high functioning depression, dysmythia, persistent depression disorder, mental health

Alexis & Her High-Functioning Depression

Content Warning: Depression, Suicide, all-around bad times.

Samaritans: 116 123 (free)

Mind

This post was written during a bad day. I’ve returned to this post after a few days, when I’m in a good mindset and I’ve decided to keep everything in. That’s what I felt at the time and I’m not going to hide it.

I get up at 7:30, sometimes 7:35 and make breakfast of own brand Weetabix and coffee. I sit downstairs and watch Good Morning Britain, even though I know it’s the television equivalent of The Sun and makes me want to throw my remote at Piers Morgan’s face. If it’s a particularly good day, I’ll put on some foundation and mascara. I get dressed, check I have everything for the day; phone, headphones, purse, lunch and keys. Quite regularly I forget either my lunch/phone/headphones. I leave for work and get the train. I have a cigarette when I get to my destination. I go to work and say morning to everyone with a smile on my face. I talk a lot through the day to my colleagues, absolute nonsense just to fill the time. “Is a mat just a small rug, and is a rug just a small carpet?”

I come home and on Mondays and Wednesdays, I will and will myself to go to the gym. I go 7/10 times. Other days, Tuesday and Friday I get in, sit in my same spot, even though there are four other spaces, watch telly and pick up my knitting/crochet. That’s it. That’s me for the night unless I can muster up the motivation to chop some potatoes and throw them and some frozen sausages in my Actifryer. I make plans to have a really nice bath, shave head to toe and slather myself in moisturiser. In reality, I just lay there for an hour, either reading or on my phone until I quickly wash my hair.  I’m in bed by 9:00pm/9:30pm and if it’s 10:00pm, I consider it a late one.

high functioning depression, dysmythia, persistent depression disorder, mental health

Business in the front, crippling anxiety in the back.

This is my day, every day. I have a love/hate relationship with weekends. If I have plans, it’s great, I have stuff to do and I get to it. If I don’t have any plans, which is more often than not, I sit all day and knit/crochet and occasionally get up for a cigarette. Most times I do the washing up and hoover the floor. Pretty much every weekend I’ll even get some clothes washing done.

I have clinical medical depression and, I stress that this is self-diagnosed, I also have high-functioning depression. I am able to get up and do what I need to do to get by and lead a relatively normal life. However, the whole entire time in my head, my brain is working ten to the dozen.

High-functioning depression, officially called Persistent Depressive Disorder, or Dysmythia is, according to the Diagnostic And Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5th Edition (DSM 5), is a mental health disorder characterized by:

“Depressed mood for most of the day, for more days than not, as indicated by either subjective account or observation by others, for at least two years,” and includes the presence of two or more of the following symptoms, “Poor appetite or overeating; insomnia or hypersomnia; low energy or fatigue; low self-esteem; poor concentration or difficulty making decisions; feelings of hopelessness.”

Every day feels like a battle in my head; telling myself to get the fuck up, to make an effort in appearance, to have the confidence to know what to do at work and so on. I love my job because it gives me a routine, a purpose to get out of bed. That’s why on days like today, a bank holiday, I hate it. It’s like I’m in a cell in my mind and my home is an open prison that I can wander around in. In really down days, like today, it’s like I’ve been put in isolation and my guard is my anxiety, manifesting itself in intrusive and obsessive horrible thoughts. These thoughts include:

  • Reliving the day my mum died.
  • Reliving my mum’s funeral.
  • Reliving times when my mum was ill and the difficulties we had in her care/wellbeing.
  • Feeling guilty for not missing my dad as much as my mum.
  • Reliving When a close family member left me.
  • Picturing said family member crying.
  • Feeling immense guilt that I no longer see that family member.
  • Imagine what would happen if that family member died.
  • Imagine what would happen if people I cared about died.
  • Picturing myself becoming homeless at the end of the year when my tenancy comes to an end.
  • Walking into the road.
  • What’s the longest time I could leave it to get on the tracks and get out.
  • What would happen to my things if I died?
  • How would people I know react if I died?
  • I’m going to be sacked.
  • I’m going to be in a wheelchair.
  • I’m never going to find someone who loves me just as much as I love them.
  • I’m never going to have children.
  • I’d hate my child.

All of these thoughts, all the time, going around my heads like they’re sitting on inflatable rings riding the rapids. All of these thoughts and I still get up at 7:30/7:35am and make my breakfast.

This is an honest depiction of how I’ve been feeling and can be feeling. It isn’t anyone else’s responsibility to “reach out” or be there for a chat. It won’t change things. If you saw me in the street and asked me how are things, I’d say “okay”, with a smile on my face, because they are. When I have a good streak of days, it’ll mean that for most of the day I’ll be joking, dancing at my desk even. You would never know that for the last half hour I’ve been thinking about a bad dream I had over a year ago.

I get good days when things are just alright. And I get absolute black cloud days when I just want to step out of existence. I yearn for the day to end so I can just go to bed and get it over with. But I know that I’m just going to wake up and it will be the same.

Unless the next time I wake up, it’s a good day and I get up at 7:15am.

 

 

I want to say that I have absolutely no intentions of harming myself or anyone else. I just want to be 100% honest and not censor the blunt reality of depression.

 

One thought on “Alexis & Her High-Functioning Depression

  1. Lisa Barton-Bates says:

    Hi Alexis sweetheart,
    Firstly, well done for being so brave and writing this down.
    Secondly, you should be so proud of yourself for all that you achieve every single day.
    I won’t bore you by telling you that I have the same diagnosed condition.
    I will tell you that you are so strong. I’ve given up working in my office because it’s too hard to pretend.
    I work from home on/in my bed where it’s safe.
    Unfortunately this also acts as a crutch to my madness (as I call it). The more time I spend isolated in my room, the more time I want in my room.
    I have no physical energy but my brain! I wish I could somehow transfer the energy that the thoughts must generate by whizzing around like a waltzer constantly into physical energy.
    Although maybe because the thoughts are so destructive maybe that wouldn’t be such a good idea.
    Anyway I’ve gone off on a tangent!
    I wanted to say that you are loved and you are special. You have great qualities, your compassion, empathy to mention just two.
    If ever you want to reach out to someone who can understand I’m here for you sweetheart. Always call me if you want to/need to.

    Lots of love
    Lisa
    XxX

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