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Label me not

Alright, I admit I do engage in a little sucidal ideation and, yeah, I did actual try to commit suicide but despite those rather obvious points I refuse to be labeled 'Depressed'. Naturally I can spit out some impressive rationlizations...

1) Coping is not a linear process with a beginning and an end, an end that sits us in 'acceptance' for the remainder of our chronic pain existence. It is a process which fluctuates, sometimes we stick in one stage longer than another, but we will never reach a perfect state of acceptance. Thusly, while I admit to being depressed sometimes, I would hardly say all the time.

2) Migraines affect mood. So while I may be melencholy prior to a migraine, or irrationally and extremely depressed while in a full blown acute migraine... when the migraine is gone the mood is gone. I also get hypomanic before a migraine, but no one would label me manic.

So nice rationalizations. Sometimes I impress myself with my own self denial. But really and truly I deny the label for two very valid reasons. The core reasons.

1) When I was young and undiagnosed with FMS I went to a doctor and said this pain was getting to me, plus I had all these unexplained symptoms that seemed to be rather adding up to something. He took one look at me. Woman. Young. Ergo... depressed. He put me on an antidepressant and sent me off. Well that antidepressant made me an emotional zombie. I slept all the time and only ate when someone dragged me out of bed, and as such lost a lot of weight. I missed my classes, my exams, and really did not care, except I knew I should care. Now I will admit I was depressed. All that undiagnosed pain and stresses got to me. So I know what depression is. I stopped that med. Did some cognative therapy on myself and totally defeated that depression... and, image this, the pain was still there! Wow. So I do not like the assumptions doctors make when they shove that label on someone, because for some wierd reason they think the depression came first and that caused the rest, when it is the exact opposite. They do not seem to consider they ought to treat the underlying condition, rather than the depression. In my mind there are a thousand ways to deal with depression caused my a chronic illness that do not involve medication.

2) My father has FMS and he had a nervous breakdown (I can relate to that, since we had the same reasons... hostile work enviroment). Now I don't know much of what happened with him there so I expect he had more reasons than I know of. Natually in such cases he was forced to see a shrink (and totally relate to that). They got the entire family together for a group session which was brutal. They implied he was depressed in truth and did not have FMS at all (because a shrink would know?) and seemed to convinced him of the same. I was totally insulted and disgusted with the whole thing. Strangely enough my father tried to commit suicide a few times after his oh so not awesome shrikage treatments (um, apple did not fall far from the tree there, eh?) I can relate to his suffering and I know what we all go through, but sometimes I swear shrinks are just plain dumber than dirt.

Since my depression when I was younger (18-20) was profound and pretty easy to accept and understand. I certainly did not deny it then. I certainly did not get any help from doctors or shrinks. I remember that time vividly. And I do not feel like that now. So I still have trouble with that dang label... unless it was more 'episodic depression depending on pain levels'.

Nevertheless, I have to acknowledge the facts. Most people do not deeply desire to have a stroke when they get an acute migraine because a stroke would be a valid reason to miss work. I quite aware that it is not normal to feel that way. I can accept the facts, the habitual thought patterns and the negative behaviours and I can work to change those to tweek the old coping skills a wee bit. So I can deny the label and still modify my behaviours. But I swear, if people start to say if I were not depressed I would not be in so much pain I will throttle them. I get enough with the if you only changed your lifestyle completely you would feel better crap (which I also do not deny, but things are far more complex than Those People think).

Now that I got that out of my system I will follow this post later with a little cognative therapy bit that helps all of us that are depressed, indulge in some sucidial ideation, pray for a heart attack, but not really depressed depressed, or actually depressed depressed. :)
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