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Through the corrective lens: How medication has changed things
So as a chronic depressive, I managed myself without medication for a few decades, during which I met my wife, had kids, jumped from job to job and did all sorts of silly things with the occasional hiccup along the way, leading to a few stints "inside" locked wards of the various psych hospitals local to where-ever we were. Then I hit a few heavier speed bumps and jumped the curb, ploughing sideways, on fire, through the bushes with the music cranked to eleven. Metaphorically.
Skip to now, various medication rotations and trials later, 3rd party observers commenting that I look better, they wouldn't know I had been depressed, etc.
Except I feel the same or worse most days, the meds just make maintaining the façade easier. COVID-19 has also helped, reducing the amount of contact with others who might otherwise have opportunity to observe and comment.
Which brings me to now v.s. then.
On the meds, I am meant to be "better" and more the person I actually am, and I note that I have become or am disengaged emotionally from my wife and children. They exist, I am aware of them and that I have responsibilities and obligations in keeping them alive and well, but there is no sense of affection. I check in, help out, etc. because that is "the thing to do".
They are strangers to me otherwise. I don't seem able to empathise with them, I just analyse who and what is in front of me and deduce if the situation requires my intervention or to get out of the way.
I can recall that I used to feel something else, I can see pictures from years ago where the person who could have been me, seems to have been happy or excited. Its all facts now, like looking at an old newspaper article that tells you the temperature on the day but not what it was like to walk around in it.
Everybody else seems happier with me on this blend. My wife has stated so, which begs the question as to why she married me then when I was not who I am now?
Why keep taking the meds at all if I am not feeling a benefit?
The doses I am on to get to this state require my GP to phone the prescription through to some national centre for authorisation to get more because they will slowly kill me by poisoning my organs. Every month I shovel out more money that could be put aside for the wife and kids. Every day the cost vs benefit skews more to the former than the latter.
I am not ok, at some point I'm going to fail at pretending to be ok.
Have some calls to make.
It sounds like you are going through so much with med changes and trying to engage with your family. It seems that you have been on quite a journey and trying very hard to find a solution that works for you. We are not always ok and sometimes it helps to let others know that we are not ok, so that we can talk through them. Do you have a counsellor or someone you can discuss your thoughts and feelings with?
We would strongly urge that in overwhelming moments you get in touch with our friends at Lifeline (13 11 14) or the Suicide Call Back Service (1300 659 467).
MensLine Australia is a free 24/7 telephone and online counselling service for men with emotional health and relationship concerns. You can contact them on 1300 78 99 78 or https://mensline.org.au/
If you would like some help finding mental health support, we would recommend that you get in contact with the Beyond Blue Support Service. They are available 24/7 by phone on 1300 22 4636 or on Webchat 1pm-12am AEST on our website: www.beyondblue.org.au/getsupport One of our friendly counsellors will be able to talk through these feelings with you and can offer support, advice and referrals.
You are not alone and we are here to support you.
Thank you Sophie_M
I have a GP, Psychologist and Psychiatrist that I will have to make more appointments with it seems. In the meantime I will be in a corner, not rocking any boats.
Thanks for your post and I expressing yourself so honestly. I have been in medication for bipolar for over 30 years . I wonder from time to time is this the real me but then I recall how chaotic my life was before medication.
Sophie has given helpful suggestions .
I am pleased you have appointments with your medical team.
Calls were made, yet to receive responses. One of the unmentioned side effects of the lockdowns is the interruption to the usual channels and the increase on dependence for the more 'emergent' and urgent services.
Not better, but not worse yet.
That is probably called managing.