It Is Complex

its-not-that-simple

I have been struggling a lot with returning to my blog. I am overwhelmed with the complexity of depression and trauma. I am dismayed at the lack of knowledge among professional articles that I read. And if the professionals can’t get it right, how can I expect the rest of society to get it right.

With everything that I share here, I in no way want to diminish the help that antidepressants offer. I do understand that all those who experience every degree of depression are often lumped together with no distinction. For most people who suffer from depression, medication alone helps them. When you have experienced trauma, especially multiple extended traumas, medication alone does not solve the effects of such tragedies in a persons life.

I have started medication and I have found some help with the constant onslaught of pain and anguish I have lived with for years. But the effects the trauma has had on my life are alive and real inside of me. The fears I live with are much more complex than depression. I think I knew this before taking the medication. I just didn’t know how complex dealing with all of it was going to be. I can’t imagine continuing on with therapy without the medication. But in many ways I feel more alone, and afraid of disappointing everyone because of the effects the traumas in my life have had on me.

When you read about depression, those who suffer from depression caused by trauma are often either not acknowledged or just lumped into other types of depression. This problem makes me feel very misunderstood.

This morning a friend asked me, “Have you written any poetry lately.” I responded, “I wrote one about a week ago, but I really haven’t been writing much.” Then my friend asked me, “Do you think that is also due to the medication?” I said, “I have been wondering that. It has been such an adjustment for me. I find myself struggling to know what I am feeling.”

Several years ago, my husband and I went to a dentist who was a painter. He had his paintings all over his office and patient rooms. He has ADD and told us that he was put on medication for it and he lost all of his creativity, his ability to paint. So he wouldn’t take it.

While I have found some relief, I lived like that for so long that this is unfamiliar to me. So in some ways, I do feel as though I have lost a part of myself. Maybe I am afraid of even trying to write. Maybe I need to acknowledge this fear and at least just try.

Sometimes I don’t know if we are put on medication to help us or so that society can deal with us. If the world was more loving I don’t think many people would need medication.

I do understand that if the world would be more loving, I would not be in this situation in the first place. But I also would have found comfort and validation and healing. You see people who have gone through horrific things (kidnapping etc.) and go on to do great things. And no one understands that this was because they were loved back to wholeness. Their experience was validated, they were loved and helped. I was only harmed for being harmed. It messes with your mind.

For some reason, I am afraid to return to my blog. I have been honest with where I am. But I don’t know if others will be cruel to me. That everything isn’t perfect. And that I will have to wear a mask. The mask I had to wear my whole life, the one I just took off.

I wear all of these scars and this is why I think I fear I am going to disappoint everyone. It is all more complicated than just taking medication. I think antidepressants work differently for people who have experienced trauma and have CPTSD than it does for those who are experiencing depression or sadness only. This all makes me very emotional.

Can everything that happened to me be reduced to something as simple as a pill? Do I need medication rather than love and connection and validation? A pill will not “cure” my past. It could make me shut up and disappear. But it will not heal or cure the trauma of my past. It could isolate me more perfectly. But it will never solely give me what I need.

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38 thoughts on “It Is Complex

  1. It’s nice to see you here but I’m sorry to hear that you are not feeling well. I wish I had something perfect to say to help or support you. I do know what it’s like to have complex trauma along with other mental health issues (I also have depression and anxiety) and I have tried medication and therapy and every other thing that’s out there. Like you said, we are all different though and there just isn’t a simple solution. Keep talking, keep reaching out, keep fighting, be kind and gentle with yourself. Sending you my love ❤

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I enjoy your blog and yes antidepressants are a band aid and if suffer from trauma on top of that it is not pleasant. Therapy does help and sometimes you feel that it doesn’t help stick with it. When you stick with it one day you will be walking down the street and you will fill lighter. It is a journey and one that I wish you well on. If you need someone to speak to go to my blog and fill out the contact info which is the contact tab at the top right hand corner and we will be able to communicate. Feel yourself hugged.

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    1. I am very touched! And I am grateful to have a very good therapist. Taking medication and getting help is all fairly new for me. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I do think that without the medication, staying in therapy would be hard. I appreciate you reaching out to me. Thank you for your kindness!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. As I read this I began to wonder if you are projecting a stigma upon yourself that actually isn’t there because you chose to use this medication available to you. You are 100% correct that this medication will never cure your past or the effects it has on you. And that is not why you take it, right? You also don’t take it to “shut up and disappear.” That was never the goal! But since, like you said, you feel like that’s what people may be expecting, you are afraid to continue to write out your pain…because that would go against what the medication is labeled (what society thinks) to do. NO! You are experiencing depression BECAUSE of your trauma and the extreme energy it takes to process and heal. Your medication is part of your healing puzzle. It’s just another piece of your process toward self discovery, and processing towards healing. There are no expectations for you to change how you write or what you write. Not from me anyway. This is your process, no one else’s. Don’t let one more person put an expectation or fear into your life….or perceive that they are. This is your space. It adjusts with you. Sometimes you write, sometimes you pause for awhile as you reflect. That’s ok. You are safe here…pain, past, trauma, depression, poetry, stories, fear, hesitation and all. It all interconnected for you. I love how honest you are all the time. Give yourself time to keep adjusting. Hugs to you ❤️

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    1. This actually has been projected onto me which I was not prepared for. I think my fears are not even from that but triggered something from my past that I don’t yet no where it is coming from. My solution was to just try and write about where I am at and the struggle this created in me. No I did not take it to shut up and disappear, but the medication has made me feel like it could help me isolate myself more perfectly. It was never the depression alone that made me isolate myself in the first place. And yes, for many reasons, I could easily fall back into that place. But no, it is not the goal. Thank you so much for all of your encouragement and kind words. I appreciate you very much!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I hadn’t thought about it in the way that you put it SecretKeeper. It’s all so difficult so figure out. I think it’s important to not put too much pressure on ourselves to be or feel or act in any other way then what is real and true for us at the moment. Medication can cause brain fog, it can also ease some of the pain, it can also clear some space for things to surface that we weren’t ready for or was unexpected.It can also make us feel better, new emotions, like contentment. I know the feeling of ‘feeling better’ and that it can be so foreign to us, that it ends up turning on us and creating a whole new kind of sadness. I’m not sure how to explain it, but it’s like… “what am I supposed to do with this?” and we can feel lost again. We all know mental illness, and there are no expectations other than the here and now, no matter if it’s pretty or not. I think those of us that have mental illness and take or have tried medication know and understand that medication isn’t going to make everything magically go away. Sorry, rambling on here… Just take it slow, be kind and gentle with yourself, write, don’t write, just be… sending you hugs and love ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You explained all of this so well. I can relate and understand everything you are saying. It is very hard to find the right words to explain what I am experiencing. In many ways it has brought on a different sense of feeling alone. Especially since medication and “real” therapy are both new for me. Thank you for sharing all of this and putting into words things I could not. It does make me feel more understood in what I am experiencing… that it isn’t just me. Thank you!

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      1. You’re welcome. It is very hard to explain and I’m glad that I was clear enough to offer you some sense of connection. This conversation just inspired a new post for me… so you are also helping me to look at things differently. Love and hugs xoxo

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Blue Sky, I can’t bring myself to include ‘Broken’,I’me neither Dr or Scientist and seek neither to teach or preach. What I can bring to the table is Parkinson’s Disease (8 yr) a Science background and OCD ! PD is all about neurotransmitters and as such anxiety and depression feature greatly in it’s menu of nasties. Anxiety and Depression are often lumped together, labelled due to low Serotonin yet Swedish researchers using the latest scanning techniques found that folk with diagnosed ‘Social Anxiety’ had elevated levels of Serotonin . If this is indeed the case the implications are huge and could explain why some people become so much worse on antidepressant medication.Also it may imply that a more accurate diagnosis of the primary condition is needed otherwise the drugs prescribed for depression may possibly be increasing anxiety.
    On creativity, when my ‘Dopamine enhancing drugs’ got to 12 mg I suddenly started waking up with complete poems in my head, hence my Blog. My way of coping is to recall ‘Peak Experiences’, these are simple moments which elevated the mood in a positive way, beyond the normal. We all have them it’s just that folk like us have to dig deeper because ours are buried under the pile of bad stuff.
    I wrote two poems about some of mine, SONGBIRD is about a day as a boy when I was caught in a summer downpour, the sun broke through the grey clouds and a single bird started to sing, Magical !
    I and your other followers would love to hear about yours, please.
    Carpe Diem Blue Sky, seize the moment.
    Wishing you and yours calmer waters
    Nigel

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nigel, thank you for sharing your experience with PD and medication. The Dopamine story was fascinating. The medication is helping me with depression. I have Complex PTSD as well and that is why I also still struggle. I have suffered a very long time without help. As for my creativity, I don’t know if it is real or I am just afraid it has changed because of the medication. I do have a very good therapist that I have been seeing for a few months now. Maybe taking the medication brings on its own new set of challenges, even though most are positive. Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts and your story. I am sorry for all that you are dealing with. You sound like a very amazing and special person.

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  6. I’m so sorry to see you struggling so. I have been there myself. You made a good point about people being loved back to wholeness. That’s what happened to me, but I couldn’t find that sort of love from people. It truly came from God. I know how difficult it is to find that when so many bad things have happened, but it is possible! I started an organization that offers support groups to help people find healing. We have them online if you are interested.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am sorry for what you have gone through. Thank you so much for sharing your experience with me. I appreciate your kindness very much! If you share with me the web address, I will check it out. Thank you!

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  7. Don’t put on a mask. I Love you just the way you are.
    I think, if you think about the medication ONLY From your own point of view and how it makes you feel but not how it is viewed by others or how others view you, then you could be objective about the medication. I know that medication alone doesnt seem to help the trauma but anything that takes the edge off while we are recovering I wouldnt stop personally. Eventually you can stop the medication after the trauma therapy and after your nervous system is calmed down some. I am not on any meds right now and have felt no inspiration to write poetry or write at all. So if i were on meds I would blame the meds but I am not so I think we go through spurts where we can express ourselves and spurts where we need the down time, where our brain needs to not feel everything so intensely. Maybe this is just a down moment of rest for you mind. I feel like you may be being to hard on yourself and I do the exact same thing. If we weren’t loved and accepted or heard during trauma then we think the same will happen during recovery but i am here to tell you you are loved, heard, and validated in whatever choice you think is best for you on sharing or medication.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry for the delay in my response. I found your comment in my spam folder. And then I was unable to respond at the time. This was not so much about the medication not being helpful. It was more about trying to figure out what it is I am feeling. This all has been a huge adjustment for me, the medication and therapy. 1Wise-Woman commented above and really helped to put some of what I am feeling into words. She has years of experience with medication. It was good to know that it is not just me. Yes, I do think when it comes to writing it is not the medication. But it did make me wonder when I was asked. Thank you Bethany for your kindness!

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  8. I take antidepressants. I often think about trying therapy again, but always talk myself out of it.

    Antidepressants definitely don’t take care of everything. My sister is an alcoholic(so was my dad), and my mom tries to dump a lot of my sister’s drama on me. Sometimes my mom is pretty good at sucking me back into it, but I have to try really hard to use my limited skills not to let a call from my mom get to me.

    I understand you have been through a lot of pain, as you have written about in your blog I have never been through the pain you have described. Antidepressants definitely don’t make those experiences go away but for many it takes the edge off enough to make life more bearable.

    I relate to the story you told about the dentist. Medication definitely isn’t a one sized fits all solution.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Clearly you HAVE been and are still going through a lot. Your story is very sad. You must have a lot of pain surrounding feeling neglected. There are a great deal of dynamics around addiction. You must be greatly effected by your past and everything that is still ongoing in your family. If you find the right therapist, it can be invaluable. Surely you need support.

      Yes, medication has taken the edge off of the depression. The trauma is a whole other story. But for that, the medication is helping with therapy too… helping me to stay and face the pain. But no, it does not fix everything. I am grateful for what it does do though.

      Thank you for sharing your story and your thoughts! Hugs to you!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, thank you for your kind words. I had meant to say something in my last comment about how you noted that you were dismayed about the lack of knowledge in professional articles. I’m a nurse and I think health care providers often have a hard time grasping what depression really is.
        Depression certainly is trickier. It isn’t like giving one a pill for high blood pressure and then having an objective way to measure results.
        At my work we are expected to complete learning modules about a variety of topics. Recently I completed one on depression, and it was terrible! I think health care providers and researchers still have a lot to learn about depression.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I just had this conversation with my therapist yesterday, and she agreed and admitted this is a big problem. This makes it very easy for many people to be misdiagnosed. Thank you for sharing this!

          Liked by 1 person

  9. Gaining followers and people who support you on a blog seems to cause a problem. I find myself censoring what I write so that people will approve and not be offended and that destroys what I set out to do, to create a space for myself to express everything.

    I don’t know if it is the same for you but it is your blog. I think there are many of us out here who do understand what you are going through and have been there ourselves. There is no need to censor what you write to those people.

    I cannot take medication as it freaks me out not feeling like myself, even if feeling like myself means being anxious or depressed. It is only a prop to help you through the worse feelings, it isn’t you, if that makes sense. Maybe it needs to be reduced a bit if it is stopping you from feeling anything?

    My words are feeling a bit clumsy so I hope this reads as being supportive. Sending you safe hugs ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This all made sense to me. I think it is always hard to be vulnerable. And when we go through times of escalated fear, it is even harder. It is helpful to know that there are others who do understand on a deep experience level. I think I have been struggling to find words to describe what it is I am feeling. I was very freaked out to take the medication, but I don’t know if I would be able to continue with therapy without it. But I do very much understand your feelings about medication. Thank you!

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  10. I loved and could relate to these lines “Sometimes I don’t know if we are put on medication to help us or so that society can deal with us. If the world was more loving I don’t think many people would need medication.”

    For me I think I struggle with the responsibility of being ok or pretending thus so that people who love me are ok. I know they love me, but they can’t deal with my depression (or the little about it that they know of), so I hide my suicidal thoughts and my brokenness within, I think that makes it worse.

    Where I am today I don’t take any medication, I don’t believe in doctors, and don’t have anyone I can truly tell the truth to about how I feel. I push everything under the mat and move on to the point where I crash. I’m still hiding, pretending that all is fine. I write poetry when I’m overwhelmed and the support I receive online helps. But somewhere inside I feel that something inside me has died and I’ve given up trying to revive it.

    Sorry for the LONG reply. Just wanted to explain that I relate and thank you for sharing this post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And I can relate to everything you shared. I am sorry that you are left in this very difficult place. I now realize that there are probably far more silent sufferers who are alone than those who speak up or write about depression. Many don’t even know they are depressed. I lived like this for many years. It was the most painful time of my life. I too struggled with taking medication for the same reasons you mentioned. If it weren’t for my therapist, I would have never tried it. It takes a lot of support to be able to even get help. Please don’t give up on yourself. Having a new friend reach out to me led me to get the professional help I needed. Unfortunately, depression is something that is so misunderstood. I finally got to the point where I realized I need to be more concerned about the stress and anxiety I have been living with than taking medication. It doesn’t take everything away, but it certainly lifts the depression and allows you to live life without the constant pain. Thank you for sharing. I am so sorry you are suffering alone. If therapy is not an option for you, there are support groups that are free. I do understand that asking someone who is depressed to do anything is like not understanding what depression is like. Even with loving people who do understand, they can’t fully understand in a way that someone professional can. When someone really gets what you are going through and your reactions to life, it feels like you are being heard for the first time in your life. You are not alone. And with help things can be different for you. I didn’t know that for such a long time. If you have any questions or need help in how to find support from a professional please don’t hesitate to ask me. I lived in that dark place for way too many years. Please know that there is help and hope for you… that you can not see right now. My heart goes out to you! We can’t do this alone, and we weren’t meant to. You are a very precious soul worthy of love and support!

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  11. Hi, I loved this and can totally relate. I was misdiagnosed as Bipolar 2 many years ago and put on a long list of medications, which were increased, decreased, switched, and added to. None took away my core symptoms: fear, feeling unwanted, and grief over a life fragmented by C-PTSD. I finally realized meds and a series of low-quality therapists weren’t working. I ended up weaning off most meds so I could start from scratch. After three years of persistence, I finally found a psychiatrist who specializes in trauma and disassociation who insisted I find and helped search for a good therapist before he would medicate me. He’s in regular contact with my therapist now and has kept my meds to a bare minimum. He told me the best cure for C-PTSD is good therapy. It’s way more painful than taking a pill, but I think it’s paying off. I’ve found educating myself and putting my recovery first in lots of different ways has been the most helpful, although I’ve been treated with ketamine infusions if experiencing severe depression. I don’t ever discourage people from taking meds. I know it’s helpful, even life-saving, for some people. But C-PTSD creates a tangle of knots that is more nuanced than most of the meds on the market can address.

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    1. Therapy is proving far more difficult than I had expected. I do have a wonderful therapist now that specializes in trauma therapy. My therapist understands that drugs are not the cure for C-PTSD, but it seems not all psychiatrists understand this. It is called Complex PTSD for a reason. Thank you for sharing your experience. I am glad you are on a good path now after all that you have been through.

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  12. I really admire how brave and honest you are. I also think it is important that you are acknowledging the spectrum within depression and other mental illness in relation to your own experience. As a person currently taking medication and with a different situation to yourself, I feel like medication and its effect can only really be evaluated in hindsight and who the hell knows when it’s acceptable to look back and call it hindsight. That’s just my thought to add the mix, agree or disagree. I know that your posts are probably not always easy to write (might be putting that lightly). But I respect you for being open and this openness, in turn, is helping break the stigma surrounding mental health, whether you intended to or not. The more we can be honest and share, the better. Anyway, well done and sorry for rambling on!

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  13. Very insightful post. I’m sorry you’re dealing with all of that.
    I agree with you. Medication without taking care of the root if the problem may not be the solution.
    They tried to put me on medication. I said no. This happened twice. Once, was for antidepressants. I told the doctor that it was a band-aid and I needed more than that. I’m glad I did. The second time was for painkillers. A bone in my back came out and it was protuding. Instead of just putting the bone back in place, they wanted to put me on painkillers. I asked what would happen once the effects of the painkillers would wear out. I didn’t like the answer. Therefore, I said no and went to see a chiropractor. He put the bone back in place and I took ibuprofen for 24 hrs. That was it.
    I believe that doctors and the pharmaceutical industry abuse of pills and push them to people in the way you described, by putting all people in the same bag. There are people who benefit with the use of medicines, but not everybody does.
    I hope you’re feeling better by now. If not, while I don’t know you, I’m sending good vibes your way. It is possible for some of us to get out of depression without using pills. But my depression was caused by abuse, not by a chemical imbalance in my brain.

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    1. Unfortunately I have had depression for decades, time and effort could not fix it. And, yes, it was from abuse. I eventually realized that I probably should be more afraid of the stress, anxiety, and depression and what that is doing to me than I am of the medication. My therapist diagnosed me with severe depression and I eventually took the antidepressant. It has helped with the depression. It took a very long time for me to adjust to feeling more normal because the depression became a way of life for me. I trusted my therapist and took the medication to also help me with therapy. The medication is only a band aid when you are dealing with trauma and abuse. But band aids have there place when we need them. Along with therapy in can be very helpful. My therapist pointed out to me that I still have the depression and the medication is just masking the symptoms of it so that I can have the emotional capacity to deal with facing my past and going through therapy. It didn’t take the Complex PTSD away or my triggers. It has been a slow road, but it has helped me to experience life in ways I don’t know if I ever have before. I think if I wasn’t on the medication, I wouldn’t have the courage to go to therapy and do the hard work involved in trying to heal. I do understand everything that you shared and the choices you made. I too resisted medication and never thought I would be taking it. It was a very painful and emotional choice. Medication alone certainly is not the answer for healing abuse and trauma. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences.

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