I’m Just Having a Bad Day with Treatment-Resistant Depression

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!

9 thoughts on “I’m Just Having a Bad Day with Treatment-Resistant Depression

  1. Thank you, I have just been looking for info about this topic
    for ages and yours is the best I’ve found out so far. However, what about the bottom line?
    Are you positive about the source?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My psychiatric nurse practitioner seems to know a lot about treatment resistant depression, but she says that it is simply due to repeat trauma, as I said above. But I’ve found research articles that show that it can also be caused by overuse of psychiatric medications. So I’m definitely concerned that I’m being put on a few new medications.

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      1. Of and I always prefer looking at empirical data so journal articles are always my go to where searching out info.

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  2. Ritalin is SPEED. Maybe you’re depressed because speed will make you feel so good & then you’re gonna feel so bad. Ritalin also has a tolerance affect, so you always need more.

    Seroquel reacts violently with alcohol. OK, you don’t drink but there’s hidden alcohol in lots of things … go out to eat, there’s alcohol in that sauce covering your pasta. You may get violently ill … I know that was my reaction. NEVER AGAIN.

    Ya know what works for me & my depression? Get out of the house & walk. Get in a really good work out. & remember that THIS TOO SHALL PASS. I don’t go to AA anymore either, but some of those adages are true.

    HANG IN THERE. IT DOES GET BETTER.

    LOVE & PEACE

    Like

    1. Thanks. I was way worse off than this before Ritalin. I actually was hospitalized for 2 1/2 weeks in November because I was so depressed. I’ve been struggling with treatment-resistant depression for almost four years. The other thing is that treatment resistant depression doesn’t respond to things like depression. Therapy techniques might work for 15 minutes or long enough to get me to sleep, and I’ll feel good while I go for a walk but within five minutes of coming home I’m right back where I was. That’s why it’s called treatment resistant. When I’m in a bout of it, nothing works. I just have to distract myself until the thoughts and feelings pass. But because nothing works, I’ve gotten a tom of scorn. Phrases like “you need to ask for help” when I already am, “you need to work your program” when I was, or they’ll go after David with “you’re enabling her” or “she’s not ready for a relationship “. Because of everyone’s shame and blame towards me I am rather isolated. People really assume that I am just not trying when I most definitely am.

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  3. I believe you could still get your PhD. Part time is an option. Why not?!

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    1. It’s because I wouldn’t be able to be at a University as often as is required for graduate school. My psychiatric nurse told me that because I have something called Chronic Active Epstein Barr that I have to stay home as much as possible. And this condition can be fatal if it is not managed properly with things like rest and trying to reduce stress in my life.

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      1. I am doing my PhD. I don’t go to classes. Surely there are online options. There are practice led creative arts PhDs too. 🤓

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  4. Yes, I’ve heard that you can get graduate degrees online. I’ve considered that. I’ve also considering possibly contacting a university to see if I could carry out research from afar. I still have a lot of good research ideas and simply need university affiliation to carry them out. As much as I would love getting my PhD I wonder how necessary it really is for me because of my talents when it comes to experimental research and writing.

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