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Depression leaving is as insidious as depression arriving - is this true for you?


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I'm finally coming out of my worst multi-year depressive episode yet. I quit counting at around 5 or 6, maybe this is number 8? My pattern is a several month long (early in the disease) to a few years of a depressive episode in which I eventually end up in a non-functioning suicidal state, followed by a nice long run of 3 to 6 years or so of wellness, maybe with a little hypomania thrown in here and there. I'm 61 so this has been going on most of my adult life.  

At this point I'm on multiple meds and monthly maintenance ECT, and I've begun to notice that my recovery seems to be as insidious as the downhill path into a depressive episode. When I'm becoming depressed, I think a lot of the insidious nature is due to denial because I want so badly to not be getting sick again. This is the first recovery where my awareness of getting better, although not due to denial (I think), is always a surprise and something I don't realize is happening until I look back and think things like, "Wow, I haven't talked about suicide with my pdoc in a long time!"

Maybe not noticing or focusing on my current level of wellness is a good thing, since it may mean I'm finally getting out of my head a little, as my pdoc has always recommended as an important coping skill. 

Have you felt your recoveries have snuck up on you like mine seems to be, or how has your experience been?  

Edited by Catnapper
{edited for typos}
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  • 1 month later...

For me, the depression just lifts, sometimes more slowly, and sometimes more quickly. That said, *IF* I launch from depression into mania or a mixed episode (as in recent years), I can definitely feel dread, as I know what is to come. I admit to waiting a bit before taking my prn medication if it’s “just” mania, because it feels so damn good (especially after having been depressed for godonlyknows how long).  

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  • 2 months later...

Hi  - I have not used this board in many years. I am 54 and have been dealing with increasingly worse episodes of seasonal depression as part of my bipolar disorder. The depression seems to start sneaking up on me in the beginning of Spring. I have a day here and there where my brain just feels like it's heading into the depression and then all it takes for a certain number of cloudy and rainy days to drive it into a full brain experience of pain and fatigue - and some suicidal thoughts because I am not sure how I am going to get through it all - again! 

I usually just put up with it and do the best I can to muddle through and take naps. 

Sometimes this severe depression will last halfway through summer to varying degrees. Sometimes it's more bearable than other times. 

I am never really sure about the transition though. it seems I start to feel a little better or I have a few hints of it and then suddenly the whole thing is lifted and I feel pretty normal and then start to get manic 

by late summer and Fall. 

This year, I am really just not into this at all. I had to move in with my elderly mother so that's been hard on top of the pandemic stresses and lack of social life and moving to a new city. 

So, I am not going to just go along with it. Today, after speaking with my doctor, I am going to increase my Lithium to 600 and am starting the lowest dose of Vrylar. If I am still not doing well in a few weeks, I am 

going to ask for ECT (which I have had a couple of times in my early 20's when they really zapped you hard to the point where you couldn't drive for weeks or remember who was calling on the phone.) 

It's interesting that you are using ECT for maintanence. I have heard of that and am willing to do it. I am just done not getting the relief I need. I admit I kind of gave up and just rode it out 

and now I want to do more. 

Also, sauna and swimming helps me some so I am going to get back to swimming. I bought a portable sauna. But none of the natural things really helps enough on their own. 

 

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Posted (edited)
21 minutes ago, kaylight said:

Hi  - I have not used this board in many years. I am 54 and have been dealing with increasingly worse episodes of seasonal depression as part of my bipolar disorder. The depression seems to start sneaking up on me in the beginning of Spring. I have a day here and there where my brain just feels like it's heading into the depression and then all it takes for a certain number of cloudy and rainy days to drive it into a full brain experience of pain and fatigue - and some suicidal thoughts because I am not sure how I am going to get through it all - again! 

I usually just put up with it and do the best I can to muddle through and take naps. 

Sometimes this severe depression will last halfway through summer to varying degrees. Sometimes it's more bearable than other times. 

I am never really sure about the transition though. it seems I start to feel a little better or I have a few hints of it and then suddenly the whole thing is lifted and I feel pretty normal and then start to get manic 

by late summer and Fall. 

This year, I am really just not into this at all. I had to move in with my elderly mother so that's been hard on top of the pandemic stresses and lack of social life and moving to a new city. 

So, I am not going to just go along with it. Today, after speaking with my doctor, I am going to increase my Lithium to 600 and am starting the lowest dose of Vrylar. If I am still not doing well in a few weeks, I am 

going to ask for ECT (which I have had a couple of times in my early 20's when they really zapped you hard to the point where you couldn't drive for weeks or remember who was calling on the phone.) 

It's interesting that you are using ECT for maintanence. I have heard of that and am willing to do it. I am just done not getting the relief I need. I admit I kind of gave up and just rode it out 

and now I want to do more. 

Also, sauna and swimming helps me some so I am going to get back to swimming. I bought a portable sauna. But none of the natural things really helps enough on their own. 

 

Can you do Transcranial magnetic stimulation? I'm currently doing it and seeing moderate improvement and I'm not even half done. No side effects like ECT.

Edited by CeremonyNewOrder
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