So, what got me to this point? It started out when I decided to get help for Situational Depression, and it turned into quite a bit more. I had my GP and a couple of therapists (first time I’ve seen therapists, as I was trying to find one that I liked) tell me, separately, that I likely have OCD (and Anxiety/Social Anxiety). Shortly thereafter, I took an intensive test and, yup, that confirmed it. So…I guess…Yay me?
What triggered the depression in the first place? One damned rough year and a half or so. It kicked off when my dog and good buddy died, I had a series of forced moves in a very short amount of time, which included being in location-based isolation for a few months, relationship troubles with plenty of confusion and pain, a breakup, a dad with failing health due to spreading cancer to the brain (with seizures and COPD to boot) and a terrible work environment that was ignoring major contributions I made for the company. And that’s just some of what was adding to the stress and contributed to wearing me down. As with a lot of things in life, not all were out of my control as some parts were definately of my own doing.
Everyone has rough patches and I’m nothing special but give those stressors to someone who has Anxiety/OCD? It’s magnified…a lot more than the average person and that is one of the underlying issues with it – you have an amplification of emotional responses to stress and in my case many times it manifests itself with over-the-top rumination and decision-avoidance punctuated with doubt about, many times, the easiest of tiny decisions. And many times it involves compulsions that are designed to seek comfort from stressors. That being said, with all the previously mentioned things occurring in my life, if you’ve talked to me you know how bad the whole situation has/had gotten.
Funny though, almost to a “T”, this describes my life at 21 with almost all the exact same emotional pressures and more. It was, as we’ve all experienced, a series of events and losses in my life (some, a professional would consider, technically – traumatic) in a very short amount of time. What got me through, when I was young, was help from my friends (just being around them) and being able to blow off steam on the weekends. I learned a lot from that but didn’t get the full help and guidance I likely needed. I was depressed. I finally made it through, though it was a hard slog, and was always proud of the fact that I got over it without any help!…You know what?…That was a damned mistake because I didn’t “get over it”. I still suffered with something I didn’t quite realize was perpetually looming there and influencing me on a day-to-day basis for years afterwards. Had I “taken the leap” or “manned-up” and gotten the help I clearly needed (side note: my mom did ask if I wanted to see a therapist then) I would have been in much better shape between that time and now. I didn’t have the maturity, self-esteem, self-awareness, education, motivation…or whatever the hell…enough to step up and deal with my issues, and those that have been intimately close to me in the past, and recently, did suffer as a result too.
Just to let you know, I have to say, that the support of friends and family this time around has been just as important now as it was then and I truly thank all of them.