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.