Depression Marathon Blog

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Diagnosed with depression 17 years ago, I lost the life I once knew, but in the process re-created a better me. I am alive and functional today because of my dog, my treatment team, my sobriety, and my willingness to re-create myself within the confines of this illness. I hate the illness, but I'm grateful for the person I've become and the opportunities I've seized because of it. I hope writing a depression blog will reduce stigma and improve the understanding and treatment of people with mental illness. All original content copyright to me: etta. Enjoy your visit!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Suicide, depression & substance abuse highest in gay & lesbian teens with rejecting parents

I was tempted to title this post, "Suicide, depression & substance abuse highest in gay & lesbian teens with rejecting parents...No shit!" We've known for a while that gay and lesbian teens and young adults are more likely to kill themselves. According to a recently released study in the journal Pediatrics, we now know that gay and lesbian teens and young adults with unaccepting or unsupportive parents are 8.5 times more likely to attempt suicide. The following is from National Public Radio:

They found that kids who, by Ryan's measure, experienced high levels of rejection were nearly 8.5 times more likely to have attempted suicide. They were nearly six times more likely to report high levels of depression and almost 3.5 times more likely to use illegal drugs or engage in unprotected sex. That was compared with adolescents whose families may have felt uncomfortable with a gay kid, but were neutral or only mildly rejecting.

"A little bit of change in rejecting behavior, being a little bit more accepting," says lead researcher Caitlin Ryan, "can make a significant difference in the child's health and mental health."

Parents out there, please take note...please. Shaming or rejecting behavior, whether in regard to sexuality, mental health, or substance abuse, will not change your children. It may, however, cost them their lives.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

breathlessness, fatigue and noise

i'm in that space where everything is difficult. getting out of bed, going to bed, sleeping, staying awake, exercising, or sitting around. no matter what i do, it's hard, and slow, and confusing.

this morning, i awoke early and couldn't get back to sleep, so i thought i'd swim. i made it to the pool, but by the time i swam a couple laps, i wasn't going to happen today. and it didn't. i had a plan. i had to revise the plan again, and again, and again before finally giving in to the breathlessness and fatigue.

breathlessness, fatigue...everything takes longer in this icky space. showering, laundry, deciding... it's like my brain has to swim thru a morass of molasses before a thought is released. writing...this is a chore.

tears. no reason. just tears.
every emotion is heightened. every irritation more irritating. every stressor more stressful. every comment or reaction more personal. i can't seem to seperate myself from the world. it's all coming in all the time. i can't filter or sort. i'm overwhelmed because everything gets in. every input initiates reaction, and it's all personal to me. i'm not routinely aware of how much stimuli i filter just to move thru my day. i'm aware now, because my filters are gone. there is no gate. there is no halt. it's all in all the time, and i'm extremely overwhelmed.

breathlessness, fatigue, and's loud without filters. i can't make a decision, because i can't sort the true from the false, the important from the unimportant. it all gets thru so my brain treats every bit as necessary information. but it's's not all necessary. a lot of it is just noise.

it's loud in my head without filters, and the noise wears me out. i'm so tired. i'm so tired of the noise. i'm so tired of the confusion. i don't know where to go. i don't know what to do. i can't even explain how i feel, because it's too loud. it's too loud in my head.

i'm tired.
and discouraged.
and i don't want to go on