couple-walking

When Depression Begins with a Story

Last night, I dreamt that I was on the run from the police. I murdered someone and then fled the scene of the crime. I ran and ran until I could no longer hide. I eventually returned to my house and was greeted by a police car in the driveway.

The other night, I dreamt that I sent an angry text to a friend. I tried to somehow cancel the text, but it had already been sent. I woke up feeling like my friend must be mad at me. How could I have sent such a rude text? I was nervous about texting my friend even though we were only fighting in my dream.

I go through phases of feeling motivated and excited about the future. But then a strange feeling begins to creep in and, slowly, my mood shifts. I feel agitated and disinterested. I just want to sleep even though my dreams disturb me.

I know that depression is beginning to take hold of my life when I start to obsessively think about a fictional story. It’s usually a simple premise: a couple, deeply in love with one another. I fixate on every detail of their lives, from what they majored in to where they live. I think about how they met, what they like about each other, if their parents approve of their relationship, and if they want to get married.

The couple isn’t based on anyone in my life. This story in my head also isn’t about a personal goal that I have to one day be in a relationship. It’s simply a distraction. I begin to recognize the symptoms of my depression returning when I invent a new couple. This may seem ridiculous, but something tragic always happens to the couple. They are forced to confront a horrible obstacle that may strengthen their relationship or destroy it.

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I am not entirely sure why I invent a story like this when I begin to feel down. It’s as if I can’t confront reality, so this fantasy is a strange escape from my life. I begin to really like the characters as I add more details to the story. They love each other, but not in an over the top, showy way.

I could actually write this story, so this issue would at least be productive rather than just a distraction. But I prefer to have the characters remain in my head. I’ll get bored of them eventually and then hopefully return to being able to focus on the present.

In the meantime, I should contact my psychiatrist and find a therapist. I started a new job a few months ago, so I need to find a therapist who is near my new workplace. I’m also unsure if my medication is as effective as it could be.

I know how important it is to continually think about my mental health and how it can be improved. I can’t remain passive and refuse to take action when I know that I’m beginning to feel depressed again. I want to be in control of my life, which means actively seeking out mental health care that works for me.

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