22 June 2014
In My Head
I am in Stockholm. I went into the city and walked around a little in the morning. I sat quietly in two different coffee shops. I went on a free walking tour. I'm now back in my hotel room, early afternoon, with a headache I have no means of correcting. This is my life headache. It does not fade on any drugs, or sleep, or a cold glass of water. It will be until it decides, for the moment, it's been enough. In the city I looked in wonder at new architecture, I felt excitement at seeing new things and new culture, and now I have a headache. This is expected cause and effect for me. I had someone I called friend, I don't anymore, but I did, who said he didn't believe in antidepressants. Which I think is a silly claim to make. I can prove them to someone with a quick look in my cabinet if they so desired. But he clarified that he thought that when people use antidepressants, there's some other life problem they're smothering up that should be dealt with. And in some cases that's true. One can duplicate the effects with vitamin deficiencies, and lack of sleep, and shitty jobs. One can also have a physical condition of depression, which is difficult to deal with when the approach to dealing with it is "so, we know your problem IS depression, so what's your problem?" I don't have lingering ailments of thought. PTSD is not something that afflicts me. I'm not at constant risk to be distracted from the reality at hand by former events of suffering. I am fatigued because that is my physical state. And I don't need to find a hobby or interest, because, from a theoretical standpoint, I have those. I know the things about economics, or role playing games, or movies that interest me, but I find after reading a page, or sinking a few minutes, or hell, usually just in the act of thinking ABOUT doing those things, my physical state follows a mental one that simply has nothing to give. My head aches, I become nauseous, I feel a panicked need to just be 'somewhere else,' which is never anywhere specific, I just want it to be a place of calm, where I won't feel a need to tear up at what it means to just be for me. And this occurs when my base constant state was one of fatigue and anxiousness to begin with. I fight it. I've invited people over for board games or movies, hoping that for once I won't feel like I'm tearing apart after the first 10 minutes of sustained focus, forced to endure the rest of what I brought people together for without it being known. I live in a limbo of wanting to try the challenge again, because I want so much for it to not end the way it always ends, and just not being ready to try it again. I think I understand why adolescents can be more likely to commit suicide when on antidepressants. I don't think it's a direct mechanism of the drug. I think after feeling so terrible for so long, and having the possibility of that no longer being the case dangled in front of them, and then having had that not come to fruition, I think the chasm of hopelessness can only grow. At least, I feel that way sometimes. But I know overall suicide rates drop as antidepressant usage increases (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3071298) despite the potential chasms, so it seems that overall they should actually be reducing chasms. I hope. I've sometimes wished to just have ONE good day, but usually I immediately scrap the plea. It seems, given the situation, having an actual good day would be a curse all of its own. Something to look back on and lament all I didn't do on that one day I had the chance. I think empathy is the ultimate goal I can strive to achieve. Maybe because it implies little action on my part, and I find actions enormously difficult. At the very least though, if someone tells me they have a headache, or are tired, regardless of how many days preceding they have said this, I will believe them. No one expects an arm to just grow back, I wonder why people have such different expectations of the brain. That comparison is not fallacious: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1557684/ . That was just the first hit, but the correlation has been proved time and again, as well as showing that stress in formative years likely causes the permanent state: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12450959. As a result of my empathy goal, I used to proclaim that I wouldn't wish my state on anyone, because I can't believe that anyone deserves this. But bit by bit the world changes me. People change me. I want to have thought about my beliefs. I want to be good, and I want to know why the things I might do or think would make me that way. So I shift. Now I think I may have been short sighted. There are people who "don't believe in antidepressants." There are people telling other people they can't be tired since they haven't done anything today. And that has great potential to harm. People don't seek out antidepressants, it's not crack. When someone is cycling through psychoactive drugs with the advice of a medical doctor it's because in general people are bad at saying "well, I guess that's it, no more life for me." Instead they're doing that thing you do instead. Telling such a person you don't believe in antidepressants is saying you think that person should stop trying to make their life worth living. If there are people who are really so deficient that they can't imagine another person's suffering without their own parallel, well then, maybe I do wish such people would suffer in the same fashion. And I would wish that they would suffer for as many days necessary to realize every day sucks as much as the last. But no, what I really wish is the only thing reasonable to wish, that no one had to feel that way.