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Personality, placebos and psychological cunundrums

My mind is maddening, that is becoming frayed, but also irritating to me.   Perhaps my temperament is wearing thin after a half century of bitter cognition? Might this world just mow down the canaries amongst us earlier than the Canada Geese? I’m talking about my sensitive flock of people with depression and anxiety.

I could be going to an art show, a concert, to one of any number of brilliant Oscar nominated films on a brilliantly cold Friday evening in Anchorage. Instead I’m trying to wrap my axons around the unknowable – am I taking medications as a personality lift rather than spend the years it may take to become able to deal with my emotions? Am I the equivalent of a psychiatrically enhanced Dolly Parton or Joan Rivers?

I spend many weekend nights alone trying to think of funny things to write because I  want  more out of life than disillusionment.  Perhaps that is my God given role, to irritate others with petty concerns and narcissistic rage.  Some comedians thrive on this kind of energy while others die from it. When I take medications I am not a different person, it’s just that I feel like I’m cheating. Everyone else is so proud of doing things naturally these days, giving birth in bloody bath water, using old lemons to clean their toliet, eating vegetables grown in certified feces. Don’t get me started on meditation and yoga for mental health. Those people are not nicer or healthier than anyone else they are just more evangelical, some might say obsessed. Besides I’m not going to meet my soul mate in yoga class unless he is in the back of the room laughing and not in a Buddha kind of a way. My soul mate may be searching for my nervous tics and downcast mouth only to find a medically or yogically contented smile disguising my true nature.

One might call this internalized stigma.  I should lower my expectations of who I thought I was and accept that I have changed for the worse because that would be what John Wayne or Ronald Reagan would do. Mother Teresa on the other hand might take anti-depressants because she could work through the pain with more ease and help more people. That’s called a crutch by some people. A crutch is what we allow people to use when they have a physical injury not a psychological one.   I  just want to tell off the same people that everyone else wants to tell off and a few more that you may think harmless  for good measure. Maybe I’ve reached the stagnation vs generation stage and medication gives me an unfair advantage in generating hope at my age just like an athlete on steroids gets on that last big hill in The Tour De France.

Anyway, my medications are somewhere in the mail and I’m not sure I’ll take them when they come as I’ve already been off them for about a week and want to see just how bad I can get.  I don’t feel more anxious without them, more judgmental, more impatient, but aren’t those just bad habits? I need to see how nasty I can be before I become nice lady antidepressant lady again. Maybe no one will even notice.


About polarflares

My head is so big because it has so many holes and air gets in.

9 responses »

  1. be interesting to find out

  2. I love your blog! You are funny…and tall?

    I understand a lot of what you write about. I recently sought out a new therapist to help with my depression. She wanted to see me “baseline” so I got off all meds. What a great feeling that was!!! But before long, I plummeted into depression. The symptoms of depression snuck up on me…here is a post of mine describing that feeling…

    I truly hope you fare bettter! I am now a follower because I love your sense of humor.

    • I have not yet plummeted but am snowplowing downhill. Just for today, I didn’t plow into anybody.

      • Some people need a good bumping into as you descend the slope.
        It can help enhance their situational awareness, both physical and metaphysical.

      • Yes, I think that’s why high school was so good, lots of bumping into besides the scope of studies. It’s amazing how people think you can work with others and detach totally. I can’t. I collect their energy like lint and leave some of mine.

  3. Joan, Is this your site. I found my missing message here. I also rambled about the old neighborhood but I am no social butterfly now, that’s for sure. Now I am home alone except for work and my 2 teenage daughters who hate me and no social life at all. Big time depression and chronic pain. Love your notes though.

    • Yes this is my site. You may think life is bleak but depression and menopause, pain and loss trick the brain into thinking it will be like this forever. Just like teenagers think they hate you when they in fact hate themselves, remember those days? You always had a way with people and I know it will come back. My work has been draining me of the urge to participate as much socially but I make sure I talk to a friend everyday and I no longer give 175% at work as it leaves nothing for me. My sister Ruthie has a great formula she shared with me. One thing each day for me, one thing done for the house, one thing done for others. That’s a good day. Some people say negative thinking is a habit, I say that’s like saying schizophrenia or diabetes is a habit! So I have to take medications big deal at least I can keep my job and not scream at people or hit them because of overwhelming brain chemicals. Depression is nothing to be ashamed of. If a therapist or psychiatrist can’t help then try al-anon as it is free and most people there wind up in relationships with others with mood disorders because we want to help them and ourselves. I know you are going to be at the reunion. I haven’t really had an intimate relationship in years but I remember my mother and she had a good life without one, so can we.


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