I have severe depression, anxiety, and PTSD. (It feels incredibly weird to be saying this “aloud”). I try to manage all of this without taking any meds, because… I am stubborn? I am afraid? I’m not sure. Anyway, the severity comes and goes in cycles. Sometimes, like right now, I am down to the wire and have to turn in a major paper for a class. All of what I turn in is very important right now, because I am applying for grad school. However, when this happens, I feel like everything I write has no direction, sounds exactly the same, and I end up staring at my computer, not moving, and crying, because I can’t find the mental energy to get anything done, much less to bring it up to the standard it has to be at right now. I don’t know how to push through this. I am so tired, all I want is to go to bed, but that is impossible until I have done my work. I get stuck in this cycle of getting more and more tired, but I can’t sleep, and nothing gets done, and I feel like I am failing more and more. Meanwhile, I have a boyfriend that has emotional instability, but can’t afford to see a therapist, so we are not sure what is afflicting him exactly. Because of this, I bear the brunt of his emotional rollercoasters and take all his anger, which is incredibly difficult for me. It is so difficult for me to find the energy to push past any of this sometimes… like now.
Medication can help alleviate symptoms, but they also have side-effects. I would almost always recommend taking medication in conjunction with therapy to decrease symptoms, but many people don’t like medication because of the way it makes them feel. Which is totally understandable, I know medication for bipolar disorder can sort of level out your moods(?), so that you’re not feeling up or down but more of in the middle, if that makes sense.
Boy, do I know that feeling! I don’t know exactly how close you are with the due date of this paper, but you need to get some sleep, it will help you collect your thoughts and refresh your brain. It’s also important to reward your work with short breaks, to avoid becoming burnt out and stuck.
But if you really need to get this done now, and take advice from this master of procrastination, write all you want to get down, it doesn’t need to be coherent or even in proper sentences. But I find writing down everything that’s going on in my head, helps to sort the wheat from the chaff and fire up my brain and gets the cogs moving again.
And I know it may be too late at this point, but planning out what you want to get done by when helps to keep me motivated to strive to hit those self-imposed deadlines. Of course, I rarely do this until the last minute myself, but it is incredibly important to keep a timeline of events of when you want, say the introduction done by and striving for this goal. It is also rewarding to meet your own deadlines, which always helps improve motivation.
If you miss your own imposed deadline, don’t beat yourself up about it. Life happens and can get in the way sometimes, just move past it, update or create a new deadline and get back on track.
I get the same thing, sat staring at my computer when I’m told I should be out enjoying life, in university (american grad school I believe?) but I’m not. I’m sat here fighting with myself over taking my depression medication because I know I can’t function without them, but I hate being reliant on them. It doesn’t make you any more deserving of what you’re going through than anyone else.
When I’m stressed or frustrated with a situation, the only thing right now I’ve found gets me to a calmer point is reaching out to my support circle here at heartsupport (as much as i frustrate them sometimes) or putting music on that I love. I feel kinda the same with my meetings. The stress of going to these meetings sometimes is so high because I have to sneak around my parents back for now… I know it would be so much easier for me to STOP attending them, but I also know I CANT do that. I have people in my life that won’t let me because honestly, they are what makes up my recovery.
I tried to manage without my meds and I ended up becoming addicted to opiods. If I stopped my medication now, I KNOW that I’ll likely end up in a cycle of suicide attempts and constant sleeping. There are NON-ADDICTIVE anti-depressants if that’s what you’re concerned about, so honestly, if like me you end up waiting like a year for therapy maybe you can talk to your doctor about those.
(This is coming from an addict so I’ve had this discussion a lot with my doctor)
Another resource that might be of use to you and POSSIBLY your partner is Dwarf Planet. It’s a workbook by HeartSupport that has you explore and understand your depression and emotions a little more. I’ll send you a link where you can get yourself some free copies <3