TW: depression, ED, and a lot of TL;DR.

I've never posted on The Couch, and I've never posted about my mental health on GT, but I honestly don't know who else I can talk to who would be sympathetic. I'm getting worried.

I've had a history of depression for as long as I can remember โ€” I was in therapy as a kid for extremely low self-esteem (I was overweight and reminded often) and panic attacks that were often set off by a perception of "deja vu", but I was also inordinately obsessed with death and the idea that no one loved me. They did โ€” rationally I knew they did โ€” but it didn't make much of a difference. I truly and thoroughly hated myself.

As a teen, it definitely got worse and manifested in an ED. I drastically stopped eating, and tried to regurgitate what I did eat, and lost 30lbs. At first it felt great to be getting some positive attention, but it was definitely all-consuming, and eventually my family figured out something was wrong. I essentially stopped the purging after someone (mom? sister? can't remember) confronted me about it. My weight plateaued, and I probably did permanent damage to my metabolism.

I'm not going to recount every major depressive episode, but these ones I think are important as they still affect me now. Suffice it to say, I've had "major" depressive episodes every year or two for my whole adult life.

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Since I've been through this routine a few times too many, I'm really in tune with my triggers. I know how it feels to start to feel "off" and I usually take steps to try to mitigate it as best I can. Sometimes it works, and I start to feel better. Sometimes, like now, it starts to spiral.

I'm sad. Deeply sad. I can still laugh at things, and I still feel happiness, but deep down I'm still sad. I hate myself. I feel fat. I've gained a few pounds over the last couple months because of my ankle injury, and I despise myself for it (see above re: ED. this is major for me). Almost every day I want to cry at some point, even though I haven't fallen into uncontrollable crying jags yet. The evil little voice in my head tells me I should just die. I'm not suicidal, and I've never taken any steps to kill myself, but I'm apathetic to being alive if that makes sense. I wish I could disappear and stop existing, but I don't want to actively stop it myself.

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But what truly has me scared has been the frustration and tears that culminate in hurting myself. I don't cut โ€” I pull my hair. Not all the way out โ€” I just pull on it firmly til it hurts. I scratch myself. Once as a kid I scratched myself so bad during a crying fit that I had a scar on my arm for at least a year. I blamed it on a cat; I don't know who actually believed that. As an adult I knew to do it somewhere unseen, so I scratched my back โ€” and took out little bits of flesh. This urge is back โ€” in full force, as of Saturday โ€” and I'm fucking scared.

I should've seen a therapist sooner, before I got here โ€” I've been feeling my warning signs for months โ€” but I never did it. Part of it is cost โ€” I have great insurance, but co-pays add up fast. I've probably spent more than $100 on my ankle in the last two months just in co-pays. Part of it is time โ€” between work and grad school I feel stressed enough as it is without having to try to schedule something regular. Part of it is laziness โ€” do I really want to start to get to know another therapist, without knowing if we'll get on? I've done it so many times in my life, and it's exhausting.

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But summer is coming, and I know that with idleness and loneliness come depression. If I already feel this bad now, how will I feel in a month when I'm home alone all day? I could drive the hour+ to go see my parents, and probably will, but that's only a couple days. And it's horrifying to be stuck in a body with a brain you don't trust.

I just... I feel like I'm disappearing. Me, my personality, my true self, is being eaten up by the monster in my head. And I'm scared and sad and I don't want to go down this path again but I think I'm already stuck on it.

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This is pointless and I'm sorry, I'm just venting now. I'm honestly too scared to tell anyone, though I think my BF knows because, well, he's been on the receiving end of some of my mood swings.