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Consultation Results

I’m not writing this for advice as this is my decision (and my family’s)…what I do want is to keep everything real. I have been writing about my struggles with depression for several months now and even though this is intense stuff, it is reality…my reality. I have been real in my writing and updating and I don’t want that to change just because things are more acute.

Yesterday was incredibly difficult. I first saw my psychiatrist for a double session and then went right to meet the psychopharmacologist. I was emotionally spent and nervous, but I went. The doctor was very nice and I felt comfortable. He definitely knew what he was talking about and formulated various possibilities after hearing my history and my current state. These are the options:

Most Aggressive: ECT (that’s right, shock therapy). Once you get the “Snake Pit” image out of your head, it is very helpful for people where medications are not. It is also not barbaric as it once was (or what you see on TV/movies) and you are under anesthesia for the treatment.
More Aggressive: MAOI medication. It is helpful but I would need to go off all of my current meds and be off of them for 2 weeks. There is also a special diet I would need to follow if I take these meds.
More Aggressive: TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) This is relatively new and is very different than ECT. There is no anesthesia, you are awake for the 40 minute treatment, it is not harmful and studies show it is very helpful in people who have not had luck with medications. There is no memory loss as there could be with ECT and no anesthesia to deal with.
Conservative: Another class of medication.

Where I stand (along with my husband and my psychiatrist): stop one medication that is not working and then try the “Conservative” medication and at the same time look into TMS. I am at bottom right now and I feel like we need to do something aggressive. I simply cannot continue to live my life like this. It’s not fair to my family and it’s not fair to me. The biggest worry will be insurance coverage for the TMS. Mine is not listed as one that accepts it as a treatment for major depression. I will do my due diligence though to find out. Where is the mental health parity? This just adds another level of stress and if I had diabetes, there would be no problem with treatment coverage.
Depression sucks.

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Onward to the Consultation

It’s never a good sign when your psychiatrist/analyst says it’s time for a psychopharmacological consult. This wasn’t news to me and it had been brought up before, but now I really need it. We have tried several different cocktails and while some symptoms have decreased, some have not. So, I have to call this doctor who my doctor highly recommends and see him for a consultation in order to figure out my meds.

This scares me.

I don’t like having to meet new people in the psych world and tell my story, yet again. I am scared he will judge me (no basis for this, just where my mind is at right now). All I know is, I want this depression gone. Goodbye. Won’t be sad to see you go. I have been fighting this, essentially, since January but it probably started slowly in the months leading up.

I have the therapy piece down, no problem. My psychiatrist and I work very well together and she knows me, really knows me. It’s this pesky medication piece that is the problem. You see, I am tired…tired of needing to shut my office door so I can cry for 15 minutes. I am tired of going to my car to sit and cry for 10 minutes. I am tired of feeling such pain…words cannot describe the depth of the pain and this pain is not physical in any way. I am tired of allowing any slight or mistake someone makes in relation to me become a big deal where I then feel hurt and neglected.

This illness is tiring on its own but add a family to think about, worry about and the level of patience in having this illness goes out the door. I constantly worry about my daughter…my beautiful, sparkly girl, who is my heart and soul. To what extent is my depression impressing upon her? Luckily, I am able to put on a brave face and love her with my very being: through words, hugs, kisses, talks and more love.

So far, the only positive that has occurred in these past months is my strengthened relationship and bond with my husband. I never would have guessed that working through this depression would have such an amazing benefit. We have an amazing relationship and we are in sync in every possible way. I have never felt such love from another human being and my love for him is just growing and growing (I did not even know that was possible…I loved him already!).

I will have my consult in Boston and hope for a good plan, a plan that will finally give me some relief. I don’t talk in detail to my friends or family about my struggles, but I will tell you this: depression is a horrible illness where your inner core is twisted and twisted again. Your heart hurts, your brain hurts and your soul hurts.

I think I am ready for this next step. Onward to the consultation.