- Mental Health
No Way Out
I don't know exactly when it began, but I became depressed (generalized depression) about 11 years ago -- while also dealing with sciatica and the appearance of a tumor in the upper-rear section of my jaw. I saw a couple of psychiatrists who prescribed Prozac and some other routine SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) -- neither of the medications had any effect.
I saw a third psychiatrist, and started to go through the entire catalog of SSRIs (one by one), trying different doses, mixing them in combinations, and also trying some expensive experimental drugs as well. None of them gave me any relief. All the SSRIs work pretty much the same way -- by controlling the amount of serotonin that is transmitted inside the neurons of the brain. But the brain has thousands of neurons, and doctors only have a vague idea what purpose they serve. Psychiatry is really in its infancy. Maybe some day in the future they will find a drug that works on stubborn cases like my own. For now, it's just wishful thinking.
Honestly, I feel better after drinking half a bottle of bourbon. Until the next morning, that is.
The SSRIs work well for some individuals, but there is no magic bullet for me (unfortunately).
In my case the worst aspect of being depressed is the total lack of motivation -- even getting out of bed often seems like a bad idea.
I've had three surgeries to eradicate the tumor in my mouth, and I'm about to face my fourth round, which the doctors warn me will be quite radical. Looking forward to this doesn't lighten my mood.
Living a joyless existence for this length of time has naturally caused me to have suicidal thoughts, but, well, so far, I'm still here.
All my friends have disappeared, and my small family deals with me as little as possible. I can't blame them. It's like sitting in a room with a zombie.
Even sleep brings no relief, as I have unpleasant recurring nightmares.
My psychiatrist said that if I wanted to try ECT (electro-convulsive therapy), he'd be quite willing to set it up for me. But, I've read about some side-effects (like losing part of your memory) that make me very wary. I've also read about MST (magnetic stimulation therapy). I need to get more information about it
Sometimes writing a HUB helps in that it distracts me from myself.
After 11 years of this, it's starting to feel like the new normal, where every thing becomes coated with a thick layer of dust, boxes and various important papers strewn everywhere. New life forms are developing in my refrigerator.
This is just a sliver of my private hell. Some who may read this that have depression or have gone through periods of depression will be able to identify. For everyone else it will seem like a crutch -- that it all depends on a person's attitude. I am here to tell you that this is not what anyone would ever wish for and it is not something that can be controlled voluntarily. If you can control it, you're just in a funk, and thinking of a funk as depression is just wrong.