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April 01, 2009


Mrs. Hall

I am glad you liked the word 'mulligan.' I was hesitant to use it, I didn't want to sound all writery. :)

That being said, you know what I do for a living right? I am a psychiatric nurse practitioner (i prescribe anti-crazy, anti-depressant, anti-feeling responsible for the Bosnia-Herzegovina war.) BTW, MY LASTEST POST FEATURES THAT VERY CONFLICT-WEIRD HUH?

But, I too would be bummed too if I had caused that conflic. Bummer indeed.


With each chronic illness, especially those that effect the nervous system, often, an organic depression, complete with constant verge of tears baseline, can develop.

So-know that you are perfectly normal in your normal abnormal baseline.

And my heart goes out to you.


I have a deep appreciation for what the medications do to people.

They mess with people's inner worlds. Mess with their thoughts, their feelings. It alters things.

And for this, I feel hopeful and sad at the same time.

I mean, the goal of messing with patient's inner world is to enhance their quality of life. To help them achieve what ever goals they have. For you, I hope your goals are to laugh without crying, to distinguish the current economic crisis as not something you caused.

That is the hope I feel for you.

The sad is that your abnormal normal is yours and it is being altered. Despite the crying and odd thinking your are developing with the increasing depression (which again, is normal) it is yours.

But, the fact of the matter is, is that you are obviously needed and loved. You have a husband who loves you enough to give you flaming buckets of porn, you have friend you love you, and you have a job that allows people to put all sorts of stickers behind the discripters of honest and direct . . . . . . . . .

To continue all of this, you can't really be crying all the time.

SO-one last thing-don't believe everything thing when you are in the dark depression. Think of it like being all drunk or on drugs.

Don't believe everything you think or feel. Your brain could very well be lying.


whenever i prescribe medication, i always insist the patient seek counseling. Because when you are dealing with a chronic illness (MS) and depression, medication can only do so much of the heavy lifting.



Mrs. Hall

and I am looking forward to the Lobster Slaughter tomorrow night. Which is am sure has nothing WHATSOEVER to do with today's post.



My meds have stopped working. I am suicidal. I don't care that I am suicidal. I just don't care anymore. So. That's my new normal. I have one month's expenses left in my checking account without going into my 401K. And I still don't have a job.

That's all.


I struggled HARD when I was on depression meds. I mean, mentally, I wasn't normal, right? Taking the pills meant I wasn't normal.

Then my husband pointed out that if I had diabetes, I'd take insulin. If I had a chronic problem with my heart, my liver, my kidneys -- ANY organ of my body -- and medication helped, I'd take the damn stuff.

Ok, so I have a problem with my brain. It's another organ. I have a problem with it, as it is producing or not producing the chemicals it is supposed to. I take the meds because they help.

That's the only way I got through it. Eventually I had to get off the meds because they stopped working. It was very bad.

Now I'm not on prescription meds, just a supplement/placebo that works -- but woe be to me when I forget it or skip it. My whole world spins down to a stop because my brain STILL isn't working right. Maybe it never really did but it took years for the problem to build up (I had my first severe head injury when I was 3) to the point where I couldn't function.

So it's never been a cover up for me. It's been what I had to have to deal. If it had been a crutch or a wheelchair or a special pole so I could reach things above my head, it's the same thing.


Is there, um, anything we should be sensitive to, tomorrow? I'm scratching Bosnia-Herzegovina off the list of acceptable topics, any other world conflicts we should avoid mentioning or alluding to??? ;-)

Hope you feel better!


When you cold turkey off the drugs it is the worst possible thing you can do. I have done it a few times for various reasons and my crazy doctor (psychiatrist) explained it in a very simple way. Basically if you are providing fake chemicals to your brain, your brain doesn't make the real chemical anymore. By going cold turkey and not a step down process you are depriving your brain of ALL off the chemical, not just a part of the chemical. Usually Serotonin, the feel good drug and your body goes nuts. If you want to try doing a step down process then you might be able to do that someday but get your body back in the groove first. When I went cold turkey off of Cymbalta I was a freaking mess. Oy vey.

You my dear are very normal and evidently in very good company, according to the comments above this one! ;)


Count me among the many who take an antidepressant to get through the day. Before I started taking it I felt it would be wrong, an excuse, a crutch, that it often appears that women take antidepressants instead of addressing their shitty marriages or getting out of their crappy jobs. But now I know if one is too depressed she does not have a chance to do much of anything about any of these very common problems. Now I feel like what the drugs do for me is get me out of the deep dark hole and back on solid ground where I CAN start to address all my stuff. Still working on all of it. But no longer crying all day every day-that doesn't leave much time or energy for anything else.


An aside: This may not apply to you as you seem to get checkups all the time, but I just saw a naturopath who ran a bunch of involved bloodwork, ie, more than the regular GP would've, and he says Vitamin D and low thyroid, both of which are chronic and expanding problems for 40-50 something women, could be causing a lot of the depressive symptoms, and if I take these supplements I might be able to go off the prescription someday...


My sister's ex-sister-in-law thinks all you need is Jesus. My sister's ex-sister-in-law is an idiot.


BTW, what Mrs Hall said. Particularly, the last bit.


I've been meaning to come back to this all day, but once its out of sight in google reader...(another reason not to check google reader on my phone, is I can't comment...)
Anyhoodles, I think you know I wrote about going cold-turkey off Lexapro, which was an excrutiatingly bad call on my part, and I paid the price for about two weeks, feeling like a lunatic - not to mention the physical symptoms that nearly sent me to the ER. I feel for you- I know of which you speak.
I cannot say that I have been better, since getting off, except that I've been able to start losing the weight that the meds packed on, which has helped my self-esteem a teensy bit. So there's something. But I have learned that the depression is harder to ward off without chemical help as I get older - it doesn't come and go like it did when I was younger, (you know, workout, get more sleep, eat better, it used to work...) it just stays, the bastard. And I'm starting to realize I may have to do something about that. I don't wanna, dammit. I'm trying to just be too busy to bother, but I think I'm just manic. Not the same.
Hang in there. Enjoy the Lobslau. Come visit KC sometime, and we will go and cry into our Sambuca shots together.


Take veeerry good care of yourself, m'Dear. Tell Gary you may need extra super-sized buckets of flaming porn to pull you through for awhile.

I like what Sherri mentioned - if we have a different kind of medical issue, like diabetes or heart disease, we'd never in a million years 'blame' ourselves about it the way we tend to with anxiety and depression. For some damn reason, we seem to think we're personally responsible when our brain chemicals go on the fritz.

You're still you, even if the meds mess with your perceptions of you (if that makes any sense). They don't take away your humor, insight, creativity, all the things that make you a cool human being,...y'know? And remember, it may just be the depression itself making you feel more like the depression itself is worse (mental Escherism?) - it can be a nasty negative-feedback loop.

Last of all, remember that your normal-abnormal is beloved and understood. By many. Hope you feel better soon.
{{{Bear Hug}}}

Big Dot

It's all chemistry. You need the meds to get your brain chemicals back in sync, it's nothing to do with the real you. And when the depression creeps up behind you it's horrible, but it's like the black thoughts everyone has at 3am - it won't last forever, the sun will come out tomorrow [AUGH! How did that happen?] Just keep taking the pills, Queen, and leave Bosnia-Herzegovina to look after itself.


All - I feel much better now. Thanks. We shall never discuss it again!

Mrs Hall - No! No! LobSlau is a week from Friday! We played around with the date because of the intersection with Passover, but 4/10 is really when she died. And thank you for your comment. That was impressive!
Becs - I'm sorry. They do say you're supposed to switch meds every two years because evidently they do stop working.
Sherri - "If I had diabetes, I'd take insulin" - Yes, that's how I have felt about it in the past. But with this turn I feel more pointedly that I'm "insulin" dependent. That's what gets me: before I wanted to take it, now it looks like I have to. I'm just whining. Didn't I tell you all I was shy about writing this? I think I should have said ashamed...
Christy - Ha! I'm picturing Fawlty Towers: "Don't mention the war!"
Surprising Woman - Yeah, I don't think I'm ever doing this again. Then again, I didn't do it on purpose this time. Of course, I didn't go out and find the bottle and get the medicine either.
Gaoo - Hm. Vitamin D is a problem in MS too - but it isn't fixed by taking more.
3 - She is kind of a nut. Even my HyperCatholic m-i-l doesnt think Jesus helps with depresssion. Or broken hips.
Jenny Meade - Sambuca! I didn't know what that is, but wikipedia says is anise-flavored! Licorice! Fennel! I'm having Chambord. And I remember you going cold-turkey; I was concerned. Then I went and did it myself.
Mare - True, I do think of it as a medical issue, just that now I see it as a progressing medical issue. You'd think I'd be used to that. That does make it better, hearing so many smart people have done the same.
Big Dot - How do you know I'm on the PC? Freaky. You left your comment while I was typing mine, so I'm editing my comment. Good, that gives me a chance to say I am sorry for the excessive use of exclamation points in my comment. And you are right, what is going on with the unioverse at 3 am? It's when cluster headaches hit, it's when the depression wakes you up. I read someplace your body starts making its own corticosteroids at 3 am.


All you can do is try to manage the insanity one day at a time. What you wrote just sounds normal to me.


Queenie, I grok. I really grok the whole dependent thing. It's been now (lemme count...) 11 years since my diagnosis and the 5 years battling with meds, etc and now close to 7 sans meds, and I still have the specter of medication looming over me. It's hard to want what you need when you want choice. I still think of it as a choice, though. I don't want to feel like crap, therefore I take the pills.

Within a year or so, I suspect I'll be back on something beyond the SAM-E (which is a blessed, blessed thing) and I don't like it. But I don't like feeling crappy deadly I wanna die either. So, I chose the one that's closer to what I want.

Sambuca is AWESOME! Also Cask and Cream in good hot chocolate.


It's true. Sambuca rocks.


I wish I could make a serum out of Santa's blood and inoculate every depressed person I know. He has unhappy moments, but those lows that are so familiar to some of you, he has never suffered. I have never met a more annoyingly overall cheerful person in my life.

It definitely has to be biochemical in nature and I wish he could share.


.75 - well I could almost accept the tears if they didn't lead next to the excessive guilt.
Sherri - I never have tried anything but the hard drugs. I would try it only there is the danger that I would then be responsible for Iraq.
Becs - ok, but I will just take your word for it. You might as well feed me cilantro liquer.
Zayrina - lucky man. Since it is so familial I wonder if there was a depressed patient zero.


There probably was depression all along, but people didn't live long in the first place, and they were busy working 12 hours a day 6 days a week and didn't have much time to dwell on depression. Modern people have the luxury of more time, but that time allows them to dwell on their misery.


Wow, look away for a week and you could miss a lot of stuff! I,too, have been up and down with anti-depressants,(sounds like a lot of your friends were or are in the same boat). I weaned myself,ever so slowly, off of Zoloft some time ago. Since then I learned a lot about adrenal fatigue and have been sort of self treating myself for that. Regular healthcare folks ignore this as a problem so you are kind of on your own to figure it out and work toward health as best you can. Anyway, I think if I can be healthier in general, the crying jags will taper off and I won't want to hole up in my cosy bed with my latest pile of books. Depression runs in my family but it must have some sort of reason for getting a foothold because some of us are able to fend it off better than others. You may be down right now, but you seem to have a pretty sweet life and an absolutely twisted sense of humor. Your major illness makes something like this more pronounced but one of my mottos is,"Better living through chemistry". I've heard that it sometimes takes two years or longer to get over the loss of a loved one and I still,20 years later, think, "I gotta go call my mom" now and again. Take what you need to get by, there is no one qualified to judge you, for that or anything else. Keep up the great posts, nobody does it better!


Zayrina - Probably, like cancer, people died before the crazy years.
Judith - "Regular healthcare folks ignore this as a problem" - oncve my doctor said "Oh, you have depression?" And I said, "That should be in the front flap of your folder, at the top, that I have a potentially life-threatening disorder, depression, yes, I have depression." And he wrote it there.

Oh, by the way, during the last few weeks I've been depressed I've been useless to my friends and family. Come to find out all kind of shit's been going on and I didn't hear about it becuase I've been in my own sad little world. Remind me of that next time I value nature over nurture.

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