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.