Tuesday, March 24, 2015

On depression

While I've alluded to it, I have not yet really written about my depression. I've started this post several times dating back several years. When I look through my draft posts I can see where I started to put words down on paper. Tried to put words to my feelings and my experience. Tried to form the sentences into a take home message or at least a message. But I couldn't. That's the thing, depression takes a lot out of you and takes away your ability to do simple things, things you want to do, things you intend to do.

And even when I read through what I had started to write... it isn't very helpful.

It wasn't until I read the article
http://www.megfee.com/megfee/2009/01/16/for-claritys-sake-this-is-the-story-of-how-i-came-to-know-ned?rq=for%20clarity%27s%20sake from Meg Fee about her eating disorder that I thought I should really finish writing about my experience with depression because reading her blog post helped me. And maybe what I write can help someone else. Or at least, not feel so alone in their experience.

I too, like "Meg Fee," felt like the professionals that I sought help from did more harm than good. I got incorrect diagnosis' and just bad "treatment." I know not everyone has this experience. Some people get lucky and hit a home run on their first attempt at seeking help. But I think that is more the exception than the rule.

I was diagnosed with major depression about 8 years ago. I've had depression on and off since I was a teenager I believe now. At the time I was diagnosed I was having thoughts of suicide all the time. I went  to my healthcare provider (kaiser) and was told I was lucky and I was able to get 4 whole private therapy sessions!!! Although I expressed that I didn't want to be put on anti-depressants, I was pressured into it anyway. A psychiatrist spent all of about 10 minutes with me, then put me on generic Zoloft (or Prozac, I can't remember which was first).

That's when I entered the zombie phase of my life. Sure I had fewer thoughts of suicide, but I also had fewer thoughts. I was numb. I didn't feel anything and one of them, generic Zoloft or generic Prozac, made me so tired I couldn't stay awake during the day even after sleeping an average of 10 hours at night. I was practically narcoleptic.

During the last 8 years I've been in and out of serious depression, I've seen at least 6 different therapists and tried at least 6 different anti-depressants. Not once has a prescribing psychiatrist called to see how the medication was working for me. I just stopped taking them and no one knew. No one knew my side effects either.

Fast forward to last month when my thoughts of suicide returned regularly. My life has been stagnating over the years and I just couldn't imagine another 40 years of the same. And I can't tell you the last time I felt happy. 

In February, I stopped taking the current long named generic anti-depressant I was on because I was still experiencing negative thoughts and emotions all the time. I had intended to wean myself off in order to go a different anti-depressant as was recommended over and over to me by therapists. (Some medications you have to get out of your system before taking a new one.)

By this point, I was beginning to truly believe that I was just extremely lazy, and unmotivated with nothing to give and nothing to live for. But once I stopped taking the meds I realized I was less fatigued and had more energy. Maybe I wasn't just lazy, maybe the meds were actually making me sick. I decided to explore the alternatives to medication and traditional therapy while I had the energy.

I plan to blog about my experiences. There might be some lapses, but that's the plan right now.  Alternative therapies I've tried so far include mindfulness meditation, shin-rai spiritual awakening, hypnotherapy, psychic medium healing and an appointment with an archetyping life coach that told me my archetype was a knight (with a dash of queen and priestess).

I've started on an alternative path and some things have worked out well for me and some I feel neutral about and some I question. But I do know that I feel so much better off the drugs.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Tuesday, March 10, 2015