Two months ago, I encountered with someone’s tweet (@macangadungan) about depression symptoms. It’s been years since the last time I took a real look into that list, so I was a little bit (emphasized on a little) surprised to found out that I got all (yes, ALL) the symptoms. I replied her tweet and she immediately sent private message, asking me to seek professional help.
At that moment, a part of me was thinking, “Okay, where do I find the money to do that? I know I have to go to a therapist, but what if the therapist is wrong?” while another part contemplated for a while. I know I have depression since years ago, but hey, I’m still functioning, so I’m pretty okay, right?
Turns out, I am totally wrong. Yes, I do function accordingly, but I don’t live my life to the fullest. Since I move to this city, everything is such a mess. I feel more incompetent everyday, I become more stressed, I don’t have any close friends whom I can talk to or ask for a hug, the society itself depresses me, my procrastination got worse, and all of the signs of depressed people could have had happened to me.
Add to that the relationship I had that caused me crying almost every night, feeling left out, dragged down, and made me think that I was just a door mat. My mood could go from good to bad in an instant. I could cry myself to sleep and woke up feeling empty (fyi, I still wake up feeling empty to this day).
After a good time of thinking, I decided to see professional help. I asked one of my friend (a alumna of psychology field) about one clinical psychologist in this town, she told me about, and long story short, I made an appointment (Oh, I had panic attack when I made that appointment!).
My first visit was a preliminary assessment of my current psychological status. At that appointment, we found out that I have depression resulted from, what my counselor said, a complex PTSD. We found out that all the trauma I experienced were categorized as major trauma (I wonder how I can still functioning to this day). My counselor explained to me what treatment would I have, and I agree with that.
I was enthusiastic about the treatment. Not because of the treatment per se, but because I want to be healed (well, actually it might never be healed, but we will learn to deal better with the depression). I want to live my life to the fullest. I keep saying that to some of my online friend, and thankfully, they become my support system (I’m grateful to get to know all of you, dearests). They keep encouraging me to continue the therapy and ensure me to vent out my feelings when I need to.
Just now I had my second appointment (and also my first therapy session). My counselor used Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) technique. She explained about the emotional processing in the brain, also about PTSD symptoms such as hyperarousal, hypoarousal, and window of tolerance (by the way, I have experienced both of hyperarousal and hypoarousal). During her explanation, I flashback and thought about what happened in the past. It all makes sense now, my behaviour, my unstable mood, my sudden lack of movement (Yes, I could stay in bed a whole day, just laying down doing nothing).
In this second session I got to know about myself a little more, and surprised by it. I’ve already known how insecure I am (the latest broken relationship already pointed out to that) but now it’s confirmed. I spilled out my fear, my desperation. Interestingly, despite of all the negativity and self-hatred I feel, I still have a little bit optimism inside. It’s weird how that optimistic fire is still burning low after all these years, yet at the same time, it gives me more hope. I’ll get better.
I am writing this because I want to share. Depression is hard and it could eat you up if you allow it. One might say to you that going to a therapist is wasting time, you might not get healed at all, so you just have to functioning. It’s wrong. You have to see a professional help, be it psychologist or psychiatrist. You have to be properly diagnosed and treated.
Yes, it’s also a reality that finding the right therapist is almost like finding a good friend (or even a significant other! >_<), and you might feel tired in the process. I am not going to advise you on this, but I only hope you have the strength to get better. I hope you have good friends as your support system to help you heal. I wish you can deal with what you’re having now.
Anyway, I might forget to say this in the future, but I am grateful to have all of you who support me to get better. Thank you *superdupertighthug*
Ps: On the earlier version of this post I wrote I wanted to be healed. My counselor doesn’t actually say I could be healed, but I will learn to deal with my trauma and my depression. Thank you for Paul in the comment section for correcting me 🙂