Friday, August 23, 2013

Newton's Laws of Depression

You know I'm a math nerd and a word nerd, but I'm also a science nerd. Can't really help it after hanging out with an Engineer for 30 years (yes, that's actually true – in December we'll celebrate the 30th anniversary of our first date.) So we're going to talk about physics today. Newton's Laws. Newton was cool. He's one of the guys who invented calculus. Calculus is cool. But that's for another day. Or maybe not. I've found that calculus fans are hard to find...

So yeah, Newton's Laws of Motion. (No, you have not stumbled onto some rip-off of The Big Bang Theory...I will not mention that damn cat, don't worry.) His first law, in regular words, states that an object at rest wants to stay at rest, and an object in motion wants to stay in motion. I've found this to be so true when dealing with depression.

On the days when I'm feeling completely done in by inertia (the at rest part) there isn't much I've found that will get me unstuck. I'm paralyzed by that inertia, and don't want to do anything. Not even fun things, like visiting a friend to drink wine, or hard but necessary things, like paying bills with dwindling funds. “Oh just do it!” Nope. Doesn't work that way. Call it Tina's Laws of Depression.

On the other hand, on the days that I'm moving, like yesterday when I did 8 loads of laundry, and I could have kept going - but I ran out of detergent, and by the time I got home from the store with more, I was out of time - that motion, that accomplishment just keeps me going.

So what determines which kind of day I'm having? I honestly don't know. I just know that some days I wake up, completely stuck, and others I don't. I've tried to figure out if there's some sort of situational event that triggers one or the other, much in the same way that I'm trying to figure out what foods cause the crippling stomach aches and which don't. So many variables, not enough equations. (That's not calculus – that's algebra, by the way.) You'd think I'd have enough equations by now, having suffered depression for twelve long years, but no. That's because the variables just keep piling up.

Am I depressed because I don't feel well? Or does depression make me feel sick? Or both? It's a circle, that's for sure, and that's probably why I'm stuck on this merry-go-round. I know this isn't exactly a fun topic, and I really don't want to whine about being depressed, but I'm stuck in an inertia day and then the fun ideas for writing won't even come.

So do you think Newton's Laws can be translated like this? Suffer from depression, and willing to talk about it? Feel free to discuss. Just don't tell me it's all in my head and to just get up and do it, or I'll hit you over the head with my oh so popular CPAP machine. That sucker's heavy...


~Tina

15 comments:

Brian Miller said...

hmm...i know that when i get the ball rolling like that and build up momentum it is easier for me to handle the little bumps in the road...so i would agree on staying in motion...

writermummy said...

I can completely relate though I tend to know what causes my up and down days - sleep or lack of. What causes the periods of insomnia is a different matter entirely, other than it's linked to the depression. Inertia days produce worse sleep so it can become self fulfilling. Wishing you a better day soon.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sounds like a vicious cycle to me.
There are days when I don't seem to be accomplishing anything and yes, at the end of the day, nothing gets accomplished. So that's probably true.

Jeremy [Retro] said...

i sadly think things will go wrong, so when i do have a good something... then it's huge. i try to look for the light at the end of the tunnel, sadly i see the vision of a death-like being... so i run. in the other direction.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Our bodies tend to manifest internal problems, so I always thing it starts with the mind first.

May today be a good day for you, Tina.

JoJo said...

i admit I'm not a fan of math or physics or anything that requires math beyond 1+1=2. But I have had depression issues in the past. I think depression does make you hurt physically. I never felt well when I was depressed. I didn't even want to do my crafts and that's always been my 'stress buster'. I was on medication for quite awhile. But because my now deceased alcoholic and mentally ill ex was such a mess and totally unable to cope, one of us had to, so I forced myself to deal with everything. It sucked but had to be done. Some days I just wanted to call in sick and stay in bed but responsibilities kept me from it and I really didn't want to be home with Brian all day anyway.

loverofwords said...

Churchill, called his bouts of depression "The Black Dog," which fits as in "There it is again, the Black Dog. I have the blues at times, but not true depression. I think that not feeling well and able to do things makes you depressed. It does me, plus there is that body chemical aspect to it. I went on oxygen therapy at night a few weeks ago and was not happy. I call the oxygen converter, "Babar" as it is the elephant in the room. And vain me, I hate the lines in my face from the tubing. I have a new project in mind and do not want the lack of energy to get in my way. And I think that meds can make you worse with their subtle side affects. So I am with you all the way. I understand.

Lucy said...

Depression, a very difficult thing to deal with and very individualistic. In addition to the fact that depression has its ranges. Of course, 'snap out of it' is the worst thing to say to a person suffering or 'it is all in the mind'. It is easier said than done to try to stay in motion. Your head might know that studies show 'this and that' but when you are in the throes of something,the one suffering, it just doesn't matter. I always suggest to people to work closely with professionals and look at reputable information. That is my only advice. I wouldn't dare suggest anything else. I so wish I could offer more concrete advice but one thing I will say, if writing helps then write about it, don't hide it. I am hoping you can get through this,and share your steps along the way,upwards and downwards. xoxo
Lucy from Lucy's Reality

Murees Dupé said...

I have days like this too. I had actually been on medication for my depression before and it helped...sometimes. So I completely understand your frustration. I think it is amazing that you had the guts to write about it in your post. Depression is not pretty and most people shy away from talking about it, but you took the bull by the horns. Good for you.

T.F. Walsh said...

I can relate Tina, and can say I've found myself in similar cycles. What I realized much later was that I wasn't getting enough sleep...hence it was creating physical issues and psychological ones. Funny how something as little as lack of sleep can play havoc with our lives. I do hope things turn around for you soon... always know I'm here if you want to chat:) Email me.

Jo said...

What do your doctors say? 12 years of depression seems more than anyone needs to put up with.

But it is true, a body in motion tends to stay in motion, I hope you have more days like that than those at inertia.

klahanie said...

Hi Tina,

Firstly, I try not to use the word "suffer" in regards to my depression. I try to live with it, rather than suffer from my illness.

Depression is indeed enhanced when we are not feeling physically well. It does exacerbate the depression and the potential overwhelmed sensation we can get. Yes, physical and mental health well being are intertwined.

So what do we try to do to counteract the depression? We do what you've just done, amongst other things. You have verbalised and asked questions. This makes you understand that from the responses that you never need feel alone in your own challenge that is your depression.

Of course it's in your head, but it's a tangible concern. It's how you address those feelings. I know the merry-go-round can seem daunting. Yet, did you know you actually got off the merry-go-round, checked your positive resources and knew that this will pass.

If it wasn't for Newton "discovering" gravity. We'd all be floating around, I guess :)

Please remember I'm discreetly in the background whenever you wish to chat.

In kindness,

Gary

YVONNE LEWIS: said...

Depression is a vicious circle, one feels sad about this or that, then the sadness become a feeling of being unwell.

Yvonne.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Tina .. I've been around people with depression and find it very difficult to understand - often because one doesn't know how to 'help' .. ease their thoughts or physical process ...

It looks like you're doing the right thing .. ie you know you'll have a bad day occasionally, but you'll also have good days ... never easy ..

But congratulations on the 30 years coming up towards first date time ... cheers for now - Hilary

noonebutabloghead said...

I can definitely identify with this, I tend to find that when I'm 'moving' it's easier to keep moving, and some days I just can't start.

The tough days, as frustrating as they are, make the good days all the more enjoyable.