The “Eeyore Effect” and the slow depression

  To slowly slip into depression is worst than the episodes that can be linked to a trigger. But no trigger this time, slowly feeling it is like waiting for the unknown. Panic and anxiety start to sink in for fear of the unknown. Some people notice right away, others just realize they haven’t seen you, some miss the life of the party, and surprisingly very few ask, “Are you okay?”

I become what I recognize as delusional now, because I know it’s not true.  I call this the “Eeyore effect.” Eeyore is a character in the Winnie-the-Pooh books if you lived a sheltered childhood under a rock you may not know he is a gloomy, depressed, pessimistic old grey stuffed donkey. I certainly know depression is coming when Eeyore shows up. I tell myself I have no friends, no one cares and does anything really matter? Unlike Eeyore, I hurt those who do care and the angry  outburst become common. I cling to those who make me happy hoping to pull myself out before it happens. Eventually being clingy and needy will take a toll on the sane and they don’t want to sink with you so the abandon ship. Then you realize I am clinically  depressed.

So what is the cure for the “Eeyore effect?” I’ve found doing the one thing that is the hardest for me is key, talk to my doctor. Yes, hardest thing in the world is admitting I’m depressed to my doctor. I fear yet another medication. I fear the side effects new medications. I fear she’ll think I’m just lazy. I fear she will tell me it’s normal. But for the cure to the Eeyore effect, the key is talking about my fear to the doctor and family. Being brutally honest about yourself and your moods and behavior. Sadly having bipolar once I do slip it’s dangerous so Eeyore has to be balanced quickly.

The stigma of medication and mental illness is the only thing I wish we could cure. It’s okay to admit you’re sick. Antidepressants are OKAY! If it was your heart or maybe diabetes, you’d take the medication needed to make you feel better. I just heard my friend yell that at me in my head. It took me years for family and friends to convince me it was okay. Now I help others, talk, listen and I’m open about my illness. You’d be surprised how helpful it is for you to be yourself and they understand you can’t just snap out of it when you become Eeyore.

On the other hand, the “Tigger effect” is hard for me to talk about and deserves it’s own post for all its scandal, excitement, and embarrassment. You’d think depression would be harder to talk about but writing about something you miss because of medication is hard.

25 thoughts on “The “Eeyore Effect” and the slow depression

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  1. Pingback: For a friend: |
  2. Thank you for sharing your story. I too am open about my illness. It is hard to talk to the dr or therapist. I just started an antidepressant yesterday to help me through a crisis. I was managing it, but being bipolar it just got worse and reached the clinical stage. So I cried and spoke up. I also told my therapist I wasn’t happy with our sessions, and I didn’t know what we are doing. She was glad I spoke up and we decided to start cbt and I felt better just knowing we have a focus. I spent years doing cbt and it really helped. My dr told me he doesn’t know if I’ll ever be stable on a consistent basis again. It’s like he said I don’t know if you’ll walk again. I’m afraid this may be true. My body chemistry has changed over the last 2 years. I’m trying.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve never described my mental disorder like that. I have anxiety disorder so if I had to pick a character it would probably be Rabbit, always pulling at his ears trying to make everything to his own way and never succeeding. It’s at that stage when the “rabbit effect” has run its course that I slip into the Eeyore effect. And I still feel the anxiety and the panic, but I just can’t be bothered anymore. I’m out of adrenaline that makes me so twitchy and anxious in the first place and all I feel is tired.

    Posts like this make me realise that I’m not alone. I wish there wasn’t such a big stigma around mental disorders. I almost had a panic attack at uni when a mental health advisors recommended that I could be eligible for disabled student allowance. At that point all the stigmas got to me and I found that I just couldn’t deal with the stigma of have the label mentally disabled placed over me.

    Thank you for being so open about your problems and encouraging discussion.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Totally understand what you went through, especially when taking meds. I used to have outburts and indirect turn people away, due to fact I felt crappy about myself. Who would’ve thought it was all due to depression? Yeah, I mean it does feel weird to be vulnerable to your therapist, but why not? It’s the best way to learn how to understand and better manage your symptoms. Besides I’d rather expose my vulnerability to a therapist then to anyone else. Lastly, thankfully meds are a lot safer than in times past. SSRI’s like Lexapro and Wellbutrin are much more safer. After taking my meds, I began to realize I didn’t know how anxious and depressed I was! For first time in my life, I had full control of my life. Yeah, every now and then symptoms come in, but I have more control than I have in my entire life and I am very grateful. Don’t worry, you will do just fine!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I would think your honesty goes some way to dealing with the stigma on mental disorders and medication. I’m not a doctor, but I think Eeyore could have benefitted from some meds. Thanks for sharing your experiences with depression. All the empathy in the world can’t really help but make depression a solitary experience, but I hope all th likes and comments help on some level.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you for liking my blog post. 🙂

    Every time I try to tell a doctor about depression, I end up talking myself out of it. I start thinking it’s no big deal. I have a good life and I am just being silly, complaining, when I should be grateful.

    Of course, rationally I know it’s an illness! But, when I’m in that mood it’s so easy to talk myself into feeling guilty.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. you’ve got me there… my current state is partly because i don’t want to go to the doctor and tell him i was too sad and scared to renew my prescription. thank you for also talking about the angry outbursts that come with being low.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’ve been an Eeyore. Pooh’s no rain of sunshine either. That Rabbit is manic. Piglet’s got anxiety issues. Tigger’s got ADD/ADHD. I just realized all this. Those guys are weird.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I have felt depression many times in my life. I can’t remember most of it, but I just feel the rough spots in my past. I love your post. Thank you for sharing. I know how hard it is to talk to someone about it. You are helping many people out there, including yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Thank you for sharing your story with us. I immediately felt a connection and passion in your tone of writing that made the issue palpable. Although I do not have bipolar, I do suffer severely with PTSD, GAD, and ADHD. I have had a rough past but it was really nice to feel not so alone. That is how your post made me feel. Not So Alone! Thank you kindly.
    ~ Holley

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Holley,

      You are certainly not alone. I’m the kitchen sink of mental illness. I’ve found a good cocktail of medications for bipolar, GAD, and PTSD. Toss in a mild ADHD which is almost impossible to treat without tossing me into mania. It’s a delicate rope I walk daily, but I’m surviving and sharing my musings, rants and lunacy for all the world to read. It really makes me happy my blog and story reached you and you connected. Thank you for helping me too 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I commend you for speaking so candidly about your mental illnesses. My son has Autism, GAD, ADHD, and OCD so I have not only had to learn to live with my own mental issues but learn to help him the best way I know how. Quite honestly, it has bonded us in a way that is unbreakable. We both know instinctively when the other needs to talk or needs to be left alone. I feel very fortunate that we are so close, we never feel “so alone” with our mental illness(es). I honestly do not know how I would make it each day without his support. We co-author a blog about Autism which has helped us to bond even more. We both take turns writing posts on the Autism blog. Our blog is different from many other Autism blogs in that we don’t search for answers or cures. My son wouldn’t be who he is otherwise. I love him unconditionally and he, I, so there is no reason to find a cure. Instead, he will write about whatever he is working on at the time and I post about Autism, giving facts, sharing feel good stories about those who have Autism, or my interactions with my son. It truly has been a blessing and I feel fortunate that he wants to work collaboratively on the blog. Most high school seniors don’t want to even “hang out” with “Mom” anymore but Jacob is different, he is better than that.
        ~ Holley

        Liked by 2 people

  11. I use Tigger and Eeyore to describe my moods. Usually I’m an Eeyore. He’s been my favorite since I was a little kid long before I knew I had bipolar. He was just the one I related to most.

    Sometimes our kidneys don’t work, sometimes our livers doesn’t work and sometimes our computer crashes. Our brain is a more complicated piece of machinery than any of those…in fact, it’s the most complicated in the world. Why then do some people have such a problem understanding that sometimes it just doesn’t function properly?

    Liked by 3 people

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