Friday, July 29, 2005

Be Like a Tree

I ended up having a pretty good session today, despite it starting off poorly. Some days I just don't have anything to say. Today was one of those in the beginning. I just felt so flat and blah...better than the two days prior though.

I went off my Epival (mood stabilizer) to see if the other med (Gabapentin) would work on its own with less side effects. I think I was angry at my pdoc for making me do this as since I have taken the Epival I have at least made SOME progress...even though I also pay the price of memory/concentration problem, hair falling out in clumps, fatigue, amotivation and as well as it possibly causing rapid weight gain. These may seem huge...but the constant suicidal ideation and the severity of my depression were so much worse before the Epival. I feel like I was willing to put up with some of those things.

Now...last couple days I have been so angry and depressed I started having all my suicidal thoughts again. I was mad at pdoc because Gabapentin does not have a great reputation for helping depression...(supposedly no controlled studies show it helps better than a placebo)...also I am now on only the one med which while wonderful to be on counterintuitive to all that I have read about treatment guidelines for refractory depression... and I have been so treatment resistent to every med I've tried except Epival...Even the people I know with mild/moderate depression seem to be on a couple different meds as one doesn't seem to help. So I guess I don't get how the Gabapentin is going to help me, but he's the pdoc so I guess he has a plan.

Anyways...I had the courage today to ask my pdoc (after 4 years of trying to figure it out on my own) ask him if he could please tell me what I am doing wrong. How can I help myself. I feel like I am blind AND I have been placed in a maze, and I'm trying to find my way out...the effort is futile. I asked, "Can't you please just give me a push? I want someone to tell me how to help myself.

He said my question presupposed he was not pushing me. Then we had a big discussion about how important external motivation might be to help me get going. He used the metaphor of how a tree draws water two hundred feet up to the top of itself. He said, "Nothing from within the tree forces the water up its trunk. Evaporation pulls it up. Something outside itself sustains its continuing to survive and grow". (He always has awesome metaphors!) "If someone was relying on you, if someone needed you to be there at a certain time, it might be a motivation to help you move forward".

I see what he is saying, and I know he is right...but this freaks me out because I am so scared I will end up in the position I was in before I left work. Highly suicidal, but I could not, no matter how hard I tried, give myself permission to leave and take care of myself.

At the time I had detailed plans to hang myself in the washroom at work, or to drown myself in the river using all the sleeping meds I had hoarded to assist myself in my quest for death. My suicidal ideation was so brutal and violent I could think of nothing else. I don't even know how I survived.

I feel like I could so easily be there again, because I still have the same stress responses to situations I feel anxious about. I also have an extraordinarily small stress threshold...even tiny things seem to set me off.

Anyhow...I will talk with my pdoc about all this next session.



James said...

It's sccary to shift meds around. That must be frustrating. I am going off my anti-depressant for another mood-stabilizer (lexapro)which supposedly has A.D. properties.

He then wants to take me off of my Seroquel and onto Abilify. Which scares me because I get such AWESOME sleep on Seroquel. Plus, I've heard that there is a risk with Abilify of too much anxiety and that's the LAST thing that i need. So, we will see. We are both kind of going through the same process right now so we will have to keep in touch to help each other along, eh?

Aqua said...

Absolutely I will help you anytime.

I am a pro at switching meds. I have tried 27 different med trials and electroshock...all to no avail.

The Epival felt like the only thing that helped me at I am pretty disappointed about going off it. I had to take a huge dose of saved valium last night (BAD Aqua!!!) but I cannot sleep and am going batty...oh yeah...I already am...well you get the picture.

sandyatyourservice said...

Hello Aqua. I've started reading you blog from the beginning and I know this is a very old post, but I have a question for you. I see you mentioned electroshock treatment. I've been seriously thinking about asking my doctor about trying this. I just want to know what it is like first. Can you tell me? They do put you to sleep first don't they? Are there bad after effects?

I appreciate any info you can give me. I hope you are doing well. I'm headed back to read more of your blog.

~Sandy G.