Sunday March 16, 2014

I've always been prone to occasional bouts of 'sadness', but until a few years ago they
were mild and usually manageable. To cut a long story a bit shorter, in 2012 I started to feel very depressed. CBT helped a bit, but things got worse.

Luckily, as I realise now, my eyesight started to deteriorate and as a result I was diagnosed with a tumour on the pituitary gland near my brain. I'm on medication and my vision is fine now.

The wonderful doctors explained that the tumour upset the balance of hormones and caused low mood and mood swings.

Just knowing that there was a 'reason' made a huge difference at first. If I felt bad, I just ignored it because 'it's me hormones.'

It's getting tougher to keep thinking that way though. Looks like the mood swings will continue for a long time, possibly for good. When I'm 'up', I'm good company I think. I think (or at least I try) to think of others and be kind.

When I'm 'down', everything seems hopeless. My wife, my dad, my cat(!) and my workmates have all been so nice and supportive to me. But when I'm 'down', I can't see that. They look 'odd', like there's a barrier between us, and I think I don't like them. And I feel awful about that. Then, when I'm 'up' (sometimes the same day, sometimes two weeks later) I wonder what on earth I was thinking.

The only thing that helps (but I can't always do it) is to call the sad feeling 'Arnold'. (Remember Tony Blackburn's old radio dog?) I let Arnold rest in my mind. He's always there, sometimes barking, sometimes padding around. So I pat his head and just get on with things, even if I feel odd or other people seem odd. And sometimes, Arnold goes to sleep!

Some days, Arnold isn't there and I think I'm 'cured'. Then he comes back. I try to welcome him now, however phoney that is. Maybe one day he'll go for good. Till then - 'Down Boy'!

A Moodscope user.

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