Monday, April 25, 2011

Old Dog Searching for New Trick

Depression has been a factor in my life since my childhood. Both of my parents suffered from it. My mother sought therapy and has been on anti-depressants since before I left home. My father didn't admit he had a problem till long after my mother divorced him, but he's now on anti-depressants as well.

I've never really felt like I personally had true depression. Sure, I had down times, I had periods of situational depression. Who doesn't get a little depressed every now and then? But on the whole, I feel equipped to self-manage my blues.

I made my first foray into therapy just after I finished college, returning occasionally until I completed grad school. My diagnosis was chronic anxiety and panic attacks. I was uncertain of my path in life and needed an objective listener to talk through my desires and decisions.

One day a few years ago, I started crying at work and couldn't understand why or figure out how to stop. I left work and drove straight to my GP, which led to a diagnosis of a severe vitamin D deficiency and a temporary prescription for an anti-depressant. I took the first half dose and the side-effects were so bad (heart palpitations and hallucinations) that I was unable leave the house. I threw the rest away. Fortunately, my doctor also prescribed a mega dose of vitamin D which kicked in within a week or so and my depressive symptoms abated.

There have been a handful of times in my life when a case of the blues developed into what can only be described as a Black Cloud that cast every aspect of my life in gloom and shadow. At these times, I felt that there was absolutely no point in continuing my life as I knew it and the only solution I could see was dramatic and all consuming change. In short, I would drop everything and run. Nothing like walking away from your life and reinventing yourself to force yourself into Hope for the future. Not the healthiest strategy perhaps, but a fresh start was 100% effective.

This is the first time since getting married and buying our house that I've spent so much time under my Black Cloud, and my usual tactics won't work here. Running is not an option anymore. Perhaps that's why I feel so hopeless and desperate this time. I need a new strategy and I'm at a loss. I need a new trick.


  1. I get depression on and off too, and I know what you mean. Usually something to look forward to helps me, like a holiday. But yeah, it can be so difficult to shake.

  2. Depression is an ugly thing. Adding that to everything you've been through is like throwing gasoline on the fire. I hope you find a remedy to help you through this.

    BTW I left you an award on my page! You most certainly deserve it. Thank you for sharing your story!

  3. I do not have a history of depression, but the idea to cut and run has been very attractive to me as of late.

  4. Hi hon. Been there - done that. Here's the new trick: Anti-depressants work, but you were most likely prescribed one that wasn't right for you. The best way to go about it is through a psychiatrist. They may be pricey - but if you can afford it, it may only take a few tries to get you on the right dose of the right pills. With all due respect to GP's, they don't know much about this stuff. I had a very similar experience with anti-depressants but I persisted and I'm really glad I did. I really think you should give it another go.
    Good luck! Thinking of you!

  5. I'm so sorry you are going through this. I've been there, many times. Everything feels so hopeless, so pointless. Running and changing everything seems like such a great idea.

    I wish I had suggestions to help you get through this. I have found therapy, anti-depressants, eating right, exercise, many hobbies and forcing myself to socialize help- but getting the motivation to do everything is incredibly difficult. It feels so big that such simple things shouldn't be able to help, I know.

    Just know you have my love and please treat yourself gently