The first time I ever felt truly depressed was when I was maybe about 12 or 13 – my mother presented me with a soft toy cat that made attacking noises when its paw was pressed. When I didn’t react with joy, she was really angry with me. I started to cry saying that I’d been so sad and full of dread and didn’t know why – but she was just pissed off with me.
It was either that instance or when I got to a particularly depressing part of Final Fantasy 7 and had that crushing realisation of mortality. I do remember that I had been inexplicably sad before then, but those are the two specific events that I can remember the feeling in my chest and how scared I was.
The thing is, I was never really taken seriously about it when I was a kid. My mum dismissed it mostly. One Christmas when my dad came to pick me up, she started calling me “Little Miss Arsehole” in front of him. I could see dad was disgusted, but he didn’t say anything. He didn’t know at the time that her partner had touched me when I was a child, and that brief incident had led me to this closed-off and gloomy as fuck countenance.
I escaped in video games, maladaptive daydreaming, and writing two fantastical full-length novels. I was about 17 when I wrote the second one, and that’s the last time I can remember being truly excited and invested in a project. My mum used to read every chapter as I finished them. It was very confusing how supportive she was on that side of things but dismissive of my mental health problems.
Things probably became the worst when I got into an emotionally abusive relationship with someone else who had similar mental health issues – he was adamant that I might have psychosis or some kind of multiple personality disorder. Partly because I was so brainwashed by this guy and also because I just wanted to have a reason for how I had been feeling, I kind of went with it. I started thinking I was clinically depressed.
For years I’ve struggled with what the sodding hell is wrong with me. I am physically exhausted, can barely concentrate, become hyper-fixated on things outside of my control, avoid social interaction, and am terrified of emotional and physical intimacy. For the longest time, I’ve wanted a label to put on it so I’d know what to do – GPs have banded around depression and GAD (Generalised Anxiety Disorder) and prescribed me fluoxetine, citalopram, escitalopram, sertraline and I am currently on venoflaxin.
After a severe mental breakdown at the end of last year, I was finally taken into the care of social services and given a care worker. I was also being looked after by a crisis team for a couple of weeks after. For the first time in my life, I felt like I was finally being listened to. But it wasn’t without pushback from me, deadset in this idea that I have clinical depression.
The thing is, if I DID have clinical depression, then all the anti-depressants would surely work, wouldn’t they?
Why the fuck hadn’t I realised that before? And why had none of these GPs pointed that out?
My care coordinator took me to see a clinical psychologist yesterday. After a long discussion, his main summation was that the reason no anti-depressants seem to work for me, not including the current one, is that the kind of depression I’ve previously been treated for isn’t the problem. And I’m not depressed because of problems within the brain’s setup.
This entire time I’ve thought that I constantly battle against sincere bullshit in my brain because of something wrong with the physical setup in there.
However, he presented to me a pretty good argument for me having attachment disorder and a type of personality disorder – these account for all of my symptoms from youth. On top of that, I likely have PTSD from more recent events, but I’ll deal with them when it’s time. Because right now, I need to deal with the root of the problem – the incidents of my childhood that directly affected the healthy development of my personality.
It does give me some hope to know that SSRIs weren’t effective because they might have been solving a problem that was never there. Venoflaxin is an SNRI that works differently, and I have felt better on it – but I am freely willing to admit this may be more because of the support I have received from mental health services since the suicide attempt.
In any case, I am cautiously hopeful that with continued visits with this psychologist and my care worker, we can start to untangle my childhood and the severe effect it had on me as an adult. And after that is worked out, then I can look at unraveling all the considerable bullshit that came after. I am filled with anxiety, grief, guilt, anger – but I am safer than I was just a couple of months ago.
I have been prescribed medication now specifically for anxiety – which will hopefully make me leveled enough to start attacking my bad memories head-on.
I’ll still be making videos of course, and streaming. Octavius King isn’t Sarah – she’s the person I should have been if I hadn’t been hurt emotionally while I was still developing. She is smart, funny, unafraid, sociable. Everything I am not.
I sincerely hope one day I will become Octavius King for real.