Diary of a lunatic housewife.....
“Hi, my name is Dani and I am batshit crazy.”
When I used to think of depression, I always pictured Eeyore. I imagined a person who was always complaining, always miserable, and never had any fun at all. I was sure that I didn’t have any depressed people as close friends or family, surely I would have noticed, that kind of behavior would be hard to overlook. I have to admit, because of that I really didn’t think much about it at all. Why would I, it really didn’t affect me or anyone close to me.
I really believed that, even during the time that I went pretty bonkers. It’s funny, when you go batshit crazy, you really don’t realize it at the time. What’s interesting is that most of the people around you don’t either. They know that something is wrong, but are not sure what. My mother thought I was angry at her because I didn’t want to talk. If she would have asked me, I would have just said I wasn’t in the mood. I really thought that was true. I had 2 friends that were a little more concerned with the changes they saw in me and they pushed me to see my doctor. Now, once again, in my opinion there was nothing wrong. I thought that I was a bit unhappy, totally understandable considering the events that had recently occurred, but that was all. But, they were worried and because they seldom ask me to do anything and I knew it was because they cared, I agreed to humor them and see the doctor. What a learning experience I was in for.
I go to the Veteran’s Administration (VA) Medical Center for my health care. When I called them to schedule a mental health appointment they brought me in the very next day. I wondered if I sounded completely nuts or if that was normal protocol. They also were extremely helpful and told me if I needed to come in that night, just come to the ER. That made me a bit nervous and I started to wonder if I was going to be taking a vacation in a nice soft room with no sharps allowed and wearing a hug myself jacket. I mentioned to my husband that I had an appointment because I was “stressed”. He actually asked me what had me stressed. Obviously he hadn’t noticed anything. At that point I started to think again that my friends were obviously over reacting. But, I’d given my word so I went anyway. I sat down with the psychologist and told her that I was not stressed, I was not depressed, I really didn’t think I was anything that she could do anything about….I was just unhappy. She was very nice and talked to me for a bit then asked me to answer some questions.
*Are you tired all the time?* well yes, what does that have to do with being crazy?
*Do you have problems getting motivated?* yes…I’ve just been lazy right?
*you don’t do things you used to enjoy doing* well…I just haven’t felt like it..
*Do you not feel like talking to people so much* I’ve just been in a quiet mood…
As we went on, and I had to nod to everything she asked, the song “The Night Santa Went Crazy” started running through my head …just changed a few words around and made it “The Summer Dani went Crazy”. Finally I sighed and told her I was so failing this test.
Some other symptoms of depression are:
Restlessness, irritability, or excessive crying
Persistent sad, anxious or “empty” mood
Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness, hopelessness
Weight loss or gain brought on by loss of appetite or overeating (can I just say right here that I dive for the brownies and chocolate chip cookies when I am not happy)
Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
Persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment such as headaches, digestive disorders, and chronic pain
Basically, yes, I am a confirmed, card carrying crazy. Actually her words were, “You are clinically depressed.” The crazy and nut comments are my translation of that. On one hand, suddenly this explained a lot of what had been going on with me, on the other hand…well, I had obviously lost my mind.
The VA seems to take mental health very seriously. I am convinced it’s because as former service members, if we go completely bonkers we can be more effective at taking out ourselves and/or others, and that is terrible public relations when a veteran does that. She called up to the mental health ward (which I affectionately call “the loony bin” or “the funny farm” and told scheduling that I needed the *next available* appointment with the psychiatrist. I call him “the keeper of the drugs” because his goal is to make me less crazy through the use of pharmaceuticals. I decided that was pretty ok. I really did not like coming to see the psychologist (or talky doctor) though. . She’s really nice, she is great at her job, but I just don’t like to discuss things. I have found that I am actually terrible at it. I am pretty sure that when she sees that I am scheduled to come in, she cringes and wants to bang her head against the wall in frustration. She very nicely told me that I use humor to deflect things. I can agree with that, but the humor makes it seem a little better to me, so I’m sticking with it.
I do think one of the perks to being bonkers should be that it should be an excuse for just about anything and everything.
“Officer, I know I was speeding, but you know…I’m nuts”
“I know my library book is 3 years overdue…but I’m crazy”
“I bounced a check? Well, you see, I am insane and I was in need of some major retail therapy”
It does not seem to work like this yet, I am so going to have to work on this a bit more. I had to go visit my doctors twice a week at first (it’s hard work being crazy, thank you very much…it’s like a full time job). Now I don’t have to go quite as often, my medications do pretty well and I can recognize when I am getting completely loony. It’s funny….I have a couple of friends that have recently discovered they too are nuts. After much discussion we have decided that I am “Thelma and Louise” nuts…one of our friends is “Fatal Attraction” nuts…and one is “The Shining” nuts. That’s a whole lot of crazy in one group of friends. Luckily one of my very closest friends is not insane and she attempts to keep us loons from completely going off the deep end. Not an easy job let me tell you. She is one of the most giving, kindhearted people I know. She draws people to her so I think of Mary in “There’s something about Mary” when I think of her. I so think the good thing about the crazy club (and I include Mary in this even though she is not a card carrying nut, she needs to be in it because she puts up with us) is that since we are all a different brand of crazy, we kind of balance each other out…..if we were the same kind, well that could be very bad. I can picture us all driving off a cliff….going for a stakeout…or swarming a house with axes. If you add in Mary’s influence, we’d have men following us everywhere…hmm, that doesn’t sound so bad does it?
But, the rules are…as Thelma I am not allowed to ever come up with plan A, or drive. Glenn…well she is so not allowed near kitchen knives, night vision goggles, or phones….and as for our friend Jack, she is not allowed to have any axes or other implements of destruction. That leaves Mary, and honestly, I think we all secretly wish to be more like Mary, but that is another story for another time.
If you are experiencing one or more symptoms of depression, call your doctor and make an appointment.