Archive for the ‘Depression’ Category

Having depression is one thing, but the side effects from medication are JUST as evil or greater because many surface with just one. Becoming physically unattractive killed my self-confidence, increasing my anger and frustration. For 3 years I was a guinea pig ingesting several meds at once, not knowing which medication was causing what or if it was depression itself. Simultaneously administered were; anxiety pills, mood stabilizers, antipsychotics, sleeping pills, antidepressants and medications warding off inevitable side effects. It took 3 months for medications to reach therapeutic level before they would listen to side effects. Then it was on to another.


A few medications caused brittle hair and hair loss. I frowned on daily showers because of low energy plus the new chore of cleaning enormous clumps of hair from the drain while my pony-tail band kept getting smaller and smaller. Facial skin turned pale, dried out, full of strange bumps and redness in certain parts, soon to be diagnosed with an incurable condition called Ocular Rosacea. It worsened with stress, wind, dry air, cold air, sunlight and being overheated, placing more restrictions on activities.


My weight fluctuated like a yo-yo between 105-145 pounds. I knew at one time I was attractive, but felt like fading away….


Standing in front of the mirror was agonizing when I needed to venture into public. It was an overwhelming thinking of the long preparation needed before feeling comfortable enough for others to lay their eyes on me. Some days it was too much.


This list doesn’t even touch the side effects contributing to the uncomfortable disabling medicinal symptoms not associated with physical self-image. Self-confidence died a long time ago and isn’t returned 100% , but I feel with stress at a minimum and continued support, my thoughts will eventually change.


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The word “fuck” is now retired. It flowed freely every time my mouth opened to speak when emotions and negative thoughts controlled me. Another aspect of feeling better is no longer feeling raped of independence. Money had never been abundant because of my illness, but there was always “some”. I currently have minimal material things or means to get them without a source of income and I’m OK because there is a sense of hope. Having to rely on others doesn’t cause panic attacks and I can gracefully accept help without thinking my freedom is being jeopardized.

Medications for Clinical Depression and Attention Deficit Disorder are providing the opportunity to start living again. Did I loose 3 years with treatment for Bipolar Disorder? Numerous bipolar symptoms overlap with depression and ADD, so the defining moment of bipolar would cause mania to show its ugly face. So we wait…….

My current psychiatrists hold firm on the bipolar disorder but I choose to discontinue bipolar medication due to adverse effects as well as the previous 5 drugs from the last 3 years. An off-the-cuff diagnosis of borderline personality disorder was made while a specialized doctor’s diagnosis of ADD from NC was dismissed. It has been YEARS since feeling this good and meds are doing their job, so they will stay “as is”.

I am thankful for the unconditional support, love and prayers “YOU” have given me. Even if no words were spoken, I just know. Being disconnected physically and emotionally for 3 years from support was influenced by the illness and stubbornness, creating a comfort zone at home based on fear. Honestly, I would be content never leaving the home. Knowing this is my past unhealthy pattern, I am slowly venturing out to conquer anxiety with “YOU” by my side. I was out of my comfort zone lost for over an hour driving in the dark while raining and there was no panic attack in sight knowing “You” were a phone call away (but my stubbornness prevented that call :) Anxiety will be attacked without meds because I can do this!

My case worker/patient advocate is an angel. She looks at my life as a new adventure where the unknown is exciting. If you have anxiety, you know that the unknown brings worry, dread, fear, and panic, but I think we’ll go with her view.

To laugh and have a sense of humor should never be taken for granted. I never realized the impact when fun is absent from life until you don’t have it or can’t. If there were people having fun or laughing, I would exit as fast as I could. There are times to be serious as long as humor and laughter are integrated into my daily life because I missed it! My laugh is loud, scares babies and my dog cringe, so be prepared.

Just too many ways to communicate and I don’t agree will all. For someone with anxiety, texting will never be included in my form of communication and email doesn’t agree either. Facebook is only visited on occasion. I have a new cell phone number (please don’t give it to collections) and will send out privately :)

I have counted my many blessings and can move forward with a sense of peace……..

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On October 8th I discontinued Topamax due to fatigue, nausea ocular viral infection, daily headaches, and the burning of my stomach, esophagus, and throat. Because every bit of food tasted like metal, the next four days were spent in bed sick to my stomach, unable to eat or drink. Ulcers in my mouth are painful, so swallowing anything is a challenge. Dry mouth and insatiable thirst are other symptoms, followed by frequent restroom visits.

During my first appointment with the psychiatrist, I conveyed concern about my worsening ADD symptoms and was told that the medication I was taking is not responsible for this, when in fact all documentation states Topamax adversely affects thinking, alertness and concentration. Short term memory loss is so severe that would lose a simple thought in a matter of seconds.

Coordination is beginning to be a problem. I currently have a black eye because my balance was off and fell int a door frame.

October 15th to the 16th eyesight changed drastically loosing my nearsightedness. After receiving eye drops from the ophthalmologist for a viral infection in both eyes came symptoms of double vision, halos surrounding lights, and pressure behind my eyes (the red flag for glaucoma)

I seem to have many common and rare side effects listed below and not sure if Topamax or Cymbalta are responsible.

Adverse events most often associated with the use of TOPAMAX® were central nervous system-related. In adults, the most significant of these can be classified into two general categories: 1) psychomotor slowing, difficulty with concentration, and speech or language problems, memory, confusion

Word-finding difficulties and 2) somnolence or fatigue.

Symptoms of overdose/toxicity include; abdominal pain, agitation, blurred vision, convulsions, depression, dizziness, double vision, drowsiness, impaired coordination, impaired mental activity, low blood pressure, reduced consciousness, severe diarrhea, sluggishness, and speech problems.

I have all the same side effects even after discontinuing Topamax and hoping there is no permanent damage or that my anti-depressent medication Cymbalta will be stopped for the same reasons, because both medications have similer side effects. I am so uncomfortable and just feel like shit.


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Went to ECMC after a disagreement and spent 10 days to reach stability, which has been successful. The downside is that I have no emotion and cannot function. My rage and negative thoughts have disappeared but so have my energy and care for anything. Since being on the new medication all I did in the hospital was sleep. I am extremely tired all of the time and my mind is in a constant daydream state. Trying to concentrate is absolutely pointless. I move to another chair to smoke thinking maybe a hit of dopamine might trigger some motivation to do something…….but the fog is too great to overcome. I just sit and stare and my head sways back and forth like a drugged up patient just existing.

So the bipolar is being treated, just not ADHD. New medications are Topamax and Cymbalta along with synthetic thyroid and I hope to God my new shrink does not leave my ADHD untreated. Because right now it would be easy for me to fall back into depression as bill collectors are calling from hospital bills ex partner let pile up from months ago. The thought of me just existing is not an option, I am a doer. I NEVER enjoyed smoking pot and hate feeling this relaxed (if that’s what you call it ) and someone else can have it. I want my life back!!!!!!

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I don’t love you enough to fill the windshield wiper fluid before  your 12 hour car ride

I don’t love you enough to stock the fridge with unspoiled food after your 12 hour car ride home

I don’t love you enough to adhere to your therapist’s suggestions on ways I can alleviate some of your stress

I don’t love you enough to seek a support group for myself regarding your condition

I don’t love you enough to ask about your doctors appointments

I don’t love you enough to research constructive communication techniques regarding your condition

I don’t love you enough to care about what medications help with your various conditions

I don’t love you enough to include you in parental decision-making for our child while you are 700 miles away

I don’t love you enough to keep an eye on you after the therapist and your mother told me you were vulnerable

I don’t love you enough to spend time in the same room the second day you returned home from your suicide attempt

I don’t love you enough to have my own issues addressed, possibly alleviating some of your stress

I don’t love you enough to move in order to improve your health, increase your support system and decrease your loneliness

I don’t love you enough to inquire about your feelings everyday

I don’t love you enough to acknowledge your presence

I don’t love you enough to notice when you are crying while we are in the same room

I don’t love you enough to put your shoes on my feet to feel what  you are feeling

I don’t love you enough to change anything I do that has negatively impacted our relationship

I don’t love you enough to find out why I do the same things over and over again, adding to your frustration

I don’t love you enough to tell you before I tell my parents that divorce is imminent

I don’t love you enough to offer comfort when your businesses had to be closed and your career ended

I don’t love you enough to leave my parents

I don’t love you enough to sacrifice video game time

I don’t love  you enough to resolve a conflict before I leave for vacation while you stay home alone

I don’t know you enough to take our child away from his friends and grandparents

I don’t love you enough to stand by your side during the lowest point in your life

I don’t love you enough to waste another 3 years of you trying different medications

I don’t love you enough to do all I can to save our marriage

and I don’t love you enough to deny the fact that  love for my child is greater than the love I have for you, knowing this information will prolong your depression

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It is a chemical imbalance and I cannot snap out of it. Visiting with family and friends only takes my mind off dark places FOR THAT MOMENT, it does not go away. In the evening hours when people are usually sleeping I am ruminating about EVERYTHING NEGATIVE. Being in Buffalo has helped and I feel supported, but I am still grieving in the midst of my depression. I live 700 miles from my son, my animals, my house, my garden, my address, my doctors, my therapist, my career, my independence,  my belongings and my panic attacks are endured without the help of my husband to calm me. My psychiatric care is transitioning from NC to NY and is another added stress. Having to tell my story over and over again to a perfect stranger (not even knowing if I will like them) is excruciating and  deletes my energy and raises anxiety.

OCD-obsessive compulsive disorder for me are negative thoughts playing over and over again. Imagine that song you just heard and it plays over and over in your head, that is how it works. I dissect them in so many ways and they never turn out positive. Everything is my fault and no one can uplift my thoughts permanently.

Depression changes energy level, my behavior towards others and myself, my emotional state and my actions are either lethargic or violent. If conflict is not resolved my anxiety takes over and just builds up to where the only outlet is to lash out with unkind words, punching, slamming or swinging at SOMETHING. Depression creates confusion in me and does not allow for rational decisions to be made or talking sensibly, which adds to my frustration.

Making decisions, planning, organizing, memorizing or retaining details, initiating anything, and motivation are all compromised at this point. It is all an overwhelming feeling and sometimes I do just walk away………and worry about how it will all manifest.

Buffalo is a whole different world but not without new problems…….

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Bitch is an understatement. When I am depressed with anxiety or paranoia, it is no picnic.  Since medication is currently ineffective, “others” that are close to me need to be highly EDUCATED on the illness, my stress triggers and my symptoms of mania, depression or mixed episodes. Communication is ALWAYS a problem because my perception of anything is usually different from yours. Emotions will always be expressed with a bit more passion and my sensitivity level tends to stay on the high side. These traits are part of the bipolar illness, but don’t have to ruin all relationships if all parties did their share to cope and research…………… I need to have hope but with certain circumstances and ultimatums thrown in my face that hope is diminished.

The challenges of being married to a person with a mental illness or disorder are often made considerably worse during the divorce process-Read more:

Most relationship problems can be resolved with five questions: What am I not facing? What truths have I not spoken? What have I been blaming others for that I need to own responsibility for creating? What choices do I need to make? What actions do I need to take?

Mental Illness or not, these are red flags for anyone………

Signals of impending divorce

No Conflict Resolution

The noted researcher John Gotman has argues that it is not lack of communication that sinks a marriage but, rather, lack of effective conflict resolution. Couples who have not evolved a way to resolve differences without injury to the relationship end up avoiding disagreement and conflict. One or both has arrived at a point of despair that it is pointless to try to resolve a difference with his/her mate. It may be that one or both are simply conflict avoidance. Or one or both may regard every conflict as a fight to be won by bullying the other into submission. What matters is that someone has given up. Differences are submerged resulting in a loss of respect, increasing distance and gradual withdrawal.

Emotional Disengagement

Emotional engagement is a minimum requirement for the development and maintenance of intimacy. Willing discussion of feelings, one’s own feelings and the other’s feelings are a part. Interest in the emotional life of the other and empathic engagement of each other’s emotional life all constitute the required elements for an intimate relationship.


Emotional engagement is generally accompanied by the withdrawal of affection. If your wife has disengaged emotionally from you she probably doesn’t feel much love for you. Divorcing people commonly say that “they have fallen out of love.” And depending on how sour the relationship has become one or both probably don’t like each other very much

Lack of Sex

Sex both expresses and reinforces emotional connectedness. When a couple has not had sex in a long time it is usually a reliable indicator that emotional disengagement is advancing steadily. It is yet another indicator that the partners take no pleasure in each other and that the bonds are rapidly eroding if not already in a terminal state.

Increased Focus outside the Marriage

Empty marriages are very boring. Some couples compensate by pouring themselves into their children so that child centered activity becomes the sole content of family life. Others pour themselves further into careers working late every night so the time with the other is minimized. And as emotional satisfaction is sought exclusively outside the marriage the probability of an affair soars. The majority of affairs I see in my practice have started with a coworker who takes an interest and is fun to be with.

Preparation for a Single Life

I recall a couple I worked with many years ago in which the husband, as part of his planning for the coming divorce, took a second mortgage on he house to pay for a hair transplant to improve his dating prospects. Although this was a bit extreme it is typical for the initiating spouse to begin preparing herself or himself by getting in shape, losing weight, attending to hair and wardrobe and other things to enhance appearance. And particularly with women who have stayed home we often see a new interest in refreshing or acquiring a career to be less dependent on the earnings of the husband. We also will often see the initiator taking up an activity such as tennis or golf without involving the other spouse and generally beginning to build a social network as a single rather than as a couple.

Differentiating– In this stage, partners begin to stress the “me” instead of the “we.” In other words, the individuals begin to assert their independence. They may develop different hobbies or activities. The relationship may continue to dissolve, or this stage may be a warning sign that the couple needs to address their relationship status.
Circumscribing: Communication between the couple diminishes during this stage. They tend to avoid certain topics of discussion. Outwardly, the couple appears normal. At this stage, attempts can be made to discuss the relationship and return it to a positive state.
Stagnating: During the stagnating stage, the individuals avoid discussing the relationship because they think they know what the other will say. Others begin to take notice that something is wrong.
Avoiding: The pair begins to physically separate themselves during the avoiding stage. The individuals try to reduce the opportunities for discussion.
Terminating: This is the final stage of the relationship. Termination may come naturally, such as at the end of the semester when roommates move out, or arbitrarily, through divorce. Termination of the relationship can occur positively or negatively.

Some coping techniques for spouses of bipolar sufferers

  • You may dearly miss the person you fell in love with. Keep in mind that with proper treatments and your support, that person will come back to you
  • Find your own therapist. You may need a professional to help guide you through the hard times
  • Look for a support group for partners of bipolar sufferers. If there isn’t one in your area, consider starting one
  • Go with your spouse to a few of his/her therapy sessions and talk to their therapist. Ask questions, listen to the therapist’s conclusions or views of your spouse’s care. Try to be interactive in their care rather than inactive. Don’t be overwhelming, though.
  • Find time for yourself with such things as hobbies, walks, jogging, sports, and writing. Sometimes it helps to vent a bit of frustrated energy. You can go for a vigorous walk and clear your head.
  • When your partner is in a healthy mental state, talk to them about your needs and hurts. Don’t be confrontational, don’t blame, just gently tell them how you feel about things from your perspective.
  • Remind yourself continually throughout the day that there will be better times ahead. Make it a mantra.
  • Allow yourself to reminisce about the good old times when you were both happy and give yourself hope that the good times will come again. Look through photographs of better days, read old love letters and watch family videos. Spend time with the kids talking about funny family stories.
  • Research and find reading material about mental illness. Get to know what you and your spouse are battling against.
  • View your spouse’s illness as something you both have to fight as a team.
  • Help monitor your spouse’s medication so that you can be aware they are taking the prescribed medications or not. You don’t have to be a nazi about it, just let them know you are keeping track.
  • If you have family, spend time with them.
  • If your spouse is hospitalized, ask family and friends to help out with the children, housework, cooking, and even with visitation. Ask for help, this is very important.
  • Treat yourself ever so often. Allow yourself to sleep in one day a week or take a long, hot bath.
  • Have a good cry once in a while. You don’t always have to be the strong one.
  • When your spouse is enjoying good mental health, spend pleasurable time together. Go on a date. Spend time with the children. Go for walks, etc.
  • Try not to take unpleasantness personally. It is not your fault that your spouse is depressed or suicidal for that matter. They may be emotional powder kegs ready to blow at any moment, irritable beyond belief, even spiteful. You must remember that most of the time it is the illness talking, not them. I know, this is easy to forget.
  • Learn to relax when you don’t have to be on guard. If stress is physically manifesting itself as back aches, sore and stiff muscles, or general aches and pains, consider going to a massage therapist.
  • Let the people around you know when you are going through an especially trying time. If possible, take some time off work.
  • Don’t argue with your spouse when they are in a deep depression or manic. It is of no use. They will not be able to see your point of view and it will just cause more tension for everyone.
  • If your spouse is hospitalized, talk to their nurses about their progress. It is a great way for you to get daily updates on your spouse’s condition.
  • If it is hard for you to visit a hospital, ask if you can have an off ward pass for a few hours. Take your spouse to a nearby park or restaurant and visit with them there.
  • Don’t have high expectations of someone in poor mental health. You are setting yourself up for disappointment.
  • Do not turn to drugs or alcohol to take away your pain and frustrations. You need to be strong for you and your spouse’s welfare.
  • Laughter is always good medicine. Rent a few comedies one evening and invite a few good friends to come down and watch them with you. Laugh.
  • If you have become so resentful and angry at your spouse that you have begun to experience marital problems, consider visiting a marriage counselor when the spouse is mentally stable.
  • Don’t blame everything on your spouse. It is not their fault that they are ill.
  • Don’t blame everything on yourself. That is not fair.
  • Try to focus on what is best for both of you.
  • Don’t get muddled up with all that is wrong with your spouse. Instead, look for the person trapped deep inside, the one you dearly love.
  • Sit down and take stock of your life, what is important and what is not.
  • There are a lot of motivational self-help books out there. Go find a few and read them.


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