So for seventeen years I've had pain depression. It especially feels like it's squeezing my heart. It hasn't historically been *about* anything. I've just chalked it up to biochemistry, heredity. And I've thought about suicide, most days, for at least fifteen years - because pain sucks. Ups-and-downs. Roller-coasters. Probably every person on here has done time at the worst torture theme park in the world.
Two years ago, my cocktail started working. There was some CBT and DBT in the mix too. I decreased my daily Ativan from 3mg to 2mg. Plus 20mg Latuda, 300mg Sertraline, 100mg Topamax. I actually felt happy, for about two years, until this October. Then it stopped working. And I stopped working. I work in a level I trauma center, where I identify cancer, anemia, and the effects of the coronavirus on the human body. I feel like I have a front row seat to human suffering, without being empowered to ameliorate it, and it's another kind of torture.
I am very tired of fighting. If there was a euthanasia travel agency, where I could just walk in, plan my funeral and end-of-life arrangements, plan my ideal death, and just call this thing at 38, that would be a somewhat attractive option (not telling, The Tallest Man on Earth, flaming-Viking-burial-at-sea.) I'm tired of fighting this disease, personally. And I'm tired of coming up against the tsunami of "world suck" (H/T Vlog Brothers) which seems to be hate-fucking itself ad astra.
So the strain theory, which I haven't read much on yet, is that we consider the termination of our lives when under one or more types of strain. I personally find this theory hopeful, as targeting the sources of strain, i.e. "world stuck," could reduce the inducements to terminate one's life. The General Strain Theory, according to one Wik I. Pedia cites loss of positive stimuli, addition of negative stimuli, or the inability to reach a desired goal, as three possible sources of strain. I will follow up on this with my tdoc on Wednesday. I think work is introducing negative stimuli, and I have a shit ton of unreached goals, but am starting to care about goals less and less. Basically, it pisses me off that I've had to dramatically reduce my goals due to my diseases, and it's kind of tempting to just leave the party. Please feel free to weigh in if you have personal and or academic experience with this.
I'm also meeting virtually with my pdoc tomorrow... to tweak the cocktail. Would love recommendations. My current rx mix, dxs and rx, failures are in my signature. Lamictal induces hives and vomiting. Depakote causes dyskinesia. Lithium ruined the thyroid and causes acute renal failure. Medicine. Ha ha. Organ roulette.
So the observation about different species of depression is that while for a decade-and-a-half I experienced what seemed like purely biochemical, chains-around-my-heart, tar-and-shark-filled, basements-beneath-basements depression. This feels more like a rational(?) depression, which has me concerned about whether it will be responsive to biochemical therapy.
Just bailed on my teletherapy with a new therapist.... I'm trying this online therapy site (due to quarantine) and I really want to quit. Every week I dread the call and feel like it's not helping me. I don't feel upset, I just feel avoidant, bugged, apathetic, like I'm not "in the mood" to talk at all.... Yet I know it's "good for me" and I'm stuck. Feeling guilty...
The initial therapist I had (6 sessions with) said she is making a "career transition" and is suddenly no longer be available. She was nice & whatever, but really too green,( I was about to switch anyway). They assigned me to another person and I don't really connect with her profile (haven't talked to her yet) I just feel so much resistance right now....
Maybe I'm not committed enough at the moment. I don't know what's going on...?
I've seen dozens of therapists for 20+ years, it feels totally counter-productive at this point (at least for chronic depression). I always end up feeling worse (before session and after session)....I've read most of the books they suggest, tried all the CBT, DBT, Mindfulness....Longterm therapy is also a huge financial burden.
I'm feeling really done with processing shit, repeating stuff over & over. All the talking and tracking moods makes me much more self-absorbed than I already am. Then nothing really changes!!! Despite my efforts.
Meds are not helping either, so I feel like a hopeless case. Maybe I just stick to the emotionally numbing meds and just accept that this is my life and I can't change?
What are your experiences?
I regret not dropping this tdoc after the 2nd session. There are great therapists and terrible ones....just because they have a PhD and experience, doesn't make them brilliant or amazing. Who's on your bad therapist list? The patronizing, blaming, insensitive ones? Or ones that don't listen, understand, or communicate clearly? They make assumptions, judgements, no clue.
I kept my cool, dignity and respect, despite getting shut down with an earful of patronizing comments (obviously trying to trigger me or chase me out of the clinic, one of the two). Invalid assumptions about me, none of which resonated at all, not true to my experience and dude left me no space to interject. Simply expressing disagreement with him means I'm "oppositional" Hmm. OK.
2nd session was told I have a "lack of commitment and effort" toward my mental health. How insulting, great. Are you f&cking kidding me? 20 years of therapy, loads of self-help, discipline, hospitalizations, med compliant, healthy lifestyle. I've DONE a lot of work. Stuck with all therapists consistently. I keep going and continue to try. WHY ELSE WOULD I PAY AND COME SEE YOU 6 TIMES?
The reply....."(gives exaggerated sigh) Obviously, you've never had any therapists that have challenged you before, they probably let you talk... this is why you haven't recovered. I'm experienced, LOADS of my clients fully recover in 3-6 months" How presumptuous, you know nothing of my previous therapists or me yet, maybe I'm not like "all your clients." 🙄
[Edit : Endnote] The session ended on a most dis-empowering note. He said (with a pity look in eyes) "Maybe you won't and can't get any better, or change, maybe you should give up, you shouldn't even try...." I have never in my life had a therapist encourage me to give up and not try.
In fact, that comment is exactly what pushes a vulnerable client AWAY from seeking help. A client like me, who has struggled with decades of hopelessness. Thanks for nothing insensitive asshat.
Many ways to lose a therapy client. End of Rant.
I wonder if I have too high expectations, am jaded or a hopeless case. But I've only had 1 Therapist in 20+ years of regular therapy that I felt was pretty decent, who helped me progress & feel better (and I've seen at least 15).
Beyond obvious traits like: good listener, observant, empathetic, caring, dedicated, positive, clear communicator, transparent, proactive, validating, non-judgemental, intelligent (and someone who simply just understands & "gets" you.) Nobody's perfect, but..
What other traits, qualities, behaviors make a great therapist? Have you ever had one that totally meets your criteria? I am so sick of settling and trying to find someone who can really help me. I give everyone like 4-5 session trial at least. Maybe I just need to quit altogether, go at it alone and try harder to help myself 😢