Thursday, March 23, 2006

Depression sucks. I have suffered from depression for about 5 years now. I also have diagnosed Tourette Syndrome, OCD, and while at Love in Action, was diagnosed as Bi-Polar(Not by LIA Staff, but by Psychiatric professionals!) I stopped taking my meds about two months ago, as a protest against my mother really. Everytime I disagree with her or have any problem in my life it's the same thing: "Are you taking your meds?!? You must not be, otherwise you wouldn't be like this!" So, as childish as it is, I stopped taking them. Plus the side effects were getting me down.
My life, being as crazy as it is right now, didn't need the added pressure of depression, so I decided to make an appointment. It was sooo difficult to do because I literally have no ability to follow thru with even small tasks, an effect of my depression. While in the doctor's office, I had an overwhelming sense of fear and disgust of myself. There was a few ladies in there and they were really in need of some major psychiatric services(Not to judge, I mean they were in the shrink's office!) I couldn't help but I one of those crazy people? Maybe I just hide it better. I feel really crazy right now. I cry over the smallest things, I have no zeal for anything, and I have been having a lot of obsessive thoughts...even more than normal.
While the doctor(actually she was an RN something or other...good enough to write scripts, basically) was asking me crazy, I got frustrated. She was asking me the fluff questions: are you suicidal, are you hearing voices, etc. Not once did she ask me what's going on with me, what the root of my depression is, etc. She asked me if I was suicidal. I hesitated because I didn't know how to answer that question honestly. I am NOT suicidal, BUT I have thought lately(a lot) that things would be easier if I wasn't around. I told her this, and she didn't even suggest counseling. By the end of our session while she was walking out of the room, I asked her about it because I know I need something, not just meds. She said "Oh, that's a good idea. I meant to suggest that." I ended up suggestion my own place to find counseling and she said it sounded good. She didn't give me a name, number, or anything. For someone like me who is struggling with feelings of hopelessness and having difficulties following thru with simple tasks, it really sucks to have someone you pay to help not show genuine(or any other form) concern and notice I'm crying out for help.
I ended up calling my mother, whom I haven't talked to civily in weeks. She worked for the Missouri Department of Mental Health for 14 years or so. I was desperate for help. She also suffers from depression and can empathize. She pointed me to a few different places, and I am still trying to get into a real psychiatrist and find a counselor whom I can talk to about this stuff in my life. I know that I can't give up right now. As corny and cliche as this may sound, I am in the fight of my life. I am not a quitter, and I hate to lose. Quitting is not an option, and regardless or who is for or against me right now, I have to be for me. I have learned that at times I am going to be the only one on my side, cheering me on.
This post has turned out to be long, but it feels a lot better to put my thoughts and feelings into words.


Peterson Toscano said...

J, wow, that is a huge load on your plate. So glad you now have some direction of where to go. I don't think you are exaggerating when you say this is the fight of your life.

It is surely the fight for your life.

I hope that you feel able to get some peace about the meds. I can't imagine what a bitch it must be to take them with the side effects and all, but not taking them to spite your mom sounds like getting an F to punish the teacher.

Thinking of you and praying for you in the midst of this struggle. May you be continually surprised at the life that awaits you around each corner. May you find the support and wise counsel you need. May you never tire of the fight for your precious full life.

Jamison said...

as one who has struggled through all of those things for years, i know exactly how you feel. psychiatric professionals invariably show themselves as bad jokes in practice.
there are two things that have helped me most, although i don't know that i can recommend the second in good conscience:
the first is simply finding somebody to talk to. i've got people online that i talk to and they have certainly helped, but the most progress has come from various relationships that i've had over the years and the things about myself that i've found out through them. i don't know that the relationship angle would be your cup of tea at the moment (and i would never suggest that you enter a relationship with the view that it would fix you or make you whole, because that's a recipe for disaster), but at least you could find a friend to share with. i'm sure this blog likely helps quite a bit, too.
the second thing was the drugs, and i don't mean the prescription kind, which i'm still kind of wary of even after all this time. specifically i used salvia divinorum for the depression and lack of motivation (it also was the catalyst of the realization that made me finally move out on my own), and pot for the stress. again, i can't recommend that path, but it did work for me, at least for a time.
in any event, just try to make it through this. my depression lasted throughout all twenty some odd years of my life, and i still have to deal with it from time to time, and the inability to follow through most of the time has followed me even after i left everything else behind. eventually you'll either have an epiphany or at least come to some kind of understanding about all of this. i know it's not easy to think positively when one of the main factors in depression is a continual, all-pervasive sense of hopelessness, but just do the best you can and eventually you'll find that the mountain you've been struggling to overcome has been topped, and the view will be all the more sweet.
(sorry if any of this is a bit too precious or cliched, but i do mean it sincerely)

Anonymous said...

J, I hope that you will join us and share your experiences with us here...

Community Alliance for the Ethical Treament of Youth.

While we have a broader focus of ending illegal, unethical and non-evidence practices at behavior modification facilities- religious and secular, we would love to unite more with survivors of the ex-gay movement and join forces toward the common cause...

Hope to see you soon- please e-mail me if you have an opportunity at kat (at)

best- kat

J said...

My prayers go out for you.

Parker said...

J., I didn't do the LIA thing but I spent YEARS in private reparative therapy and my depression was WORSE when I decided to get out of it. I can empathize with you not wanting to take your meds; I am HIV+ and have been on anti-viral therapy for 5 months. For the past 2 months I have been getting progressively worse side-effects from my meds and have found myself skipping my daily meds. I know it's stupid and I know my life literally hangs in the balance by this short-sighted course of inaction. Why am I telling you this? Simply to let you know that I know it's a REAL struggle to sometimes take meds (psychotropic or otherwise). However, I have a feeling you know as well as I do that we really have no other alternative. Thanks for taking the time/having the courage to share your struggle. I'll be sending positive thoughts your way and lifting you up in prayer.

Liadan said...

I remember being on Zoloft and having really obnoxious side effects (nausea, dead libido, headaches, etc.). I eventually went off them for that reason, though I got stuck back on another SSRI (Lexapro) which is having its own side effects.

If one particular kind of medication isn't working, have you talked to anyone about adjusting the dose or switching to a different kind?

Contemplative Activist said...

(Might help you to locate someone)

If you do decide to pursue counselling or psychotherapy - make sure whoever you see is accredited by a professional organisation (the American Psychological Association is the main psychology one).

Best of luck with it.


nonsequitur said...

My heart goes out to you buddy and I am praying for you. I almost ended up a victim of "reparative" treatment myself due to fundamentalist religious parents who tried to muscle me into going. I wish you the best of luck in culling out the negative images that have been put in your mind by ignorant people.

Having also suffered from depression in the past (and I still do from time to time), and also being one who attempts it without prescription meds, I'll tell you a few things that have worked for me... installing full-spectrum daylight bulbs in my household, eating a healthy diet, finding kindred spirits to share social time with, yoga, exercise, getting outside more, supplementing with ginseng, gingko biloba, lecithin, & a good multi-vitamin, looking for the positive in everything, and keep talking to God. One size doesn't necessarily fit all and this method isn't right for everyone, but it has worked for me and it pretty much keeps me out of the woods. Don't give up, it's a tough journey... but it's worth the effort :)

Anonymous said...

Hey Jacob, I still am praying for you. I understand a lot of your disappointment and I can relate to your suffering, your depression etc. But I hope that you will not fall into the position of seeking a solution outside of any which the living God provides. I do care as your brother in Christ.