I’ve always tried to bring people inspiration and hope to other people. But today I can’t do that, and I just need to write. My depression is back in full swing, and I need to just get some things out. So bear with me here as I try to be real about what it’s like to deal with treatment-resistant mental health problems.
I started Ritalin about a month ago. At first it was enough to lower my treatment-resistant depression, but then yesterday it came back roaring. I talked to my counselor and my psychiatric nurse and my psychiatrist wants me to try Seroquel. Apparently it is an antipsychotic that can treat treatment-resistant depression. Despite all of my problems on antipsychotics, I said yes. I told her though that I’m very frustrating because every antidepressant, antipsychotic, or really any other medication and even therapy that I’ve tried other than Ritalin only made things worse.
My psychiatric nurse told me that now that I’m on Ritalin, that antipsychotics might actually work for me. She told me that I am not manic, that I am not bipolar, and that this is because of treatment-resistant depression. Then she also told me that she thinks that I also have treatment-resistant anxiety. So I asked her “How did I develop these things?” I knew that my depression worsened with antipsychotic and antidepressant use. But how the heck did I end up this way?
She told me that it is due to repeated trauma, and that it’s not my fault. This did help. We talked a little more and I let her know that I am able to notice my “depression thoughts” now that I’m on Ritalin. I also told her that I think that I’ve been in psychological shock for years, and she told me that she agrees. She continued to tell me that this is not bipolar disorder as my family claims it to be, that it is something much different, and that I am totally rational despite what I am going through.
My boyfriend David is being a saint through all of this. He keeps reminding me that I am having a bad day because I’m having globalizing thoughts such as “Boy my life sucks”. At least I’m aware that I am globalizing, though, which is a big step up from where I was a few months ago. I’m trying to stay positive here, but am still struggling. He has been telling me too that I am getting better even though it doesn’t seem like it today.
This blog, though, is really keeping me going. I am noticing that I am gaining followers, and people are liking what I say. It’s empowering, and it’s making a huge difference in my life.
On an unrelated note (although my thinking on this still shows the extent of my depression), I’ll just quickly speak to something that came up for me today. When I went to AA, my sponsor discouraged me from getting my PhD because she thought that it would lead me to have a “big ego” and would lead to drinking. So I never got that PhD despite having award winning research and a 3.9 GPA at the graduate level. I totally regret this. Today I fight feelings and thoughts such as “Boy. I’m really smart. My research could have made some changes in the world if I’d gotten that PhD.” And “I wish I would have gotten my PhD before all of these health problems set in.” But now that I have Chronic Active Epstein Barr, I doubt very much that I can get my PhD even if my mental health gets under control. For me this is about the biggest loss that I could ever have. It’s always been my dream to get a PhD.
And all those comments that people make about my brilliance don’t actually help. There has always been so much pressure on me to perform by everyone around me due to my intelligence. Today I hear comments from people such as “You’re so brilliant/smart! It’s too bad that you can’t work!” And so on and so forth. People call me brilliant all of the time, but instead of feeling like it’s a compliment, I just end up wishing that my life had been different and that I could have applied my brilliance to change the world in some way. And I’m trying to in my own way to do this.
I know that I’m gifted. I hope that at least this blog is enough to change something for someone, and I do know that it’s a big deal that I used Cognitive Psychology to regain and retrieve a bunch of lost memories while reteaching myself lost skills despite having all of these health conditions. Maybe someday I can apply those techniques and design a system for other people who suffer from trauma-related memory loss to regain their memory and skills based off theories and practices in Cognitive and Biological Psychology. Right now trauma-related memory loss is usually dealt with through counseling and other techniques but I think that it could be dealt with more effectively through Clinical Neuropsychology. But, I have to take care of myself first before I can even think about taking on something like this.
Well, thanks for listening to me today. I realize that my thoughts are scattered. If you any of the health conditions that I have maybe you can relate, and just know that someone else is struggling too. We all have bad days I guess!
Thanks for reading!