Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Depression Inventory

(Click on image for larger view)

The above is the depression inventory worksheet I must fill out every few months or so. It's interesting to note the overlap with anxiety (change in sleeping patterns, irritability, changes in concentration). I think a lot of these illnesses do have overlap, or one can be a symptom of another, so it's tough to pin down.

Depression is a big word in the states it seems. Every day I hear that damn commercial on television, "Depression hurts, Cymbalta can help." To some degree I think the popularity of depression has made it harder to deal with. Mainly because people have a right to get sad, yet when you are the word 'depression' immediately springs to mind whether warranted or not. Clinical depression and situational depression are different beasts with similar characteristics. The main thing that saddens me about this is the increase in the number of children taking medications for depression. While some may be warranted, the increasing numbers are frightening, especially when you look at the side effects (suicide being one of them).

It was hard for me to admit that I have periods of depression. But I do, I get irritable (around a 2), I feel guilty (2 at its highest, thankfully), my appetite can fluctuate from eating nothing to eating an entire pizza (plus dessert). However, happily, no matter how depressed I have gotten I haven't lost hope in the future, nor do I feel like a failure. I may have the fleeting thought of how easy it would be to step in front of a train, but I won't do it.

It is interesting to monitor my mood though. When I first started I had to keep an 'anxiety journal' and fill out the anxiety sheet once a week along with a daily monitoring (what was the highest point of anxiety today, what triggered it, etc.) In the end, it's about becoming aware of your feelings and recognizing that there is nothing wrong with them, really. Just figuring out what the triggers are to certain exaggerated responses (my tailspins). And just realizing that these little events affect me helps to put me back in control.


Liss said...

thanks for this! For me right now, and I'm on lexapro - I've been on antidepressants for years now - the big factors are I'm tired all the time yet my sleep patterns are unchanged and food issues. And concentration I'm at a 2 or 3 right now on that one.

It used to be the guilty thing and feeling punished. I've worked my way past those.

cherished79 said...

Vic - Value these little inventories or mood charts (mostly for BP), for as you heal, and recollect years from now, you will be amazed at how far you have progressed in your life.

I sometimes well up with tears just looking at my charts and notations from my very ill years. I used to stare at the numbers when they were at #1 or #2 and ponder - "will things ever get better?". Bleak, oh so bleak.

So maybe you are a 2 right now, but when you reach that 5 or 6 - treat yourself to something special and then something after that when you are a proud 7/8. You can do it kiddo.

Amel's Realm said...

That's true...recognizing the triggers or why you're feeling an emotion has helped me a lot. At least it makes me feel less confused and then I know what I have to do next to deal with it. At least I know the "source of the problem" that I have to deal with. Without recognizing the source, I'll keep on spiraling down.

I'm glad that you haven't lost hope and you don't feel like a failure. I think hope is what keeps us going and it's SO crucial. ;-D

Amel's Realm said...

Oh, I don't know about kids taking anti-depressants...I don't think I've heard about it at all in Indo.

Victorya said...

Liss- glad it's helpful! I tried to make it nice and big for you :)

Cherised - yeah, it's amazing even looking at the few I've done, the way things change so much. Ugh!

Amel - kids taking antidepressants is pretty big here it seems, or at least the news makes it seem so!

And hope is what saves us, no?

Amel's Realm said...

Yes, hope saves us, too he he he...otherwise we'll give up on life and on us.