Over the last little while, my mental health has been in a poor state indeed. Every new day, when sleep turns to groggy wakefulness, my heart turns to despair and not much else.
I've spent the last week and a half away from work. The work itself is great - every day you go in and your job is to help people; how awesome is that? But you know, an avalanche is an avalanche. Hey, I freakin' love those dark chocolate Lindt balls, but it doesn't mean I'd like to drown in the stuff.
So after giving it my best I declare - Atlas has toppled, badly.
Symptoms are the usual chestnuts that go with depression and anxiety; waking up wishing you'd never been born and that there is no proverbial 'light at the end of the tunnel', anxiety attacks where trembling, sobbing and nausea/diarrhoea hit you like the messy train.
Steps have been taken to mitigate the circumstances. My GP has been consulted. I got myself a shrink (man, shrink shopping is always a pain in the butt). I have been placed on diazepam and fluvoxamine, with strict warnings about diazepam's addictiveness and have been ordered not to have the whole box easily available to me.
I've utilised the EAP program at work. I must say though, I think EAP's are good for immediate trauma - such as the time when a trusted, very popular long-term employee was found to have defrauded the company and people were bursting into tears at their desk. Hey, that's what happens when your good rockin' buddy gets escorted off the premises by the police.
For long-term stuff though, I think it's better to get your own mental health professional you can build a relationship with. Even if it just saves you the exhaustion of explaining and re-explaining things to different people.
Personally I've been struggling with mental illness since I was in my early twenties, when I was in constant pain due to endometriosis. That's eased off now, but you know that saying "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger"?
That's officially bullshit in my books.