Everyday part of my routine is to ingest a handful of pills morning and evening. Part of that handful are three specific medications to treat my Depression. One a pretty bicolor capsule, one a small blue pill and one a medium-sized white tablet. Without these, my world would be full of gray, melancholy thoughts, escaping into sleep, and thoughts of suicide. Not a pretty picture for sure. Meds make me feel at least baseline functional. They aren’t “happy pills” by any means. Believe me, I wish there was a pill for happiness, I would be queuing up for that one.
How did I get to be on so much medication? Well, I’ve been on lots of other medications along the way. Started out on the miracle drug Prozac when I was initially diagnosed in 1995. Boy was that a life saver. At the time, I was suicidal and homicidal. Scary even to talk about those really dark days. The thoughts were obsessive, and I felt terrorized day and night. Had the most horrible nightmares too. Plane crashes, fires, murders, any kind of violent mayhem you can think of…it’s any wonder I could cope at all. Prozac took all of this away, so I could participate in therapy and work on things I needed to change. It was such a relief not to have those intrusive thoughts, the kind that make you feel really unglued.
But sometimes the drugs stop working for no apparent reason. So I’ve been through a number of antidepressants to manage my symptoms. I’ve been on four or five different medications between Prozac and my current mix. I’m not one of the lucky ones that can be weaned off medication, but I can say I’ve never been hospitalized. I’ve always kept trudging on, maintaining the status quo the best I can. That is part of my disease, I put other’s needs before my own, so that was one of the main reasons for never checking out…people were counting on me!!!
I understand not everyone benefits or even approves of the use of medication. And I’ve certainly done my share to contribute to the wealth of Big Pharma by taking the newest meds on the market. But medication works for my symptoms, and I need to use them in combination with therapy to get and or stay well.
Wellness is the ultimate goal, right?
Posted in Chronic Illness, Coping, Depression, Happiness, Symptoms, Treatment
Tagged Antidepressant, chronic illness, depression, Happiness, Medication, Mental health, obsess, psychotherapy, suicide
We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us. —-Margaret Mead
Wow, that sounds so much easier than it actually is. I had great plans before Depression took me down. I was young, married, anticipating a great career and family life. Depression sabataged it all. My first therapist felt I had undiagnosed Post-Partum Depression, but my son was already two when I finally got help. I definitely wasn’t self-destructive for two years, but I could imagine that it crept up on me slowly, perhaps waxing and waning. However I remained pretty darn functional. I worked full time, got my son to and from daycare, took care of the household and all that good stuff. I had to, my spouse at the time was a little preoccupied with his career. Apparently too preoccupied to notice I was in trouble.
Big trouble by the time I finally got help. I never needed to be hospitalized, but the thoughts floating in my head were just horrible. I would have very disturbing, violent nightmares, about thunder and lightning, airplane crashes, car crashes, and death. Thought about suicide as well. It is difficult to admit that, but the brain in that state has you all twisted inside and you just want to escape the awful, relentless thoughts that plague you day and night. I never considered acting on it, because I had too many responsibilities to take care of…talk about carrying the weight of the world! What a distorted way of thinking!
Thankfully, I found a good therapist and psychiatrist, got on medication and started getting better. There was a lot of work to do though. Trying to get back to “me.” How did I get lost in all this? Where did the essence of me go? These seem like deep philosophical questions, but when you are depressed, you not only feel negative, but empty, hollow, cavernous. Like what makes you “you” is missing in action. You find that you are just going through the motions. Without e-motion.
Back to plans. Things don’t always work out because of Depression and how it impacts relationships, families and work. I can say for myself I have had disappointments and challenges in all these areas due to my chronic illness. It sure hasn’t made life any easier. I’m still working on letting go of the life I had planned. I still at times resent that things didn’t work out the way they were supposed to; I’m in my third major episode of Depression/round of therapy and still working through some issues. And still looking for the life awaiting me.