Saturday, July 03, 2004

Mental Illness

O.K. Vadergrrrl opened the can of worms first. Vadergrrl has clinical depression. Her site was inundated with sympathy from her readers and confessions from fellow bloggers who suffered from similar conditions. My husband suffers from depression/bipolar. When his first episode happened we really didn't know what it was all about. Normally a positive type, he would sit at the kitchen table and deteriorate right in front of my eyes. We had two young kids to take care of so I didn't really have time for a man who I thought was feeling sorry for himself. Personally, I thought that this might be the culmination of years of drinking too much, and I was almost glad it was happening. Maybe now he would pull himself together and stop drinking.I thought that he should be able to do this because after all, I have been depressed from time to time but always talked myself back to normalacy. He should be able to do so too if he were any kind of a man. For about 6 months he functioned on this "subsistence" level then went to see a psychiatrist.
He returned with prozac. The psychiatrist wanted to talk to me too, so I went to his next appointment. It was a good thing I went, even 'tho I still thought my husband was "faking" it, after all, he was still making money, going out with friends, golfing, sex. I just didn't know how hard it was for him to do all these normal everyday activities (except for the sex part, that seemed to be the only area of his life that worked well). Over the the next few years,I learned about clinical depression - medications, seratonin, dopamine, histamine, and all the other brain chemicals and their functions. It's a damn good thing too, because if I had know what was in store for us down the road, I would have taken all those pills myself. I would need all the knowledge and experience I could get helping someone with a mental illness because in 1998, my beautiful 18 year old boy was afflicted with schizophrenia. Now I know what Hell is. Get better Vadergrrl and everyone else suffering from depression, bi-polar, and the vast array of mental illness out there. Love to all and Keep on Truckin'



At 1:40 PM, Blogger Aimee said...

Wow. I'm sorry about your son, but at least he has a strong Momma. And smart.
I've started answering your question about how my Ron Jeremy-esque ex and my baby's father are not the same man. It's a long story, I've only just started. Maybe I'll talk about the seratonin, dopamine, etc. in my posts, too. Or maybe I'll leave that part for later. Color commentary, if you will.
Thanks for sharing with us!

At 2:41 PM, Blogger Jamie said...

And you think my life is hard to deal with. You are a rare person who can have so much to deal with and yet worry about every other person. I bet as a child, you were the one who took in the hurt baby rabbits the cat would bring? I bet they even survived with you around.

At 5:15 PM, Blogger Maddy said...

Thank you both Aimee and Jamie. On the contrary, no one can handle everything. Even with supportive friends. I guess I expected my husband to be 100% there but he couldn't. Everyone handles lifes stresses differently, That I learned the hard way and I am still learning. Jamie, funny that you would zero in like you did. I was the self appointed caregiver as a child, for complicated reasons to be discussed another time maybe.

At 10:39 PM, Blogger AJ said...

You're right Maddy, no one can handle everything, but you seem to do it better than most. You are a tower of strength, a pillar of our blog community and we are all the richer for knowing you.


At 4:16 AM, Blogger jakethelad said...

Thanks Maddy for your blog. I felt a tear coming to my eye. I know that won't help you or anyone but it will let you know that I am touched and thinking of you. I hope that my words and the words of your other blog-friends makes a difference.
I work in a psychiatric hospital (I'm an Engineer) and I empathise. Cheers.

At 5:37 AM, Blogger Maddy said...

Jeeze you guys!

At 6:20 AM, Blogger jakethelad said...

Just read Ester's blog and seems you may come to Australia in Feb. If you're in Perth you must come and see me!!

At 11:04 AM, Blogger Maddy said...

Jake I read all your stories a few days ago and made a comment but accidentally deleted it. Gooood stories. Yes, we are really looking forwart to the trip and yes, if we can, I will come.

At 6:03 AM, Blogger Esther said...

My brother went through something like this. Only difference is that he would go sit in the garden at night, listen to Leonard Cohen, with his gun. It was not fun. He's mostly over it now, but still has bad days from time to time. It has such a huge impact on his kids

At 6:33 AM, Blogger Maddy said...

Sorry about your brother Esther, yes mental illness of a loved one affects the whole extended family. I hope your brother's kids are receiving some support. It's important that everyone in the family educate themselves about the illness. It helps.

At 4:11 AM, Blogger Esther said...

Maddy, his son has been to a therapist, but everything is just so expensive and medical aids don't cover this type of thing. Weird


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