Sad Ghost
Saving the Holidays (+Giveaway!)

A Case of the Blerghs

Thank you so much to everybody who commented/emailed/messaged/otherwise-reached-out after Friday's post. Y'all are still way too nice to me, especialy after way (way, WAY) too many years of oversharing and general idioting out here. 

Two things I've learned since then:

1) Ativan is like an almost-instant, big ol' OFF switch for my anxiety. Glorious.

2) Switching the anxiety off, however, basically cedes full control to the depression, which is unfortunately much worse than I realized. Turns out anxiety, while brain- and breath-rattlingly awful, has been the main thing powering the hamster wheel lately. Once it's gone, the relief of "I'm not going to have a panic attack!" is quickly replaced with "I'm going to melt into my bed like a pile of greyish-blah goo and just stare at the ceiling while my yoga pants slowly fuse to my skin!"

Not so glorious.  

So looks like I have a bit more work to do in the medication/brain chemistry department. And I will do that work, and all the work, and am very very grateful and hashtag-blessed for all the support I have from family, friends, Internetters, and of course, the therapeutic assist from this pack of floofballs:

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Comments

Lucy

I had a full blown case of major depression and anxiety two years ago. I was in a very good place in my life, but I couldn’t stop crying, had all different physical symptoms, and just couldn’t function. My wonderful PCP diagnosed me and with a healthy dose of Zoloft, some Ativan while I was increasing the dosage, and CBT, it took a good 4-5 months to get me back to “me”. I will probably be on antidepressants for the rest of my life- but at least I do enjoy and appreciate each day now.

Good luck-it will happen for you, also-

Megan

I was going to also suggest Zoloft, as it seems to address both anxiety/depression. Each person is different but it's the only one that worked for me for both things! Big hugs.

Elizabeth_K

Your sweet animal menagerie has inspired us to *at last* listen to our three children and adopt a dog and cat. Hope it turns out as sweetly as your little gang ...

Joanna Moore

I struggle with this too and was taking Cipralex and doing CBT until I got pregnant and decided to go off the meds. Kept doing CBT though and it really helped to retrain my brain from what ifs and worst case scenarios I think. Thinking of you lots!

Debbie

I have spent my life with a partner with Depression and ADHD. I have a highly anxious child. I spent years at my wit's end before I admitted about 3 months ago that I, myself, needed help. Your last two posts sound *so much* like me. This could have been my journal.

I finally reached out to my doctor. I have a therapist who concurred it would be a good idea to seek medication. I'm on an SSRI now and OMG.. OMG... I can't believe I waited so long. I didn't realized how bad I felt until the ugliness started to melt away. I'm 'Old Me' again. My kids don't need to tiptoe. My fuse isn't so short. I am not haunted by desperate or unkind thoughts. I hope the same for you too. Admitting it was the hardest step for me. Once I did that I found I could crawl my way out one fistful at a time.

Jaclynn

oh amy :(
depression sucks on such a level it doesn’t even register and it’s not fucking fair

Audrey

Now imagine those feelings but without a husband, children, pets, a home, or a job you love to try and pull yourself up for. Yeah...my life.

Amy A

If it’s any consolation, I understand that depression/anxiety tends to occur in highly intuitive and intelligent people. So, yay us :).
Like I said in a previous post, hang in there. The anti-anxiety meds do help, and I’m positive you will find the right medication for you for the depression. Baby steps, but soon you will be making giant leaps.

Elizabeth

My doctor said he doesn't like to treat anxiety first because that is often masking depression and the only thing keeping the depressed person going. I tried Zoloft first and it removed the anxiety pay off my brain which was AWESOME. Unfortunately I also didn't care about working, eating, taking to other people, or much else either. Oops. Tried a couple other things and we found a combination of an SNRI and Wellbutrin works better. (I have always been an overachiever... Couldn't have a problem with just one neurotransmitter!) It is a tricky balance but for me making sure the depression is treated helps me handle the residual anxiety.

The road isn't smooth and I am hitting some potholes lately but the more sympathetic people I talk to, the better I feel about it. And having people like you openly and courageously talk about it makes more of a difference than I could even explain. THANK YOU.

Jennifer

Woohoo for being able to find a step in right direction! I'm so glad the Ativan is helping. And rejoice in the floof.

Tiffany

I second the Zoloft recommendation!

And all I want for Christmas is Poppy kisses!

Nikki Gore

Amy I feel your pain. After years of doing it myself (after having a similarly scary medication experience) I realized that my body and brain were just getting too damn tired to manage it anymore. I had an amazing session with my GP, who suggested I get tested for Bipolar disorder II. Different from the bipolar most are familiar with and often misdiagnosed as depression/anxiety. Still, I naturally immediately freaked out and entered major denial zone. However, after research, and a proper diagnosis - which also explained why a bunch of the anti anxiety/depressant meds didn’t work - working towards some semblance of normal. Meds are still an experiment but combined with therapy, definitely more good days than bad. You are on the right path in acknowledging you need help - don’t beat yourself up too much on the bad days.
Remember what dear Jenny Lawson says: Depression Lies!

Nichole Paine

Floofballs are not to be underrated...I am seriously considering ways to make mine a service animal. She makes sure I get outside (Vitamin D Y'all) to the garden (no sunshine = Nichole has no chance), she is constantly by my side, and she knows faster than anyone when there is something wrong. Floofballs are awesome!

Elsa

I battled depression for years w ssri I drugs, etc. and nothing ever worked. I finally went to see s psychiatrist who diagnosed me w bipolar depression. I would cyle between irritability/anxiety and depression. She put me on Seroquel and I'm a different person. Zoloft and his cousins always made me feel so dull. With Seroquel, I can function and don't have the extreme lows and highs like before. Honestly, it had been so long since I'd felt this good. Not sure If it will work for you, but its worth a shot 💜

SarahB

Egads, somehow I missed your Friday post.

Just chiming in to say I also got to learn the glories of Ativan this year—and Zoloft at a much much higher dose than I had been taking.

Things are a lot better than they were, but I am also realizing that I have some personal limits to honor if I am going to stay on the right side of things.

Thinking of you.

Kirsten

Hi Amy,
My 15 year old son (autism) also has Generalized Anxiety Disorder that often devolves into depression. I can highly recommend a psychiatrist who is willing to think outside the box if you can’t take SSRIs. My son uses Zoloft but even at max dose it only does so much. Added meds (Wellbutrin or buspirone) didn’t help. Now he’s trying him on gabapentin for a completely new neurotransmitter system. So far so good. My father-in-law is also a psychiatrist and says he often prescribes lamotrigine for patients like my son. Haven’t checked that one out yet. Also, my son’s psychiatrist had a few supplement recommendations based on very preliminary data (but w/fewer side effects we were willing to risk it). 1) An amino acid called l-theanine. Seems to help a bit. 2) magnesium. Take at night. Make sure you get kind that doesn’t cause diarrhea. Glycinnate works for us. 3) Probiotics. I can’t recall off the top of my head which strain was tested (in fish!) but as you should probably run any of these by your doctor first, maybe she would know.
If my kid weren’t a kid, there are 2 other avenues I might explore: 1)CBD oil. Since it has no THC I wouldn’t have a problem with my kid using it but I just don’t think the dosing is worked out enough yet to risk it, plus finding trustworthy products that have accurate doses. And 2) ketamine clinics. This is more out there but google it.
Finding the right medications is an art as well as a science. It’s incredibly frustrating. I wish you the best on your search!

Sue W.

I missed your last post. So glad you are getting help. Depression is an ugly monster.
Floofballs bring a calm steadiness to our lives. They love us no matter what. Unless we run out of treats. Then, Katie Bar The Door!

Liz

I have bipolar type II and I want to echo an earlier poster who said your description sounds a LOT like my experience. I have been taking lamotrigine (lamictal) for 8 years now and it has made a huge difference. The one time someone put me on an ssri, I went even more out of control. A good question to raise with your MD. Good luck and enjoy the floofballs. Puppy kisses have some pretty magical powers.

Alice Waugh

I reread your old posts about the truckful of different SSRIs you tried years ago... I wonder what the current research is on someone like you who took SSRIs AND Ativan; perhaps the Ativan would prevent the akathisia stuff, though obviously you'd want to be PREEETY CAUSHUS here. Another option if all else fails: a good friend had intractable depression/anxiety (had to take a leave from work and lost a lot of weight) with no "life issues" they could attribute it to. SSRIs, therapy, even the old MAO inhibitors: FAIL. A short series of electroconvulsive therapy: WIN.

Marianne

Oh, Amy... My heart just breaks for you. Thinking about you.

Love your pack of goofballs and your family is just so beautiful.

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