K: The Journey is still under development.
This will be the story of my recovery from a lifetime of only lows. For the past 15 years, I’ve suffered from clinical depression, anxiety, and problems with attention and mood. I had a nervous breakdown at 22 years old.
Since then, I’ve been hospitalized, self-admitted, four times. I’ve also taken every medication, exactly as directed. I’ve been to therapy. I’ve tried well over 100 different medications under a doctor’s supervision. My mood has, at times, been good. My depression and anxiety could be suppressed, but nothing has made it possible to be just get by from one day to the next.
You see, when depression happens, unless we find an excellent way to rebound, the personality literally begins to break down.
After the nervous breakdown, doctors diagnosed me with Bi-Polar Disorder. I was given the typical medications for it, and made to understand that I’d likely have to be medicated for the rest of my life.
I was misdiagnosed. The treatments for bipolar are often heavy anticonvulsants and antipsychotics, often mixed with an antidepressant. I spiraled out of control in this fog. My promising career? Gone. My girlfriend? Gone. I couldn’t drive because of the side effects. Restless leg syndrome, shakes, tremors, and because I was not bipolar, the intended effects left me blunted mentally.
When, several years later, my diagnosis finally settled around Long-Term Depression, often called Treatment Resistant Depression, comorbid with Anxiety Disorders. Then the medications became less of a weight, but that didn’t make me a spring.
I spent years in therapy, and was able to overcome tons of bad behaviors caused by my illness. I still felt awful. All the time. Never did the thought of a welcoming, peaceful death leave me for more than a few moments. So, I continued to breakdown.
The person I had been since my first memories was long gone. I hadn’t been him for years. I could not imagine being so down I’d attempt suicide when I was 18. By 28, the thought was constant. I developed neuropathic pains as the time went on. Insomnia was my constant friend. Motivation began to devolve. I developed migraine headaches. My hygiene began to suffer. Panic attacks were common.
Everything I’d worked for was being lost. Within the first three years, I managed to lose more jobs than I remember. The side effects of even the most effective medications meant I never could predict when I’d fall asleep. Or wake up. A migraine might hit, then I’m not worth a damn thing in the job. Eventually no one would call me for an interview after checking my past employment.
I spent all of my savings. My parents spent countless money, being middle class, it left them with no fallback ready for retirement.
Every good, healthy habit I had fell prey to the endless weight. I am not always sad, please, do not mistake sadness for depression. Don’t mistake depression for Clinical Depression, either.
Sadness is a normal emotion to engage in. It sucks, but we get through it. Depression is a mood we overcome. Clinical Depression has a chemical aspect that is often overcome with a short time on medication and in therapy. Treatment Resistant Depression is clinical depression that the normal medications and therapies have no lasting effect on.
After begging for drastic treatment for years, this Sunday, June 23,2019, I will finally get one.
Ketamine Infusion Treatment has been in the background for 20 years. CURING people. People going from 30 years of meds just to move, find they don’t need them anymore after Ketamine Infusion. Others cut the meds back to minimal and began living again. Both things, I’ve never been able to dream about.
Yet, ketamine is no miracle cure. Maintanence therapy (one infusion ever 3mo-1yr) is not uncommon. There’s some dispute over how long it’s effective. The thing is, if it’s effective for one day, it’s better than anything I’ve tried. And I’ve tried it all.
Of course, there’s still lots of personal work that’s necessary. Re-examining where we are and where we want to be. Acknowledging our faults. Coming to terms with the past. Exercising. Eating healthy meals. Meditation, and reflective journaling. I’ll be talking about all of this here.
My efforts have already begun. This blog is first evidence. I’ve also managed to adjust my sleep schedule to nights. Something I’ve never succeeded at for long. I’m mindful of this.
I’ll talk more about each aspect of my treatment and recovery plan over the next few weeks. All of my readers will witness every step I take. So, I hope all 7 billion of y’all are tuning in.
This time I speak.