Scary relapse of depression and anxiety
I'm back posting again because my anxiety and depression which as been generally well managed for the last decade has come back badly. I've been managing to function despite this. I work a 9-5 job in the public service, and I also work 3-4 nights a week as a professional jazz musician. The music work helps with the ever-increasing cost of living and also gives me a certain 'release'.
I've had some stressful things happen in the last year. I finally got out of a long-term abusive relationship. That was a huge struggle, and the after-effects are ongoing. I am unable to trust people, and even though it's almost 10 months since I left that situation, I'm terrified at the thought of dating etc. I've had to get used to living alone as well. I have moments where I suddenly miss my ex gf, and feel sorry for her. I feel deep regret about the way things ended. I had to go 'no contact', she had strong narcissistic tenancies and I had to leave for my own safety.
We also experienced a significant downpour in which water got under my house from the back yard. It's a new home, no landscaping done yet etc, so not enough drainage. I should be grateful to have my own home, but that situation really upset me. I'm arranging to have work done to resolve the problem but I can't stop worrying about it. At times I positively hate the house and wish I never built it.
When I wake up in the morning now I have a sense of dread that I woke up again. It's a sense of not wanting to wake up any more. Happy memories of 10 years ago or so seem like another world entirely. It seems impossible that I could have been that happy. My sense of optimism about the future is gone. I used to enjoy going for drives, running, and many other things, but I have zero interest in my hobbies now. All I do now is work and sleep.
I have a therapist I see every fortnight, but today I'm having an appointment with a psychiatrist. I did start a new a/d medication a few months ago and it does not appear to be helping much, other than causing my anxiety to become worse.
I'm sorry for the rambling but I'm kind of lost at the moment. I should be grateful with my life. I'm blessed to have a wonderful mother, a roof over my head, secure employment, and some nice friends. Even despite this I feel positively dead inside and I just can't find the strength to pull myself out of this black hole.
I'm trying to remind myself this is a temporary situation and I'll fell better soon. It's just hard to believe it.
Here's my previous thread for a bit more background: Where to from here?
I'm sorry to hear you've fallen into a bit of a black hole. Relapses like this are really scary especially since you know how terrible it can feel. But, as you say, these are temporary and you have come out of it before and been able to manage. A lot of the recovery and management is about having the right support around you, to help pick you up a bit when it's really hard to do that alone.
Speaking of which, good on you for leaving that relationship. I understand it's not been easy, but if it was an abusive relationship, it was no good for you. Have you been able to meet up with your friends much since you've been feeling worse?
Thank you so much for replying to me.
This relapse is scary because it's probably the lowest I've felt since my initial diagnosis 12 years ago. I ended up in hospital back then and I don't ever want a repeat of that.
Leaving that relationship was very hard. Unfortunately I lost many friends, unfortunately she was very controlling and I couldn't freely spend time with my friends, especially if they were female. I lost touch with many people. I have a couple close friends now that I can speak with very openly and freely, even about mental health, and for that I'm incredibly lucky and grateful.
I'll be catching up with some close friends this weekend , that will be really good for me and I'm looking forward to that.
At the moment since my depression and anxiety are both off the scale, I'm not a social as normal. I also used to be fairly active, running 2-3 times a week, I'm sure the lack of physical activity isn't helping, but it's a bit of a vicious cycle.
I saw the Psychiatrist yesterday. It's the first one I've ever seen.
Unfortunately I don't think it helped me much. I spent about 5 years slowly tapering from a particularly difficult A/D medication. It helped me initially but started to lose effectiveness after the 5-6 year mark, and the side effects became more pronounced over time. I had issues with ED, lack of concentration and very poor memory. This particular psychiatrist wants me to start taking that same A/D medication again, albeit at a lower dose.
Given how difficult it was to wean off it, the last thing I want to do is start it again.
I did try and express my concerns about it, but I didn't really feel listened to. He would cut me off when I was talking. To make matters worse, when he printed out the script, it was in the name of the wrong patient! We all make mistakes but it didn't fill me with confidence.
I've made an appointment with my GP to get another referral to a different Psychiatrist. I'm still open to A/D medication being able to support me, along with seeing a counsellor or therapist.
In the meantime I'm going to try and focus on things I can do that are non-pharmaceutical to improve my mental health. I'm going to reinstate my gym membership, and tomorrow morning I'm going to go for a run (first time in at least a month now).
I have a particularly busy weekend ahead but I'm going to make time for myself where I can and try and focus on things I can do that are within my control, rather than all the big scary things I have little to no control over.
I'm feeling better today than yesterday, so I'm grateful for that if nothing else.
I read your post and it was like reading my own when you spoke of your ex partner so I thought I should reach out.
I too experienced what you did and it certainly changes you mentally because it is mental abuse so don’t be too hard on yourself, show yourself some kindness...you deserve it!
It took me a long time to even go on a date while she moved on in a heart beat. I was advised to focus on me. It was hard but I did and I began to feel better.
In short, it was like a had to be a little selfish and put myself first. I enjoy being active so made a point of doing something small for me every day, I put that first and built on it. After a short while it became easier and I got through it.
I returned to dating and felt good at the time but due to other health reasons I’ve put that on the back burner. I currently have anxiety and mild depression due to work so working through this then I’ll get back to dating.
Small positive steps is all that is needed to get out of these times.
It's nice to hear back from you. I'm sorry to hear your psychiatrist appointment didn't go well. Unfortunately, some doctors just don't listen and want to say their own bit then move on. It's not very helpful most of the time, and it sounds like you're trying to take control of the situation by going to your GP. That seems like a good positive step forward, and hopefully you can find someone who can better support you and actually listen.
Did you manage to get out for a run the other day?
Thank you for your message. I did manage to get that run in the other day. I did just under 9 kms.
My aim is to do something like that 2-3 times a week. It's hard to find the time but I'll do my best.
I've found my depression and anxiety have been manageable today. I'm seeing the GP tomorrow, and will hopefully be able to get a referral to a different psychiatrist.
For the last few months I've been taking a particular antidepressant, it's not an SSRI or SNRI. I have found from my own journal entries, since commencing that particular medication, my anxiety has been significantly elevated. Fortunately this medication can be discontinued easily, so I haven't taken it for the last two days and have found my anxiety is reduced somewhat now.
Really it's all the more reason to see a psychiatrist, it's hard to know if medication will work. What works for one person might have a totally different effect on someone else.
Oh nice! That's a great run. I used to run half marathons and finding time is really hard, especially now that it gets so cold in the mornings and nights.
Did you end up getting a new referral last week?
Oh I've not heard of non SSRI anti-depressants. Sounds like it hasn't really worked out for you, and I find it really interesting that you've managed to track that with your journalling. But you're absolutely spot on that medications work differently for different people. I even found that something might work for a bit, but then stop working or start to make me feel more physically ill.