Category Archives: college

Looking Back at Life (1/22/2011) – Chemical Imbalances

I look back at how bad my depression was over the last few years … in a previous online journal I had a post from January 22, 2011 at 6:28pm that simply stated:

The first two weeks of school have gone pretty good.

I need to die though.

Two sentences.  Nothing else.

My depression was so bad, that even though my first two weeks of college (actually the last semester of my senior year) had been fine, I still felt the need to die.  This was the year that my mental illness became extremely severe.  This entry was posted a week after my first psychiatric hospitalization. Prior to my second hospitalization, which would result in me abruptly dropping out of school (on the semester I should have graduated) and deciding I wanted nothing to do with graduating as I had no reason to believe I would live any longer.  And if I did indeed live, I did not need school.  I wanted no degree from the college I was going to, I hated my college at the time, and I wanted nothing from them at all.  I was much to amazing to have a college degree (woohoo bipolar delusions and suicidal ideations and reckless decisions).  I did go back and get my degree though, although I am not using it at all thanks to my wonderful hospitalizations and instability.

It is amazing how set I was on death though.  I had been depressed so much of my life, but this was the breaking point for me.  How can we see that things are good, but still want death so much?   The chemical imbalances in our brain and how they work are so –weird!

People ask me all the time why I am depressed.  Which I hate by the way.  I don’t know.  Things can be going fine in my life, and I am just depressed.  Which obviously this entry from 3.5 years ago shows — it seemed like things were fine, but I still was determined that I needed to die.  The chemical imbalance in my brain was just completely off!  That is how bipolar works, that is how major depressive disorder works, and schizoaffective, schizophrenia, and a whole host of other mental illnesses.  It isn’t a simple switch that I can turn on and off.

Yes, I can change my thought process, that does help.  But that alone does not fix me.  As I have mentioned before, I need my medication.  I am not someone who can go without my meds – because my diagnosis definitely is based on a huge chemical imbalance.  Working on CBT helps a lot, but only when my medication is also working.  Then I am stable enough to focus on using those technique to change my thought process too.

But — I guess, looking at this post from 2011… I also just think about how much it hurts to feel that way.  To know that you can see your life going ok but to know that you still feel the need to get out of it.  To have this deep desire to just escape.  I haven’t felt that deep desire since January 2013 luckily, my meds have been working well since then, but I still have the thoughts and desires here and there.  Not constantly though.  It was a hard.  It still is hard., but I’m learning to manage and it’s getting easier.

Good Days and Bad Days, This Blog Has Helped and Will Help Me

I used to write all the time.  I had a journal on blogger and I wrote and wrote and wrote.  I wrote about my depression, my frustrations, how much I hated life.  I would write suicide notes and good bye letters.  I wrote about how I thought suicide was ok and how those who loved me should be happy I was gone because I wasn’t in pain anymore.  I had a physical, tangible journal too that my therapist gave me, and I wrote in that periodically as well – I would scribble down any thought that came to my head, over and over again, rambling on about everything – but it was always the bad stuff.  I never counteracted any of the negative thoughts with good things.  I never put any positive self talk in there or reminded myself about what was going on that was good.

I couldn’t see anything good around me – at all.  There was good stuff though.  My siblings cared a lot about me.  I live no where near them, we are all in different states.  We don’t even talk very much, but when we do, I can cry and let all my emotions out and they listen and understand.  Each day, I have food and an apartment to stay in.  Sure, I struggle to pay the bills and have food to eat — but I have it.  There was a time in my life, that I basically was kicked out of my apartment and had to move back home or be homeless, and I attempted suicide because of it.  I did not want to live with my mom.  Now, I have those things.  I have to think about that.  I have a mental health team, I am able to have my medicine.  I hate taking medicine, but it makes me stable.  There were times I couldn’t pay for my medicine – now I can and it is works fairly well.  I have struggled incredibly hard to find a good therapist and psychiatrist, but I have those now.  I have a team that wants me to get better.  There are good things in my life.  I may think that life is horrible and miserable, but not everything is working against me like it may seem.

I started this blog because I was so focused on the negatives in my other blog.  WordPress is a really active community and I wanted to be able to be involved with interacting with others.  I wanted to discuss mental health issues.  I wanted to be involved with reading about other interests of mine.  I wanted to focus on positives.

I still have horrible days.  Just two weeks ago (or something like that), I broke down.  I called the crisis line and then a day later called my dad and about went to the psych hospital.  I thought I was going to kill myself.  Life isn’t perfect for me.  My days can still get really shitty.  I still get super depressed.  But, I want to help people.  And writing on here has helped me feel better.  And talking with others on here has helped me feel better.  Connecting with others that are going through the same thing, knowing I am not alone.

I’m going to eventually have the posts where I am hating life again, but I am hoping that those are few and far between.  I’m sure starting grad school is going to make them happen a lot more frequently – bringing back memories related to my sexual abuse and rape.  My PTSD is going to be stirred up even more than it has been lately with therapy.   I hope to use this as a way to vent still, and get my frustration out, but in a more positive way than I was on my other online blog – which was quite negative as I was simply writing out my plans for death.  Here I can just write out my thoughts and even ask for advice.

I really think that writing on here and connecting with others on here and seeing this as a support has really helped though.  I hope that it continues to do that.

Daily Prompt – Don’t Judge a Book By it’s Cover

Word Press Post A Day – Bacon and chocolate, caramel and cheddar… Is there an unorthodox food pairing you really enjoy? Share with us the weirdest combo you’re willing to admit that you like — and how you discovered it.

Don’t judge a book by it’s cover…..we are told this over and over again growing up.

Honestly, I can’t say that I really have any weird food combinations.  I like ranch dressing on things – french-fries, to dip my pizza in sometimes.  I like pancake syrup on more than pancakes like I’m ok with it getting on my eggs or bacon.  But I don’t think that’s weird — is it?  I’ve seen others do these things anyway.

But….I had a roommate in college, she had an interesting combination.  Perhaps it isn’t weird to others, but to me, it was a brand new combination!  Caramel dip and French fries!  In the dining court, we had the caramel dip for the apples…and of course French fries — she would put the two together! I was introduced to this concept on my second week of school while eating with her and some other friends.  I tried it once, it was definitely not my cup of tea (I am not sure it was any of my friends either).   It sound similar to milk shakes and French fries I guess, which is much more common and I have tried and is much more enjoyable for me – but it is a completely difference consistency and to me definitely did not taste the same at all.

I’m not really in to trying new things, so I was pretty proud that I even forced myself in to trying this crazy concoction that my roommate had devised.  Although, I wish I would have known that this one odd thing was just a preface to a whole semester of craziness and disagreements— a semester of us not getting along, a semester of arguments – because she wanted to go to bed at 8am but be awake at 3am, she wanted to change her sheets in the middle of the nights for no reason except cleaning seemed to be better at that time, she thought loose cheerios and underwear were appropriately placed on the desk (including mine), and the playstation 2 must be angled at a specific direction with the cords not wrapped around the controllers – a semester of mediations with the RA (luckily my RA was definitely on my side), a semester of mediations with the RLM (he was less biased, blah), and finally — thank goodness! – me getting to move out of that ridiculous situation!

Odd choices don’t always lead to odd people, but sometimes, just sometimes they do!

College Students Discuss Struggles with Their Mental Health

College is a time for exploration – figuring out what we believe, learning what we want to do with our lives, and meeting a lot of new people.  It can be a time of great stress too though, and when we have a mental illness this can make our adjustment to college life hard.  Sometimes, just adjusting to college in general can bring depression to the forefront.  Here are stories from students at three universities, discussing their struggles with mental illness – everything from depression and anxiety to OCD and anorexia. 

 

Leeds University Students Discuss Their Mental Health

 

University College Dublin Students Discuss Their Mental Health

 

Trinity College Dublin Students Discuss Their Mental Health