Skirting the edges of TMI

Posted on Sunday 5 March 2006

Be gone D.P. be gone!

zuhn @ 12:37 pm
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Day 3

Posted on Sunday 5 March 2006

It hasn’t been a very good day today, but I’m trying not to let that get me down even more. It’s a process, right?

The anxiety attacks seem to have returned today but at least I can hold pen to paper and write again. Of course, I have trouble concentrating so there’s really nothing for me to write down.

I’ve been having ok days this week but I can’t shake this nagging fear. I’m afraid of having another bad day. I know it’s going to come, but I don’t know when. I know I should just appreciate not having a bad day instead of anticipating the possibility of bad things, but I hate the bad days so much. The really bad ones make me think of death a lot and I don’t like that at all.

I also wonder how long I would have to take the pills for and if I will have to take it for my next episode. I think the problem is, I still don’t know what triggered it this time around. I mean, the stuff that has been going on this past year was tough, but it started before all the really hard stuff happened. And what about the time I got rejected from grad school? Why didn’t that cause me to be depressed?

I guess the reasons behind what triggers my depressive episodes can’t really be answered, but it does make me wonder how come other people can handle problems better than I can. I found out yesterday that a friend of mine broke up with her girlfriend the same day she found out a friend had passed away. She still gets up and goes to work every day, so why can’t I do something as simple as getting up and going to the laundromat?

zuhn @ 1:02 am
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Day 2

Posted on Saturday 4 March 2006

I think the pills are starting to have an effect? Not as in “Whee! I’m happy!” but in a “Damn this headache won’t go away” and “I can’t hold a pen still enough to write”. At least the anxiety attacks weren’t bad and went away by mid-day. I did wake up really early this morning with my heart pounding and had trouble breathing.

I’m really trying not to think about it so much and just focus on the positive things, but there have been moments today where I thought, “what the hell happened to my life”? I’m pretty proud of myself today for a couple of things though.

First, I finally told a friend of mine who’s actually lives here about my depression and the meds. The response wasn’t as unsympathetic as I had thought it would be. But at the same time, I don’t think it would have been possible for me to say anything earlier because I was having trouble accepting and dealing with it.

The second thing was that I had a meeting with my supervisor today and I couldn’t write because my hands trembled too much to hold my pen properly so she had to write things out for me. It was an embarrassing situation, but it didn’t make me feel bad. I was vulnerable and someone came to help.

So anyways, it’s been an ok day. Not as good as the past few days, but not bad either. There’s just sadness, but no real heartache or self-defeating thoughts. I guess that’s what depression is, just sadness. Hopefully in time, the meds will fix that and the therapy will help me keep the negative thoughts away. Hopefully.

zuhn @ 12:17 am
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Day 1

Posted on Thursday 2 March 2006

Nope, I didn’t die. Also, no random allergic reaction or sudden seizure, although I did lie awake for quite some time while my entire body trembled - not visibly, but I could feel my body vibrating. I know it’s not from the meds but just from fear.

I’m trying not to think of the side-effects and whether or not I have them today. I don’t think the pills kick in that quickly and since I’m on half-dose for the first week, I refuse to believe they’re affecting me already. This means that the stiff neck, headaches, tingling toes and dizziness must be from my imagination. After all, during the trials, the people on placebos also reported that they experienced a lot of the side-effects.

The most annoying thing today were the random anxiety attacks. I can’t seem to predict when the next round hits since they came at such times as say, eating an apple, or buying groceries.

These are the things I’m afraid of today:
- What happens when the pills DO kick in?
- What will happen in the long run?

I think these fears are going to linger for a long while. The thing is, science is not perfect despite the way society has constructed it. There are always outliers and exceptions. There is no guarantee that I won’t be an outlier. There are no guarantees that this is even going to work. Research on the young adult population and anti-depressants is pretty much non-existant and there are no long-term studies of the effects of SSRIs since they haven’t been around that long.

I know, I’m over-thinking this. I’m having a hard time not thinking about it though. This is the first time I’ve purposely ingested something that alters my brain chemistry. That “this is your brain on drugs” campaign clearly made a lasting impression on me.

zuhn @ 6:10 pm
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2:03 am

Posted on Wednesday 1 March 2006

I took it. And I’m fucking petrified. I don’t know what is going to happen and I don’t like not knowing. I really wish I wasn’t alone. I don’t want to die. I know it’s not going to happen, but I still don’t. Because no one will know. And no one can tell me in the middle of the night that it’s going to be okay.

zuhn @ 11:05 pm
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Prescription Day

Posted on Wednesday 1 March 2006

I ended up with a prescription for Celexa. Well, I didn’t get an actual prescription but I was handed a couple of boxes of samples that should last for the next few weeks.

Two main things have been weighing on my mind today about this. First, my therapist thinks that medication might help and after a lot of thinking and not a lot of improvement in mood, I agreed. The two psychiatrists I saw, however, disagreed. One pretty much brushed me off and said you’ll be fine after five minutes and the one today at least spent some time going through my intake form with me but only gave me the pills because I showed a “strong conviction” that I need them.

I spent a good chunk of the day thinking about what all this means. I think the difference between my therapist’s opinions and the two psychiatrists’ opinions comes from the way I interact with them. My therapist is a woman and the other two doctors are men. I don’t deal well with men; not in a “I hate men” way but more in a “there’s no way I’m going to be vulnerable in front of you” way.

Second, now that I have the pills, I don’t know if I want to take them. I’ve had two pretty good days in a row, which hasn’t happened for a few weeks now. Two good days and I seem to forget how bad the bad ones can get. Of course, I also remember the last time I had a couple of good days and then the third day became intolerable.

The thing is though, the past couple of days, I have felt a tremendous sense of relief. It’s as if the decision to a) try the meds and b) finally be honest with myself and my therapist about my “real” issues signified my acceptance of being “depressed” in a clinical sense and also my acceptance that I need help. These were/are two things that made/make me feel “less than” and contributed heaviliy to my sadness.

Now, I’m reluctant to take the pills because I think that if I’m on the up and up, there’s no need to go through with this. Of course if this new high is just transitory…. So many “ifs”.

I wish the pills didn’t mess with my brain. I wish I didn’t take Intro to Psychology and learned all sorts of things about neurons and synapses. I wish I wasn’t taking this alone. I wish I wasn’t so scared. I wish I could just pop it in tonight and curl up in bed and fall asleep in someone’s arms. Too many wishes.

Great, did I just over-analyze myself out of my happy place? So. Fucked. Up.

zuhn @ 7:01 pm
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Raison d’etre

Posted on Tuesday 28 February 2006

Welcome to medblog, an affiliate of vanity run amok. This is the serious, grown-up version wherein I discuss my trip down anti-depressant lane.

Just to briefly recap:

depressed for a long time –>
finally sought professional help –>
was skeptical about medication –>
decided I didn’t want any (sort of decided for me, but I like to say that I decided first) –>
thought long and hard about it as I continued to spiral downwards –>
now I decided to give it another shot.

I am writing this mostly for my own benefit, but I’m publishing it just in case someone needs to read about it. I like to think of it as returning the favor to the people who have written about their own experiences with depression and helped me feel just a little less lonely.

zuhn @ 4:36 pm
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