, but I’m a middle age bloke living a comfortable life in a village in Wales, what the fuck have I got to be depressed about. I once tried to talk about it to a mate in a pub and was amazed when he told me I was a fool and depression doesn’t exist and that I should ‘Man Up’
you don’t know how much effort its taking me to sit down and write this at the moment and I don’t even know if this post will see light of day or if I’ll wimp out and press delete and go back to trying to ignore my depression.
It’s difficult to know when all this started, i think one level it was always part of me, but over the last 10 years the symptoms have increased until 5 years ago I had a real melt down and was forced to take medical advice. this meant opening up to my wife first and then to my manager in work, both of whom were brilliant and talked me into speaking to my doctor and organised a counsellor. this was when I started taking antidepressants and trying to sort out my brain. eventually after 2 years I was able to stop taking the tablets and I was cured.
at least that’s what I told myself, because as anyone who has this condition will tell you, there ain’t no cure, all you can do is try to live with it.
it took another breakdown last year to show me just how stupid I was in thinking I had beaten it. Work was once again brilliant and organised treatment for me and Mandy (my wife) was a rock and gave me the strength to tackle it once again.
the difference this time is I now knew that this thing is a condition, that it does exist and that I wasn’t going mad, it even has a name now; generalised anxiety disorder (GAD)
for me its caused by an imbalance in serotonin and noradrenaline and over activity in the amygdala which is the organ in your brain that controls the ‘Fight or Flight’ response which means during my bad times this thing is always firing. so I never really relax, I find it difficult to sleep and I always feel on edge, I also suffer from panic attacks and mood swings where I think everyone is out to get me and a single innocent comment can cause me to cry my eyes out and want run away and hide.
sometimes I’m fine and I can go weeks or months without showing a symptom (well other than the constant feeling that I’m useless as that never goes away) but now and again the old symptoms arrive back and I’m back in this spiral of anxiety and depression.
can you guess which one of the cycles I’m in at the moment?
So the big question I’m asking myself is why the fuck am I putting myself through the wringer and writing this article (note I still haven’t deleted it yet) and I’m not sure
maybe I want to explain to my mates why sometimes I can be a complete arse, maybe I want to use my experiences to help other who have similar conditions but are scared of facing the reasons behind those feelings. let pretend it’s the second reason as that’s more noble, but deep down I think it’s really the first one that’s driving me to write this.
however it can be both, so lets handle the second one first
Look its ok to suffer from anxiety and depression, everyone can have these feelings, its COMPLETELY NORMAL, there are people out there who can help you to manage the condition. I went to a councillor and take antidepressants and trust me they both work, I also do relaxation exercises and guided mediation once a week and I’m not some fucking hippy who just wants to get in touch with my inner feelings, I do them because they help me to function.
talk to someone about what you feel, trust me it’ll help, I posted a link earlier but here it is again click here it’ll help
Lets tackle the other point, trying to explain to my mates why I can be an arse
thats a tough one and it’s probably due to the Fight or Flight thing, I’m not very good at confrontation and I find it hard to express my thoughts on subjects especially when I’m in a discussion. I tend to agree with the last thing that was said, or I try to see both sides of an argument and find a compromise in the middle. sometimes I’m scared of saying what i really mean as I don’t want to upset someone, so I bottle stuff up and I’ll make a joke and try and change the subject.
it’s this inability to say what i really mean that just causes me huge anxiety until I just unload on some poor unsuspecting person and they just get the lot thrown at them, and then I run away and cry in the corner and spend the next week hyped up suffering from panic attacks.
yesterday I got into a discussion with one of my dearest mates and I could feel the urge to unload all my pent up feelings onto him, but this time i decided to take a step back and I just decided that it wasn’t worth the hassle. I posted on twitter that I taking a break for a few days and other than replying to a few DM’s I’ve kept the app turned off. I also decided to go public and confront my condition head on and let people know that this is my life (NOTE I still haven’t deleted it)
I’m not sure if this will help or if I’m just going to open myself to unknown people on the web calling me a snowflake or telling me to man up, but it’s something new to try, so maybe I should should just press ‘Publish’
ok I will in in a minute