Levels

Hi everyone,

I was talking to my wife the other day about what it feels like to have depression and anxiety. It helps, sometimes, to say things out loud when I can’t get things straight in my head. Quite often I’ve been log-jammed for weeks on a plot point in the latest novel or whatever, only to talk about it out loud for five minutes and the solution presents itself. It’s like another part of my brain needs to kick in to make sense of what’s going on.

Anyway, it sometimes helps with Down Days, too. When we’re just chatting away about things, post ideas jump into my head where I could sit hardcore thinking for days on end and get nothing.

What I came up with this time was about levels. Emotional ones. For those of you that have read the ebook, you’ll know that I took medication for my depression for quite a while. It had a profound effect on the way that I functioned and, as a result, I made the decision to stop taking it.

[PLEASE, before you think of stopping your medication, consult a medical professional. Depression medications are not to be taken or stopped lightly. For a great example of how NOT to do it, see all the mess I made when trying to stop my own medications. It’s several chapters in the ebook, which is absolutely FREE for you to read]

So I stopped, leaving myself without a safety net but feeling a little more switched on. Basically, it meant that I could write again.

But I digress. What I wanted to try to do is show, in pictures, how the emotional levels of a depressive can change. If you bear these in mind, it might just help The Interested to understand what’s going on inside, or not, in some cases. Bear in mind that this is just me, these are only examples, and that my Photoshop skills are sub-par.

I’m going to put my professor outfit on now…

professor-teacher-blackboard-mathematic-formulas-equations-mathematic-CXY3DN

Picture one – my pre-depression (if there ever was such a thing) “normal” range of emotions:

picture 1
Here you can see that the emotional baseline is returned to each time a strong emotion is felt (Up is good, down is bad, obviously)

Picture two – my depressive stages

Picture 2
Here, no matter what happens, the emotional level gets ever lower, no matter the positive stimuli (trying to sound professory, is it working?)

Picture three – me on medication

Picture 3
Medications modulated my mood, meaning that I never experienced any deep low periods, but no highs either.

Picture four – Me now, off meds, struggling along

Picture 4
Ok, so my emotional baseline is always a little under “normal”. I’m always aware of my depression and anxiety, but the highs and lows are still there. I still go back to centre each time, even though my centre is lower.

How fun was that class? Let’s break to stretch our legs and be back in ten minutes…

 

…I said ten minutes! Where have you all been? Tommy, spit out that gum. Jessica, pencils go in pencil cases not your neighbour’s ear! *sigh*

So, that’s at least how I see it. The problem, of course, it that with my emotional baseline being below normal, I feel like I’m walking through syrup pretty much ever second of every day. The good thing is that the ups still cause ups and the downs don’t seem to last so long, even if they do seem to come a little more often now (not shown in the pictures because I’m crap).

Does that help anyone at all?

And with that, I will bid you adieu, and promise never to try to illustrate ideas with my own Photoshop skills again. Watch out on Saturday’s post for an announcement!

 

Thanks for reading

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3 Comments

  1. Your charts were entertaining. And Trump as president is enough to make anyone suicidal.

    I must say that it’s great you have the clarity to even gauge your ‘levels,’ that’s definitely half the battle.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Ophelia. On the good days, it all becomes clear. It’s hits the others…
      Anyway, I’m glad you liked the pics. I had a chuckle making them (then screaming at the computer because it’s obviously all its fault that I’m terrible at using it 😂)

      Like

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