I attribute part of the comeback in my mood to a change in my medication. First a disclaimer: I am only writing about my experiences, and everybody reacts differently to medications. This is not meant to be advice, support for, non-support for any particular drug treatment program. I am only following my Doctor’s recommendations. See a mental health professional to discuss your personal situation. OK, off soapbox.
When I originally went to my family doctor, he prescribed Wellbutrin. I noticed a few of things from the Wellbutrin. Besides helping with my depression, I felt a surge of creativity and strange, often entertaining dreams (both of which I have written about previously). The problem was that it also seemed to be amping up my anxiety, which would eventually short circuit any gains I was feeling in getting rid of the depression.
When I first went to the psychiatrist to address my issues, he switched me to Celexa for depression and Klonepin for anxiety. Again this seemed to work, but eventually the gains ceased. Now I had become unmotivated and apathetic. Depression back.
So when I went to my group sessions, the therapists and doctors were able to better assess my situation. I have now added Wellbutrin back into the mix, and am taking all three. The side effects (namely the anxiety and apathy) so far are cancelling each other out. In addition, my creativity (and weird dreams) seems to be returning.
It’s hard to talk about medication and depression to people. I don’t think most people think about depression as a big deal. Everybody gets the blues, the conventional wisdom goes, and you just need to get over it. What the don’t realize is that it becomes hard after two years of trying to “deal with it”. It hasn’t been a bad day or bad month. The pervasiveness, the physical reactions, and the filter that depression puts in your head (in effect making your emotions lie to you) just make it harder and harder.
I feel like people with depression get off easy with the stigma attached to it. People only see us as weak. Other people with mental illness have more serious accusations leveled at them. People with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Bi-Polar Disorder, and Schizophrenia are labeled as crazy and potentially dangerous. Autistic people are “weird”. Those that suffer from Tourette’s are treated as an endless source of comedy. Well let me say that people with mental illness aren’t weird, crazy, dangerous, or funny. In fact, there are many people living with these disorders who do not come forward because of these stigmas. People aren’t really different, they just need help.
A good place to start is The National Alliance on Mental Illness. NAMI is a nationwide advocate for those with mental illness. They have support groups in many cities and towns across the country, and offer information and support to both those suffering from mental illness, and for the people who support them. For more information, visit their website: http://www.nami.org.
Next time: Mindfulness, Meditation, Prayer, and Faith