Diagnosed, Part 4

In case you missed them:
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

The circus is back in town, featuring everybody’s least favorite… The Medication Game!

In addition to changing my ‘cocktail’ my doctor also decided to try something a bit more out of the box, it’s called TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation).  Basically, it’s a huge magnet that is supposed to train your brain to pump out the right amount of chemicals and reduce depression.  I underwent treatment Monday through Friday for 25 one-hour sessions.

I’m still depressed, and I’m still playing the medication game.  I am still trying to find my way out of this massive depressive episode.  I struggle to get out of bed every morning.  While at work I fight to hide the fact that I am fighting for my life and I fight to focus on getting my work done at the same time.  I come home exhausted and fight to keep up with household chores.  I try to give my husband the love and attention he deserves.  I write.  Because it’s the only thing that makes me feel like I haven’t lost every last piece of myself from all the fighting I do every day.  And I can’t imagine keeping this up for another 40 or 50 years.

When I opened the door to my pain so many years ago and told my mom I thought I needed help, I could never have imagined the devastating and irreparable damage my diagnosis would cause my life and the lives of the people I love.  I didn’t know that my dreams and aspirations for the future would all be altered and affected by my mental health and stability, or lack thereof.  None of the doctors warned me that the meds could cause memory loss, that many of them would make it hard for me to focus or think straight, or that I would often have to choose either crying constantly or being on strong sedatives.  Very few friendships have survived this journey, most of them saying “it’s just too much” or “too hard” for them to bear, making it a lonely and isolating road.  I have tremendous guilt for everything my parents have endured over the years, not to mention the money they’ve spent on behalf of my ‘recovery’.  I feel guilty that my husband lives with this shell of a person when he deserves so much more, as he is often the only thing I have to hold onto when I feel completely consumed by darkness.  And finally, as I bring this to a close, there are just a few things I’d like you to take with you.  

First, I am filled with gratitude.  Mostly due to the few and incredible people who have chosen to stand by me as I make my way through the darkness – I know it has caused them severe heartache on my behalf and without their strength I would have none.    

Second, I shared this story with you in the hope I have given you a better understanding of how debilitating depression can be, and that you will always choose compassion in your hearts and lives rather than judgment or perpetuating stereotypes.     

Thank you kindly for reading my story, Diagnosed.

You can read more from The Mayo Clinic about Depression here.
For more information about TMS read here and here.
To read a study about Treatment-Resistant Depression click here.
I also recommend a fascinating article about the science of depression entitled If Depression Were Cancer, which you can read here.
If you haven’t had enough of me 🙂 You can find everything I’ve posted on this blog about Depression HERE.

NanoPoblano2015 | NaBloPoMo15
Day 13

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23 thoughts on “Diagnosed, Part 4

  1. Thank you for sharing your story. Hopefully writing it all out has helped lighten your spirits in some fashion. You write so beautifully, please keep on…even if not for your blog, but for your own piece of mind. Sending peace and light…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s exhausting, isn’t it? People don’t really seem to understand how much strength it takes just to get out of bed sometimes. And I love those possibly well-intentioned, but ultimately misinformed people who suggest things like exercise and getting more sleep as if that could possibly cure a *chronic* condition. I’ve had episodes where all I did was sleep. The most frustrating part of depression is the fact that people just think of it as sadness and we should just stop being sad, as if it’s that simple.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Exactly. When all I have to give is about 20% of my potential, yet I’m expected to produce 110% every day. If you try to explain yourself, you’re seeking pity or you’re feeling sorry for yourself. My ‘best friend’ actually said that maybe one day I would wake up and POOF it would be gone. I wish the science would catch up, then MAYBE, people would start to understand.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. R.E.S.P.E.C.T. You are amazing.

    I waited to read all of these posts before commenting, but I am certain even the magic of words cannot precisely convey what you and your family have been through. These things are always bigger than the sum of their parts. I’m really petrified of speaking out of turn here. Please do not take offense because I am speaking beyond of the bounds of my knowledge. I have a family history of bipolar disorder and anxiety disorder and PTSD and paranoia but not MDD. And I know from firsthand experience that how you feel and what you know are frequently incongruous. And while being reminded of this might not change how you feel it’s worth repeating – guilt is a waste of time but gratitude is felt. Ignore guilt, focus on gratitude ,THIS is what you can control. Thank you for sharing your story, it’s really important. You are awesome. You are loved. You are worthy of that love, and never doubt it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You have shown me such kindness, and I thank you for that, I value your thoughts and opinions. I am familiar with the concept that how I feel and what is true are generally on opposite sides of of the spectrum, I wish this knowledge helped. I try very hard to focus on the love and gratitude, it’s the reason I’m still breathing. Thanks so much for reading, for your kind words and for always being there ☺️

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I think this is why i never said anything until i was forced to. I still put nothing is wrong face on..and take my day knowing that i am lying. Most people don’t know and yes, so exhausting. Thank you Abby.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you to @HastyWords who led me to you today. I am grateful and appreciative of your sharing your very difficult journey through depression and the cycles of treatment. My daughter is 16 and has been in treatment for her very similar symptoms of depression for 3 years.

    It’s so important to hear this from another perspective- you mention feeling SHAME and GUILT over your needs for treatment. My daughter does, too. All the time. As a mother I want you and anyone who needs to hear it to know how thankful we are to share your road to recovery with you. My daughter is my greatest teacher, my biggest blessing and helping her heal from something unseen is my highest calling.

    Depression can teach someone suffering they dont deserve wellness, or assistance- please remember this as you ebb and flow through the mystifying abyss of your own depression- NO ONE succeeds or achieves anything alone. We all get help along the way. Don’t SHOULD yourself. (it sounds like shit for a reason)

    I hope today is a good day, and I hope you have sunshine in your heart today. And if you don’t, I am glad you have parents & a husband, and this blogging community to turn to for help.

    You’re very brave, and your writing here is superb.

    With great admiration to you,
    ImperfectionPerfectionist./

    Liked by 1 person

    • I cannot tell you how much your thoughts here mean to me. I am honored that you find my words helpful and while I wish your daughter did not have to go through what I have and am going through, I am so glad she has YOU by her side. Your support, I’m sure, is priceless to her and will be forever. Today is one of the better days, thankfully. It’s always strange for me to hear someone say I am brave for I rarely feel that way, but it is a HUGE compliment and I thank you for saying it! Hold strong and please feel free to contact me if I can be of any support to you or your daughter. Much love to you both ❤

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