Psycho-Babble Medication | about biological treatments | Framed
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Depression, Realizations, and Accusations

Posted by Scott L. Schofield on January 16, 2000, at 0:39:26

In reply to Re: Are Benzodiazepines Like Alcohol?, posted by Noa on January 15, 2000, at 10:03:42

Hi noa.

> A number of years ago, after moving to a new location, and after having had a few good years, relatively depression-free, I started seeing a new therapist. I thought the issue at hand was having broken up with a boyfriend. She confronted me with the idea that I have a "lifelong" depression that needed pharmacological treatment. I had prided myself in "overcoming" my depression, and did not want to accept the idea that it was of a recurring variety. I was hurt and angry at her. I think this was in part because the idea of recurring depression raises the spectre of having to deal with it the rest of my life. All of my hope until then had been placed in the basket of thinking of my depression as something I had and am done with. Of course, I came to see that she was right.

I think I reacted in a similar way to this realization.

My initial reaction to the idea that the cause of my depression was biological, rather than psychological, was one of anger, fear, and frustration. It still is. I didn't care how f'd-up in the head I was. I figured that if I worked hard enough for long enough - with help if I needed it - I could unravel the tangles of my psyche and emerge out of depression. When I realized that the defeat of my depression was no longer in *my* hands, I was pissed. When I was confronted with the fact that treatment doesn't work for everybody, I was afraid. I am not afraid to recognize my weaknesses and I am not afraid to work. To do so much work and get nowhere was frustrating.

*I* wanted to be in control of my own destiny!

> I have had other disillusionments since then. All the hope I placed in different meds, or combos thereof, or in certain changes I made in my life. I now know that it is all so complex. What I am working on now is the idea that having a recurring form of this illness doesn't have to mean hopelessness. This isn't easy, though, because it has felt like every time I am beginning to get my life in gear, I am whalloped with another episode of bad depression. This makes it hard to let go of the constant feelings of futility and anxiety. So, my goal is to try to get and maintain control over the severe episodes. If I can get some stability back, then I might be able to start feeling some long term hopefulness.

I agree. It can be very complex. I really don't suffer disillusionments. I do suffer huge disappointments, though. Every time I begin to respond to an antidepressant - even though the duration of the response lasts for only 2 to 7 days - I am *sure* that it will last and that I will live happily ever after. I begin to make plans for my future with the confidence that I will be well and stable. Then the floor drops out beneath my feet, and I am left hanging.

> Why am I telling you all of this? Because I think stability is the key. Trying to get control over the cycling, whether you have unipolar or bipolar, is a necessary first step.

This is something that I have not appreciated enough over the years. Thanks for giving me this important insight.

> That is why people, myself included, might have confronted Phillip, or others before, to provide honest feedback that he is giving an impression of having manic symptoms. Not at all an accusation.

I hope that my follow-up posts demonstrate my good intentions. It seems that you and I may have confronted him for exactly the same reasons.

- Scott




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