When I first started doing this blog I wanted to avoid making it a personal diary and spewing my own mental excrement all over the screen. Now as I continue to write about mental health, I find it impossible to properly discuss the topic without touching on things which are darker in nature. In this post I confront some of the personal demons in my head.
Mental health is often misunderstood because it is still partly an ambiguous concept for many people to grasp.
What is ‘the mind,’ exactly?
Well, the mind is housed within the brain and controls our thoughts and patterns of behavior; but it’s not something we can physically touch. There are definitely neurotransmitters involved — such as serotonin and dopamine — but society does not always understand these scientific mechanisms and can only see the manifestations of mental illness. The brain itself can be assessed physically, but the mind is somewhat ‘intangible’ in the physical universe. With the general public not always up to date on the nature of the ‘mind,’ understanding mental illness can be difficult. Describing the symptoms are often best understood in metaphorical terms. During my own adult life my mind has taken several forms. Sometimes it’s been like a twister and my thoughts are frantic, disorganized and spin around sporadically, while other times it’s more like a mental prison, and the unrelenting depression will not permit me to relax.
These states of mind usually have triggers. They can be as simple as a Facebook update from someone entering into a relationship, making me realize single life is difficult. These feelings of melancholy linger until a new stimulus triggers anxiety in other areas of my mind. For instance, I might go to pay for something with overdraft and I’ll be swarmed by thoughts of debt. It’s often the most insignificant things which cause the most distress. When multiple triggers fire at once it’s a real nightmare and ominous thoughts like “I’ll be single and broke forever” haunt my mind.
I have been on celexa for many years and it’s helped with these negative thoughts, but whenever I think I can wean myself off them, I’ve come crashing down. It’s been hard to accept my continued dependence on anti-depressants but I am slowly coming to accept it. Even with [these medications] however, the future seems daunting. When I face a multitude of triggers in my mind I sometimes have trouble seeing the big picture and clearly setting goals for myself. Random thoughts will occur simultaneously and make focusing on one task difficult.
Hopefully as time goes on people will become more educated about the mind, in terms of its functioning, and more options will become available to reduce some of the things I have mentioned. I am going to let my mind take a rest now. Thank you to everyone who has continued to support me.
About Mark Rob
Mark Fraser is a 30 year old man who has lived with depression, anxiety and obsessive thought for much of his adult life. Since coming out as gay in high school he's had difficulty relating to others in his community and has experienced self-doubt and a pensive outlook for his future. Mark moved to Toronto in 2012 and has become involved in Second City Improvisation classes as well as personal training in order to maintain his physical and mental health. He has expressed interest in blogging with Healthy Minds as a means of reaching out to others who feel isolated and as a way to express himself in a positive space. You can connect with Mark on Twitter or Facebook.