I seem to be starting most of my sparsely spaced posts because I’ve been going through changes as you will also go through changes as you break depression. For 9 months I have been holding out on writing about two new therapies that I am doing that are amazing. I was so eager to tell you about them and I have written multiple posts, all unfinished, all unpublished because I wanted them to be perfect, I wanted to be perfect, and I didn’t want to write about depression while I was breaking free of it day by day, week by week, month by month. I have seen more change in myself over the last year than I have ever seen in any year or any five years of trying to break depression. But nothing is perfect. I am not perfect. But it is time to say something.
I have spent nearly three decades fighting Depression in a very active fashion. I was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) in the late 80s and after a suicide attempt. I had to go on antidepressants and see a psychiatrist daily for some period of time to make sure that the meds were working and that I was thinking straight. In those days we went to psychiatrists for both our medication and our therapy. Nowadays most of us get our medication from a psychiatrist or a psychopharmacologist, and our therapy from a psychologist, a social worker, or some other alternative method that hopefully works for us. For those of you who see a regular family doctor/Interest/etc. take my words seriously. It is my strong, laypersone, opinion that except for very rare cases, primary care physicians lack the knowledge of how to diagnose and treat depression and other mood disorders and personality disorders in a responsible fashion. There are just too many variables and most of these doctors probably do not have the time necessary to monitor a patient that is dealing with serious depressive episodes or with clinical diagnosis of Depression (MDD, Manic Depression, Bi-polar Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, PTSD, etc.) And if someone is maybe just going through a rough time in their lives, popping a pill can cause serious long-term depression or other problems, so the decision shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Most primary care physicians probably proscribe whatever few medications that the pharmaceutical reps bring around. Ask people who are do not have a diagnosis of MDD, Manic Depression, Bi-Polar II, of MPD what antidepressants they have been proscribed and you will hear the same two to four medications that are the current fad. For a while it was Prozac, then Zoloft, then Paxil, then Cymbalta, Lexipro, Celexa, etc. Get the idea? These are not all of the options out there and I might not have my order exactly right but this is the general way things have moved in around the last 15 years. And I’ve been on every one of these medications and many more, so I know a little bit about what they can do based on experience.
Antidepressants don’t make people happy, the best they can do is pull people out of the muck and mire of a sever depressive episode or out of clinical Depression to at least give them a chance of doing the other work necessary to break Depression, or they have an abreaction and commit suicide because there doctors weren’t monitoring them closely enough, and were stepping out of their areas of expertise – in my humble opinion. And that’s if the physician is gets the right medication for the patient right away. Psychopharmacology is a complex field that is based on diagnosis that are a cluster symptoms that the patient seems to best fall into. This is not like diagnosing problems with organs that can be cut into and physical problems within them can lead to diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment. This is is more of an art than a science and it takes a lot of experience to be good at it.
These days the field of psychopharmacology is even more complex than it ever was because of the DSM-V and the other kinds of medications that were not FDA approved for these mood and personality disorders, but are proscribe legally “off label” by doctors treating Depression. Most are anti-seizer and neurological pain management medications that are often just referred to as mood stabilizers. Read the labels. And then there is the heavy artillery that they bring out for Manic Depression, Bi-Polar II (Hypomanic Depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and for personality disorders, as opposed to mood disorders. These powerful drugs can destroy lives. Believe me when I tell you this because I know from my own experience. Due to a doctor mis-diagnosing me with Bi-Polar II (Hypo-Manic Depression) I lost four years of my life to being placed into a horrific state of constant agony and constant suicidal ideation mixed with being zoned out in an almost comatose state. I’m telling you, Hell is not a place you go. Hell is a state of mind that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. My family and eye lost many years to this and they can never be resurrected. Thank God that episode began to end in late 2010 when I found a new psychiatrist who figured it out right away, but so much damage was done.
As Depression is now being linked to the immune system and inflammatory diseases we are beginning to see allergy medications being proscribed for Depression. I’m not saying that this is good or bad. I have no idea how for this area of study has gone, but it makes sense. The body and the mind are not separate. We do not have a body and a mind, we have a body-mind or mind-body. I don’t know if both of these terms are accepted but at least one of them is. I’ll leave it to you to look into. It’s a chicken and an egg kind of thing. Did the Depression cause the chronic inflammation or other immune system problem or did was the source of the immune dysfunction due to Depression? I think it’s a two way street. These things are connected, and I think we will see that chronic illness can be cured by curing Depression and vice versa.
And this doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of other types of antidepressants, sedatives, stimulants, and mood stabilizers that are out there often to be proscribed with other medications to make some very complex and potentially dangerous cocktails. Now don’t get me wrong; I am not against medications being used to treat serious depressive episodes due to biochemical changes that occur as the result of glandular dysfunction, puberty, postpartum depression, menopause, or other dysfunctions of major traumas that can send someone without clinical Depression into a death spiral.
The period of time I spent from 2011 on has been spent by me working on trying to get back to some sense of happiness and functioning. I was in bed for years prior to this. My world was primarily my bedroom. My days were spent either in therapy of one kind or another, reading 100s of books about psychology, self-help, religion, spirituality, alternative approaches, and trying just about all of them. I have made a lot progress in my recovery. This is what I want to talk about next. Right now I need to go to sleep.