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for the last i don't know how many months (memory sucks), i've been doing really well on my cocktail. for the first time in ten years i've been able to say that i'm NOT depressed (something i thought was not possible anymore!). i could feel the difference between "my" crappy thoughts and the ones depression yells at me all day/night. my crappy thoughts can be argued with (but only by me heh). my depressed thoughts aren't amenable to a rewrite. thus the meds. prolly the same for you guys right?

so anyway... i'm here because for more than a week now i've had the depressed thoughts again, bringing with it the depressed mood state after a few days :) . progress i've made at home is getting a little torn down (doesn't take long). i know it's a slippery slope, so i'm feeling kinda paranoid that maybe i should do something proactive.

is a week or so back in the crapper a normal hiccup for people whose meds work most of the time? i'm really hoping that this is normal (no it's not hormones.... that was my first thought too heh). i've never been on a med that worked this well for this long, so i don't know what to expect i guess. my fear a few months back was that after the effexor cleared, i'd crash from not having any serotonin-pushers in my brain left. then i guess i thought i would be fine without it (because i have been until now). but is that true?

how long do you personally wait? do you give yourself a few weeks to see if the depression hangs around? i want to be reasonable about it, not run to the pdocs office if this is normal. on the other hand, if this is not normal, am i shooting myself in the foot by waiting (knowing it gets worse so fast?). getting to see the pdoc is extremely difficult if not impossible.... so i don't want to go through the process of fighting for five whole minutes of his time if i don't have to!

it just seems so abnormal to me (yeah that's a funny word to use here i know ;) ) - one day all my thoughts are mine and my life sucks but i want it because it's mine. the next day i wake up thinking i cannot take living my life one more day (though of course i do). wtf? why? (yeah i woke up like that this morning too, at 5:30, and i had to get up because i couldn't take listening to my own head tell me how much everything sucks).

maybe there's no answer, maybe i should just take this post to the tdoc this week. i mentioned it last week but i hadn't been feeling down for too long so we figured we'd just proceed on our regularly scheduled course i guess.

alright now this is the part of the post where i'm talking to myself because i think i will print this out - i want the sudden cognitive/behavioural changes to be clear:

- wanting to sleep all the time again (whether i can or not)

- waking either extremely sad or extremely irritable

- hiding from people, in person and otherwise

- feelings of control (over my life) replaced with feelings of futility (about anything)

- constantly assuming other's thoughts/behaviours are negative or aggressive

- fun activities becoming utterly boring

- not able to concentrate more than 5/10 minutes at a time without changing activites (or else it's major rumination time)

- not caring about recovery/thinking recovery isn't possible

i wasn't thinking anything like this two weeks ago. i liked people (well as much as i ever do!) and i liked getting out of bed in the morning and i felt like it was up to me how my day was going to pan out. now i feel like the depression monster controls me again.

sorry this got so long (yeah it's me, i know you're not surprised :) ).

- rita, hanging on to that normal feeling by the short hairs

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I'm not sure... I don't have depression, I have bipolar, so my breakthroughs can go either way. I've been on my meds for about three years and they've worked wonders for me. I've had about three (maybe four) breakthrough episodes - and one lasted for two months, but that was under a time of *severe stress* and I wasn't being completely med compliant (taking less than I should because I was running out and didn't have money for more). ;) I nearly didn't make it through that one.

Usually if a breakthrough episode lasts for more than two weeks, I get myself to a pdoc (I rarely have a regular). That's me though. I'm very stubborn about asking for help. Other people may tell you different.

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Oh lys-

I'm so sorry you feel so awful.sounds like a really painful and scary place to be.

This may be a dumb question, but can you think of anything, anything at all no matter how seemingly minute (is this spelled the same way?), that has been different in the past week or two?

Anything from stuff with SO or kiddo, or change in sleep, eat, drink patterns, an anniversary time of anything? sometimes all it takes is some tiny stupid thing to knock me off my path. sometimes its like my body and symptoms remember something that I don't until I really start to think about it.

I know when this happens to me, I get really scared that its all about to swallow me up all over again and there's nothing I can do about it. During some relatively stable long periods of time, sometimes this would happen, like you said-suddenly. and then it might just as suddenly seem to go away. like you said- like a hicup.

I think its really smart of you to plan to bring this to tdoc and to pdoc. sometimes i guess there are breakthrough times when the meds can't hold us. sometimes it will pass and sometimes as annoying and horrible as it is, the cocktail must go back to the mixer and try something new or different.

and if you need to sleep all day or whatever- give yourself permission- its ok and good to take care of you- and sometimes that includes climbing under the covers and staying there for a bit.

I've had many hiccups that pass in a week or so, but only you can know how bad it really feels. If you're not sure- err on the side of caution and get that 5 mins with pdoc. You never know- it may be worth all the trouble and agravation.( sp? again sorry my spelling sucks).

lately for me, prn's, stupid tv, magazines and stuffed animals have been my greatest comforts. i'm not hurting anyone so i figure they are fine. what are your simple comforts? go ahead and indulge yourself ( again as long as it doesn't hurt you or anyone else, I can't see what would be wrong.

and keep ranting and venting here- keeps it away from the family and allows you to scream if you need to. write in CAPS if you want to!!

I don't care how long they are- I will be interested to read whatever you write.

take care of you.

mrs l

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Sorry to hear that you're having major problems to deal with right now but I would most definitely bring these to the attention of my tdoc & pdoc ASAP if I were in that bad of a state.

Sometimes I've been able to go for weeks or at most maybe a month feeling relatively fine but then all it takes is some sort of trigger(as was the case in mid february) to set me off,and that incident had some pretty serious consequences.

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it could be reactive to all the stuff you went through with your dad. i know you were working really really hard on keeping it together, could it be that your brain is going on strike now because you're worn out and because you may not have processed all that stuff? just a thought.

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is a week or so back in the crapper a normal hiccup for people whose meds work most of the time?
Possibly. It also may be an early warning of what is to come. I'd see if it only lasts a week. If it's going on a week and a half, 2 weeks, a month - Houston we have a problem. It may not be the meds. It may be situational as Reddog said. Although you say it's not hormonal, it may be anyway. It may be that you're subconsciously stressed about something. It could be the changing weather. It could be the lunar cycle. Don't think that it is automatically be the meds. But list it in the possibilities. It may be the after effects of going off effexor. In which case, beware.

For now, do some SERIOUS personal inventory. With your tdoc seems to best option. If not write out all your feelings, at least a page a day. Not just what you did that day, but what you thought about. Maybe you'll see a pattern. Look at the events leading up to the bad weeks. Was anything different? Get yourself on a good schedule and stick to it. Think of the bad week as just that - a bad week. You have the power to control whether it turns into a bad month, spring, year.

And you can be proud that you are looking at it thoughfully and not just freaking out.

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thank you everyone. i'm taking all that sage advice up there.

i'm going to be careful and see if this lasts longer than a few weeks. if it does i won't brush it off.

i'm going to forgive myself for being so down and not getting things done.

i'm going to really think about what's changed since my mood dived, or what might have been the catalyst (that means if i work it out the meds will be enough again right?) ;)

i'm going to also consider that maybe i am just having a little meltdown over the stress of the last few months... and the horrid stress that's come since that i can't even bring myself to write about yet (though we've talked about it in therapy).

funny... my mom called yesterday and said my dad was acting strange, not like himself, stressed over little things and avoiding weird stuff like the phone (hahaha it's genetic)... and just down in general. see, through this cancer ordeal (and the problems afterward), he's been the biggest trooper you've ever seen. people could not believe his positive attitude and sense of just going with the flow. i told her that maybe he was just now having that delayed freaking out reaction now that he's better physically (mostly) - i mean he's got to be upset at some point, or he wouldn't be human right?

maybe that's what i'm doing? i did so well while we didn't know what would happen, if he would live or what. maybe that's it.

but i gots lots of writing to do for therapy wednesday huh.

(which is the last place i want to go this week argh - that's because i need to dammit).

- rita

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There aren't any easy answers to your dilemma. You won't know it's a hiccup until it passes and all is well again. But at this point, it doesn't seem bad enough to bother the pdoc about.

Please. Bother the pdoc. Just call. Ask if this is anything to be concerned about. Have your list of cognitive/behavioral changes at hand.

Maybe it's nothing and your pdoc can reassure you. But if it seems like it's gathering momentum, you want to be able to do something quickly.

Recurrent depression. Ugh. The deeper that hole gets, the harder it is to climb out.

And I sincerely hope it's just a brief dip.

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  • 2 weeks later...

thanks greeny. i'm not sure if it's gaining any momentum. or rather one minute i do and then i don't.

been thinking on this every day (of course, it's about me isn't it?)

after having been through a hellish week, i can definitely say that some of this is situational, and will ease up as the situation eases (and it is, slowly). i can also definitely say i got triggered not only in the depression sense... i got it in the ptsd sense too and didn't realize it until it had reached it's peak and kinda lost it. now that i know THAT's been triggered ;) , things make a little more sense (which particular ruminations hang around, etc, make more sense). makes it easier to talk back to some of it a-la-CBT.

but i still don't feel like a normal person battling a hard situation. i feel like - well, like if maybe my arm had been broken for ten years and then i finally found a doctor that set it right and it didn't hurt anymore. then after i got a little used to having my arm back, someone slammed me in the mosh pit and now my arm's broken again?

but it isn't really broken i don't think. i think it just hurts again now cause it got whacked by somebody (other than me for a change :) ). maybe. i'm not a hundred percent on that one.

weird thing though - i'm starting to wonder about the sleeping being the chicken or the egg. i want to sleep all the damned time - i sleep nine hours most nights now (way more than normal for me), and i sleep like the dead my partner says (who is used to me doing the cha cha in the bed all night long). i'm still tired all day and all evening and i count the hours until i can go back to bed for the night. when i try to nap in the day, i do this thing where i fall asleep for 5 minutes then wake with a jump (like myoclonus jerking)(sp?), again and again until i am so frustrated (and can't figure out if i was dreaming or not)(and twice as tired) that i just get up and sit here with more coffee that isn't doing anything but making my stomach hurt i think. wow that was a run-on sentence there.

how can i not feel the sluggish depressed can't-get-it-up-for-anything kinda feeling if i'm like that all the time?

i haven't had narcoleptic symptoms for awhile, but the constant myoclonus thing is hallmark for me. maybe my fucked up sleep is making me depressed rather than my depression making me want to sleep? :) . i'll know for sure if any day now i randomly lose sensation in my legs. that always comes next. and then the nightmares. and then the yelling in my sleep (actually i think i'm doing that now during my nap attempts).

maybe i am overthinking this (do you think rita? really?).

i think i'm just more worried i'm going to go to the badbadwannabedead place by accident, i wanna know what's happening to my brain for sure because i REFUSE to go back there again....

thanks for letting me talk this out, i can come back to it (and think some more! whee!) and see how long this lasts (my sense of time is horrible).

- rita

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