It’s one of those days when I can’t get off the couch. The weather is lousy. Freezing rain. Cold. Frigid mood — a favorite of Depression’s smorgasbord of feelings. Today, I normally run a writing group where we write about how we cope with our illnesses. It’s a small group of loyal participants, and contributions to our blog and our discussions have been helpful to others, in understanding what we go through.
But I am not going anywhere tonight. And I know it. So I thought I’d text the group about meeting at the apartment instead. I mentioned how I was feeling and asked for what I know helps my depressive symptoms, asked if anybody could bring some over. That quickly escalated into a debate about positions and attitudes about how we feel, meaning, as a matter of principles on issues related to our treatment of depressive symptoms. What is acceptable? And what isn’t? Which in itself implies some standard that we can adhere to. But if you know anything about Depression or Bipolar Disorder you know there is no such thing — as a standard. We say over and over how each person responds to the same treatment differently. What may work for me, may be a disaster for another.
Interestingly enough, a friend who is treatment resistant, recently participated in a genetic test which determines which meds won’t work. A swab of saliva is all they nee. That, it seems to me, should come once an initial diagnosis is made. Much preferable to trying combinations and combinations for years and years, none of which work. Ironically, the only combination that has worked for me is far from novel. These meds have been around for the past two decades. It’s just that no one until now had thought of it.
Now that its effectiveness has started to fade, and I find myself falling again, I know what will help me. It’s simple, organic, and is not addictive—for me, at least. But one of my fellow group support members is totally opposed to it, and doesn’t even want to be around it — not sure why. And that’s where the fracture began in the group and debate about values began —who is one person to tell another person that they oppose another’s menthods, for… whatever reasons?
At some point, we are the only ones who can determine what will help us with these volcanic fluctuations in mood, and do exactly what we know helps us.
Regardless of anyone else.