Mental Illness – My story Part 2

If you are new to my blog or have not read Part 1, you are welcome to do so in order to gain some context for Part 2.

After going home on Saturday August 24th from the hospital under the false impression that I was and would be okay, I tried to continue my routine and life as if nothing was wrong.

I went to work the next day and the day after, but quickly realized that nothing had changed.  I was an emotional train wreck, and couldn’t function.  I worked through Wednesday and then had Thursday and Friday off.  I foolishly thought that I could use Thursday and Friday to recover and then I would be good to go on Saturday, my next scheduled day and from then on.

Wrong!!!

Came back Saturday and again I could not keep it together and was just a mess.  My boss realized how bad off I was and recommended I take the rest of the day off.  I left and went home and tried to relax again in the naive hope that I could just magically cure myself.

Later that afternoon I received a call from my best friend in Pennsylvania, and he started the conversation joking and jovial.  He knew I had been in the hospital the previous week.  He quickly realized that I was not in the mood for any joking and I was extremely depressed.

For a variety of reasons, most/all of which will be revealed in an upcoming blog post as well as in my book, I was feeling hopeless and alone and was suicidal. Many of the reasons for this are external and beyond my control but some are of my own doing.

This being the case, I really felt like all was lost.  Fortunately my friend quickly switched gears once he realized how bad off I was and he said I needed to check myself in to a facility in order to get help.  He had in the past known people that had gone to a Psychiatric facility and told me what to expect.

He made me promise I would do this before he got off the phone with me.  In fact he told me that if he was nearby he would take me himself, but he was 3,000 miles away and could not do so.  All throughout this conversation I was crying, but his concern and compassion gave me a sliver of hope.

I made a few phone calls to loved ones and lastly to my boss, letting them know I was checking myself in to a facility.  My boss graciously asked me if I wanted him to pick me up, and I said yes.  While I was waiting for my boss to pick me up, I received a phone call from a nurse at the hospital telling me that my friend from Pennsylvania had called the hospital and he asked what was going on.

When I told him how I felt and what was happening, he instructed me to go straight to the ER, which is where my boss took me.

Special thanks to my friend in Pennsylvania.  I will be forever grateful for his kindness and compassion.  I truly believe he not only saved my life but helped give me a future that I can feel happy to move toward.

Once I arrived at the ER, it was pretty much a repeat of the previous Saturday except this time, I made no attempts to bullshit my way out of the hospital, and instead admitted that I needed help.  Within a few hours I was transported to the Psychiatric facility.

This is a very frightening experience initially and rather surreal.  In some ways it felt like being back in boot camp, you are supposed to wake up at 6:00am and go to bed at 10:00pm and you have a pretty set routine.  I am really thankful for the care I received and the therapy.

While I was in there I was shown a DVD called “Men Get Depression” which had been a PBS special.  While it focuses on men, it is very applicable to women as well.  If you have anyone in your family or circle of friends who you know or suspect have suffered from Depression, please watch this video and then get them help.

Sources for help:

1.  Suicide Prevention Hotline – 1-800-273-8255

2.  www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org

3.  American Foundation for Suicide Prevention – http://www.afsp.org/

2.  National alliance on Mental Illness – www.nami.org 1-800-950-NAMI

These are just a few sources to seek help, and it is not meant to be the only sources.

What amazed me and truly opened my eyes during and after watching “Men Get Depression” is how many very successful and seemingly well adjusted men suffer from this disease.

Three interviews particularly stood out for me.  Eric Hipple who was a Quarterback for the Detroit Lions suffers from this disease.  Tom Johnson who was the Publisher of the LA Times AND the CEO of CNN suffers from this disease.  Lastly there was a Psychiatrist on the video that suffers from this disease.

So I am apparently in good company.  The significance of this is that, depression can and does touch anyone.  It doesn’t matter what your race, religion, sex or station in life is.  This disease does NOT discriminate, it can and does happen to anyone.

One sobering statistic from this video is that men who suffer from depression are 3 to 3.5 times more likely to have a heart event.  Not quite sure which events constitute a “Heart” event, but I am sure it’s not a good thing, so there you go!

Sadly I was in denial for many years before I finally received the help that I desperately needed.

As promised my “official” diagnosis, Anxiety disorder NOS, and Major depressive disorder, rec.  I have no clue what NOS or rec mean.  Now interestingly enough my ex-girlfriend is convinced that I am Bi-Polar.

It would be easy to dismiss this since I met with a psychiatrist who is a professional and she is not.  However, she has an understanding of the symptoms and manifestations of being Bi-Polar and she observed me for almost 5 months while the Psychiatrist spent a total of less than one hour with me over 3.5 days.

So, who is right?  Not sure but it probably behooves me to get a second opinion just to make sure I am on the right medication and moving in the right direction.

I am taking medication and starting this week will be seeing a therapist weekly for the foreseeable future.

I feel better than I have physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually than I have in a very, very, long time, and maybe ever!

As a footnote, I am having my Hernia repaired on Tuesday, so I look forward to being able to exercise soon.

In closing, it is my sincere hope and prayer that if you or someone you know is suffering, you will use the resources above or others to seek immediate help.

My goal is to continue to blog, finish and publish my book sometime next year, and to hopefully speak publically about my disease in order to inspire others to get the help they need. 

It is our duty and responsibility as people to reach out and lend a hand to those, that are suffering and help them get the help and healing they need.

Be kind to each other!

Thanks for reading!

Peace

Mauricio

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