As we all now, Halloween is tonight, and I have a lot of anxiety because of that. I don’t think there are kids that trick or treat on my street, but I will keep the lights out on my house. My husband works tonight, so it will be just me and my dog until about 9pm. I just hope my dog doesn’t bark all night. I’ll probably put his Thundershirt on him to help keep him calm. I can’t remember how other Halloween nights have been, so this all feels like new to me.
At 5pm, I get to see my granddaughter all dressed up.That gives me something to look forward to today. I think that it will help me get through the day today and minimize my anxiety attacks. I will let you know tomorrow how well I handle Halloween night. Hopefully, I can keep the anxiety and panic attacks to a minimum.
Any time that I’m home, my TV is turned on. I’m usually not watching what is actually on TV, it’s just background noise. There are so many commercials on TV that promote prescription drugs to help depression. I do believe in prescription medications, but I don’t like that some individuals, with no mental health experience, now tries to relate to what we go through with our diagnoses.
There’s a difference between sympathy and empathy. I don’t want anyone’s pity, but it would be nice to have others trying to understand. In my experience, only those that deal with the same things that I deal with, can understand how I feel. I don’t think it’s possible to truly understand what a person goes through unless you go through it as well. My family members do their best to understand what I deal with, and I greatly appreciate that because they do it without pitying me.
I normally am not the person that reaches out to others, not to friends or family. So, I’ve decided that it is something I need to work on. I have friends that reach out to me, and I only sometimes respond to them. It’s important to be the one who reaches out first because I want my friends to know that I care about them. I feel the same way about reaching out to my family.
Even a simple text message let people know you are thinking about them. Sometimes, just a text message can ignite a conversation. It would be great to talk to friends and family, but it is sometimes extremely hard for me to send a text message. I’m going to write it on my to-do list; if it’s on my list, it will get done.
Yesterday, I cleaned the house. I try to do it once a week, but lately it’s been every 2 or 3 weeks, probably because of my depression. My cleaning routine starts by organizing and dusting everything, then cleaning the kitchen, then the bathrooms, then vacuuming, and finally mopping. I’ve tried to split up the tasks over a couple of days, but for some reason I feel as if it all needs to be done in one day. It takes about 4 to 5 hours to clean the whole house. Most of the problem is dog hair, which is everywhere.
I feel better when the house is clean and organized. I spend so much of my time in my house, I think it should be clean. I just wish the cleanliness would last longer. Between the dog hair and normal living, the shiny cleanliness only lasts a day or two.
I’ve never been diagnosed with OCD and I don’t think that it’s something I have. Although, maybe I should mention it to my psychiatrist, I’ve never said anything about it to him before. I just like things organized. I have 2 drawers for filing documents; everything is arranged in alphabetical order. My clothes are arranged by type (tank top, t-shirt, etc) and by color. My spice cabinet is organized by name and by size of the bottle. I pretty much do this with everything, my books, DVDs, medicine cabinet, almost every cabinet, and the closets. I don’t see anything wrong with having each hanger one finger width apart. Each tank top has to be on the same exact type of hanger, and same goes for t-shirts, long-sleeve shirts, etc. Sometimes I must have things that organized, but other times I do okay knowing when things aren’t perfectly organized how I want them. I think of my organizational skills as a positive. Whenever something needs to be found, I know exactly where to find it.
Group therapy is not something I like very much, but I am getting some of it from the depression support group I started going to. It’s great to get feedback from others who are going through the same type of situations. Having people understand what you’re dealing with is a nice change of pace. Trying to explain yourself to people can be exhausting.
As long as I am comfortable with the people in the group, then I would feel fine opening up to the other group members, but it takes quite a while for me to become comfortable with new people. I’m trying very hard with the new group I attend on Thursday nights. I’ve been there 3 times now and I plan to keep going, except for next week (my anniversary).
One of the things I struggle with at support groups is sitting still while others speak. I don’t mind listening to others at all, but I do have a hard time sitting still, especially if I’m dealing with anxiety. I tend to rock back and forth or fidget with my fingers. I try my hardest not to do that, but I do think that other group members understand how hard it is to sit down for 2 hours. At this point, I have committed to going to this new group, hoping that something positive can come out of it.
One thing that is not often talked about is personal hygiene; however, it is something that can be a problem during depressive episodes. Sometimes, depression can get so bad that it is almost impossible to get out of bed or off the couch and take a shower. I admit that this is one of my struggles during the deeper parts of my depression. In fact, this was a problem just a couple of weeks ago. My mom was the one who helped me and got me to shower every day. She just kept talking to me about it, without any judgement. Once I was showering every day, it gave me the energy to complete other daily tasks.
Poor personal hygiene can frequently be a sign for a depressive episode. In my experience, I was unable to take care of myself. I also remember not being able to get up to feed the dog. Self neglect, or neglecting one’s daily tasks is not only a sign of depression, but it can also make the depression worse. It’s a vicious cycle, which can often make depression harder to get out of. I’m grateful that I have someone to lookout for me when I can’t lookout for myself. I hope that everyone has someone to help them through these difficult and embarrassing times.