Depression Marathon Blog

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Diagnosed with depression 17 years ago, I lost the life I once knew, but in the process re-created a better me. I am alive and functional today because of my dog, my treatment team, my sobriety, and my willingness to re-create myself within the confines of this illness. I hate the illness, but I'm grateful for the person I've become and the opportunities I've seized because of it. I hope writing a depression blog will reduce stigma and improve the understanding and treatment of people with mental illness. All original content copyright to me: etta. Enjoy your visit!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Back inside

I'm on day three of my second admission to the local inpatient pysch unit. After my outpatient ECT treatment on Wednesday, the doctors decided to admit me. My mood simply hasn't been responding to the decreased number of outpatient ECT treatments, so I am back on a daily regimen of short-pulsed, unilateral, inpatient ECT. In addition to the ECT, my doctors thought I would benefit from the increased structure provided by the inpatient unit. I hate to agree with them, but I agree.

I hate that I'm back here. I'm doing everything in my power to give myself a break and not see this as a personal failure. It's simply depresssion rearing its ugly head and hanging on for dear life. It's not letting up. My mood remains very low. I'm getting worried. I don't like to feel so low for so long.

If the short-pulsed ECT does not work, I worry, then what's next? What else can we do to jolt me out of this relapse? That question has not been answered yet. TMS therapy has been mentioned, but there is a problem with insurance coverage. Changing meds is always an option, but that's not a certainty either. If necessary, I may be faced with going back to the traditional, bi-temporal ECT, which carries with it a lot of negative side effects. That's something I wish to avoid if at all possible. I'm choosing to think positively about the course I'm on instead.

I'm trying not to spend too much time worrying about all the possibilities. I'm working on my mindfulness and attempting to stay in the moment instead. I'm utilizing the education groups here, the support of the staff, and even riding the stationary bike as able. Worrying gets me nowhere fast, and it only adds to my misery. I'm grateful for the support of my family and friends. I'm blessed to have an understanding employer. I'm anxious to feel better, get out of here, and put my life back in order. Until then...Carry on, my friends.


Nyawela Gianna said...

I'm so sorry to hear that you had to return to inpatient... I hope you get the results you need this time around <3

HBF said...

I'm glad you are able to benefit from and appreciate the structure of inpatient treatment. I have very much appreciated the structure and schedule (and regular meals) that inpatient has provided my past week "on the inside" as well.

You are doing your best and I want to personally acknowledge that that is enough, that is good, it is admirable to say the least that you are willing to check back in and continue on your path to recovery. It's not easy facing the big, dark beast of depression again and again. Like a weary knight barely able to lift his sword yet never giving up the fight. Heh. Got a flash of Monty Python there for a second, "It's just a flesh wound!"

Baby steps, my dear, are still steps. And I see you, I hear you, I appreciate your struggles and your journey. Thank you for sharing. You can and you are, little by little.

Tricia said...

The above posters are right -- you're doing all you can... more than most (quite admirably). The disease has put you back in the hospital, not any lack of trying on your part.

I've been going through TMS at UCLA in Los Angeles, for about 3-1/2 months, and may get another extension for 2-4 more weeks. They say most people (who respond) do so in 3-5 weeks. Some people go straight up, some go up and down. I've heard wildly varying info about it's effectiveness. They have the ability to manipulate treatments to a certain degree... the level of intensity, the length of each session, the side of the head they focus on. The hardest part for me has been the ups and downs. I try not to, but I can't help getting my hopes up each time I feel better, then when I go down, I'm devastated. I had 2-3 minor ups, then 2-3 really bad downs. Then 2 major ups, and 2 minor downs (better than my normal state of being). And then back down to near normal for me. I don't know if I'll have any lasting effect from this treatment. Or it may be only a lifting of my baseline from horrible to just mildly bad. But other people do have very good results. I just wanted to inform you as first-hand experience can be hard to come by. A whole lot of facilities are now offering this treatment, so it's use is on the rise, and a lot of insurances are covering it as well. I had to find out which Kaiser offer was referring to UCLA and which doctors there were referring (Kaiser and UCLA have a contract for TMS), then I had to forego my regular psychiatrist and see one of the doctor's that makes referrals at Kaiser West L.A. (100 miles from me), because they're the ones making the referrals. Maybe my experience can help with your coverage. I also spoke to the manufacturer, UCLA, and another treatment facility and they told me which insurances were covering TMS. I got a lot of info from those sources.

Good luck Etta. Whatever treatment you have, I hope you feel better soon. You deserve it.

Jim Work said...

Etta......I hate the setbacks you are experiencing. But, they are just that and are not a permanent situation for you. Easy does it, today is what you concentrate on, tomorrow will take care of itself.....stay strong, find solace in those little steps, small as they are. They will get you where you need to be.....take care, blessings and positive thoughts going your way.......monos ev theos.....james

Anonymous said...

Good job, Etta . I hope you get relief. Your attitude and efforts are impressive. Irene

Nathalie Webb said...

Oh Etta what challenges you are having to face. With your usual courage and determination you are facing all that this horrible illness can throw at you. I have been there myself many a time. So I do understand and empathise. Being willing to embrace what your mental health team are suggesting/ offering just shows what a positive attitude you have and huge effort you make. You are an inspiration and you have my full support. You will get there, Etta.

Anonymous said...

this disease is so *f*n* unfair. I hate it for you, for me, for all who have suffered from it. It is hard to watch someone trying their best and have the disease not respond... but you should be proud that you are trying your best... that is all we can ever do on good days and bad days. Praying for you continously.

Anonymous said...

Thinking of you Etta and wishing you all the very best as you recover from another episode of this horrible illness. You can do it. Remember we are all here for you.....