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.
I'm having a hell of a hard time and experiencing rather weird symptoms. Whether they've anything to do with Mirtazapine (Remeron) is something that I strongly feel but can't quite convince any doctor of. I was put on 15 mg of it in spring 2015 for depression and a severe insomnia - I hadn't slept an hour like since 25 nights back then! The benefits showed immediately within a day and surprised myself and my family. I would sleep well and be in a very happy and cheerful mood. Then however, from summer 2016 I developed some strange food intolerances; caffeine, sugar, fruits containing high amounts of fructose, yoghurt, butter and so on. Eating anything of that would cause me jitteriness and insomnia. I steered clear of those foods. From autumn last year though, a lot of those food intolerances have relented and it changed into intolerance towards medicines and supplements that I was on; the thyroid medicine for hypothyroidism, Vitamin D, Calcium, Vitamin E and could never again tolerate any new medicine or supplement. Symptoms resulting from these are, again, jitters, insomnia and a strange kind of feeling of being struck on the head, like I can't hear anything and the thinking becomes very unclear and blurred. Coupled with this is a weird sensation that if a medicine has any potential side-effect (even physical, such as urine retention), I get it at all costs. So I'm steering clear of the culprits here too. However, avoiding the culprits doesn't end my misery, it just helps in avoiding a whole new set of symptoms, because since autumn 2016 I'm under constant brainfog anyway, have heart palpitations immediately after every meal (but worst after breakfast), have concentration and focus issues, lead a life without any hobbies, wishes or desires. Nothing excites me, nothing interests me and nothing catches my attention. Leave tasks pending for months (the most unlike me habbit), have badly lost my sense of humour. My sense of humour was something that I literally used to pride on, and friends from around the world would call me to fresh up if they were having a dull day. My mind feels numb, although it isn´t as if it´s the sedating effect of the Mirtazapine because 90% percent of the nights I don´t sleep well, and on a lot of nights I feel as if I´m asleep with an awake mind! The GP who put me on it considered it to be just the effects of anxiety and depression and recommended the doubling of the dose to 30 mg. When I contested that, given that I´ve my doubts of a lot of these issues being brought upon by Mirtazapine itself, she referred me to a psychiatrist. He too strongly denies of Mirtazapine having any hand to play on it and instead thinks it´ll be best to combine it with another antidepressant for day-time. He put me on Paroxetine, boom, a flood of side-effects! Then changed to Fluoxetine (Prozac) - third day on it and having weird feelings. The heart poundings are one and is in fact making me very depressed and hopeless!
Even when my mood is stable (and I don't really feel depressed), I have excessive boredom... or is it laziness or Apathy? Especially since the confinement, nothing is open, nowhere to go, nowhere nice to even walk around to distract myself. I'm unemployed. It's been much worse. I can manage to do basic things on good days (like shower, exercise, go outside for a walk, cook, eat healthy)....but this literally is all I can do....
I try to initiate something enjoyable (like reading a book, or doing something creative, listen to music) and I cannot engage. I have extreme resistance, cannot sustain any interest. It feels like a combination of boredom, resistance and apathy..... I do sort of enjoy some things (napping and watching netflix). But it is impossible to get myself to do anything productive. I feel lazy and worried I won't be able to function in a job.
Since I do feel some pleasure in taking a shower, napping, I assume it isn't full anhedonia? There seems to be no cure for this, my pdoc seems to be pleased when I'm stable and not depressed. I've felt like this for many years and essentially just force myself to do everything....stimulants help me focus but they don't allow me to be interested in anything.... pdoc has no ideas & doesn't seem to think that this is depression.....or even worth treating. Help.
Starting with a new therapist who does psychoanalytic-type therapy. She is focused on tuning into the subconscious mind, because our conscious mind apparently only accounts for like 5% lived experience. We spend entire session in unstructured conversations and she questions my associations in detail.
I spent decades on behavioral-focused therapies (CBT, DBT) thinking that it's "my fault" (or fault of my genes) that i cannot regulate my moods, crying spells, negative ruminations. I've failed those sorts of therapies, always trying to "force change" my conscious thought patterns & behaviors. I'm beginning to believe that maybe I have repressed & unprocessed trauma, much of which I cannot remember. I spend a lot of time dissociated, trying to go about my day.
I've been reading about the effect of subconscious trauma, and the symptoms of it. Having large memory gaps... Chronic fatigue...Always plagued with irrational feelings that come out of nowhere... they say that in order to access the memories is to return the brain to the same state of consciousness as when the memory was encoded...but what if you were under the influence or in an unsafe situation? What if you were 4 years old? How do you even access the actual experience, if you don't remember the specific event?
I am afraid to go down this road and open a Pandora's box of feelings, random associations, and impressions that I won't be able to make sense of. Consciously, I do not think about any specific events or trauma from the past....Some doctors say that efforts to uncover potential memories stand a strong chance of creating false recollections and narratives that could harm, distress, and destabilize.
Can recovering repressed trauma actually be psychologically damaging? Memory itself is not reliable, and extremely malleable; no matter how strong and vivid memory may be, the human mind is desperately prone to fallibility.
HAVE BIPOLAR DISORDER TYPE II, AND ALSO I HAVE SOCIAL PHOBIA. I HAVE HISTORY OF DRUG ABUSE, AND I HAD BEEN ADDICTED TO XANAX FOR 2 YEARS. THEN, BY FOLLOWING ASHTON MANUAL, I FINALLY MANAGED TO DROP OFF THESE MEDS GRADUALLY. AND I HAVE BEEN CLEAN FOR 18 MONTHS NOW. BUT MY LIFE GRADUALLY BECOMES IMPOSSIBLE AND 1 WEEK AGO I TOOK XANAX( AGAIN) AND IT HELPED ME TO DO DAILY TASKS WITHOUT ANXIETY ISSUES. I DONT KNOW WHAT TO DO. I HAVE THE FEELING THAT WITHOUT BENZOS MY LIFE IS NOT AS IT SHOULD BE WITHOUT XANAX I AM LOCKED IN MY HOUSE, BARELY ABLE TO COMMUNICATE WITH STRANGERS, EVEN WHEN NEEDED.