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Not everything is depression.

It never occurred to me that I might not be depressed.

I mean, really.

If all you think about is death, that equals depression, right?

Well, actually, as it turns out, no.

I think about death all the time because my OCD brain is obsessed with death.

As it happens, it’s also obsessed with some other things.

Actually, if you tell my brain that it absolutely cannot obsess about death, it will just find something else more horrible than death to obsess about.

Like torture, for instance. Or war. Or terrorism.

The thing is that my brain is an obsessive brain.

And I have full blown OCD, so I get the compulsions too.

It’s all a great big party of round-the-clock fun, basically.

Wear your ball gown!

But here’s the thing.

I’m not really depressed most of the time.

Which is why it’s been frustrating to be called depressed my whole life.

I get why I was called depressed. I kept trying to hurt myself. I get it. I’m not blaming anyone.

But I am saying now that I think the word depression was thrown around and concluded too liberally and quickly.

I may have been depressed too, but it is now so painfully (pun intended) obvious that depression wasn’t the primary problem,

And I could never figure out why I didn’t feel depressed even though my body felt physically depressed.

I slept all the time and couldn’t make myself do things. But I wasn’t depressed. I was paralyzed.

I had a million interests, a million goals, and a ton of energy.

I loved my people, my pets and my special things in life.

But I had OCD and OCD created an insane mental prison I couldn’t get out of.

And yes, having OCD is depressing. Because it puts your brain on a 24/7 hamster wheel that is just exhausting.

So basically, I was exhausted. All the time.

And exhaustion looks like depression.

But feeling like you’re depressed and looking like you’re depressed doesn’t necessarily mean that’s what you need to focus on.

Depression wasn’t really my problem.

I wanted to do all of the things I wanted to do.

I just couldn’t stay awake. Or keep fighting my brain. Or keep arguing with my brain’s agenda.

I was exhausted and beaten down by my brain. From OCD.

But my mission here is to help others now,

I’m trying to become really informed about how the brain works so I can help other people manage their brains better and faster.

It took me way too long to figure this all out.

And I lost way too much. I don’t want others to keep losing things.

But I am finally beginning to experience relief from my rigid, fixed, hell brain because of some new things I am trying. And I can’t wait to help others find relief too.

But it all starts with knowing what’s wrong.

And for decades the doctors said I was depressed. Case closed.

And I get it. I wanted to die. That’s a thing depressed people think. I get why they called me depressed.

But it turns out that being obsessed with killing one’s self is also a thing that people with OCD might be.

And people with other conditions might be that too.

So learn from my experience.

Look into your pain or your suffering or your problems. Or those of your children.

If whatever you or they have been living with has been going on for way too long, well, I’m just saying, well. You get it.

If you’ve been called treatment resistant, maybe you need a different or more specific diagnosis so alternative treatments are more likely to be pursued.

I wish it had occurred to me to look for a different or more specific diagnosis a way longer time ago, but I was too busy trying to keep my head above water.

And I’m not suggesting you’re not depressed.

If you feel depressed or look depressed, maybe you are.

But maybe it’s something else too. Maybe it’s something else that also resembles depression. Maybe it’s something else that also causes depression.

Just think about it. Or look into it.

You could be missing out on a treatment that could help you and possibly change your life.

Love and kisses and more laughs coming up I promise.

Swear.

Laughs.

Coming up.

In the meantime, there are links to helpful resources below!

xoxoxo, dee (and bella)

 

OCD TALK

NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF MENTAL HEALTH OCD

JOHNS HOPKINS MEDICINE OCD

PSYCH CENTRAL OCD

MAYO CLINIC OCD

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Great point that depression can be the symptom of another problem. Or indeed, a natural reaction to that other problem.

      1. Absolutely true, and not only about psychiatry.
        Somehow medicine in much of the world has lost the holistic view of treating the person rather than the symptom. I have a rare disease (a neuroendocrine/ pituitary tumor, which damaged my body’s ability to manage hormones correctly; just one of a wide range of possible presentations of these tumors). My otherwise good general doctor and at least four different specialists failed to diagnose the condition for four years – an all too typical experience with rare diseases (in fact, the particular version I had – Acromegaly – has about a ten year diagnosis delay on average). Why? Because there was nothing wrong with my feet (which grew two sizes in two years). And the brief bout of gynecomastia was “idiopathic”. And my mood swings and anger control, well, they were never addressed. And I just gritted my teeth, causing two to crack. But nobody asked *why* any (all!) of these things. My participation in support groups for this and related diseases finds, over and over again, the same experience; nobody looked at the whole person; if a doctor didn’t know it (and being rare most doctors don’t) then it’s all in the patient’s head (yup, it was! right there on the MRI when it was finally done: a tumor on the pituitary gland!)
        So, yes! It’s very much worth asking (insisting, demanding) that our doctors (be they G.P., or orthopedist, or dentist, or endocrinologist, or yes psychiatrist) also ask “What else could present like this?”
        (for avoidance of well-intentioned but misplaced concern, my particular condition is now well-managed, and I’m mostly ok, thanks).
        thanks, Dee, for what you’re doing here!

        1. Thank you, Jay.

          How can we get that more holistic view, I’m wondering.

          I think that’s what I want to find out. How can we engage all along the way so that we keep getting the best possible views of the available information and can we possibly get there faster?

          Maybe we need to learn a better system of triage before we automatically end up at a certain type of specialist. Or maybe generalists should be challenged once in a while. Or maybe patients should be tested on how well they know their conditions.

          I don’t know. I just don’t want anyone else’s successful arrival at a proper diagnosis to take anywhere close as long as yours or mine.

          Let’s get there faster.

          dee

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