Wednesday, December 23, 2015

New year's resolutions when you are very depressed

Well, the holidays are here! My dad likes to have everybody share new year's resolutions or goals for the new year and thanksgivings ( or how we did on last year's goals).

And i dread it. So i thought i'd go ahead and get the sarcastic version out of the way and hope I'm feeling better when the real day comes.

Thanksgivings: I'm thankful that I'm alive - no, wait, maybe not. I'm thankful for psych meds. I just wish the ones i take would work better. I'm truly thankful that the latest medication doesn't have me lying in bed afraid I'll throw up. There! Look at that! A real whole-hearted thanksgiving! Now if only psych med conversations weren't a bit on the taboo side. But that's why I'm writing here, so i can be free of such restrictions.

Goals... "Stay alive" is the one my counselor mentioned when guessing what my goals might be. Well, i was kind of in more than a bad mood, so i wasn't sure i agreed even with that. But staying alive really is my goal, even though i don't always think i want it. My goal is to beat this depression and steel my life back from it.

It's been an exhausting week. News of changes at work were the last straw for my already disintegrating mental health (i was already having trouble eating and sleeping). I was on less serotonin- increasing medication than i have been for probably about five years ( maybe excepting last spring), with no appointment to see a psychiatrist or nurse practitioner for another three weeks.

I tried out the new mental health crisis center in my area. They were nice but i had to push to get the help i needed. And I'm not so good at pushing for services anyway, let alone when my mental world feels like it's in jeopardy. But one nurse was particularly helpful, so melting into tears was a sufficient way to get help after i had progressed to the part where they let their clients sleep or read or do puzzles or whatever. She helped me come up with a plan to try to get into the doctor the next day.

I didn't see the doctor i wanted to see, but i did see someone, who prescribed another antidepressant. This antidepressant may or may not work, but at least there is a chance that it will work.  I needed that chance, that but of hope, to start right away. (i took the day off work to try to see a doctor despite not having an appointment.)

Today, i was back at work. I did okay, but one of my co-workers could easily see i wasn't back to normal. In a way that is nice, because they can see I'm not faking my illness. But it was a bit disconcerting to feel myself being less put-together and having less energy than normal. Even feeling a bit sick, probably just from being so worn out.

Oh, and the psychiatrist i saw said if i gained more than five pounds on this new medication then i should quit it. Only five pounds! At Christmas time! When I'm trying to get past lack of appetite from depression which basically means i have to force myself to eat. And when i have to make myself eat, it is hard to know how much to eat! So i could gain weight because I'm not sure how hungry i am, unrelated to med side effects! I'm wondering if being slender is important to this doctor, more important to him than to me. I'd rather gain weight than stay at yesterday's level of depression. ( I'm trying to avoid checking how depressed i am today because I'm afraid it would be the opposite of helpful to think about it.)

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Overwhelmed with the good and the sad

Well, i tried the new antidepressant and i felt sick. Like bad enough i didn't want to take it again and have to work the next day.

So this week, just reminding myself that I'm currently free of those side effects is enough to make me a bit happier.

But i called my psychiatrist-for-now. It took him over 48 hours to call back, but he did. And he was nice. Somehow, people surprising me by how nice and understanding they are can leave me feeling almost like crying. He said if he were me, he wouldn't want to try the medication again. (He also said that medication was my last great option - if it didn't work, we have other combinations to try, so not hopeless, but as "the last great option", it would make sense to try to put up with moderate side effects. I'm not sure how disturbed i should be by that comment, so i think I'll just chalk it down as an intriguing observation.) He basically said he would respect whatever choice i made, whether to try the medication again or give up. He also told me i could open the capsule, mix it with applesauce, and take half of a dose; a possibility i was not aware of.

And he told me to maintain my current dose of the medication I'm trying to get off until my dizzy flashes go all the way away. I'm afraid that could take a while. But at least that will relieve me of needing to change both doses this weekend. Well, it's an acceptable weekend for feeling sick ( if there is such a thing), so I'm planning to give the new medication another try this weekend.

And maybe this psychiatrist isn't as bad of a fit as i thought. Which is a bit of a problem because i had decided to try another doctor but now I'm having second thoughts. Maybe this psychiatrist is fine after all. So now i have another choice to make, which is really annoying. I don't like the pressure of trying to make the right choice. And i have to make the choice early enough to get the time off work needed for the appointment.

Of course, right now I'm exhausted anyway, so a kind voice answering part of my medicating predicament is very highly valued and the details that will play in to my future decisions are scattered and possibly out of proportion.

And all this after my counseling appointment, the one where i feel a bit despairing of the possibility of therapy helping much right now. The one when my therapist brings up the EMDR topic again - something I'd have to see another therapist for. One where I'm torn between appreciation of the support i do receive and discouragement for lack of progress - especially when it seems like she's also seeing how deep in depression i still am.

Well, I'd better fold a few clothes and head for bed. Tomorrow comes very early.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

"You sound good."

The lady who said it even knew that looks ( sounds) aren't always accurate. But apparently i "sound good." Probably because sleepiness and cheerful sarcasm make me sound much more stable than i feel.

But inside, i could cry. Except that would be too much work and emotional work.

I'm... So tired. I'm physically tired. And I'm fed up with this depression stuff. I'm at the point where i feel like I'm not okay (i.e. depressed) and that's the way it's going to stay until we find a good medication combination. Okay?!

Which underplays the role of therapy (but i felt like my therapist was mostly just putting in time to get me through to feeling better and then we'll do more "real" therapy work). It even underplays the chances of spontaneous recovery, seeing as depression tends to get better on its o own at some point, even if only temporarily.

I'm frustrated that the new psychiatrist i saw is the stereotypical psychiatrist, not in a particularly good way, and I'm not the only one who thinks that. I'm frustrated because it's sounding like the office is closing at which i saw the retired psychiatrist as well as the new- to- me stereotypical psychiatrist.

I'm frustrated because i want to be well already. Like last year!

And because I'm having budget/money trouble, but I'm a bit afraid of calling this guy who gives free budget counseling, because i heard him talk once, and he talked about identifying needs versus wants, and I'm afraid he's going to call some things wants that are actually pretty important to my mental health. And I'm afraid the budget will be too intimidating, and instead of absorbing the stress and keeping going, I'll have the "I'm depressed and i didn't want to be here anyway" response, adding fuel to my already depressed thinking. Moderate to severe depression might not be the best time to work on budgeting. But then again, if i wait until I'm "healthy," how deep in debt will i be by then?

And i keep wanting to go to bed happy. Now the tears have truly started. I don't want to go to sleep feeling like this. So i keep staying up late. Which leaves me even more tired in the morning.

So i just want to go to that crises center about to open locally, or to a good psychiatrist. Or even to my friend, but it's so hard to say this to a friend outside of a support group; I'm exhausted. I (presume I) look like I'm handling things, but I'm not. I'm exhausted. I don't want to have to keep holding it together. I want something to change. I hate not wanting to be alive. It's exhausting. It's not right. There is a better life out there, and i want it. Can't i just pull the depression out and kill it and get on with my life?

Thanks for listening.