Depression Marathon Blog

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Diagnosed with depression 17 years ago, I lost the life I once knew, but in the process re-created a better me. I am alive and functional today because of my dog, my treatment team, my sobriety, and my willingness to re-create myself within the confines of this illness. I hate the illness, but I'm grateful for the person I've become and the opportunities I've seized because of it. I hope writing a depression blog will reduce stigma and improve the understanding and treatment of people with mental illness. All original content copyright to me: etta. Enjoy your visit!

Monday, March 16, 2009

My noisy head

My head is full of noise today. Not sure what's going on. Could be stress, I suppose. I had my first day of splitting time between two facilities today, and I saw more patients than there was realistically time to see! New environment, unfamiliar patients, and too busy--it all added up to stress on top of stress today. That could be what's causing the noise, I guess.

The noise actually started yesterday, or maybe it was the day before that. I can't remember. My brain's been too noisy to allow for new memory. My thoughts are racing. I'm having flashbacks to years ago distress, flashbacks of a long ago suicide attempt. There's so much noise I had to turn off my radio on the way home from work. The competing external noise was just too much.

My head is full of noise. Maybe this doesn't make sense to some of you. Maybe it's one of those things a person has to experience to fully understand. So some of you may think I'm nuts, and some of you may understand. I understand this, noise is uncomfortable, disconcerting, distracting, frustrating, and irritating. It's also quite tiring, and I don't need anything else dragging me down.


Emma said...

Hi Etta,
I call this either 'monkey mind' or 'grasshopper mind'. Both VERY busy and capable of the most enormous racket. It IS exhausting! These are the occasions when outside stimulus becomes intrusive, I become sensitive to any sound. Jump at unexpected noises, normal conversation is amplified to a shouting match, and in response I speak very quietly. TV or radio, too many words, too many notes, it can almost hurt. Be gentle with yourself. May you find a little peace, perhaps away from the days distractions. Time with Puck?

Wellness Writer said...

Dear Etta,
I'm new to your blog. I don't hear the noises you do, but I sure could use some motivation to begin an exercise program (yet again) so I'll just keep on reading.

Maybe I can think of it as a virtual exercise program. Although, technically I'm not sure if reading about someone else who's running is considered exercise!


Medication Withdrawal said...

I know what you're talking about when it comes to noise, I used to deal with it all the time. Something would trigger in my head and them boom I wouldn't be able to think or act straight. It still happens occasionally but thankfully not as often as it used to. The trick I found is to try and focus on what I am currently doing. The more I think in the past the more noise I'm stuck with. The simple answer is to not think about what has happened and focus on what is going on. It's hard but it can be done.

etta said...

Thank you all for your comments!
@ Emma: I love the "monkey mind!" Care if I use that once in awhile?

@ Wellness Writer: Welcome and thanks for visiting. I am happy to be your virtual trainer! You're correct, though, it is a bit more effective if you actually do the exercise yourself!

@ Medication Withdrawl: Welcome and thanks for your comment. You said exactly what I might have said to someone. I am all about focusing forward and letting go of the past. That is why this is so unusual and frustrating for me. Regardless of what my brain is up to, I'll keep putting one foot in front of the other!

Emma said...

Hi Etta,
Pleased you liked the expression 'monkey mind'. I think I first heard it used descriptively during one of my first attempts at learning meditation.

Candice said...

Hi Etta I know exactly how you feel, I get this too!!
I have 2 ways of dealing with this, first is to try my best to be in the present, focus on what I am doing in that moment and shut out everything else.
The second is to distract myself and break the cycle going on in my head - for me it is running or going out with some friends, sometimes it helps to talk to someone who could give you a different perspective.

The trick is to break the cycle!!

Good luck and get strength from knowing you aren't alone in this.

Dan said...

Makes perfect sense to me. I found this post googling about my noisy head.

Kev said...

Thanks for the post.

I'm Suffering from this following giving up alcohol for January. Agree with everything you say in your post, but disagree with monkey mind.

Monkey mind is commonly used to describe generalised distractability which mindfulness training claims to resolve. Having looked into this, it's a different sense of noise. Monkey mind is where your mind is singing random songs loudly without you realising it, the mental noise of anxiety/depression is being stuck listening to a random cacophony. One is already detached from the noise that sickens and threatens to drown us, so using mindfulness is less effective

Anonymous said...

Thank goodness we aren't alone. My noisy mind has been dtiving me nuts this week. Just returned to work after stress leave and was googling to see if anyone else experiences this.