Choosing How To Die

Under no circumstances is suicide the best option for the several reasons we have discussed elsewhere on this blog.

It’s completely valid.
The goal is to stop the pain.
And it does that.
While the rest of us are left to cope.

Not highly recommended.

So now let’s look at a parallel expression of that option.

You are treatment-resistant – which means you have not responded to treatment. It has failed to produce the desired affect.

You’re on the merry-go-round of various drug companies, willing to take what they have to offer, in the hope that it will work, but it doesn’t.

It doesn’t prevent a near-fatal suicide attempt.

So essentially the drug has failed. But it’s not as bad as the previous drugs, and better than those that followed it, so you finally settle on your best option.

You’re not a happy consumer.

So after spending about 97% of your life Depressed, you change a couple of things, add sun exposure and the sea, and you find this helpful.

Add to that a dash of ECT.

And your almost there.
You now can do the things you need to do to feel happy and fulfilled.

You’re there!

But alas.

Along with that treatment plan comes a diagnosis of Melanoma.

What would I choose?
The latter.

For even to quench your thirst for a little bit with the taste of joy is much better than not to quench it at all.

On Being Treatment Resistant, While Listening To Nick Cave

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.

Response to an Article in a Psychiatric journal

That first comment is filled irony. Like seriously, you are measuring ways to fry the brain?

I had 16 sessions if ECT, 3 times a week. At the time I was getting. The anesthesia made me groggy for the rest if the day; my depressive symptoms got worse, and I had serious doubts about its effectiveness. This is about the time I lost my status as being compliant. I skipped a treatment. And then I had another one. After that I determined it wasn’t working, so I skipped the following session.

Two days before Christmas, I was scheduled for a treatment. I was slightly coerced into scheduling that, the jolly doctor, whom I referred to as Santa Claus had called me in Saturday. And I had expressed my concerns. And I told him I couldn’t decide what to do, so he said he would decide for me and schedule a treatment for the 23rd. When I skipped out in that one too, the kindly Dr. George was never heard from again.

No doubt it fucked up my memory. Short and long term. It had no discernible effect immediately but after several months I began to feel better. This could have more likely been caused in my switch from Prozac to EffexorXR. Prozac did nothing but cause problems before and I had been on the other drug for close to 10 years and was familiar with its effectiveness.

But overall, I have had a very good year and wondered if ECT was perhaps responsible, that it did do something to wake up my brain from the lethargy it was experiencing.

So maybe a bit of “frying” the brain is alright.