Sunday, August 31, 2014

My warrior brain.

its been  a very interesting process to step outside myself and observe what my mind has been doing on its own for so long. 
         I've found that it is its own identity. 
         It is a little warrior
                 and it knows exactly how to protect me. 

I am seeing this now as it slowly lets its guards down around the memories of the last 6 months of my fathers death. 
How unbelievable the defense mechanisms were. 
I see the pictures and I now think how I could have possible looked at him in his physical state and not be terrified. I wasn't at the time. 
My thoughts were, wow, his smile looks huge now that his face is so thin. Such nice teeth. Why didn't I get his beautiful smile!?

My whole life I had night terrors and panic attacks all on the topic of what would happen if I lost my father. It was literally a haunting thought for me. 
I thought to myself, when my dad goes, I will probably go to.

             But when the time came, those thoughts never came.

September is suicide awareness month. 

My message to everyone is this:
   You are more resilient than you think. 
   Depression will put ideas in you're mind that you can't possibly go on like this
   That when things get worse, and oh they will get worse, you will remove yourself and all        will be better.
   It's not true. 
   Now that my father is gone, all I want to do is live and recover. 
   You're outlook can and will change. 


Thursday, August 28, 2014

I have a child's head.

another very long day. 
I also have started a new job as of last week, stupidly at the same time I started tms. 
Now my schedule is as followed:
-wake up at 7:30
-get zapped in head for 40 minutes
-sleep for hour
-sit in traffic for 45 minutes
-work from 1-10:45ish
-shower, sleep (at the same time)

but anyway, 
I got the magnets bumped up to 110 (I should get to 120 by week 2 to have the best effect)
It was painful, more of a shocky feeling than a head achey feeling
but the lady said I am the only one out of the four that is experiencing any pain....

and they think its because I have a small head...seriously. 
But, I seem to run into that problem a lot...seriously...lens crafters said I needed child frames....

yeah, so they are looking into possibly getting a smaller coil that will hopefully not target my nerves as much. we will see! 

Mood wise, I feel good. I've been thinking about my father a lot, as expected. 
Its getting easier to distinguish depression from grief, which I think is a good thing. 
The biggest change I've noticed in a huge decrease in my fatigue. 

Fatigue is an understatement really. It all started the day after my father told me about his diagnosis, which was roughly 11 months ago. 
I pretty much became narcoleptic.  
Tiredness that was in my bones. In my eyes. My fingertips.  Everyday, all day.
For the last 5 days I've only needed to take one small nap after TMS, then I haven't felt tired at all during my 9 hour work shift.
Which is pretty fucking huge. 

so yeah. pretty sweet. goodnight all. stay well.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The day the straws attacked.

So both yesterday and todays treatment were still painful. Less of the stabby feeling and more of a head achey feeling. But overall still nothing I can't handle. 
The lady running it said the guy who goes before me has fallen asleep for all of his last 4 treatments, so that just goes to show how individual this treatment is. 

Yesterday I was running around my house trying to find straws so I could drink something during my treatment. I spent about 8 minutes looking without thinking about it. 
I hopped up on my counter to check in a cabinet and boom,
       Memory flood.

All of a sudden I was overwhelmed with flashes of memories of searching for straws in my fathers apartment, collecting them off the floor, 
putting them in his water bottles, 
making runs to cvs to get more,
how sad I felt that he could no longer lift a cup,
and all other random straw related memories from the end of my fathers life.

It was exactly like those flash back compilations you see in movies when the main character puts all the pieces together and has some profound ah-ha moment.

It was a lot like the PTSD memories I get; in that they come up when they want. 
There is no conscious retrieval involved. 
But I noticed something important.

There was no strong emotional attachment to these memories as they came. 
I simply acknowledged that they existed and were now surfacing, but they didn't control my affect. 
They didn't make me sad.

I don't know what I can attribute this too exactly,  but this was definitely a new and, from what I believe, positive way for me to experience some of the unpleasant memories from those hard few months. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Day 3

So I decided to take a short video today to show the treatment. It was still a little painful, but overall very tolerable. I have a mild headache, but it went away without so yeah, pretty much 40 minutes of this.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Day 1 Sf TMS

Today was the big day! 
I had my brain mapping and first treatment of TMS, a new, amazing, long term treatment for chronic depression. What an amazing experience.  I was laughing and saying "this is so cool!" the whole time. 
The mapping took about half an hour. They target the magnet at the motor cortex, and apply one pulse and wait until the right hand has a reflex to the current. Then they target it down until only the thumb moves. This gives them the location of the prefrontal cortex. It's weird, we all know that the brain and body are connected, but its not until you experience something like this that makes it really sink in. The brain is amazing.

Then I had my first treatment, another 40 minutes. At first, it was EXTREMELY painful, like an electrocution to the face. With minor adjustments we worked are way to less pain.
Still a very odd sensation.
The team is super friendly and even though today was more painful than expected I'm still excited.
Tomorrow will be better!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The moment of realization

So it's been 7 months since my father passed away. It's been 7 months since I've done anything. I stopped doing my school work, I stopped running, I stopped working. The only thing I really started was sleeping.
  It wasn't that I was too tired or too depressed. I honestly felt okay. It was like I WANTED to do nothing. I couldn't quite figure this out. 

  Well a few days ago I had a job interview and got hired on the spot. When I got home I had this sick feeling of anxiety, and I felt like crying about my father. I was so confused at to why now, 7 months later, right after a great day, feel like i can barely keep from crying that he's gone?

      Then it hit me.  Really hard.

I had been trying so hard to not do anything because I didn't want to accept any of it. I wanted it to not be real. It didn't matter if I didn't do my school work, or not have a job or anything because it was all just a dream that I would eventually wake up from. 

     All of a sudden, its like I snapped out of this fog that was over me. 
This is all real. This is my life now. This is my life, and he is no longer in it. 

So where do I go from here?

Sunday, August 17, 2014

my goal.

So I've been wanting to do a blog for a while. I wanted to share my experience dealing with genetic depression and also some of the traumas and experiences I have lived with and continue to battle. 
           My goal is to give insight to those who may not fully understand what it is like to live with a mental illness. 
                                       I want to fight the stigmas of mental illness. 
                              I want to help others who suffer, and allow others to help me.
                   I want to show people I am not ashamed of being a patient of mental illness. 

                          I want to prove that mental health is as important as physical health.

I have an opportunity now to helpfully but my lifelong depression into remission with a new treatment called transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). 
I will be started my treatment on the 22nd, which will continue 5 days a week, for 5 weeks. I believe greatly in this new form of treatment and want to help prove that this treatment is effective, and most of all, safe.
I'll also be using this as my own personal journal.  You can read about my background in the about me section