Last year, I went through a break up (which I am happy to state has now been reconciled), but I found it very difficult to cope during that time. I felt what is described as symptoms of depression. As a child I endured several traumatic experiences, and had remained quite strong and optimistic during most of my hardships. I always perceived difficult times to be an opportunity for growth. This time was different.
It was difficult for me to understand how I had put so much love and effort into my relationship only for it to fall apart. It didn’t help that my partner, who has her own insecurities, was not being very kind to me. She has since sought help with her anxieties which has improved our relationship and her general well-being exponentially. As much as the people in my life were blaming her for the issues in our relationship, I didn’t blamed her entirely. I couldn’t avoid my need to take responsibility and it was greatly affecting my mental health.
I decided to go to my doctor and discuss taking anti-depressants. He suggested that was a good idea considering my physical symptoms and suggested I was experiencing ‘situational depression’ as opposed to clinical depression. At the time I simply took his word for it and started on the anti-depressants that day. They were really helpful, and I continued using them for the six months he advised. Coincidentally, that six month period ended at the same time my partner and I were rebuilding our relationship and I was moving back to our home. This has all been happening over the past few months.
I went through an intense emotional response about where my life is at and where I felt I should be at this point etc. I considered a whole bunch of mental health issues that I could potentially have. I was looking into Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) and Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) because both of my parents have NPD and my mother also has BPD. I found a psychology website that offers online testing of certain mental health disorders and apparently I have none of the disorders I tested for. In the last session with my psychologist, she also confirmed that I didn’t have these disorders.
Considering who I am as a person, it’s a little ridiculous that I considered those specific disorders. But I do believe I am unusually sensitive at times. In discussing/ writing about the difficulties I’ve had letting go of my old apartment and moving back with my partner in the next city from where I’ve grown up and moved back to last year, I’m noticing there is a pattern for my psychological well-being. It’s a pattern that directly relates to my doctors suggestion of situational depression.
The more grounded my life becomes, the more difficulty I have letting go of things that aren’t working out. When everything was up in the air as a child, teenager, and young adult, I found it quite easy to adapt and seek out potential in difficulties. It just hasn’t remained that way as I establish more stability in my life. For me, this experience is something like ‘the more you have, the more you have to lose’. And what I didn’t realise is that situational depression is also known as adjustment disorder.
Adjustment disorder has quite a few signs and symptoms. According to DSM5 these symptoms include- Sadness; Hopelessness; Lack of enjoyment; Crying spells; Nervousness; Anxiety; Worry; Desperation; Trouble sleeping; Difficulty concentrating; Feeling overwhelmed and thoughts of suicide; Reckless driving; Ignoring important tasks such as bills or homework; Avoiding family or friends; Performing poorly in school/work; Skipping school/work. I have to say that I can relate to several of these symptoms.
I’ve booked an appointment with my psychologist for next week and plan to discuss this with her. Part of me feels that I might just be seeking a medical explanation for regular issues, but a bigger part of me feels that I need to find out more. I’m not diagnosing myself with adjustment disorder. I just want to be open to this as an explanation for how I’ve been feeling in the chance that I will better understand why huge life changes are having such a dramatic effect on me. I also forgot to mention to my psychologist that my doctor suggested situational depression (LOL)… so it’ll be good to have her opinion.
Warm regards, xxx