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You know when you are sick and you know that you are sick and you finally give in and take some drugs. And you get better, but not fully better and it’s frustrating. And the times you feel better you realise quite how sick you were, and although you tried to soldier on, you don’t know why you didn’t try and get better sooner. And the days you feel sick again, those are the days that feel the worst because you have had a taste of what it is to be well.
But when you wake up day after day not knowing if you will be sick or well, able to cope or not, that the smallest thing might make you sick again- that worries me.
It’s like the lingering cough that you’re scared may turn into a choke.
This is my experience with depression, and with antidepressants, if I had to rate how bad I was it was in the start I’d say probably a 9/10, that with drugs dropped to a 5/10, but some days it gets dark and I go back to a 8 or 9. This is probably 2 days a week.
On the ‘good days’ I have perspective. I can count the reasons not to hurt myself, not to give up. On the ‘bad days’ I lose all rationalism, I don’t want to get up, I don’t want to see people, talk to people, everything seems futile, I know I’m a failure and I’m scared everyone else will notice. I panic so much I cannot swallow, I get dizzy and shaky, I smoke my way through the day and fill my work calendar with fake appointments.
I don’t know what I need, I can recognise progress, I can recognise the start of feeling normal, but it is not a complete work. The ‘dark days’ haunt me, even on my ‘good days’ as I fear going back there.
My GP has referred me to a psychiatrist, she’s says she doesn’t know if she’s ‘missed something’ she doesn’t know why the drugs aren’t having the full effect she would anticipate.
I’m currently on 150mg of Sertraline, she says I may have to go to 200mg (max dose) but only after a psychiatric sign off. In the beginning I thought the drugs were helping, I felt better. But in retrospect I think they were like taking a Paracetamol for a long migraine- a slight lightening after years of feeling sick, but not really treating.
I believe I am just suffering from severe depression and moderate anxiety, but I worry I am hiding something, am I being honest with myself? Or is there something deeper? I have been good at hiding things my whole life, my closest friends and family don’t know this is going on. My parents don’t know that I have smoked for 14 years! Every scar on my body has a perfectly formulated lie around it, so they would never know about the self-harm. I’m ashamed of my depression even though I know it is an illness, I just long for an excuse.
So I will wait for my psychiatric assessment, but in the meantime I just wanted to ‘vent’ to for once be honest, and to ask am I missing something? Is my doctor missing something? My hope is that I’m just on the wrong meds/ wrong dose and I can be ok, my fear is there is something deeper and darker.
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