all in your head: living with a mood disorder
h o s p i t a l 10.11.97 Sometimes I feel like giving up. The prozac stopped working (not that it really worked so well in the first place) and i switched to zoloft. And I keep spiraling down.
Sometimes it hurts so much. I would do anything to make it stop. I don't want to die, but I can't keep living like this.
It's so hard for me to ask for help. I just keep muddling through on my own. I don't even know what anyone could do to help me, except just hold me til it stops hurting.

10.12.97 How can I explain what it feels like to be depressed? I am so depressed right now that it is hard for me to form coherent sentences. Its like being drugged in a way. . . everything you do is slowed down . . . everything takes so much energy . . .but i get agitated sometimes too . . .and i can't concentrate on one thing for long. . . and that's so hard. . . sometimes it's worse than not being able to do anything. . .because what i really need to do is distract myself from how bad it feels . . . and i can't concentrate. . . and i can't sleep . . . when i feel like that i would do anything to alleviate the pain . . . i feel that way when i am more in the subdued depression, but getting up the energy to get up out of bed is too much . . .

In November of 1997, a month and a half after the above entries, I was admitted to Morristown Memorial Hospital's crisis intervention unit because I was a danger to myself. It was a terrifying thing to do. At the last minute I just really wanted to go home and go to sleep in my own bed. But my mom and the social worker on duty convinced me that I should stay. It was the right decision.
We went upstairs to the fifth floor. The social worker rang a bell and the nurse at the desk buzzed us in. On the door was a sign that said: "Elopement risk. Open door with care." I was signing myself into this place. They were going to lock me in. I was voluntarily losing my freedom, even if it was just for a few days.
The next day was Thanksgiving. I wanted to go home for the day and be with my family, but the way it worked out I couldn't. It wouldn't have looked good to the insurance company, letting me out. My family came to visit and brought me food. In fact, I didn't have a single visiting period the whole six days that I was there that someone didn't come to see me. It was so nice to realize that I was so cared about.
Even though the food was bland at best, and the beds uncomfortable because of the plastic covering that made you hot at night, I slept and ate better than I had in months. When I get depressed, sometimes I can't sleep at all. Its really rotten to try and try to get to sleep, even if its just to shut out the pain for a little while, and not be able to. And when I am depressed, regular meals just don't exist. I eat if somethings in front of me, maybe, or I don't eat, or I binge on ice cream, chips and cookies. The feeling of well-being that comes from having regular meals did a lot for me.
The hospital did me a lot of good. Besides keeping me safe, and getting me on medicine which actually worked, it underscored the love that my family has for me and brought us closer together. I only wish that I had gone in sooner and saved myself a lot of pain.

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