I was diagnosed with treatment-resistant depression this past winter. What this means is that I am very depressed and that my depression doesn’t respond to typical medication or therapy. I started to really notice it back in 2014/2015, and it flared right around the same time that I started trauma work in June 2015. Since then, doctors and counselors have been trying many things to help relieve my depression. So far, Seroquel, which is sometimes used for treatment-resistant depression, worked somewhat to help with my depression, but I still was pretty depressed on it to the point of where I couldn’t focus on things well and didn’t always have fun doing things that I usually enjoy. I also was having a lot of issues sleeping and had intrusive, negative thoughts all the time.
About a week ago, I expressed concern to my doctor over Seroquel and weight gain. Because of this, she put me on Abilify, which is a medication that tends to cause less weight gain than Seroquel and is not as sedating as a lot of the other antipsychotics that I am on. I take it in the morning, too, which means that it’s effective throughout the day. I’ve actually considered Abilify before, but it was too expensive in the past. Today there is a generic form, though, which means that I can afford it.
I noticed right away that Abilify helped with my depression more than any other medication has so far. It is causing some nausea, though, which I am dealing with okay. But, I still wasn’t sleeping well on Abilify alone, so my doctor added a low dose of Seroquel at night, which is helping me sleep. I slept over 10 hours last night finally after taking my medications along with tylenol for pain relief.
I’m on a pretty high dose of Abilify, which at first I didn’t like. I’m starting to realize, though, that my depression and mood symptoms are very severe and that is why I need such a high dose.
Today I made a collage during crafts time and had a lot of fun doing it. I took most of the pictures out of a fitness magazine because fitness and exercise is one of my biggest interests and strenths. I also put in some pictures that just reminded me of me and the types of things that I enjoy. This was the first time, actually, that I enjoyed making crafts the whole time that I’ve been here (almost four weeks), which tells me that these medications are definitely helping me. It’s just too bad, though, that it took the doctors here this long to find a medication that helps me (they tried other ones that had bad side effects for me first).
My doctor is suggesting a shot form of Abilify that would ensure that I have even levels of it in my system throughout the month and would be helpful for me because it would be one less pill to remember to take every day. I’m definitely thinking about this as an option for me, but first I need to make sure that I can tolerate any side effects of the medication that come up.
I am thinking now that maybe this hospital visit is worth it overall. At least I hope so. I won’t fully know until, though, until after I get home for a couple of months and see whether or not my physical health stays steady after the stress of this visit.
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