So, mental illness is an interesting thing to me, not just because I suffer from depression, but in general. When I was in the 6th grade, I wrote my first research paper on mental illness. I don't remember what other wrote theirs on, but I think, looking back, that's a strange thing to write a research paper on when you are 11. Or 12. However old you are.
So, I've been taking different anti-depressants off and on since I was 20-ish. Some worked ok, some made me crazy. Well, crazier. I had one that put me into a place that turned me into a hyper-active crazy lady. I'd have to stop my car to get out and run around because the inside of my body itched. I had so much pent up energy I had to get it out. I couldn't eat. I couldn't sleep. I finally got to where if anyone looked at me cross-eyed I plotted their death.
I have been at the mercy of my regular family physician while dealing with this because it was such a pain to find a psychiatrist, I found a psychologist and found out that they don't prescribe medication, and then when I did find a psychiatrist... he just stared at me. I couldn't figure out what I was doing there or what he wanted from me.
My first doctor... my pcp. He was the guy I'd gone to my whole life and about the time that I decided that I needed something for my depression, I had started to get tattoos, piercings, and had finally gone in to get the dreaded "peek and poke" visit and get on birth control pills. His first reaction was that not only was depression just in my head (I am pretty sure there was NO pun intended) and that I obviously just wanted drugs. Just look at me. I was an embarrassment and how dare I. I would make a horrible mother with all of my piercings...keep in mind I had one tattoo on my thigh, 8 in my ears, one in my belly button, and one in my tongue. Not too much considering who I know, what I've gotten since, and the fact that I don't think there is anything wrong with any of it. Anyway, he pretty much told me I'd be a failure the rest of my life and would never make anything of myself and heaven forbid I ever want kids.
I never went back and it kills me that my mom still goes to him.
I have pretty much been just dealing with my life on prozac. I am never motivated. I am never truly happy. I just get moved to a different med. No one ever changes dosages or adds anything, just one med at the lowest dose to the next one. I had one doctor that started putting me on meds for bipolar thinking that was my deal.
That was a real treat for me let me tell you AND I can just imagine that it was horrifying and awful for my coworkers.
Finally, we deduced that I have ADD and that is a lot of the issues I deal with. So I take Ritalin, I am still depressed but I can get stuff done and feel pretty ok with the day, I take it for too long and get WAY too irritable. It's a very hard line to walk.
Having kids changed the whole game, folks. I have to be on the ball all the time, I have to be much more motivated and if not that, then I need to be much more functional. I can't really drop the ball because my kids' lives are at stake. So, my depression has gotten worse. Much, much worse.
I finally found a psychiatrist to go to but it took me 2 months to get in. I decided to go off my meds for that period of time so I had a clean slate of what I was feeling so I could get a better diagnosis.
That may have been the hardest two months of my life for my and my husband. Maybe not my husband, I am pretty horrible pregnant... :)
I have always thought about suicide, always been too scared, and always knew deep, deep down that this too shall pass.
I started trying to figure out a way to do it with the least amount of horror to everyone. No blood, no horrible hanging purple head, no brain matter, no one needs to see that. Ever. I started to think that maybe I could get a hotel room and save up all of my meds and take all of them with a bottle of wine or shots of whiskey and get the job done. Put up a note on the bathroom door for the housekeeping to call 911 or whatever and not to go inside and there was an envelope with a good bit of money for having to deal with that.
I hate that it started to intrude my thoughts at night.
Finally, my first meeting with my psychiatrist and he put me on a medication that I've never heard of before and once again I am going through what I do with each medicine.
I am so hopeless, that the first week, I experience a high because I have hope that this will work.
The second week, the hope starts to falter because I am not really sure what I am supposed to be getting out of these medications.
Does anyone else go through this weird high/low when they start a medication for anything that is "terminal"?
This is the 3rd week. I am still tired all the time due to the sedating effects of the meds, but for the first time, I feel... good.
I don't really care to shower still... (ew, gross, I know) but when I do, I really feel good and get ready all the way.
I am finally feeling like housework isn't so daunting I'd rather kill myself that load another dish or fold another item of clothing. It sounds so stupid now that I was so ... I don't even have a word to describe my depth of dread of getting up and doing the housework and taking care of my kids, let alone changing ANOTHER poopy diaper.
I am finally laughing with my kids and find that they really are fun and not so hard.
I am finally liking my husband again.
I am not yet to the point that I can get out with my friends yet, but Rome wasn't built in a day as I keep telling my husband regarding the clutter and shit all over the house. Slowly. Slowly I am conquering this thing and I am really liking it.
Best of all, the guilt is gone. There is something about depression that causes horrible guilt. I didn't want to talk to my husband thinking I'd make him mad at me or that I was wrong and the guilt of me and my relationship with him was hard. I had horrible guilt about my mothering and about how I was treating my kids or how they weren't progressing as fast as this friend or that friend. I just don't have the guilt. I love it.
I love not second guessing myself and just doing what I feel is best for me and my kids. What is best for me and my husband. I love that I am able to just talk to him and it's things that have been bothering me and I just don't care. It needs to be said and it really isn't a big deal.
I hope this is really the medicine working and not a pavlov reaction to the hope that it will.