Introspective

Thats how I have been lately.


A few months back I mentioned depression and how I had started running and was planning to go to the doctor... Well I stopped running, mainly for environmental/weather reasons and I didn't go to the doctor.
Stupid Huh.
The good news is I do plan to start running again as I love what it does for my self esteem and I did eventually go to the doctor two weeks ago. That doctors visit was not what I was expecting.

I was first medically diagnosed with depression about 11 or twelve years ago, though in hindsight and after years of getting to know it I realise it strings back to my teens. At my first diagnosis I went to the doctor after getting a series of viral things back to back and I remember laying on the lounge at home feeling like I was dying, in tears, feeling terribly alone and wondering why I kept getting sick, and why it was affecting me so badly.
When the doctor said I had neglected to acknowledge depression and it was manifesting as a depression of my immune system it all made sense when the events in that recent past history were taken into account. Held back tears then flowed freely for a while.
She told me to drag my sorry ass out the door every day and run. ( in a much more professional manner ) I was so deflated. Running was not something I warmed to going outside was not something I even wanted to contemplate, but I did it and it helped.
Then in 2007 the terrible PND raised its head and it was a struggle for me to accept this was beyond my own control, thought I did acknowledge it was not an acceptable thing to be telling myself I was a bad mother. I was feeling like such a terrible failure then My Mr told me 'admitting you need help when you can't handle something is a sign of strength not weakness'. That was the first time I used medication to try and remedy the situation. I had fairly instant effects and it pulled me from my tearful despair. This is what I wrote at the time... 

I started a low dose anti depressant about 3 weeks ago.
Initially I noticed that I stopped crying and laughed a bit, I still had down days but I was able to laugh at some silly things ( mistakes or accidents )the kids did that would have made me cross or cry the week before. I started to spend less time at the computer, play more, enjoy my kids more, eat better and sleep more solidly. that week I took some daytime naps if possible.
Week two daily chores started to happen, washing, dishes, folding, still playing, laughing etc.
Week three Little Mr was in the process of changing routine and dropping a sleep. I was getting up before Hubs for a shower giving the kids brekky and dressing them. we'd all be set for our day by between 8 and 9 with out any real effort, I wash a load, put it in the dryer and fold it and put it away all on the same day. The dishes would get washed every day. Now this might not sound like much but it was certainly not happening before, and really seemed unachievable. Over the last week I have enjoyed planning and preparing meals, started to take pride in appearance by putting some effort into doing my hair and enjoying the yummy smell of new shampoo and hair no frizz product. The house work has gone to the dogs the last few days with Sick kids but it sure isn't weighing on me like it used to. Tomorrow is looking good for it.... theres always tomorrow... In short, nothing seems too hard or unachievable anymore what is not done does not darken my days and force me into a negative downward spiral. My creativity is amazing and I am so happy with what I am producing on my scrap table. I still feel tired and get frustrated and have ups and downs but boy oh boy I am even keeled, happy and light compared to where I was a month ago.

So, when at the doctors two weeks ago, she said to me that she thought it was time for me to start the long term anti depressants I was stunned. No one had discussed it with me in this manner before. I thought I had some other kind of depression ... not the Genetic chemical imbalance in your brain kind ... shrug. Denial.
She ran through a list of  potential physical complications I would be more at risk of leaving depression untreated as I get older. She asked me why I was hesitant to take medication for an illness and sent me off for a barrage of blood tests
Hmmm. ... so introspective I am as I try to get my head around all she said. In addition to that I am not settling in to the medication in the way I did 4 years ago. I'm not coming in to it from a position of despair though and I guess that plays a part. I do see improvement at times but at this early stage results are inconsistent and side effects are numerous. So I'm learning about all of this again too. Its different, though its the same. 
I'm back to the doctor this week to talk about it some more and get the results of those tests I might share here if I have words. I hope honestly sharing this here can help someone else, even in some small way.

xx

15 comments:

  1. Oh Tammy, I'm sorry you're going through this. But as someone who is also dealing with this piece of crap affliction, it really does help to hear other people talk about, so thank you. And don't let yourself think for a second that taking medication makes you a failure - it's hard to ask for help, but D is absolutely right that it takes strength to admit it when you aren't coping. Look after yourself! XX

    ReplyDelete
  2. Good on you for having the courage to address this state Tammy. It is never easy. I hope you soon find the right path for you back to wellness. ((hugs))

    ReplyDelete
  3. Its certainly very brave and strong to get help and I applaud you for that. I have also suffered in the past from depression and I also know several people who have to take medication long term so I know its not an easy thing to accept. You probably already know this but there are so many types and strengths of anti dep's you could ask your Dr to try another one if u are getting bad side effects. and keep trying new ones til you get the right one. Like jo and tash said, it does help to hear other people talk about it so thank you as well. i wish you very well and hope u have a lot of support from your family and friends and lots of love in your life to get you through this bad time. It helps when someone reminds u its not forever and there is a light at the end of the tunnel, a time in the near future you will feel happy and be able to cope again.
    Hugs Xxo

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh, Baby, you get to be as self-supportive as you need to be. If you had a broken something, you would get it fixed, and crappy brain chemistry is not any different.

    It sounds like you have a good medical resource, so be assertive about trying new meds...someone already mentioned that...and even combining certain types of medications. Sometimes it takes a while to find the right stuff and titer up the an effective dose.

    Yep. :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Tammy. Sorry to hear the depression is still hanging around. As I mentioned before, I've had it too, in the past, but got through it with therapy. I still find times that I slip back into a depressive state but am able to pull myself out of it. My husband, on the other hand, has had it since he was a teen, left untreated and only started taking medication about 7 years. He's been on so many different kinds, seen different doctors but now seems to have the depression and anxiety under control through therapy as well. I think he still needs a lot of work but if you're never happy with a diagnosis or medical opinion, see someone else. Sounds like you have and you're on the right track. Wished I lived a bit closer to give you a helping hand. If there is anything I can do, just sing out. (I'll send you some warmth and sunshine from Brissy. ) xxx

    ReplyDelete
  6. I was diagnosed after a major grieving time which took me to the edge of suicide. I knew I was sad, disjointed and absent from "life" but had no clue that I had depression. I thought I was rationing calmly and sanely but now with more perspective on board I clearly was not. No amount of counseling was going to sway me either because I thought I was rational. Luckily a friend booked me an appointment to see a Dr (luckily she also specialised in mental health) and with medication on board I was like "What was I thinking!" After 12 months I came off but I am vigilant now or more educated maybe and I sometimes catch myself and ask a little question in my head "are you sad in a normal way or are you lacking the serotonin and getting depressed?" Unless we talk about it and explain the many ways of manifestation and experience, we will remain uneducated and we won't know we might have a problem. I fully understand now why some people are so surprised when someone suicides and they say they had no clue. In my depression I was a master of disguise and had everyone fooled, to this day probably only 3 people (and now you all of course LOL)know how close I came to killing myself and that was only revealed after the fact. The only thing stopping me was that I was trying to devise a way that didn't traumatise emergency workers and police officers. See...this is why I thought I was being quite rational because I was still getting up and going to work, didn't want to harm anyone else and truly thought people would be better off. Please if you have these thoughts, just check with one other person whether you are rational and preferably make sure that one person is a doctor.

    ReplyDelete
  7. The "you" being universally meant to encompass everyone, not just you Tammy, cos clearly you are on track girl. x

    ReplyDelete
  8. Your doctor sounds really good and I think that's half the battle with depression. Sometimes it's really hard to ask for help & we need someone to give us a nudge in the right direction. All the best during this difficult time xx

    ReplyDelete
  9. It sounds like you have a doctor who really cares and monitors you well. Have you checked out Beyond Blue? It's a great resource.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Tammy, my first husband suffered from depression most of his life. He was and extremely unhappy person until he was fifty years old. He finally found a medical practioner (in Canberra, where he now lives BTW) who finally helped him after all those years. He is now a happy productive person and has been for the last fourteen years. All those years wasted! I am so glad that you are getting the help now instead of having to wait so long like him.
    Bravo for speaking up.

    Cheers, Karen near Gympie.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Tammy, I don't have much to offer but just know that I'm thinking of you and sending good vibes your way.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with taking medication when it's needed. Thinking of you. xx

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thank you so much for sharing Tammy. I think you are really brave.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Way to go Tammy!

    You are doing JUST GREAT!

    I hope the test come out normal and you find a good adjustment to the medications. It may mean a change of drug - but you do find one that works.

    Love me : o )

    ReplyDelete
  14. Oh, Tammy! I'm so sorry to find you're a fellow sufferer. I can totally relate to so many of your experiences. Sending you a Hobart ♥ tonight. J x

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thanks for this post Tammy. You have given me lots to consider about myself. I just thought I was stressed because I am running after a 3year old & a 1 year old and don't seem to get anything done except my friends seem to cope without any problems! I too keep getting virus/cold straight after I have just gotten over one. Glad to hear you are getting better. Thank-you once again for sharing. Regards Rebecca

    ReplyDelete

Thanks so much for stopping by and letting me know you were here. x
Have a happy Day.