“Do you have definite suicidal thoughts?” the doctor sitting across from me asked me solemnly.
“I don’t think it’s fun to live, but I don’t want to kill myself.” I replied nervously.
One day in March this year, I came to the Adult Psychiatry Department of Peking University Sixth Hospital, trying to solve my depression problem with the help of modern medicine. Accurately, it is a long-term persistent bad mood, and the symptoms of early awakening have recently been added.
I was trying to be light-hearted that day, wearing baggy sweatpants and fine makeup to hide my anxiety and depression. Perhaps the deeper reason is that I don’t want to see the word “depression” on my diagnosis report.
After a brief conversation and exchange, I was arranged for a series of examinations, including functional near-infrared brain imaging, electroencephalogram and electrocardiogram, etc., as well as five psychological tests.
I did a series of checks. ｜Photo provided by the author
The doctor glanced at the examination report and finally wrote six words on the diagnosis sheet: Depression and anxiety state.
“We generally don’t make a diagnosis of depression lightly, for fear of being prejudiced,” she said, “yet you’re already in a state of moderate depression. .”
So I left the consultation room with a bunch of white flowers and started my antidepressant journey.
Being a sleepless king in a big internet company,
Or back to the haven of peaceful sleep?
After returning to Beijing after Chinese New Year this year, I started to wake up early. Just started, fell asleep at 1am and woke up at 5:30am. A week later, I went to bed later and later and woke up earlier. Lack of sleep and groggy at work during the day. After two weeks of this state, I decided to seek medical attention.
I know exactly why I am doing this.
At the end of 2020, I switched jobs. Just like the labels you see on the internet – Internet giant, 996, anxiety – this new job is exhausting me physically and mentally. Data indicators with no end in sight, workplace involution, and all kinds of disorganized things have all caused me to sink into a low mood after 3 years of graduation.
The cause of the incident was a malicious bad performance review. Since then, my whole body has been in a tense state, my mood at work has been suppressed to the extreme, and the quality of sleep has plummeted.
During that time, I started doing regular counseling. Telephone consultation 1~2 times a month. After a short half year, I finally made it to the New Year’s home.
When I got home, I felt like I was back in a safe haven, sleeping up to 9 hours a day. But I didn’t expect that after returning to Beijing, my condition was worse than before, so the scene at the beginning of the article appeared.
I never understood the truth about how depressing a job is, and after going through this job, I suddenly understood: A job that is not for you is like a job that Scar after scar was carved on his soul.
Finally, the wound won’t heal on its own.
I began to understand the truth about work depression. ｜Photo provided by the author
First experience with antidepressants:
Sleep until the eyelids fight, but at least no more
I left the office with three medications in hand. One of the antidepressants, escitalopram oxalate, is said to make people feel better. The remaining two categories are sleep-regulating drugs.
After receiving the diagnosis, I was very torn about whether to take medicine or not. What about the side effects of antidepressants? What should I do if I can’t stop after taking the medicine? Those thoughts have been running around in my head.
Later, I consulted a friend who studied medicine, and his suggestion was that if I felt that my sleep state could be adjusted temporarily, I could consider not taking sleep medicines. But he suggested that I take citalopram first: “After all, your emotions are no longer able to self-regulate, and based on the results of your doctor’s visit, I am worried that you will switch from moderate depression to severe depression in the future.”
“You know, people with major depression can be uncontrollable and want to kill themselves.” He continued, “I don’t want you to go that far.“ p>
This sentence terrified me. At the time I was working from home in Beijing and could rest anytime during the day, so I chose to start taking antidepressants.
It was half a tablet at first, and the initial reaction was a bit big, such as stomach discomfort, no appetite for two days, vomiting in the middle of the night, and after tossing, I lost a few pounds.
The stomach seems to have adapted to the antidepressants, and the brain starts to respond again. The most common reaction is drowsiness, often after waking up at 10 am, eating a meal at noon and going back to sleep, sometimes even spending half the afternoon in sleep. Around ten o’clock in the evening, the eyelids started fighting again.
I have been like this for about half a month, with the help of antidepressants, I at least no longer have insomnia. And really feel the effect of the drug, probably some morning after two weeks.
Waking up that morning, I stumbled upon birdsong outside. At that moment, I felt a certain peace of mind. This kind of calm is more precisely peaceful, not in a hurry or irritable, but also with a little excitement.
Since then, my condition has gotten better little by little.
I’m getting better little by little. ｜Japanese drama “I, get off work at the hour”
What does a workplace struggle do to me?
I started to “fuck off” laughing from work to get off work
I actually know a lot about depression. I have read relevant papers and books a long time ago, so I can go to the hospital for help in time when I have symptoms.
I also understand that depression is not simply a bad mood. Similar to fever, cold and cough, it is a physiologically based disease that requires regular treatment and, if necessary, drug intervention.
But is medication alone really enough?
The last straw that broke the camel’s back was the enormous work pressure and complex interpersonal relationships. How about pushing it further? Is there a problem with your attitude and perception of work? Or is there a conflict between your own personality and the world?
Based on the above, how can I solve it?
I did one thing first – started to “slip” at work. To be “rotten” means to get away from any source of stress at work, and to put myself in the position of a worker for a while, getting paid to do one job. I started to stop worrying about the bad data of a certain video, and I began to turn a blind eye to the workplace struggle, and it was no longer easy to get on top of it.
While working from home, I finish my mornings and start enjoying the rest of the time. During that time I watched a lot of movies, climbed a lot of mountains, rewatched Positive Psychology, even picked up my ukulele and played music again…
In those days of rest, I really felt like a normal life, It turns out that breathing freedom is like this.
It turns out that breathing freedom is like this. ｜Photo provided by the author
After my short work-from-home life, I went back to work, told my colleagues and leaders that I was diagnosed with depression, and put the pills on the table. Depression is nothing to be ashamed of. It is not a good thing for the next treatment to be concealed even about being sick.
And I was fortunate enough to have an upbeat and humorous colleague. Every morning when I came to the company, my task was to tell him jokes. Believe it or not, we can laugh from work to get off work. With such happy colleagues around me, how can I be depressed?
Of course, someone will definitely ask: “How does your boss endure this kind of work attitude?” Well, from the moment I was put off, I have already done changing jobs or being sacked. Ready for dismissal. It’s a big deal, it’s nothing.
No big deal, no big deal. ｜Japanese drama “I, get off work at the hour”
From reduction to withdrawal:
I can laugh at the little things in life
From my depression diagnosis in March to August, my body and mind were completely relaxed and I lived my life almost every day. I no longer compete with meaningless work, and I don’t push myself – I “narcissistically” think I’m the best at every situation.
I changed my WeChat signature to “Every day is a good day”, and then I took my medicine on time, followed up on time, went to bed on time, exercised on time, read books on time, and played with friends on time.
In mid-June, I would like to try stopping the medication. At the beginning, I also reduced the dose to half a tablet, but I soon experienced withdrawal reactions, such as my mood began to sway, and I felt inexplicably crying at certain moments at work, so I quickly resumed the dose.
In mid-July, I tried reducing the amount again. Maybe it was because I found a new job, or maybe it was because I was really relaxed physically and mentally, and the withdrawal reaction didn’t show up this time.
After I went to the hospital, I suggested to the doctor if I could temporarily stop the drug because I am in much better condition than I was 4 months ago. “Typically, depression treatment takes six months to a year and a half, but it varies from person to person.” she continued, “You can try stopping for a while, but I’ll prescribe it for you. One month’s dose, you can’t take it anymore.”
It has now been more than two months since I stopped taking the medicine, and my life is much better than before. The biggest improvement is that my ability to experience happiness is now much better than before, and the little joy in life can make me laugh out loud.
In the first half of 2022, I finally learned to love myself.
My ability to experience happiness is much better now than I used to be. ｜Photo provided by the author
Personal experience sharing does not constitute a diagnosis and treatment recommendation, and cannot replace a doctor’s individual judgment on a specific patient. If you need to seek medical treatment, please go to a regular hospital.
Editors: One Tonjin, Li Xiaoqiu
Cover image: Pixabay