Hi, my name is Krissy, and I’m filled with disease. I have mental disease and diseased ovaries. There are days where I don’t want to get out of bed, and there are days where I have to shave my tummy. I think the worse part of my diseases are that they aren’t very well understood. I’ve had poly-cystic ovarian syndrome my entire life, but I wasn’t diagnosed until my late 20’s. I was a very active teenager so I didn’t have the issues that come with PCOS until I was around 23. At first I thought that the weight gain was just a normal part of getting older, but then the night sweats came. I also have a thick, thick head of hair which starting shedding like crazy. Not to mention that I had only had 2 periods a year for my whole life. So, I did some research and found out what it could possibly be, went to the doctor and was diagnosed.
The mental disease is much harder to deal with in my life. People think that mental disorders are things you can control. How many times have I heard to “just BE happy”. Just “be” it. I was diagnosed with severe depression as a teenager, but my therapist thought that it was normal and it would go away when I got older. Why would this be normal? You’re probably asking yourself, or the screen. I came from a broken home with two very broken parents. My father was abusive. He was a cheater and a liar. My mother was an alcoholic. She was also very emotionally abusive, but I think she was never diagnosed with her own mental disorder. So, at a point in my life I went to live with my grandparents who put me in therapy.
I didn’t have insurance for most my life so once I left my grandparent’s house and went back to my mom’s house, I was no longer on medication for my depression. There were ups and downs, but I mostly thought I was doing a really good job in my life. I spent periods of my life in a bathtub with a huge bottle of wine and Fiona Apple on repeat, but I also had friends and a social life. I had people who loved me, and being around me.
Then one day it just stopped. My world stopped moving unexpectedly. It was so unexpected because everything was going right for the first time in my life, ever. I had a great best friend. I was in school and in the accounting program (which really shocked the hell out of me). I got engaged to a great man and we had the best adopted dog in the world. Still, my world stopped moving. On the days that I didn’t have to be in school I would lie in bed, tears streaming from my unblinking eyes. I thought constantly of suicide - CONSTANTLY. I have always had thoughts of killing myself, but this was different. These thoughts were intentions.
I am lucky to have a best friend with a mental disease too because she did not let me drown. She didn’t tell me to just get out of bed, and just stop being sad. She understood that I was doing the best job I could do at the time. My best job was showing up for classes and (unfortunately at the time) internship recruiting. She was seeing a therapist and she referred me to her. One of the worse things about depression is that doing anything is the hardest thing to do, but this doctor wouldn’t see me unless I made the appointment myself. Needless to say, it still took weeks before I could pick up the phone to make that call.
I was so bad off that I had to see the doctor three times a week. I had to talk when I just wanted to sleep, and I had to explain my feelings when I didn’t understand them myself. In the end I was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder and, much to my surprise, obsessive compulsive disorder. I’m smiling right now because the first day the doctor asked me, “what am I most afraid of [going to therapy]?” I said that she might end up telling me I’m more fucked up than I think I am. Which is basically what happened.
In the end the only thing that has changed is my knowledge of my diseases and the medication I’m taking. It is all day by day, but I’m glad to have support and understanding. I wish there was more understanding and acceptance of my diseases, but for now very few people know how crippling depression is or how hard losing weight on PCOS can be. If we keep talking about it, putting a normal face to these “things” I think things will slowly start to get better.