“Aggressively do your homework. […] Do your research and you’ll gain a better understanding of what is happening and you’ll know what to expect.”

“Seek professional help sooner rather than later. Anxiety is treatable and there is no need for extended struggling. And there is nothing to be ashamed of. It is as real as physical illnesses, even though we can’t see any of them on the surface.”

“And almost lastly this: People with anxiety are thinkers. We’re over-thinkers, actually. It makes us creative and compassionate, sensitive and caring. As odd as it is to say, it makes us good people.”

What You Need to Know If Your Child Is Diagnosed With Anxiety

This is painfully true.

Sometimes saying I have a headache is simply easier than:

“You know what? I’m not OK. I feel so, so low and nothing is working. I hate myself. I feel stupid, nobody loves me, nobody understands and at this moment in time, it doesn’t feel like anything will ever get better. I feel guilty for feeling like this. I feel so alone.”

Why It’s Easier to Say I Have a ‘Headache’ Than Say I’m Depressed

I’m not a robot. I still experience happiness — but it’s fleeting. I’ll laugh hard over a joke or smile through an entire episode of my favorite show, but as soon as it’s over, I’ll snap right back to my sadness.

It’s like the happy moment never happened at all. Like it was wiped from my brain as soon as it ended.

It’s almost scary when I find others who describe exactly how I feel. When I was in the deepest part of my latest depressive episode, this is exactly how I felt. Especially the snapping back… Except it wasn’t really sadness, it was just nothingness. One second I’d be laughing at my dog being a weirdo, and then it would stop abruptly and I’d immediately be back to feeling nothing.

When You Don’t Have Enough Energy to Hate How Depression Makes You Feel

Just because it looks like I’m always doing well doesn’t mean I am.

I’ve developed a natural defence mechanism (not intentionally, it just happens) where I basically hide everything I truly feel. When it starts spilling out, that’s a good indicator that it’s really bad because probably only 5% of how I REALLY feel actually comes out to see the light of day. The other 95% is boiling inside me, building, creating stress out of nothing and causing so much anguish that I feel like I’m going to burst, but I never do. Instead, it leads to unhealthy coping mechanisms for release. Course when depression leads me to feeling nothing at all, that’s a whole different can of worms.

Having severe depression doesn’t mean I look severe.

Just because I don’t look depressed doesn’t mean I’m not. And just because I, and my life, don’t resemble the idea you have in your head about what “severe depression” must be, doesn’t change the reality of having it.

This is something my counsellor said to me a lot when I was in my deepest depressive state. My life looks good on paper, yet I’m still unhappy.

Pills don’t make me happy, period. No matter how happy I am, it is never because of the medication I take. Medication is a life vest, but I still have to do the swimming. Medication can not make you happy. It simply can’t.

That’s also not at all how antidepressants work. They don’t make you happy. They adjust how the chemicals in your brain work, to ease depressive symptoms and help get you back to, somewhat, “normal.” In truth, a lot of people say they make their emotions feel flat. They help to get you out of the pit of despair but that’s all they do. They can’t create happiness for you out of nothing. They just get you to the point where you’re able to find happiness on your own because when you’re trapped in the blackness of depression, happiness is nowhere to be seen. Not to mention, simply making you happy wouldn’t solve a thing.

19 Problems Only Happy People With Depression Understand

Chester’s suicide has been weighing very heavy on my heart since I heard on Thursday evening. I haven’t been able to go more than 10 minutes without his pain popping into my thoughts. This letter from the band makes it even more difficult to comprehend because he seemed to be in a good place leading up to this.

Linkin Park is one of my favourite bands, and Chester had one of the most incredible voices out there. I’ve always felt a deep connection to their lyrics and I learned recently that Chester’s depression effected him in a very similar way mine effects me. The most dangerous place to be is inside our own heads. Having been very suicidal just a few days before this happened (moreso than my normal passive suicidal thoughts) I can’t help but wonder if that’s what ultimately took his life, being stuck in his own mind for too long during a time that was very difficult but he never expressed it outwardly. When I’m really struggling, I know I don’t show it. I don’t intentionally try to hide it, it’s just a natural defense mechanism, combined with growing up being taught to keep my feelings to myself.

Linkin Park’s original Instagram post…
My repost…

Video: Chester Bennington's cry for HELP! Linkin Park | Waking Up Dad

Today was hard.

I struggled to keep myself from crying at work. I couldn’t think. I don’t feel like I accomplished anything. Course, that’s how I’ve been feeling nearly every day for the past several months. Today was particularly difficult. We had a developer meeting, going over details of a new feature of our software, and I had a very hard time sitting still (course my ADHD doesn’t help, but when my depression is also bad, nothing helps) and I found myself trying to catch up several times because I zoned out and then suddenly something specific was being discussed and I missed the beginning and felt lost.

I had a follow-up (which is basically the only kind of appointment I ever have because my depression is not going away) with my doctor this morning. I had a hard time telling him how I was feeling. I don’t think the depth of my depression right now came across properly. It never does. Course I did finally tell him, not at my last appointment, but the one before, that I’m not good at saying how bad it really is. He remembered last time because he did bring it up. I’m not sure if he thought of that this time though. I didn’t tell him everything that was going on. I always chicken out or can’t find the right words. That’s a whole other story that I need to properly write about, but I can’t seem to concentrate long enough to actually do it.

I just watched this video and I started crying all over again. I related to this so much. I’ve always felt like I’m worse when I’m alone. I am not nice to myself. When I am around other people, it’s pretty easy for me to be present, in the moment, most of the time (when things are particularly bad, like right now, it’s not so easy at all) but then when I’m alone, it’s like the entire world is crashing down on me. He describes it so well.

Side note: I’m not sure why the uploader of this video titled it as being a cry for help, because that’s not at all how it comes across. It simply sounds, to me anyway, like he’s describing his depression. Either way, it’s a good video.

💔

Whenever I hear of someone, who I am a fan, of dying, it’s always difficult to process. Whenever I hear about someone dying by suicide, whether I’m a fan of them or not, it always hits me in a different way. When I hear about someone who I am a fan of dying by suicide, it’s that much harder to process, especially when I am currently experiencing suicidal thoughts myself.

I experience passive suicidal thoughts almost daily, but this past week. There has only been a few times in my life when I have experienced more severe thoughts where I was actually afraid that I might actually do something. One of those times was less than a week ago.

Earlier this evening, while watching (more listening to) eTalk, I heard about the death of Chester Bennington of Linkin Park by suicide. Initially, I was in shock, and didn’t know what to think. Then I started crying. I cried for about 10 minutes straight. By the time I stopped, I wasn’t even sure why I was crying. It didn’t feel like I was actually crying for any reason. Given that recent changes in meds have been messing with my mood, it wasn’t all that strange, but after crying every days for more than a week, and then suddenly going two and ha half straight days without crying, it felt weird.

A lot of Linkin Park’s music has gotten me through some particularly difficult times in my life, so to hear this  news was hard. I didn’t know a lot of Chester’s history, so the stuff they mentioned on eTalk I hadn’t known before. It made me feel for him even more. I haven’t had any serious trauma or a what you’d see as a hard life. I’m one of those people who you’d probably say has no reason to be depressed. Yet, I am. I have been for a very long time. I’m also very empathetic. I don’t know why, but it’s very easy for me to imagine how others feel, even when they’re going through something I cannot directly relate to. So, hearing all these other struggles he’s gone through made that pain even worse.

Having been so close to that point myself, it is incredibly difficult for me to hear that someone, especially someone I feel sort of a connection to, has been overtaken by those thoughts. I begin to imagine what it must be like, which isn’t that much of a stretch for me. I think the only reason I haven’t given in to the the thoughts, in the more recent times, have been fear and the lack of means. In the past, the thought of what would happen to my dog without me has prevented me from getting that close to the edge. More recently though, that has not been enough. The fear causes me not to reach out for help when I really need it. Combine that with the lack of means, it leaves me suffering alone, feeling as if there is no end in sight.

I had forgotten until the day after my most recent bout of these more serious suicidal thoughts, but when I was in a slightly better place a month or so ago, I actually did some research on a local hospital’s mental health services so that I would feel like it would be okay if I did get to that point again and so I would be safe about the idea of taking my self to the emergency room if I ever needed to. Problem was, when I did reach that point where I should have gone to the hospital, I was so terrified that they would send me away because I wasn’t sick enough and on top of that I didn’t want to admit to my family how horribly I was struggling at that exact moment. It didn’t hit me until the next day when I was feeling weirdly better (which really freaked me out, but that’s a whole other story) that I had done that research intentionally because I thought it would help me. But when I got to that point, I couldn’t think about that. All I could think about was how much I wanted, not to die, but to cease existing, and that I had absolutely no one I felt safe talking to about it.

While I am glad I didn’t give in to the thoughts, I’m still finding it difficult to admit that I’m having such a hard time, even though right now, at the moment I am writing this, I’m okay. I’m not great. Not good. I’m not sure I’m even okay, but I don’t have a better word for it. I’m just not in the horrible place I was just a few days ago. I survived the week I had to wait for my follow up with my doctor (tomorrow morning), and at the start of the week, I didn’t think I would. So… I don’t really feel like that’s an accomplishment, but I think it should.

Anyway, I guess I just needed to get some thoughts out of my head and I don’t have a person I feel like I can safely share them with, but for some strange reason, I can share them with the internet. I don’t necessarily feel safe about it, but its easier than talking to real people…

Until next time…?


Edit: I realized after posting this that I didn’t actually know a whole lot about the band members. I really just like their music a lot but never spent much time reading about the people behind it. It’s actually weird because I usually do read a lot/watch a lot of interviews and stuff about my favourite bands and musicians, but there are a few who I just never research and Linkin Park is one of them.

I made the mistake of watching several videos on YouTube (there’s a lot of stuff up from today alone) and I ended up lying in bed sobbing and I finally had to turn of my tablet just so I could stop. Plus, it’s after 12:30 now and I should be sleeping.

Anyway, I just wanted to make a point of saying that I think it’s really amazing that they are one of the few bands out there who are not all cliche musicians who are on drugs and whatnot. I know Chester has had issues with addiction in the past but I does not sound like that had as much to do with his death as you’d expect. Although, it’s to early too say that for sure right now.

It sounds like he was hit pretty hard by the death of Chris Cornell a couple months ago and today would have been his birthday. I can’t help but wonder if that had anything to do with Chester’s death. Others have mentioned this as well.

Okay, that’s all for now. I just wanted to add that thought to this post. I’m going to go try and sleep now, listening to Linkin Park on my phone. 💙


Edit – Friday @ 2:40pm: I posted some more thoughts on Instagram this afternoon. I don’t know if this will show since my account is private. If it doesn’t, I’ll copy the content over later when I get home from work. I just wanted to post the link now.

I was completely heart broken yesterday when I heard about Chester Bennington's death. Not only because he had an incredible voice and Linkin Park is one of my favorite bands, but because of how he died. Having been so close to suicide multiple times myself, it hurts a little any time I hear of someone dying by suicide. When it's someone I feel connected to, whether they're a musician I like or some other celebrity I'm a fan of it's hard to process. There's something about music though that connects you to a person on a deeper level though when you relate to the music. Linkin Park's music has been there for me through a lot of difficult times in my life, including my more recent ones. I'm one of those people who can't listen to happy music when I'm down because it makes me feel worse. I have to listen to music that matches how I feel. It makes me feel validated and less alone, something I don't often get from the people in my life. I've been listening to Linkin Park exclusively, non-stop since last night because I just can't listen to anything else right now. I've been struggling a lot this week. Especially early in the week. This news yesterday made it worse. I'm trying to stay away from too much news about this right now because of the negativity and stigma towards suicide. I saw a few people saying horrible things about it and some simply ignorant things about suicide in general. While I know those people simply don't understand what it's like to be suicidal, hearing/reading those negative opinions can make my already horrible mood even worse. Because I'm struggling with this specific topic myself right now, I just can't allow myself to let it get worse, so I have to stay away from it. But I just wanted to post something here about it because this news has been very present in my mind all day today.

A post shared by K (@keirahenricks) on

The fact that people are buying these because they’re “trendy” actually really pisses me off because they’re just making it worse for the people who actually need them.

I have fidgets and Tangle Toys because they help release anxious/nervous energy, which I have a lot of. They also help to stimulate the parts of my brain that requires extra stimulation to allow me to remain focussed on a specific task.

Sitting in a meeting, my mind wanders, and no matter how hard I try, is nearly impossible to listen to a person talk, even when I’m very interested in what they’re saying. I’ve found that having one of my Stephie fidgets in my hand under the table is extremely helpful.

When I’m feeling particularly anxious, playing with a fidget toy is calming.

When I watch TV, mind wanders too. I usually need to occupy half my brain with a game on my tablet just to be able to follow the storyline of my favourite shows. When I get bored of games, that’s usually when the Tangle Toys come out because they are best when you have both hands available.

Offering a psychiatric diagnosis of someone you have never personally examined erodes the credibility of psychiatry as a medical specialty.

I agree with this 100%! I had never heard about the Goldwater Rule until reading this article, but I think it definitely needs to be applied here!

“You can be a jerk without having a mental illness. It is actually demeaning to the many nice people who happen to have a mental illness to assume that when someone acts like a jerk, he or she must have a mental illness.”

I think “jerk” is a polite way of describing Trump, but I completely agree with the message here. We don’t know what goes on in Trump’s mind.

Sure he says a lot of things he shouldn’t (I’m trying to stick to the theme of being polite here), especially on Twitter, but none of these things on their own indicate mental illness. If anything they indicate what his personality type is. It indicates that he is probably self-centred and likes attention, good or bad, which I think is why the media needs to ignore him more. Problem is, for some reason, this man was elected President of the United States and the media cannot ignore the president because he is running a country! That’s kind of a big deal.

That still doesn’t give the public the right to try and diagnose him from afar. All you see is the public version of Trump. The private version could be very different, we just don’t know. We can’t know. We can assume, but keep in mind that people with mental illnesses are often very good actors and often come across very differently to the world than what is happening inside their minds. There’s just no way to know what is really going on in Trump’s mind and you cannot diagnose him my his public image.

I can’t believe I hadn’t watched this sooner! And yet, at the same time, I can totally believe it. lol. I love Kati Morton’s channel on YouTube and I only just now watched this interview with Mark Suster about ADD/ADHD.

I think I mentioned this before, but I don’t remember when exactly. My counsellor was the one who suggested that I might have ADD, about a year ago. I have not undergone any medical testing for it, because I didn’t know there was the kind of testing discussed in these videos. It was several months later when my doctor and I actually discussed the possibility of me having ADD because at the time, I was going through the most severe depression I’d ever experienced, and I really didn’t give a shit about ADD at that particular point in time. My doctor also wasn’t sure what he thought about the idea and wanted to sit on it for a while. A few months later, something I mentioned triggered him to bring it up again and we tried medication for a while. Some other shit happened after and I haven’t taken medication for ADD in a couple months now. I’m not going to discuss that right now though.

Anyway, I wanted to share these videos because of how strongly I connected with them. Almost everything he described, describes me. It’s unreal. Less clinical too, because most of the time, as Kati says, you hear about the symptoms described in the diagnostic criteria but you don’t hear examples of how those symptoms can actually present. So, watch these videos. Then I have some more thoughts to add.


Adult ADD an honest discussion w/ Mark Suster & Kati Morton (Part 1)

Adult ADD an honest discussion w/ Mark Suster & Kati Morton (Part 2)


I very much related to Mark’s descriptions of everything, but some things that stood out was completing something to 80% and basically losing interest. When he described that, I thought, holy shit! That is so me!!!!!!!!!!! I don’t think I blinked for a good 30 seconds because I was so shocked, not so much by the thought of the 80% completion thing but more by the sudden realization that that’s exactly how I am but I really never clued into it before. Every single project I work on at work, or even blog posts. (I have an insane about if half written blog posts, most are in my Google Drive, not even in my blog drafts, because I know they’ll get lost if I put them here.) I will spend tons and tons of time on, getting it close to being done, and then right around the time I should begin wrapping up and it’s like I just lose all my motivation. I start fixating on other things simply to avoid doing the boring wrap-up tasks and then the thing just never gets done, in the case of blog posts, anyway. At work, it’s a very painful process to get a project to completion. It always feels good once it’s finished and launched, but there are always little things I wish I’d done better.

I’m already finding myself getting to the point of losing interest in writing this post, but I really want to get it out there, so I’ll just leave off with the one thing he talked about that I feel is completely different for me.

I find that a lot of the impulsivity is actually muted by my anxiety and depression. I have had many, many times throughout my life when people have told me to calm down or that I’m too hyper or whatever. Maybe that was the cause… I don’t know… Sometimes I can’t stop it, just like he described, but sometimes, I start to worry too much about what people are going to think if I say or do the thing I have the almost uncontrollable urge to say or do that I will hold it in. It will make it worse, the impulse stronger, most of the time, and sometimes I do give in an let it out later, but when my social anxiety or my depression is particularly bad, I won’t. Especially when my depression was at it’s worst, I would sit through an entire 2 hour meeting and not say a word. I had lots of things I wanted to say, but the severity of my depression at that point simply cancelled out the impulse. Even though my depression is still active, it’s more at its “normal” level (where I’m [sort of] functioning but I hate myself and getting out of bed is nearly impossible, but not because I’m sleepy, just because I have absolutely no desire to) so the impulsivity comes out a little bit more. My social anxiety hasn’t gone anywhere, so that does often cause me to pull back on the impulses, but doesn’t always stop them entirely.

Oddly enough, I actually have an appointment with my doctor tomorrow, so I’m glad I saw this tonight. I plan on mentioning this and asking about proper physical testing for ADD. Being in Canada, I suspect I’m going to have to wait a while, if there is something that can be done.

I have so many more things I want to talk about from Kati’s interview, but I really should be in bed. Plus, I’d have to rewatch and pick out each point and I don’t think I have the attention span for that, especially right now. Maybe another time. Probably not. But you never know.

Around the time I kind of, unintentionally, stopped posting on here, this happened, and it hit me really hard. A lot harder than I expected.

What We’re Reminded of After Amy Bleuel’s Passing

Why Amy Bleuel’s Death Does Not Invalidate Her Message

When I first heard about Amy’s passing, wasn’t able to find the right words to express how I feel about it. I still haven’t. I probably never will.

I’m still in the middle of my own battle. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve wanted to give up. I’ve lost count of how many times I came right up to the edge. The fact I’m still here is not a feat of strength, by any means. In all honesty, fear is the only thing that has prevented me from stepping off the edge and completely giving up on life. Fear is the reason I’m still here. Fear of failure. Fear of missing out of the things I used to dream about. Problem is, the longer I keep going, the further away those dreams seem to be, they feel less achievable than they used to be.

The fact that Amy wasn’t able to hold on, especially after all the work she’s done for the mental health community is absolutely heart breaking, especially as someone who has come so close myself. To be honest, I’m still having a difficult time even comprehending it, even though I didn’t know her. It certainly doesn’t invalidate her message. It’s more a reminder of the fact that this stuff, this pain, the struggle, it doesn’t just go away. Even when someone looks fine on the outside, it doesn’t mean they are.

Even though we may be mental health activists, even though we put our stories out there hoping to inspire other, even though we are comforted by being a part of a community where we share common struggles, we are still battling.

It’s been a while since I’ve posted. More than 2 months. It’s not like there has been much going on to keep me busy. More that I’m struggling with a very serious lack of motivation. Even though the worst of my severe depressive episode has long passed, my “regular” depression has been fighting, hard, to keep me down. I’m not prepared to go into details right now but I’ve got a bunch of things I shared on Facebook (links, mostly) that I want to share here, so there’s going to be a bunch of posts coming over the next little while.

This image is one thing that seemed fitting to right now for a different reason than it did when I originally shared it on Facebook several weeks ago.

Just because I don't always share my troubles doesn't mean I don't have them. At times, I may be fighting battles you know nothing about.
Here’s what I felt when I saw this image on May 30, 2017:

People think they know me but no one knows everything about me.

People have told me I share too much [on Facebook]. In truth, there is enormous amounts of pain and constant struggle that I have never told a single person, things I have never even put into writing, simply because people judge me for really stupid shit. It makes me feel worse any time I slip up and accidentally mention one of my deep dark thoughts and people will tell me I’m crazy, overdramatic, or they try to give me a million different ways to “fix” my problems.

Occasionally, I will intentionally try to talk to someone close to me about specific things, or maybe about stuff in a broader sense, and I always end up regretting it because people can’t simply listen. They have to either try to fix it or invalidate how I feel, when it’s now I feel and has nothing to do with them. This is why I don’t open up to you, even when you tell me you’re here to talk whenever I need to. You say that now, but trust me, you’re not. You’re lying to me and yourself.

My depression is not caused by anything in particular. It just is. It’s a thing that is a part of me, no matter what. Most of the time there really just isn’t anything to talk about. Sometimes there is. My depression comes with feelings that have no explanation. It comes with dark, intrusive thoughts. Too dark to share with anyone without causing them to think I belong locked up. (I do know there are some people out there who do truly understand this, but you are very difficult to find.) It comes with anxiety which shows itself as irritability and agitation for no reason. And it comes with stigma. Self stigma. Your stigma. The world’s stigma. Even people who have been there themselves can have their own stigma towards what I’m going through because it’s different than their experience and they don’t realize how different everyone’s own, personal experience is. There are people I thought I could talk to, people I thought I could trust, who turned out to have their own stigma that invalidates what I’m going through.

It’s extremely frustrating when people make assumptions about me, think they know everything there is to know, or just put me into their little stereotyped boxes. You don’t know me at all. You don’t know the battle I’m fighting inside my own mind every single day.