Depression and Medication …. its a fun game of tag you are it …

1302_crows

I have been patting myself on the back lately as I seem to be on a good level emotional keel.

2011 was a year with a slow slide downwards, and then an eventual bottom out, that left me weeping and clinging to the edge of sanity with torn and bloodied fingernails.  I’d love to regale you with tales of how I conquered that shit, but that bitch kicked my arse and then came back to poke me in the eye!!!

In 2011, I built a close and totally dependent relationship with a psychiatrist who seemed to understand how to help me.  We worked through a few options of medication until we found the “most right for today” option.

I arrived in his office when I was shaking and jibbering, so he did have rather broken person to fix. I was convinced that there was not enough medication in the universe that would possibly help me.  But I was wrong.  Not the first time, not the last time.

The right medication is pretty unbelievable.  I was in an absolute state, and many of my symptoms had stopped being psychological, and had become physical symptoms.  I had neck and back pain that felt like spasms. I had also been clenching my jaw so hard for so long that my face ached.  I had clenched my jaw so tightly that I had cracked one of my molars.

Depression and medication is a bit of a challenge.

Medication, at some point, makes you feel like you have got a handle on life and that you might try to nurture a pot plant.  At least for some part of the day.

The problem with this buoyant feeling and the twinkle in your eye, is that it makes you feel like you are “alright” and just might be coping.  So the first thing that you do is toss your meds – ‘cos who needs those when you are feeling so damn good!!

Once you are feeling good, with such a good handle on not having an emotional vomit every time you go out for dinner, well then the nest step is to cancel those Dr Psychologist appointments.

First, they are not free.  Secondly, it is an hour of you sitting on a couch talking about shit that you really would rather not think about,  And thirdly, at some point your medical aid runs out and you are coughing up a few thousand, to chat to someone, about shit you don’t want to think about any more, because you feel so damn even keeled!!

So you cancel the crap out of those weekly appointments.  Because now you have the coping mechanisms that only drugs and therapy can make you think you have.

Flush with the extra hours available in your week, and the chance of maybe a few rand saved, you face your new life with a whole new outlook.

Depression, anxiety disorder, panic disorder is no picnic.  I know “depression” is a term that gets bandied around fairly freely – and I am definitely not the one to judge whether someone is having a bad day or is diagnosed with depression.

So here I sit.  Feeling not so bad.

I have cut back on some of my medication. I take a slow release SEROQUEL XR, and an IVEDAL sleeping tablet at night.  I used to take another set of medication during the day, but as time went by I realised I could cope without it, and cut back, as I felt the Seroquel was working well for me on it’s own.

I could probably sleep by myself.   I could probably.  But right now I am reasoning “why take the risk when what I am taking have little to no side effects, and what I am taking works?”

I have cancelled my Dr CBT, and I am feeling all pretty “hey check at me, nearly got this LIFE shit sorted…”

But around the edges, I start to realise that cracks are starting to reveal themselves.  Not big hulking sink-the-titanic cracks, but hair-line fractures.

It’s time I book another “just checking in” session with my psychiatrist and more importantly make an appointment with DR CBT.

And such is the “always there” black dog …… even when you think he has gone away.

On a non-related note, do you know the collective noun for a group of cats, is a pounce of cats?  I love that – my favourite collective noun is a “Murder of Crows” more … I do love collective nouns.  This last paragraph has no relation at all to the last post, but this is sort of how my brain works.

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8 Comments

  1. This is possibly the most raw, real and heart wrenching account I have read about a disease that affects so many of us. This could quite possibly save someone’s life.

    The best advice my mom ever gave me was that “it will always feel better in the morning”.
    My demons hit me at night. I have never actively planned anything but when I feel at my most desperate and in despair and totally at the bottom of that pit I remember what my mom said. It’s not always fixed the next morning but it is better. And I get through another day. And it helps to know we are certainly not alone.

    Reply
  2. Found your blog and I commend you for being a strong woman and sharing your story. Im a Nurse and I know with my patients we have to watch them for any short term side effects as well as long term. Some of the medications can really do a job, but it seems like your doing really well

    Reply
  3. Alexandra

     /  February 8, 2013

    Glad you have noticed and seen the cracks around the edges for what they are and are taking appropriate action (you are going to make those appointments, aren’t you???).

    From my own very limited experience it seems that a big part of the problem is recognising/acknowledging when we are on the slippery slide, and of course seeking help.

    On that note, I was on SSRI’s but hated the numbness and now back on the meds that work for me – Esperide (I only need a tiny boost) but seeing a a psychologist once a month for a check in

    P.S. A tower of giraffe.

    Reply
  4. I know one other person who had depression. I used to work with her. When people would complain of her calling in sick all the time, sometimes being moody and distant when she did come into work, or avoid her like the plague because she’d bring them down, I felt really bad. Some people can be so insensitive to people who suffer with depression. It runs in my family so I know how hard it can be for the person who is suffering. But when I can hear people complaining about someone who is suffering I want to punch them. They have no idea how hard it was for them to get out of bed, get dressed, smile in the mirror and make it into work. Most people are privileged to NOT suffer from depression or anxiety and can go through life like it’s a breeze. Someone who suffers from depression longs to have it that easy. I’m so glad that you’re so honest about your struggles. It gives others who suffer hope that it can get better, and comfort that they’re not alone. Great post. 🙂

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  5. No wonder I like you so much! I am on Zoloft and it has helped me re-become me if that makes sense. Thanks for your open-hearted honesty.

    Reply
  6. I appreciate how you can talk about your struggle with depression and anxiety. I have family members who deal with it and it sucks. I have had issues in the past with myself as well, but not terribly severe thank goodness. I have taken a few SSRIs and couldn’t take the side effects so I chose to go off and have since found other things to help. My life is different than it was when I felt the need for them, but I’m not saying I wouldn’t ever try them again, if the need should arise. Anyway, thanks again!

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  7. I have found that, even with my medication (Pristiq), I still have some swings in mood. I do hope that your “hairline fractures” are just normal ups and downs. I am in one of those down spots right now, but I know it will get better in a few days.

    Reply
  1. Bringing Up Being Down « Cheri Speak

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