Sunday, December 30, 2012

Identifying My Triggers

Over last six months I've been battling depression, anxiety and feeling overwhelmed. My doctor calls it postpartum depression, resulting from the birth of my child, but I call it "life." Prior to the birth of my son I never had a lot of experiences with depression. However, I am not sure if I agree with the postpartum depression diagnosis now, because of the several other factors which contributes to my depression and other symptoms around the time of receiving that diagnosis.

I know that stress is a major trigger for me, and I am still learning what type of stress is unhealthy for me. Despite life's many stresses, I think I've narrowed it down, my stressors include: criticism from individuals within my support system, arguing, over-productivity, and major life changes such as relocation.

Now that I know what stresses me out the most, how will I cope with the daily struggles? For one thing I need to continuously work on my communication with my support network in order to reduce unnecessary misunderstandings and confusion. I think we all can learn something new about mutual communication and cooperation. Furthermore, I should analyze what I am arguing about to see if it is an ongoing concern and who I am arguing with- to decipher whether that relationship is worth preserving?

Also, I like to stay busy, but I understand that over-productivity is dangerous for me because it can set me back despite all the good things I am trying to do for myself, friends and family, and community work. I remember prior to my first known concern with depression I had participated in a two-day intense training, facilitated a training soon afterwards, traveled a lot, and applied for another leadership position- all in one month- which was a lot of positive pressure, but still pressure. I remember I felt like I was over doing it-which I was- and was exhausted and on edge with what I had planned to do next.

Relocation- it doesn't have to be across the country as it was in my past- it could be down the street or any new environment. I admit I move around a lot- always have growing up- and I make it a bad habit to do so now. As an adult I justify a move because of convenience and to get more space. These are reasonable excuses, however, because of my mental health concern I should reevaluate my motives.

Have you identified your triggers, and if so, what are they?

To learn more about schizophrenia visit Embracing My Mind, Inc., NAMI, Choices in Recovery, or Schizophrenia Society of Nova Scotia (Canada).


Unknown said...

hello ashley and happy new year! thanks for reading my blog post the other day and i want to give you a big hug for your new baby and all that babys bring! some up and lots of downs as well! i understand! as someone living with schizophrenia and having a baby, she'll be 3 this yr, yayyy!!! i have not been as good as you on keeping myself healthy but im making it a priority this yr! i want to take the struggle of schizophrenia and turn it into a creative thinking music...thats my 2nd love...behing jesus! and family...anyways...write back...i love hearing from you...and take praying for mary

Ashley Smith said...

Hi Mary,

Happy New Year!

My life living with schizophrenia has not always been smooth- especially last year, which I think has been one of my toughest.

I try to stay optimistic and to keep looking on the current situation and devise a plan for the future. Despite ups and downs- which are unavoidable- keep focused on the present and do your best.

Beyond this blog is a real individual striving to keep it together like everyone else- please don't overanalyze my way of living with schizophrenia through this blog or compare one another- there are a lot of things I cannot share on this blog because it is too personal and I also understand that my peers look at me as a mentor.

Do your best Mary for you and your family.

Best wishes,

Ashley Smith

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