Thursday, October 11, 2007

Poster Child for Mental Illness

What's on my mind? What's in my head? Messed up chemicals, that's what. For a few brief glorious months I felt free of depression. Was only on minor doses of medications that I was going to wean off of. Then BAM two weeks ago, I start feeling a familiar feeling in the pit of my stomach, and it's not PMS. And it doesn't go away. And starts to get worse. So I double my medication while on vacation in Vegas to keep it at bay, and my psychiatrist tells me to come back soon after a recent appointment to discuss options.

It's the first time I've been depressed and not consumed by it. Perhaps because this is the first time it's mostly a chemical imbalance, and not 50% emotionally based. It's very strange. It doesn't stop the deadening, the loss of interest in things, the lack of concentration. But it's different. It's certainly not a happy place, but not a horrible one either.

I've been on medication for several years (!!!) and it still hasn't completely gone away. At my last appointment I was told this is not unusual for someone who has gone through several cycles of untreated depression, which I have (this is at least my 4th, but likely 5th - and they got more and more severe over time). But apparently there's also the issue of it potentially being something else - and I almost hate to write it - but a form of bipolar disorder (2). Apparently not everyone who is bipolar goes through the EXTREME cycles of mania - someone can have mild mild mania and severe depression. And that might be me.

So I become the poster child for mental illness. Crap.

That was written yesterday. But, after the appointment today, I stay on the regular drug for a while and get back on track, because it's not so clear at all that I have bp2 (and in fact, apparently it never is - some people take 10-15 years to get diagnosed). I want to feel free again, and laugh a lot, and I was hoping it wouldn't take drugs to help me do that. But I have to give in and let the drugs help. And realize that it's not an exact science, no matter how much I want it to be. I had a good cry at the doctor's office about it, and now I move on. And continue my cognitive behavioral therapy. And feel better. I just self medicated with dark chocolate and bought myself some nice $4 dusty purple roses off the street vendor.

As an aside, one of the many reasons I HAD to quit my old job was because my boss, who uses a wheelchair due to polio a long time ago, was EXCITED when I said I had depression because she wanted to use me to show how 'such people' could work and live normal lives. Just thinking of that raises my blood pressure. Ugh. She'd also get excited when she heard about people being affected by polio since there'd be more people like her.


Susan said...

Your ex boss was just..not..right.

I added a picture just for you over at my blog.

Tera said...

Aw man NoR...I just hate to hear about people being depressed! I have always been afraid to take meds for stuff like that, but the way I've been feeling lately...

NoRegrets said...

Aw, it's not that bad, really. I've felt worse, and I'll get back on track.

I was always afraid of meds too, but had to cave. And truly, at least for me, it is indeed better living through drugs.