Treatment resistant depression

I woke up at 6:30 with my three-year-old, and snuggled him on the couch, 30 minutes later my six-year-old woke up and joined her brother on my lap while we watched paw patrol. My little ones can be so very sweet, telling me that they love me multiple times a day, or like my son says, “Mommy you’re the best boy.” I was smiling and joking around about how silly the pups are, drinking coffee out of my favorite mug, enjoying the giggles coming from my children— thinking that today was going to be a good day because I have a lot to look forward to.

And then, suddenly I felt anxious, and then sad. So now I’m back in bed, hiding under the covers writing this with tears running down my cheeks.

The ketamine infusions feel like magic, it works so quickly which is absolutely crucial at this point because my passive suicidal ideation can take over if I’m not on top of it.

Treatment resistant depression is miserable. I found this article that I want to share with you, and I’ll highlight a couple parts that I identify with:

I don’t just have difficulty finding medications that work — I am also more susceptible to negative side effects, as well as tending to have paradoxical reactions to them. Stimulants make me quiet and tired, sedatives make me panic, SSRIs make me suicidal… the list goes on. On top of which my anxiety disorder has been “treatment-resistant” for a long time, and the balancing act of taking medication for one condition without aggravating another is a never-ending struggle.

Medications that do work can sometimes stop working. And since so few medications are even remotely successful, that means I can never feel settled or comfortable, because chances are we will have to keep increasing the dose until it reaches a dangerously high level, at which point we will have to switch to something else.

I’m a rapid metabolizer, and as it is I have to start out at the maximum safe dose of medications most times. For those without a strict upper limit, it becomes a matter of pushing the boundaries until the risks far out weight the benefit. Sometimes that means taking more than the typical “maximum” dose, and even then it will likely stop working.

It’s unpredictable. It’s always changing. It’s discouraging and tiring, and it is never-ending.

It has taken time to come to a level of acceptance about it. I will never be someone who can take a pill and everything is better. It will never be that simple for me. I will never just pop in to my doctor’s office every six months for a refill, because nothing is going to go well for that long. I will always be balancing the long list of side effects with the possibility or relief, and trying to determine at what point it is time to try something else. Sometimes I lose hope, and feel like nothing will ever be OK.

The Reality of Living With Treatment-Resistant Depression

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