When Depression Comes Back

depressed imageIt has been a little over three years since I was first diagnosed with major depression (or clinical depression) and GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder). Since that time, I had been taking medications (Imipramine for the depression and Diazepam for the GAD) to help get back some balance in my head and my life. I thank God for the treatment and the freedom it has given me – the freedom from pain, loneliness and sense of hopelessness. I was finally able to function again and perform even the simplest tasks which I had taken for granted before. I was able to enjoy life again and feel compassion for others. In other words, I felt alive again!

After tapering down my dosage from five tablets of Imipramine a day for a year and a half to one tablet within the remaining one and a half years, I finally stopped medicating two weeks ago. I honestly felt that my body, mind and emotions were sound and stable and I had been able to drink regular coffee and other caffeinated beverages without any untoward effects for several months now.  Prior to this, even just a few sips of diluted regular coffee would put my mind in a spin and cause me to have heart palpitations. I was once stuck in a McDonald’s near our place because I could not stand up after a cup of “leaded” coffee. Unfortunately for people like me who drink decaf, fast food establishments do not offer them. “Unleaded” coffee also costs around P10 o P15 more.

I realize now that I am still not ready to chuck my meds. My depression hit me so bad that I lost all motivation to do anything except vegetate in front of the TV or sleep. Even now that I have resumed taking a tablet of Imipramine, the symptoms of depression are back in full force. I am discouraged. I could only hope that I am not back to square one. I don’t want to have to take five tablets a day again.

It was a mistake for me stop medicating, especially since many of the stressful situations that triggered my bouts of anxiety and depression before are still very much present. I only realized this after reading up on depression relapse. This is what I’m having – a relapse. At least I hope it’s “just that”.

So, I am struggling again and striving to gain some measure of control over my life. There is not much I can do when the chemicals in my brain are all screwed up. This needs to be addressed first, and I will need to see my doctor again. Meanwhile, I wake up everyday and try to be hopeful. Even this is not easy – hope is difficult to grasp when I wake up wanting desperately to cry but don’t. The sun may be up, the breeze may be cooling my head, the birds may be singing, but I don’t notice all that. I feel several stabs of pain in my chest and just want to be well again. I will be. It will just take time.

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