I have depression. This is quite clear, I feel it for as long as I can remember. I never knew, though, that anxiety is often connected with it. I took a short test at my doctor and scored as highly on the anxiety scale as on the depression scale. So, I have anxiety, too.
Then, I have arachnophobia. For the last few years, I’ve been developing other phobias that I keep relatively tamed down (like the fears of flying, of dark places, of mirrors in the dark, of being hit by a meteorite – this last one actually belongs elsewhere, see below).
I have OCD. I was quite shocked when I realised it. You can read my blog post about it, and about my fear of meteorites, here.
I have a bad memory. I have some sort of dysnomia. I have fear of responsibility. I have low self-esteem (but not so bad a confidence at some points). I’m afraid of losing my mind. I’m stubborn. I’m aggressive. I can’t focus on one task but tend to jump from one to another too quickly. I’m a hoarder. I’m lazy. I’m a procrastinator. The list goes on and on. I may be a hypochondriac. I think I had burnout a few years ago, and I’m still recovering.
Let’s say I’ll have to categorise all my issues first, then decide on priorities, then tackle them. I just feel my anxiety level rise when I think of everything I should do. This is why I’m going to extract depression out of the list and pretend the rest is not there. For now. I’m only starting, give me a break. Depression by itself has many subcategories I should address eventually. But I have time and a whole new blog to fit my pet in it.
Depression is a pet of sorts. I nourish it, somehow. I’ll have to put it to sleep, it’s obviously old enough.
I guess, eventually I’ll have to compose a list of my strengths, as well. To keep it balanced, right?
There are a few assumptions or starting points that I use as a foundation of the MOS self-therapy, and consequently, this blog.
I have a mild depression and mostly function ok. I just don’t seem to enjoy life. As yet, I don’t need an official diagnosis, but I need some sort of intervention because I can’t go on like this anymore.
I was thinking mostly along the lines, I feel being mildly depressed. But how do I measure it? One’s feeling is different than someone else’s. I might suffer less with a strong depression, or I might suffer more with a milder version, it depends on where my feelings fall on an objective scale. When I took a test at my physician, I scored quite low, or so I thought. She didn’t comment my score. I was also sort of disappointed. I felt quite depressed and the test said, don’t fuss. Later, when I decided to start a blog and take the matter into my own hands, I took a Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) test (the first version is available online, the second edition is available for purchase, and I’m yet on a budget). The test seemed too simple to me. It also asks questions about the change in the mood for the last two weeks, and I felt depressed for much, much longer. The result wasn’t what I expected. It said I have a moderate depression, bordering on severe. Much more than expected.
Should I drop the attempt to help myself and seek professional help? I decided not to (yet).
I don’t need a therapist. This is the basis for the whole blog, although one day I want to go to a proper therapy. To relieve myself of the possibility that I did a bad job.
I don’t advocate everyone to do self-help. I just want to prove to myself whether it’s possible for me. Also, until I have a self-diagnose only, I can pretend I’m mostly healthy (glass half full). If I had an official diagnose, I’d be officially ill (glass half empty) and more of a hypochondriac (or is it the other way around?).
I have more issues than depression, but for now, I’ll start with just dealing with one, and depression seems the most annoying of all. One thing at a time, preventing overwhelm. Well, as humans are whole cognitive units instead of a marble jar, I might deal with all of my issues concurrently, but I so do like having things separated and categorised. I feel much calmer when I’ve structured a thing. OCD, right?
I need to do self-therapy on the internet, where everyone can see it. Do I? I could just write a diary. Maybe like this I’ll feel compelled to follow it through. Or maybe I seek attention. I’m not sure, but I feel I should go public.
Once I start (beginnings are the hardest) it’s going to be easy.
Now, this one is tricky. I know from experience and from various sources, from people who’d done blogging and stuff, that the hard part comes later, and for sure. You have to do the work and still, it’s not easy. I know with my head that it’s going to be hard, but with my heart, no. I still pretend it’s going to be a breeze. This is why I write my (wrong) assumption down, to remind myself I know otherwise than to trust my feelings.
THE STRATEGY I USE
My methods are not too scientific, at least they won’t be at first. I’m going to have a look around, and later try to improve in facts. I try to read as much as I can, research and get educated as I deal with my problems. Wherever I can I’ll post a useful link. For now, all the knowledge out there seems just overwhelming.
I try to listen to my inner dialogue, where the loudest is my depressed part of my personality, while the voice of reason is often quenched in the noise. By listening to, and acknowledging this quiet voice, I find problems, and oftentimes, the solutions to those problems. (Now, the funny thing is, I have more inner voices, you can read about them here.)
If we are to improve, to get better, we must first find out our current state. After we determine our current position, we can act, find a suitable procedure that can help. And when we act, we must somehow discern if the procedure is helpful, neutral, or adverse.
Introspection is not considered a scientific method, but it is invaluable in psychoanalysis. It’s the only way to “measure” our progress. By always consciously (at least when dealing with the problems we choose) following our inner dialogue, we are able to detect favourable or unfavourable differences and adapt our procedure.
The core procedure in MOS therapy should be posting texts of simulated therapy sessions between the therapist (me, the objective and knowledgeable) and the patient (me, the confused). Interwoven between these sessions should be the other posts: the patient’s reflections and action reports, the therapist’s analyses, useful data, etc.
I’ll strive for a good structure and clear categories because this is something I personally like in a blog. But nobody’s perfect, I might just write rubbish, so bear with me.
Whenever stuck, I use creativity. This is the thing I’m the most capable of. By the therapy progress, I hope to be capable of hard work, planning, knowledge retention, and focus. These are my objectives.