Monday, March 02, 2009

At What Point is There No Hope Left?

I volunteered to teach a class today. I was dreading teaching the whole time beforehand, even as I drove to the studio. While I was teaching I felt some relief; I was too distracted by the complexities of the lesson to think about how much I wanted to die. The second I touched the door to leave I was exhausted and fell once again into myself and all the hell that brings with it.

When I look objectively at what I have tried to do to to help myself make the depression go away it frightens me. It scares me that I have tried so much, and so many things, and still nothing is consistently helping my depression dissipate. My mood still continues to cycle, I still feel angry and frustrated and depressed, anxious and panicky, and can't sleep, or sleep too much, eat too much, avoid everything, have difficulty leaving the house, doing things, cleaning, cooking, laundry, dishes, sex, lose interest in everything, lose hope...All this never goes away for any length of time. When it does it feels like temptation threatening to drown me as soon as I begin enjoying myself. I feel like Satan sits and waits for a good mood to begin inside me...and then BLAMO! he whacks me upside the head just to show me I am still lost to hell. Paradise; a life of enjoyment and happiness, is lost.

It gets to the point where I begin to ask: Is it worth it? Am I worth it? There is a lot of money, medication, time and effort, both on my part, and the part of others, going into helping me become well. If, as I suspect, I will always cycle in and out of depression: What is the point of all this trying? From a utilitarian perspective it makes no sense at all to keep me here.

Why take medications? Why continue in therapy? Why continue living? If life is going to be as hard as it has been these last 7.5 years and the two years, with a two month reprieve before that...and the too numerous to remember episodes of depression before that, if life is going to be this hard a struggle forever...why keep trying? At some point don't you just give up and say it will never get better. Live with it, accept it, give in, or die. Dr. X said let him carry my hope, but at what point is that futile? At what point to we both concede to having been beaten by this illness? If you review all I have tried you will think the same thing:

1. 19: Journals filled with writing

2. 304: Number of blog entries

3. 425: Psychotherapy sessions with Dr. X. (give or take a few)

4. 21250: Minutes of therapy with Dr X

5. 14.75: years in my life lost to depression (conservative estimate)

6. 6.2: Number of years spent unemployed because of my depression

7. 104: Number of days on top of the 6.2 years lost employment because I could only manage working 4 days/week

8. 29: Number of years underemployed because of my depression

9. More than 8640: Number of pills bought to try to treat my depression if prescriptions were all one pill per day (many weren't/aren't)

10. 288: Number of bottles of pills purchased

11. Hundreds: of Visits to the pharmacy

12. 33: Number of psychotropic medications tried**

13. 9: Number of different vitamin/supplements tried

14. 8: Number of ECT sessions received

15. 177: Approximate number of months I have spent depressed in my lifetime

16. 5384: Approximate number of days spent depressed

17. 40: Number of years spent anxious and wanting to hide

18. 36: Number of years I remember having difficulty sleeping

19. 6: Number of therapists I have seen

20. 3: Number of psychiatrists I have seen

21. 2: Number of psychiatrists/ therapists I connected with

22. 1. Number of Psychiatrists, Doctors, Health Care Workers I trust.

Supplements/Vitamins I have tried/++Supplements/Vitamins I am currently taking:

  1. St. John's Wort

  2. Valerian

  3. Salmon Oil (took 6 grams/day)

  4. L-Tryptophan 2grams/day

  5. Iron supplement twice daily++

  6. B100 Complex (B1 100mg) ++

  7. B12

  8. Folic acid 1.0 mg

  9. 100mgs of each B vitamins++

  10. Multivitamin++

SSRI's

  1. Prozac 60 mgs
  2. Paxil
  3. Celexa
  4. Effexor
  5. Luvox
  6. Zoloft
Novel Anti-depressants:
7. Wellbutrin.
8. Remeron
9. Moclobemide

Tricyclic Antidepressants:
10. Nortriptyline
11. Amtrytiline (took for trauma symptoms...for 5 days after a traumatic incident)
12. Desiprimine

Anticonvulsants/Mood Stabilizers:
13. Lamotrigine 200mg
14. Lithium
15. Epival
16. Gabapentin
17. Lithium (800-1200mg)
18. Carbamazepine (800-1000mg)

Benzodiazepines:
19. Clonazepam
20. Diazepam
21. Lorazepam
22. Temazepam

Beta blocker:
23. Propranolol

Other:
24. Low dose Doxepine
25. Clonidine

Atypical Antipsychotics:
26. Seroquel
27. Risperdal
28. Olanzapine

Hypnotics/Sleep Medication

29. Trazadone (25/50mg/100mg/200mg/300mg)
30. Zopiclone (7.5mg/15mg)

Stimulants:

31. Ritalin
32. Dexedrine (tablets and spansules 5-20mgs)
33. Modafinil

Note:
Also tried numerous combinations of above medications

Am I doing something wrong? Am I making things not work? If so What? and Why? Does this happen to other people? Am I the only one who never gets better? Why? I used to want so badly to live a beautiful life. Now I have no desire to live.

7 comments:

Hannah said...

You must never give up hope Aqua, you are so strong to have survived all these years, and the reason you have is because you have spirit and determination, you have fought so hard and you are to be respected and held in awe. A lot of people lack these skills and you have them in spades.
I know it's so hard not to make these kind of lists focussing on the negative, but now you have try to turn it around and see the positives within it; perhaps you are getting closer to an answer? Just think, all these years have given you knowledge and experience which helps and inspires people, it must be rewarding to know you can share this with others in a similar situation to yourself?
Take care my dear, while there is still a light in your eyes, there will still be hope.

Hann xx

Harriet said...

I was talking to my therapist about this last week. I think there is a point in a person's life where they have to decide if they want to live. It's not up to anyone else. Depression is a horrible disease, and although there is always hope that something will come along to make it go away, the chances of that happening soon are low.

I would never judge anyone's decision to end their life if they have tried every possibility to get better. I don't believe that life itself is a reason for living. Life needs to be at least somewhat enjoyable.

But you can't forget that there are people in your life who love you and who you love, and that can be a reason for living. Love. Is it enough? I don't know.

jcat said...

ditto....

Lola Snow said...

Please don't give up Aqua, not so long ago the world was making sense again. I know it's hard to remember that when the walls start closing in, and we feel like it will never come back, but it does, and when it does there is always that bewilderment at what the hell we were thinking, to want to leave when there is so much beauty in the world.

There must be something new you can try? To shake things up a little? Is there no avenue you cannot explore which you haven't before (Oh that rhymed!) Sometimes there are places you can go, like Hannah was saying about on her blog. A retreat, or a course, a safe haven or something.

Lola x

Anonymous said...

I could've written this post verbatum..i haven't done ect, but have tried even more meds than you. My problem isn't in finding a rx to help my depression, it's finding a drug where the side effects aren't worse than the depression. I told my doc it's basically a "lateral move". So the depression may get better, but then the zillions of side effects make me equal, or more miserable. The end result isn't better...just different. I too wonder when enough is enough.

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Anonymous said...

If you have not already done so, I recommend trying one or all of the non-selective MAOI's (Nardil, Parnate, or Marplan). They are vastly more effective than Moclobemide, and the dietary restrictions are, in my experience, easy to follow. The side-effects are another matter, however. Good luck to you in your search. This blog is a testament to your intelligence, eloquence, and strength.