My Arch Nemisis Has Come Back – Depression

The past couple of days have been like the old days. That evil creature, depression, has come back to haunt me. It’s not like it’s ever gone away. I feel depression flowing through my veins every second of every day. The difference is it’s back with a vengeance this time. I wish I could say that it’s easier to adapt to it since I’ve gone this long controlling it, but that would be a lie. It sucks and it sucks badly.

When I started my day Tuesday I wasn’t in the best of spirits to begin with. I was hurting. I had an Anthropology exam scheduled at 11am and I knew it wasn’t going to go well. I don’t know if I was depressed because of the exam, or if I was just naturally dealing with good old fashioned depression again. I think it was a combination of the two.

At school I work with their Special Services department. Excellent program for those with disabilities and need accommodations. My accommodations are simple. My major one is extended time for taking a test. I get 150% of normal test time. For example, if an exam will typically take one hour to complete, I get 90 minutes. Well, yesterday I didn’t need those extra minutes. I was done very quickly. I didn’t know a damn thing. It was like I had never seen any of the information before. How well I did will be based on how well I guessed. As I said, I was down already, I didn’t need the exam to be the catalyst to bring me down even further. But it did.

After the exam I had time to hit the gym before I headed home. I skipped it. When I got home I knew exactly what to do. I ate. Then I ate. And then I ate again. It felt like I cleaned out the cabinets…and there is some validity to that.

I’d hoped it would pass overnight, but it didn’t. I woke up yesterday morning and immediately my brain began beating the shit out of me again. I was so lethargic I could barely move. I did start eating everything out of the house again, but it was more frustrating than the day before. I felt like I was starving, yet, there was nothing left in the house to ease my hunger. After a morning of pure hell I was falling asleep in my chair and decided to take a nap. Maurice agreed to give me a wake up call in 90 minutes and he did follow through on that. I didn’t. Immediately after his call I fell right back to sleep and didn’t wake up til after 5pm. When I was awake I continued with the eating again. Knowing it was the worst thing I should be doing, I continued. Once again, my head beat the crap out of me.

Nothing here is new for those who have read my blog regularly, it’s just that it’s coming back. There was a minor change in my meds a couple of weeks ago and I suspect it may have led me back to this state. I hope that is the case and I look forward to speaking with pdoc again. This really has got to stop – and soon!

  5 comments for “My Arch Nemisis Has Come Back – Depression

  1. March 18, 2013 at 16:17

    I am so sorry you are going through this. How can I help.? You have received some excellent advise, I hope you can act on it.
    You are loved by many people and we care deeply about you. I am available to do transport. I can drop you off and pick you up later. What ever works for you. Both you and Maurice have my full support. I heard Maurice say he was going away this weekend-if you need any thing please call. Love you both.

  2. Lora
    March 15, 2013 at 07:15

    Brad

    If this message is overwhelming give it to Maurice to read and ask him to help you implement it.

    1) Call your pdoc TODAY. DON’T wait for your appointment. If you run into a gate keeper who tells you to wait for your appointment you have too tell them a little white lie that “I’m having self destructive thoughts.” If they still try to give you the brush off push back by telling them, “I’m wishing I could fall asleep and not wake up again.” If they don’t take that seriously tell them you’re starting “to make a plan.” Those are the magic words in psychiatry. You don’t have to give any details, if they ask just tell them it’s too painful to talk about. Even though it’s it not true you need THEM to go into emergency mode because your pain is an emergency. The longer it goes on the longer it is likely to go on, if that makes sense. It’s not reasonable to expect that your pdoc would get on the phone with you that minute, but he or she should call you by the end of the day. And if they tell you to go to the emergency room just tell them No I’ll wait to talk to my doctor. Of course an emergency room psychiatrist could write you a perscription so if you think that would help by all means go to the emergency room. Seriously man, being in that kind of pain is an emergency.

    I know it’s really hard to be that proactive when you feel like crap – everything feels hopeless and predestined and the depression feels like this eternal thing that never actually left you. If it’s just too hard to implement this have Maurice make the initial call and get them to promise that your pdoc, or the doctor filling in for him or her for the day, will call by the end of the day.

    The nature of bipolar means that waiting from appointment to appointment to handle an acute episode is, excuse the expression, crazy. Your pdoc knows that. And there is research showing that every time you have one of these deep episodes you are doing damage to your brain. So someone in your house needs to do it.

    2) Keep walking at the beach, every day. I know that moving yourself is the hardest thing in the world right now, but it’s more important than ever. If walking is too overwhelming then just go to the beach, sit on the sand, and look at the water. Sit there and cry if that feels better. The sunshine (even if it’s foggy there is some sunshine coming thorugh) and the excercize are two of the most healthy things you can do. If you still can’t make yourself do it have Maurice pick you up something yummy, and portable, to eat and promise yourself that you can eat it but only if you are at the beach and then GET THERE.

    3) Sitting at home eating tells me that you are very isolated all day long. Seeing friendly people can’t help but lift your spirits, even if it’s just a little bit for a little while – think of it as if you are doing a grueling long distance swim out in the middle of the ocean all by yourself. Maybe you can’t get out of the ocean today, but if you came upon a little raft and someone told you can get out of the water and sit on it for an hour before you get back in the ocean THAT would be a good thing. Find that hour. I suggest you use your role at PUC and go visit somneone in a nursing home. Flirt with the little old ladies and make their day. They’ll be appreciative (and so what if they aren’t you can feel good that you did it) and you get to focus a bit on someone else, even for a bit. If you don’t know who the right person would be call Rev John TODAY and ask him who could use a visit. Get a number of names and then you can visit one a day for the next while. Be a nice guy and bring a yummy baked good to share. Then you can indulge yourself sanely and be a terrific guest at the same time.

    4) Don’t beat yourself up for eating. Your body is doing it’s very best to medicate your brain right now. You know that food can be a powerful drug and right now it’s the one that’s available to you. Either give yourself a whole bunch of extra WW points and work within that framework – then you can feel good about sticking with your plan – your WW emergency depression plan. If the point system is just too overwhelming right now then skip that and brain storm with Maurice what you CAN eat all day long. I know you two have a favorite Subway sandwitch. So you buy 6 or 8 of them in the morming and eat them all day long. Throw in a bag of apples so you’re getting some good fiber. Sandwhich apple sandwhich apple sandwhich apple. The thing is to feel like you’re imposing some sanity on the out of control hunger and eating. Out of control anything feels awful, especially to someone who had an out of control life. So give it some structure and give your body what it is telling it you need. Yes you’ll have some weight to lose later. So what? You know you can do it and do it well. Right now you’re in emergency mode.

    5) Have sex. If that’s too hard then lay back and be the recipient. Maurice might be willing to help you out with this one. Releases all kinds of good endorphins and being cuddled and touched is also a mood elevator. And if you cry you cry. At least there’s someone there to give you a hug and hold you. Maybe Maurice should have a sandwich too so you can’t tell who is burping sandwich. 😉

    6) I don’t know where you are in your sememster right now, but if you’re at a critical point – exams and papers – you will need to consider your options. It’s great that you have a relationship with that office. You or Maurice need to talk to them. If this doesn’t clear up in the next week or two you may need to drop the courses or take incompletes, or have the office see which of the teachers will alow you to have extended time – I’m talking beyond the end of the semester – to complete the work in their class. You, or better yet Maurice, will just have to find out what your options are. This is a medical issue, not a lack of ability or will. No different than if you had a heart attack, and no one would expect you to soldier on if you had a heart attack.

    _____________________________

    Brad, I’m so sorry you’re going through this. Call me if there is anything I can do. I’d love to have you over for a visit if you can manage the busses.

    Love,
    Lora

    • March 15, 2013 at 16:05

      Thank you, Lora. It means a lot to me that you put so much effort into your post. I’m actually much better today. I’m saving all your info for when/if I think I may be a danger to myself. Regarding coming over for a visit one day….I’ll definitely take that offer. In my memory I think I know about where you live and I can get there without much trouble. I haven’t been to the beach in awhile now. I hope to get back to that routine again soon once classes are out. I love the idea of having something to eat but I can’t have it until I get to the beach. What a motivator.

      Big hugs to you, my friend,
      Brad

  3. Albert Goldenberg
    March 14, 2013 at 14:11

    rate of depression is equal to level of genius multiplied by virility. or D = G x V.

    • Brad
      March 14, 2013 at 15:48

      Interesting equation Albert, is that something Einstein came up with?

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