This Month

A lot has changed over this past month. Mostly good things. 20170721_074149

First, and most importantly, my depression is pretty much gone. I finally pinned down what was making it flare so bad the past few years and figured out how best to deal with it (get it under control). It’s a complicated story full of many linked triggers and contributors. So many I didn’t even list all of them here.

It had been a number of different things that compounded to cause and ultimately make worse the depression and anxiety. It all began with the unrelentingly horrific pain of my diseased heart. A couple of years of constant, debilitating, pain that doctors could not properly diagnose and treat will certainly cause a depression. Then the realization that I had a heart condition and the sudden and frightening massive heart surgery that changed my life forever just fed the depression. Then the year long struggle with my eyes; eye surgeries, loss of driver license (independence), and dealing with a forever “droopy” eyelid fed the depression even more.

I know a lot of people who are reading this and thinking, “it’s all in how you look at it, I know it’s difficult, but just think happy and the depression will fade”.  NO! That’s not how this works, that’s not how any of this works!

I’m not done with the story…

All of the body’s systems are related.  ALL of them. That’s how the human body works; different systems do different things, but they all work together to make a living, functioning being. A person with type 1 diabetes has a chronic hormonal auto-immune disease. Anything that involves hormones, even one specific hormone (insulin) affects the entire body, even the chemicals that regulate emotion and psychological balance.

It’s not a matter of “thinking happy thoughts”, it’s all about chemical and hormonal balance; it’s physical.

Yes, I could have, and did, “look on the bright side”, but that did nothing to change how I felt because I had no control over my chemical and hormonal functions, and since my body was ill, neither did it.

Anyway, moving on to the other causes of this dark time in my life. Not long after the heart surgery and eye surgeries (4 in one year), we moved into a new home. It was a nice home in a quiet neighborhood with nice neighbors. Also, it just so happened to be surrounded by large trees and buildings that made it a very dark home. Even when all the shades were open, the house was dark. There was very little natural sunlight. Since I was home all the time (no job and no ability to drive and already depressed and developing agoraphobia) I got virtually no sunlight exposure. Both darkness and lack of sunlight exposure caused a depletion of vitamin D which feeds depression as well as promoting other illnesses.

So I fell even deeper into depression over those two years.

Also during this time I was gaining weight even though I was trying to lose, and was diagnosed with the vitamin D deficiency, as well as other illnesses that are chronic. This all fed the depression.

Finally, we moved. The home we moved into is very sunny due to many windows and not much to block the sunlight from coming in.  With the new exposure to sunlight (and taking Vitamin D supplements) my body was able to lift out of the depression a little bit.

But over the next few months I struggled with a sudden and debilitating case of thyroiditis that eventually left me with hypothyroidism.  A very prominent symptom, and you might say side effect, of hypothyroidism is depression because the thyroid controls hormone levels.

My endocrinologist prescribed Levothyroxine, a synthetic thyroid replacement hormone, and over the past several months has been keeping an eye on my thyroid levels and adjusting the medication to get me at the perfect levels.

Well, during most of the time that the above story takes place, I, of course, had been trying to fight the depression and anxiety. I struggled to figure out just what was causing it and why it was so bad. I could be naive and assume it was just because I was going through emotionally tough times, but I’m not ignorant and I understand that depression is so much more complex than just how you feel. I knew there was an underlying physical issue going on.

I went to therapy to help with the emotional/psychological part of the issue, which helped a bit. I went on medication to ease the chemical imbalances, which helped a bit. But the depression and high anxiety persisted.

And I am the type of person who insists on finding the root cause and “curing” the illness, not just treating the symptoms. But, as someone who has more than one incurable disease, I understand that not all illnesses are curable.  But, I fight on to gain control!

With my health becoming more stable, my depression and anxiety naturally lessened. Especially with getting the thyroid issue under control. Just this past month, with the raise in Levo dose, I feel so much better!

I stopped my depression medication which was it’s own ordeal, but feel even better without it than I ever felt on it!

I started taking St. John’s Wart which is claimed to “promote a positive mood” even though there are plenty of scientific studies that do not show that it does anything at all to state of mood. It may just be a placebo effect, but I do feel a tad bit better.

I’ve also been working on being more physically active which we all know helps the body to balance those feel good chemicals a little bit.

All in all, I have come completely out of my depressive, anxious illness and feel emotionally and psychologically better than I have in a long time.

 

On another topic, this month I was diagnosed with yet another incurable illness. I am not going to tell you what it is because I still have not completely wrapped my mind around all of it… I need time to ‘deal’ before I talk openly about it. According to my doctor, I’ve probably had it since childhood (we traced symptoms all the way back to around 7 years old) but most people who have it never show any symptoms… but because I am immune-compromised (Type 1 diabetics are considered to be) this is probably why I have had disease specific symptoms over the past few years. There is no cure, but as with all my incurable illnesses, it can be controlled.

So I began to take immune health promoting supplements (Vitamin C, Cod Liver Oil, Vitamin B complex, a multivitamin, Vitamin D) as well as getting more exercise, which we all know promotes immune health, and continue to try to eat healthy and keep my blood sugar under control.

It seems to be helping. If anything, I feel better all around!

 

So, in conclusion, I feel great! I hope to continue to keep my depression and anxiety at the minimum and keep up with the increased exercise which really helps with all my current issues.

Withdrawals

*This is a blog post of my own personal experiences. I am not a doctor or professional in any way.*

Against recommendations, I decided to stop taking my depression medication, cold turkey. I decided to stop taking it for a number of reasons. I didn’t feel I needed it anymore. I am tired of being on so many medications, so I decided to stop taking (one-by-one) the ones I don’t absolutely need to stay alive. Also, I am tired of seeing so many doctors so often, so I decided to stop seeing the ones I don’t absolutely need to see to stay alive. And lastly, I hated the way it made me feel; artificial, numb, separate from myself…and had very poor sleep quality.

The cold turkey part is the part that was against recommendations. I decided to do it this way because I stopped seeing my psychiatrist and she was the one who had to put in my prescriptions for this particular medication.

It is recommended to ween off of this medication and not just stop taking it. Either way you are guaranteed withdrawals of some sort.

Stopping Cymbalta is guaranteed to cause withdrawal symptoms. Depending on how high a dose and for how long you’ve been on it, these withdrawals can be a multitude or few, they can be severe or mild, and they can last two weeks or much longer.

I am only listing here the ones I experienced. I was on 60mg per day at the time I stopped the medication. I experienced several withdrawals that fluctuated in severity and lasted nearly a month.

I fib a bit when I say I stopped cold turkey. At first I went from taking the pill every day to taking it every other day…but then it seemed to not make sense this way so I just stopped taking it at all.

My withdrawal symptoms were as follows:

Short temper/easily frustrated/aggressive personality: This was the first change I noticed. I perpetually felt like I was PMSing super bad. Everything got on my nerves, I was snapping at everything and everyone. I would be doing nothing and suddenly just feel angry out of the blue and want to scream at the top of my lungs just to relieve the frustration!

Brain Zaps: This was probably the most annoying symptom of all. It is not painful. It feels as if a jolt of electricity is shooting through your brain. It is not painful, but it is annoying as all get out! At it’s worst I was getting “zapped” every few minutes all day long!

Suicidal thoughts:  I was not suicidal! But I did think too much about death and dying. And I did have such low emotional points that I thought the world would be a better place without me. I would say I was one step away from becoming suicidal.

Dizziness: I had a few little bouts of dizziness. Annoying.

Nausea: I did have nausea on and off, but it never got so bad that I threw up.

Headache: I had a few headaches, but they were so mild I could just ignore them.

Nightmares: I wouldn’t call them nightmares, but they were disturbing. I am used to having these types of dreams, I have them all the time anyway. But the dreams I had while withdrawing seemed to be extra anxiety inducing. My body was physically reacting to the dreams. This is something that doesn’t usually happen when I have these kinds of dreams.

Confusion: Mild. I would be doing something and get confused for no reason and have to concentrate extra hard to get back on track.

Fatigue: I had chronic fatigue while taking Cymbalta (which is one reason I decided to quit it) but the fatigue was even worse while withdrawing.

Insomnia: I had bouts of insomnia while taking Cymbalta (which is another reason I decided to quit it) but I had even more while withdrawing.

Anxiety: I have anxiety anyway, but while withdrawing it was way worse. I would have physical symptoms for no reason at all. And when I did have reason to be anxious, the symptoms were so very exaggerated!

Blurry Vision: Depending on where you look, this may or may not be a listed withdrawal symptom. I had it. My vision was markedly more blurry while withdrawing.

There are other possible withdrawal symptoms, but these were the ones I experienced.

I am completely withdrawn from Cymbalta now and I have not felt (or slept) this good in probably three years!

If you have trouble with depression to the point that you need medication, then I suggest you take it. More often than not the benefits outweigh the risks. But always be aware of the risks of coming off of a drug…sometimes doctors neglect to warn their patients of this “risk”. Mine did let me know about the withdrawals, and asked me to be sure and work with her if and when I decided to come off this medication.

It was my own personal choice to do it the way I did. That’s me, always choosing the more punishing path…

 

 

That Taboo Topic

Question: Would you consider a non-compliant diabetic as committing suicide?

I brought this up with my psychiatrist today.

Shrink: “Have you felt suicidal in the past two weeks?”

Me: “I have an autoimmune disease, no matter if my mind wants to or not, my body is constantly trying to commit suicide.”

Shrink:”So, is that a yes or a no?”

As a child I rebelled against my diabetes. I knew how to take care of myself and I knew damn well what would happen if I didn’t. But I didn’t take care of myself anyway. As a result I was constantly bombarded by my family and doctors with comments such as:

“You know you’re just committing very slow suicide, don’t you?”

I knew, and I did it anyway.

Many times in my life I have been so frustrated with trying to get it right, trying to get it under control, but not seeing any positive results. I would get burnt out and I would think things like, “What’s the use, why try? I just keep failing.” I would want to just give up. I would want to live like a “normal” person and eat what, when, and how much I want! Not check my BG, not take medication or insulin.

DAMN THE CONSEQUENCES!!!!!

But I would come to my senses. I would buck up and keep trying. I would say “No, no, no. I want to be healthy.”

But the past week or two I’ve found myself thinking the former, but not thinking or feeling the latter…

I told my psychiatrist:

“Last night I was laying in bed and I thought to myself, ‘I can wake up tomorrow morning and stop taking all my meds, and eat how I want, and live how I want…and I really don’t care what happens’. But of course, I woke up today and I took my meds and I did what I’m supposed to do…”

After talking about this and my past…my diagnosis story, and watching my family members die of the very same disease I have, and how it all shaped who I am and my loathing of my disease and myself… he suggested we make a treatment plan based on grief counseling. He believes my suffering is rooted in grief over not only loss of loved ones, but also of my feelings of loss of self.

I lost my identity when I was diagnosed. Everything changed in that moment, more than I ever knew. I was ripped away from me, and I had no idea who I was anymore. I didn’t like who I was now.

It makes perfect sense to me.

 

The Transformation

I’ve lived with anxiety and depression for just about my entire life. The first half of my life I didn’t know there was anything wrong. This was how I always was, I thought it was normal. Isn’t it like this for everyone?

I was going through my old papers from childhood. I came across a psychiatric evaluation done on me not long after my type 1 diabetes diagnosis (9 years old). My grades were not so good in school, so I was evaluated for learning disabilities and emotional problems, etc.. On the form I was described as exhibiting anger, frustration, anxiety, and depression.

This was all chalked up to emotional trauma due to my recent diagnosis and extremely high blood sugars.

But in reality I had always suffered from the anxiety and depression, it was just aggravated by the recent trauma.

When I hit puberty and my hormones decided to go haywire, things got worse. The thing about me is that I’m usually pretty good at hiding things. I could be feeling like the whole world is caving in on me,but on the outside I’m calm and quiet, and going with the flow.

fine dog

Most nights I would lay there in bed, crying, worrying about things that didn’t even matter, beating myself up (emotionally, and physically) about how I look, my out of control diabetes, what a horrible human being I am, etc.

There were times in my teens when I almost became a cutter. I just wanted to put a visual representation to my pain. I would also beat myself as hard as I could to try to bruise myself, but, damn me! I don’t bruise easy.

In junior high and high school I ditched as often as I could. Why? Because of social anxiety. It tore me to bits on a daily basis to be around so many people and have no way to escape. I wanted to be invisible, but there I was, in the crowd, exposed for all the world to see. I almost didn’t graduate high school because I had ditched so often, they said I had missed too many days. It took some finagling between me and some teachers to get my record fixed so I could graduate.

Things seemed to get better in my twenties. I got married at 20 and my husband became a security blanket for me. When in social settings (he’s an outgoing and social guy) he could take all the attention and I could just settle in as his arm candy. The only problem here was that I eventually became so reliant on this arrangement that I would decline to go out in public unless he was with me.

78c

One thing that actually helped me was that the line of work I ended up in was retail customer service. If you really hate yourself and are self-destructive, go into customer service. It taught me how to “fake it”. You are required to be happy, outgoing, polite, and smile no matter what. I was dying inside, but I always had a smile. I did come out of my shell, though. It became easier for me to talk to people…because I was forced to. But really I just wanted to slap a bitch most of the time.

People are evil. Working in retail will teach you this valuable life lesson. Nine out of ten customers were intent on causing drama and degrading the sales associates no matter what.

Before I started working in retail I thought people were mostly decent. Then I learned the truth. People are mean, disrespectful, and greedy by nature.

I am not exaggerating or being hypersensitive here, people.

retail

My twenties were a very stressful and up and down time for me. But I thought I was strong. I thought I was dealing with the stress well. I rarely thought there might be some “problem” emotionally or psychologically with me. I thought what I was feeling and how I was thinking and acting was normal.

I did notice, though, that I was hypersensitive. Everything went to my heart and hit me hard. Everything was personal no matter what.

I got tired of this. I hated myself for feeling this way. I recognized that it was causing more trouble than I needed and I took the initiative to change my thinking in this respect. My husband helped me. I learned that not everything is meant to hurt, not everything is said to be personal. Not everything is literal or serious. It took work, but I overcame my hypersensitivity. I can actually take a joke now.

My thirties started out OK, then sunk into the pits of hell. I discovered the therapeutic qualities of tobacco and alcohol. Forget that they almost killed me; they frickin’ made me feel good!

hook

With tobacco I could relax. The anxiety would go numb for awhile and I could smile and feel my muscles relax. The alcohol would increase that feeling and also kill my inhibitions so I could talk, joke, dance, and just have a good time socially.  Life was good.

Then I ended up in the hospital having triple bypass heart surgery. After this, everything changed.

The depression and anxiety tripled over the next few years. Suddenly I couldn’t leave my house without becoming super tense and anxious. Slowly I slid further and further into depression. I knew the anxiety was bad, but I really didn’t notice the depression until nearly three years had passed.

It wasn’t until I was sleeping 15+ hours a day, eating erratically, lethargic, numb, inactive, uninterested, and not showering that I realized I needed help.

I consulted with a behaviorist and she sent me to Intensive Outpatient Program therapy. I didn’t want to go because it was group therapy and with my anxiety being mostly triggered by social things, well, you see my concern. I went, though, because I wanted to get better.

Each session I felt more at ease. The discussion part wasn’t so fun, but it did help to know that so many people have the same experiences, they go through the same struggles and symptoms. Believe it or not it was the art therapy portion that helped me the most. Just sitting and coloring a picture set me at ease and made me feel a bit better.

After the IOP program was over I began to see a psychiatrist. I wasn’t thrilled to be put on medication, but I realized I needed more than just therapy…just a little extra help. I was already taking a low dose of depression medication to help my neropathy (leg pain) so the psychiatrist increased the dose to see if it would help my depression. And it also can help to stop anxiety symptoms before they even begin. It has been working very well for me.

The past couple of weeks have been extremely stressful for me and let me tell you I haven’t had any unbearable anxiety at all! It’s there, but it’s so mild I can just ignore it. And I have no depression at all!

I. Am. Happy.

I take Cymbalta and have zero side effects. So that’s good, too.

What caused my depression and anxiety? Mostly for me it is hereditary and apparently in me it was mild at first but slowly over the years (due to diabetes and hormone changes and very traumatic life events) it got worse.

Things that contributed to the depression and anxiety getting worse in me are: type 1 diabetes (uncontrolled), PCOS (set in at puberty), Heart surgery (no idea why but it changed things), Peri-menopause (started around 36 years old).

The symptoms I’ve lived with most my life: Palpitations, trembling, shortness of breath, sense of choking, nausea, dizziness, de-realization, social phobia, agoraphobia, worry, restlessness, fatigue, anger, muscle tension, feeling worthless and helpless, hopelessness, pessimism, overeating, self-destructive behavior, noise sensitivity.

good

One point I’d like to make here is that so many people refuse to get help for anxiety and depression because of the negative stigma attached to it.

It means you’re weak. It means you’re crazy, unstable, dangerous. It can’t be cured and meds will just give you bad side effects.

None of this is true. Most of the time depression and anxiety are rooted in chemical imbalances. Depending on what triggers it, it can be cured, or at the very least controlled, with therapy and/or medications. Yes, some of the medications can come with unpleasant side effects, but now days there are many to choose from and your doctor will help you find one that works well for you.

 

Talking About Nothing

I’ve been wanting to write for several days now, but there really isn’t too much diabetes wise to talk about lately. But since I am in such a writing mood I guess I’ll just type and see what comes out.

This past Friday and Saturday were kind of tough and frustrating. My gastroparesis decided to flare up pretty bad. I would bolus for food, eat, and then less than an hour later bottom out. I would pop some glucose tabs to treat the low and then end up outrageously high a couple hours later. Why? Because my tummy wasn’t digesting!

Then I would vomit about nine hours later, totally undigested food.

GAH!!!!!

Other than that I’ve been doing OK. I’m still struggling with increased anxiety. And my depression is kind of working in waves at the moment.

I’m super anxious because our move into the “bad” house is just around the corner. Everyone keeps telling me things like, “just keep your eye on the big picture. This is all for a good reason.” and, “Just think about the good things, make the best of it.”

Yeah, right, that’s much easier said than done. Happy thoughts only work a tiny bit for me. I’ve been in these exact same living arrangements before and they lead me to a nervous breakdown, so don’t blame me for being super worried it might happen again.

On a happy note, I’ve been getting a lot more exercise lately. And also going outside. I’ve been walking so much that I wore out a pair of shoes! It’s all really helping my depression, but my BG’s and weight are still being stubborn.

Give it time, I guess. 🙂

I’m regaining my interest in hobbies my depression had squashed for awhile. I’m reading, crocheting, and cooking more again. 🙂

I had an appointment with my endocrinologist yesterday but there’s really nothing to report that I haven’t already discussed in this or previous posts.

I’m supposed to get an appointment to start one-on-one counseling for my anxiety and depression but I keep playing phone tag with the scheduling nurse.

Patience…

All-in-all I’m feeling a lot better. It’s always going to be a struggle, but I’m learning new ways to cope now.

 

 

The Thought Of Anxiety Pills Makes Me Anxious

I recently got blood work done. I love how it takes so little time to get results. I got the labs drawn and within less than 48 hours I have the results. I remember when I had to wait nearly a month for results!

I’m happy to report I do not have Celiac. So now I’m pretty sure my chronic nausea and vomiting are related to my anxiety. But who knows. I’ve just about given up on trying to figure some things out.

My A1c has gone up from 7.4 to 8.0.  I am actually a bit relieved because I was expecting it to have gone much higher. The rise is due to severe depression that caused me to not do anything to care for myself, including my diabetes. Quite literally for nearly three months. Many, many very high numbers as a result.

I had an appointment with a psychiatrist today. This was my second visit with her, but my first real visit as the first time was just a consult. We talked about how I’ve been feeling, what symptoms I’m experiencing from depression and anxiety.

I explained to her that I didn’t fill the Lorazepam prescription because the thought of it possibly becoming addictive scares me (increases my anxiety). She explained that she is very careful with patients over the addictive nature of Lorazepam and that as long as I take it as directed I shouldn’t have a problem.

She increased my Cymbalta from 20mg to 40mg. I’m hoping this helps both with depression and anxiety.

We spent some time talking about my isolating and being unwilling to leave my house. She seemed concerned about this problem. She asked me if I am seeing a counselor. I said no. She put in a referral to one.

My husband was there with me at this appointment. He stayed quiet most of the time but did chime in to let the doctor know that when I say I am reluctant to leave my home I really mean it.

“I’ll encourage her to go out with me, like, ‘let’s go grocery shopping.’ and she’s very adamant when she says no. Sometimes she gets on the verge of being mad when I ask her.”

I’m glad he went with me. I’m glad he cares and wants to be a part of my health care.

Well, we’ll see how the meds and counseling work out.

The Diabetic and Anxiety and Depression

Over the past few weeks I’ve posted about my struggles with depression and anxiety and how they both recently got bad enough that I needed to get professional help. I’ve  had many, many supportive comments. I’ve gotten zero malicious comments. I’ve also gotten some questions I would like to answer/address here.

“What does depression and anxiety have to do with type 1 diabetes?”

Type 1 diabetes isn’t as simple as your pancreas just no longer produces insulin. No, no, it’s that and a whole lot more. In as simple terms as I can to explain it, type 1 infiltrates your entire body, it literally has an effect on every single function, tissue, cell, hormone, chemical…EVERYTHING. This is why it is so important to take as good care of yourself as you can, to keep everything in line, in balance.

It can, and often does, throw your hormones and chemical balances all out of whack, and this can cause clinical depression and anxiety. Most of the time the diabetic can bring themselves back into balance through natural means such as diet, exercise, BG control, engaging in happy activities, etc.. But sometimes it can get bad enough that professional help may be in order.

From another viewpoint, Diabetes (all types) is a never ending job. You get zero breaks from the constant balancing act, zero respite from calculations, BG checks, medications, diet, exercise, doctor visits… literally everything you do in life must have diabetes considered in the mix. Just going to bed at night is a preparation, “Is my BG OK for sleep?”, “Do I need a snack or insulin?”, “Did I take my pills?”, “Do I need to set an alarm to wake me in the middle of the night to check on things?”, etc.

As you can see, this constant, unrelenting work can cause a lot of exhaustion, anxiety, frustration (when things don’t go as planned, etc.), depression.

There’s a lot more to it (I could write a book) but I think (hope) I hit the point.

“Have you always struggled with depression and anxiety?”

Yes and no. If I think back to my earliest memories I can remember anxiety as young as five years old. Depression? I don’t think that started until I was somewhere between 9 and 11 years old (I was diagnosed with type 1 at 8).

My depression and anxiety were never so bad that I couldn’t function in life. They didn’t interfere much. But there were times I did struggle more than others, like in school I can say my grades were low on occasion, probably because of depression and anxiety. Also, from 8th grade through to high school graduation, I ditched, a lot. Why? Because of social anxiety, I hated being around people, it made me profoundly uncomfortable. I just wanted to stay home.

There was one time that the depression and anxiety exploded into a nervous breakdown and made me seriously consider suicide. I can’t tell you all of the details, but I can give you the rundown. It was 2006, my husband and I had been living in pretty bad living arrangements for about five years. The original plan had been to put up with the stressful arrangements for a couple years until we were able to get our own, nice, place. Well, that hadn’t happened and things were spiraling out of control for me. My anxiety was through the roof on a daily basis and finally one day I just erupted. I went into a fit of rage, destroying everything in my bedroom, then I sunk into a chair, crying and hyperventilating. I noticed one of my husbands swords and I sat there, seriously wondering if I was strong enough to fall on it, thrust it through my heart, because I just couldn’t live like this anymore. (I still feel anxiety symptoms just remembering this day).

Then I came to my senses, I knew I had to get out of there, I had to separate myself from the problem. So I did, and things got better. My husband and I got a place within a month and all was fine, not perfect, but back to a manageable level of stress for me.

In 2013 I had open heart surgery. this seems to be the beginning of a new chapter in my life. This was when, health wise, everything just began to fall apart. I had the heart surgery, which went very well, then I began a journey of four eye surgeries for retinopathy. At this time my peripheral neuropathy became unbearably painful. Soon after I began to suffer more symptoms of gastroparesis. In 2015 I was diagnosed with PCOS. I gained a lot of weight and no matter how hard I tried I just couldn’t lose any. I lost my driver license, I quit my job…

All of this just fed my anxiety and depression. I became a hermit, never leaving my house unless I had no choice. I fell into a deep depression, not taking care of my house or diabetes, not showering, sleeping 15 hours a day…it was bad.

I realized I needed help. I got it. Now things are getting better.

Symptoms of anxiety:

*There are many types of anxiety and depression. They can manifest differently in each individual person. If you suspect you may have a problem with anxiety and/or depression, consult your doctor.*

Sudden overwhelming fear/panic

palpitations, fast heartbeat

shortness of breath

sweating

trembling

sense of choking, throat tightening

Chest pain, chest tightening

nausea/vomiting

dizziness

numbness/tingling

chills/hot flashes

Sense of being detached from the world (de-realization)

fear of dying

excessive worry/tension

unrealistic/exaggerated view of problems

restlessness/edginess

irritability

muscle tension

headaches

Difficulty concentrating

frequent use of the restroom

tiredness/fatigue

Trouble falling or staying asleep

easily startled

avoidance (of things that trigger your anxiety)

Symptoms of depression:

difficulty concentrating/remembering/making decisions

tiredness/fatigue

feelings of guilt/worthlessness/hopelessness

pessimism

insomnia or excessive sleeping

irritability/restlessness

loss of interest in activities once enjoyable

overeating or loss of appetite

persistent aches, pains, GI troubles, cramps, that do not respond to treatment

sad, anxious, or empty feelings

thoughts of suicide/suicide attempts

 

Being depressed or anxious does not make you weak, crazy, or any stereotypical (and very wrong)assumptions people have made throughout time. Anyone can become depressed or suffer anxiety, these are chemical imbalances, medical conditions.

Do not be ashamed or embarrassed if you have depression and/or anxiety. Do not avoid seeking help.

It can and will get better.