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So tired of being stuck...

Depression & Anxiety | Last Active: Mar 17, 2020 | Replies (28)

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I visited my pcp in 2003 to discuss reasons for how I was feeling. I told him that my symptoms could indicate depression, but I wanted him to test me for any organic illnesses that might explain my malaise. We did diagnose and treat several things along the way, but he prescribed an antidepressant at my initial appointment. I don't think it helped much, because the depression worsened over the next two years, to the point that I made several suicide attempts, and went back to my doctor to tell him what was happening. He was required by law to admit me to the hospital, but he let me self-admit to a new facility, where I spent the next six weeks. A requirement of discharge was to schedule an appointment with a psychiatrist and begin therapy. By that time I had given a bunch of antidepressants the six week trial and finally had found that Bupropion (Wellbutrin) actually helped a bit.

Kind of a long way around to get to my point. Wellbutrin has been my antidepressant of choice since the end of 2005. Recovery was a very long process for me. I continued to be suicidal for more than a year and very depressed for another 3 years. It wasn't until around 2010 that I could say that suicide was no longer a compulsion, but just lingering in my consciousness. I'd say that it was several more years before I could say that, while I was still clinically depressed, I was able to function at a reasonable level. I think that depression is something that I'll need to work on, with medication and therapy, the rest of my life.

Two years ago I was heading back to the depression hole, talked with the psychiatrist and added Remeron (Mirtazapine) to enhance the Wellbutrin.

Because of the depression and anxiety and PTSD and suicidal ideation, I applied for and was granted Social Security Disability when I was 55, and I retired. I was non-functional in my job, and my problems couldn't be dealt with if I continued to work in a very stressful job. That kicked in Medicare coverage, which is both good and bad. Good that my healthcare was now covered, bad because in the town where I retired has no therapists who accept Medicare except for the ones who work through the hospital behavioral health department. Only one of the therapists I've had through the hospital was a psychologist. The rest of them have been licensed clinical social workers (lcsw). I have to say that they have, for the most part, been very good, and I can probably say that I'm alive today, thanks to their work. I only see a psychiatrist when I think I need to adjust my medication. He's not a counselor.

Major depression, also called chronic or clinical depression, often works in tandem with other health issues, in my case chronic pain in my feet from peripheral neuropathy. The pain tends to increase the depression, and depression tends to increase the pain. I think the term that's used is comorbidity.

I almost went with ECT, but it would have meant driving 3 hours each way for treatment. The hospital was helping me find an affordable place to stay during the week, but I just became so totally overwhelmed by the process that I gave up on it. My wife really didn't want me to do the ECT, either, which didn't help matters. I know that it's been a great help for many people.

I usually go through the posts here at Mayo Connect in the evening, and often go past my bedtime. Indeed, I've done it again tonight. So, I must say goodnight before it's tomorrow. I'm glad that you are finding the people here on Connect helpful. I surely have.


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@jimhd thank you for sharing your struggles with me. I am touched and heartfully sympathetic. We are not alone are we. I am Type 1 diabetic, and I’ve read that it is very common to have both conditions.
I don’t know what it all means, but to take each day as it comes and to not give up. One small step at a time, as others here have mentioned.