I think it’s time to stop taking PROZAC!
Maybe I need Lithium instead of Prozac. Can you distinguish between a genuine cry for help and a plea for attention. Can anyone relate to any of this? Or does a person also have to be just as crazy to figure this all out. First of all, this is not what we call, a pity party. To sit here and write about my own experiences is not trying to pry pity from uncaring hearts.
People do care. Give them the proper information and education and people will be compassionate, and direct their pity to merciful actions, especially when it involves family members and children starving in Africa.
When people are properly informed, they begin to understand and do care, feel pity, express mercy. Uninformed people tend to think in negative terms because they ARE uninformed.
This is also NOT some kind of “blame game”, and if it is an indictment of anything, it’s the destructive forces of mental instability, illness, and the associated human weaknesses that stand guilty as charged.
For sure, by sharing my experiences, it is NOT a device to blame anyone, i.e., to put a person on a “guilt trip” about anything. By sharing my own experiences, my sole intent here is to bring awareness to these various types of debilitating mental conditions that wreak havoc on our lives, and the lives of our loved ones and friends.
Through open and honest sharing, we all can possibly bring hope to the those afflicted or victimized. Rather than just giving up, I choose to write about my own experiences, not just for the personal therapy that writing gives me, but the sharing of the positive steps a person can take to not only cope, but to succeed in helping others that desperately need help.
I feel great when someone, especially a veteran, writes and tells me that my writing has somehow inspired them to write, which in turn has helped them in a positive way with their particular condition or affliction.
How does a person tell the difference between someone “begging for attention”, and a genuine cry for help? Is there a difference? Ask the thousands of people who suffered from various mental disorders who were ignored until their untimely death every year.
It’s especially difficult for the mentally challenged when those who seemingly are close, like our parents or adult children, are in fact, the farthest away from the reality and effect that mental disorders can have on families.
You can rationalize your ignorance by assuming that the person who is suffering is just selfishly seeking attention, or you can expand your understanding and unselfishly try to help the son, the daughter, the mother, the father, the wife or the husband receive not only understanding, but also the care and treatment that they deserve.
Whether you are a returning combat veteran suffering from PTSD, a young mother with postpartum depression, a teenager with a traumatic brain injury from an accident or from playing sports, or a grandfather like myself who has suffered from a stroke or two, or three, they all deserve to be heard for what they feel is NOT a request for “attention”, but a genuine cry out for help.
Look up the words, “Help” and “Helpfulness” and “Helplessness”. One of these three words is the cruelest, most vicious attribute of depression. Personally, I have had three small strokes. The last one a little more severe than the first two strokes. Therapy has helped, but revealed a few things that require attention.
I have been told that my strokes may have exacerbated or perhaps had a causal effect on my recently diagnosed Bi-Polar II, and Hypomania condition. It’s quite possible that I have had these conditions for many years, although I think the real problems started in July 2015 when I had my last stroke.
I also believe that there were incidences in my early childhood that for sure caused PTSD-like symptoms, which in turn contributed to my depression. The latest episode on the downer side of things is directly related to my inability to be closer to my two adult children and my grandson.
I gave it a good try at the end of 2016 and turned on the spigot of depression that led to this essay. Do good things come in shitty packaging? Sometimes. I turn my negatives into positives when I can, like writing about it right now.
On the sunnier side of the pasture, over the past year, the frequent bouts of Hypomania have become an interesting partner-in-crime to my creative writing experience.
Bottom line for me? Regardless of my particular station in life, I have always loved my children and sought to influence their lives in a positive way. It is human nature that we love our children. The difference between our species and the animal kingdom, is our ability to never forget that human kind of love.
Along with that human kind of love, ignorance of someone’s suffering can be felt or experienced as a complete and utter lack of love, if you are the one doing the suffering.
Of course we are loved, but our depression or other expressions of our illness can masquerade as happy go lucky, and even comedy as in the case of people like Robin Williams, sometimes so convincingly, that the real suffering is also, sadly, masked.
Are we, as a species capable of being so ignorant of each others suffering that we, in effect, are only capable of love under our own “Terms & Conditions” i.e., love me my way, or the highway? In other words, love that wants to be left alone, that says don’t call me, I’ll call you, and totally ignores, or just cannot see or hear the cries for help, are basically saying to the afflicted, “Good luck, have a nice rest of your life”.
Depression can be a mask for what appears to be selfishness as well. Our loved ones see what they think is our selfishness, when in fact it is the opposite. In it’s disguise, our depression runs amok like a wild bull in a china shop.
Why? Because what others think is selfish and unloving expression is really depression and thoughts of rejection, feelings of inadequacy, and everything else that the suffering ones may feel. Heaven forbid that everyone else is ALSO suffering to the point that no one gets the help they need.
The love that is inborn as a trait of our species is still there, but we also have the ability to ignore that love and reserve it strictly for those things and people that we selfishly feel deserve that love, i.e., what we personally can handle, or have time for at the moment. That should not be considered a fault by others, when in effect, it is a protective device our souls throw up.
This is especially true for any closely related people that also suffer from some type of mental imbalance. If you are suffering from PTSD or another type of impairment, it’s a rock and a hard place to receive, or expect help from a spouse that is suffering unknowingly from postpartum depression or some other affliction such as a bi-polar condition.
If you both can recognize that, together you can seek professional help knowing that you desire that help for each other, and for the good of your relationship. That’s a good thing folks.
Recognizing that our spouse, child, or parent needs help and understanding as much as ourselves, at the very least should equate to understanding, forgiveness if needed, and a desire to help the other person.
It’s not about “guilt trips”. I love my children, and wish them all the best. I think I might be capable of fighting this illness without their help, and hope that they will be more understanding in case I’m not (here’s where the supposed guilt trip comes in).
As a parent, we would rather not be a hindrance or burden on our children, so we try to “self-treat” ourselves as much as we can. Likewise, it is normal for an adult to feel that they can live their life without being a burden on their parents as well.
Therapy has helped me. My kids always agreed with me that I needed professional help. Maybe a drug like Lithium or some other mood stabilizer will help. Although my recent experiences in Southern California were not what I expected or hoped for, I will still try to remain the Poster Boy for Good Karma, and strive to treat others as I wish to be treated.
Of course my writing is speaking to me. Is it helping? I believe so. Will it speak to my family and friends in a positive fashion? I hope so. Will it encourage someone to seek help for a loved one? I believe so.
For those of you who are suffering, don’t just write a note and pull the trigger. Write your story. Share it with others. It will help you appreciate life and it WILL help others understand and appreciate the life you are trying to live. Artistic? Buy a pre-stretched canvas and some paint. Musically inclined? Write a song. In other words, CREATE something that no one has ever created before, and share it.
For those of you that don’t quite understand why your spouse, child or parent is acting the way they do, educate yourself. Listen to them when they DO share. Open up your heart to that truly unselfish love that will seek answers instead of excuses.
It’s not a pity party. It’s understanding that you’re not alone in that foxhole, that someone will have your back, and that you have theirs.
Change the negatives in your life into positives. If you recognize that you need help, or a loved one or friend recommends that you seek help, do it, get it, and grow through it.
“DO it! Get It! And GROW through it! – T. C. Saxe
If after reading this post, you get the sudden urge to psychoanalyze me, that’s OK, as long as you psychoanalyze yourself first, Hahahahahahahaha!
Here’s one of the most important letters I have ever written to someone. Please follow this link. If you don’t mind, please share the following page after reading:
Strain: GrandpasBellyButtonLint harvested 12/02/2016
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