This past week I've felt a bit like The Hulk when he starts to go from scrawny human to angry green monster.
It's made me feel a bit compelled to write about the aspect of depression that shows up as anger, because - frankly - I think that component is overlooked all too often.
Before I had actually experienced it for myself, I always associated depression with things like sadness, crying, having no energy, being down in the dumps, staying in bed all day - those types of things. I think those are the ideas that a lot of people in our society think of when we think depression.
But how often do we associate anger, and dare I even say it? RAGE with depression?
Because it is a symptom, but from my little corner of the world I never realized depression and anger went together until I experienced it for myself.
It doesn't fit the picture we all have in our minds.
I think one of the more common thoughts that probably comes into people's minds when they think of women with the baby blues, postpartum mood disorders, or just flat out depression is a picture of a woman who sits at home and cries all day.
Those of us who have been knee deep in depression or postpartum mood disorders know that's not how it is.
It's different for all of us. For some, maybe it does mean sitting at home crying all day. But, for me, and for several women that I have talked to in my own life, anger seems to be a pretty common theme, and if we're brave enough to admit it, we'll even tell you that the anger can turn to rage.
I'm talking about the feeling that your blood is actually boiling, you're on the verge of trembling and literally want to throw your TV set through your window kind of rage. You're mad, mad, MAD, and you can't talk yourself down from it. You don't think or act logically and you say things you regret.
You are 100% aware of what you are experiencing and how you are acting, but you have no power to change it.
Simply put - you are out of control.
It's amazing to me how we can put on our "I've got it all together faces," when really - we're falling apart and beating ourselves up over the fact that we are treating our families like dirt and have these emotions that seem unmanageable.
Now, I realize some people use a diagnosis to excuse their behavior, but that's not what I'm talking about here, and that's what makes it so difficult to grasp and to accept.
You act a certain way - you are mean, you are angry, and you want to stop. You hate what you see yourself doing, but it's happening anyway, and all you can do is wait for it to pass.
And in my case, wait and hope and pray and cross your fingers that the medication will kick in and do the same magic it did last time...
Ladies? If you've gone through this or are going through this - trust me. You're not alone. It happens, and there's help. You might feel crazy, but you're not, and you shouldn't have to feel like you need to just suck it up and move on. There's plenty of help out there that's yours for the taking, but you have to make the choice to accept it.