What’s Your Diagnosis?

When I was diagnosed with cancer, I had to know everything. Had I known at the time they could have done genomic testing of my cancer, I would have pushed for that. Who knows, maybe they did do that…or experimented with my little sample. I hope they did, so that it can help others someday.

I have also searched for a diagnosis for my mind disorder. Am I an over anxious drama queen? A sad sack depressive? Bipolar II, Major Depressive, ADD, OCD….or any other acronym out there?

Then I decided it didn’t matter what my doctors had written in my chart — except “overweight”, which I’m focusing on.

The only thing left for me, was to describe to my husband what it feels like to be me. When I’m obviously in a down period, he asks me daily, how I am. It’s as if he expects me to wake up each morning feeling good. Well, I can wake up feeling good and then somewhere throughout the day something triggers a depression. The depression can last a short time or months. Unfortunately, the good times are short lived.

Because I feel the need to explain my moods, I approached it from a visual angle for my husband to understand. Perhaps this may help others.

Due to my medications, I travel a fairly level line. The line that is my normal. Sometimes I go a bit above that line and have lots of energy and make tons of plans. Sometimes I slip below that line and getting out of bed is an effort, and I don’t follow through on all those plans I made. In fact, I’m almost afraid of going above the line because I know a crash will follow. Without medication, extreme determination, and therapy I would be one hot mess.

Actually, I was a mess and I’m still picking up pieces but I’m much further down the road than I was three years ago.

The most important thing I’ve learned is that my normal may not be the next person’s normal. We are all unique (okay, duh). I don’t have to expect to be anything other than who I am at any given moment. If it’s a down day/week/month, I keep telling myself I will persevere, and that it’s only temporary. I get sick of playing that through my mind and expecting an immediate change…so I’m changing my thinking and quit expecting immediate mood changes. I’m being patient with myself—finally.

I think this helped my husband to understand. I am a bit tired of when he asks me “how are you feeling today?” If asked one more time, I will go nuts!

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About April

I'll come back to this when I find out who I really am. I've been through some extremely rough patches but they have made me a better person. I blog if my brain is functioning first thing in the morning.
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18 Responses to What’s Your Diagnosis?

  1. mewhoami says:

    Although you still struggle with this, it’s great to know that you have made progress in the past 3 years. Give it another 3 and I’m sure you’ll see even more!

  2. meANXIETYme says:

    I get this, but mostly for me it’s physically based. I have many physical issues that leaves me in pain 90% of the time somewhere in my body. So when he says, “How are you?” it kind of drives me crazy because if I say “fine” he gets upset because he knows something hurts and I’m not telling him. But otherwise I end up giving him a list every time he asks and I think that’s a waste of time and energy because there’s ALWAYS a list. Good grief that sounded terrible when I actually wrote it down. 😦 I know he cares and he worries, but if I say “fine” it means I can handle what hurts at that moment.

    • joey says:

      Similar for me. “As compared to what?” was often my response. Now we do more of the “How is your day going?” and that helps πŸ™‚

      • meANXIETYme says:

        I try to tell Hub when it’s upper body pain (arms, shoulders, back, neck, etc) so he knows to go gentle with the hugs (he’s a big dude and he gives a great hug, but sometimes it can hurt if I’m really in a bad physical place).
        But otherwise, I want to tell him it’s best to assume that shit hurts, because it’s pretty much always that way.

      • April says:

        I give a warning signal. πŸ™‚

    • April says:

      I love when I get the question “why aren’t you asleep, why did you get up”. It’s the dreadful insomnia I mostly have conquered but it rears its ugly head now and then. I have chronic back pain–mostly controllable, but my husband asks what is wrong every time I favor my back. What is it that they must ask?

      • meANXIETYme says:

        Seriously! See me limping with my left leg? That means my left knee hurts (ongoing arthritis). See me struggling to stand upright? That means my back is hurting (ongoing back muscle issue). There is rarely something NEW hurting, so after all these years can’t they put two and two together?

        • April says:

          That’s what I say….it’s been going on for so long I think the question doesn’t deserve a serious answer.

  3. Bradley says:

    Have you tried asking your husband not to ask “How are you feeling?” I did with mine and also with friends I know. He can always tell when I’m in a bad space anyway and just lets me ride it out unless I specifically ask for help or need share my state.

  4. aviets says:

    I appreciate that visual that you use. I know I have the bad habit of asking “What’s going on?” or “What’s wrong with you today?” when I know very well the answer is that he struggles with depression constantly and many days just plain aren’t good. I think I still desperately want to live in some imaginary world where depression isn’t constantly in the picture. But my questions never help, and I would like to kick the habit of asking them.

  5. I appreciate the visuals you give us with your words. And the hope. πŸ™‚

  6. Glynis Jolly says:

    And here I thought there was either something uniquely wrong with me or something uniquely weird about my husband–or maybe both. NOPE! Despite the differences in our afflictions, our locations, and the fact that we don’t really know each other as well as we think we do, we’re an awful lot alike, April. I did learn to be more patient with my ups and downs way back at the turn of this century. Still, trying to deal with it with husband around is still an ever work-in-progress. It does get tiresome.

    • April says:

      What you read on here? It’s almost exactly how I would talk. Sometimes I use bigger words when I write, but for the most part, this is me. So, you might know me better than you think. However, I do keep a little to myself. Everybody does love a mystery, right? πŸ™‚

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