Depression Marathon Blog

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Diagnosed with depression 18 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!

Sunday, April 16, 2017


Maybe I'm being too (cautiously) optimistic too soon, but maybe, perhaps, hopefully, I might be feeling a little bit better. I've had 4 TMS treatments, and up until Friday nothing had changed. But then again I wasn't expecting any miraculous change, as the psychiatrist told me it may take 4-6 weeks of 5-day-per-week treatments before I noticed any improvement, if there was going to be any improvement at all. I think maybe there has been some improvement. And it seemed to happen suddenly Friday afternoon.

It was really quite strange. All of a sudden Friday afternoon I noticed I was feeling more energetic, more positive, and more hopeful. I was lighter, moving at more normal speed (as opposed to the slow motion of the previous several weeks), and processing life a bit quicker. It was like something had shifted. I took note, but I was careful not to get too excited. However, as my friend, Wendy, pointed out, even if the next day again sucked, a few moments of feeling better were worth it. Too true!

As it turned out yesterday was not great, but it wasn't horrible either. I was really fatigued and had very low motivation, but I think my mood was still lighter even though I didn't do much all day. Today I continue to feel a little bit better. Jet and I ran 14 miles this morning. It was a beautiful, sunny day, and the city was very quiet, as it often is on holidays, so it was a nice run. I'm glad I didn't have more than 14 miles on the schedule, though. Fourteen was definitely enough. Now I'm just enjoying the sunny day.

I resume my TMS treatments tomorrow afternoon. I certainly feel more enthusiastic about attending my appointments now that I have some evidence the treatments may actually be making a difference. Already. I'm feeling extremely cautiously optimistic. The only possible side effect I've noticed is trouble sleeping. I've been unable to fall asleep when attempting to nap, and it takes me a lot longer to fall asleep at night since I began TMS. But if that's as bad as it gets, no problem. I'll deal with it.

I want to thank all of you who have been so faithfully following along over the past few months. Your comments have been so kind, thoughtful, and compassionate. I am so very grateful. Thank you. You're readership and interactions with me through this blog have made a huge difference in my life. Huge. It is so helpful to know I am connecting with some of you or even making a difference in somebody's life despite my despair. I really can't explain it well enough. Thank you for reading, and if moved to do so, please keep commenting. You are making a difference, and I appreciate it. Carry on, my friends!


Eva said...

I do so hope this treatment will go on and releave your symptoms. You have no idea how much it has meant for me to have been able to read your blog. Hanging in there can be almost impossible with this disease. And knowing you where doing it has been a lifeline.
After almost 18 years of suffering I have found a treatment that has changed my life. Of course I know there are no guarantees with this illness but I find myself looking forward to my future and not thinking too much about what can go wrong. I wish and hope you will find something similar.
Hang in there and know that you have at least made a big difference in my life.

Amy said...

Etta - this is really good news. Remember that if you have darker moments in the middle of the brighter moments while you are doing this new treatment, that it's not a straight trajectory out of depression. I know you know that, but I find that when I'm in the middle of coming out of a bout of depression/anxiety, I need to remind myself of this fact. Otherwise I get caught up in the "why am I feeling like crap when yesterday I was feeling better?" Because it's up and down as you move out of the "bad place". With the downs not being as down, and the ups being gradually more "up" as you go. Hope this makes sense. Was great to read this post from you today. :-)

Wendy Love said...

Your hope gives us all hope. Hope to not give up. Hope that if we are willing to keep trying new things, then one of those things might make a difference. You are a pioneer as you forge into uncharted territory!
I will continue to pray for continued improvement.

Camille Howey said...

So glad to hear you are feeling better!! Been praying for you. Slow and steady wins the race

Jason Lee Perkins said...

I am so absolutely, and yes cautiously, overjoyed that it may be working for you. I remember a time like that years ago and it was amazing. I hope to find that feeling once again, and just reading your experience helps me. It may be difficult. Actually, it likely will be. A crappy day or more may come your way, but hold onto those feelings of hope. I'm happy for you!

Katheryne Patterson said...

I am so happy to hear that the treatments seem to be working. Hurray! I have been thinking of you, and thank you, thank you for sharing!

Jules said...

I battled MDD for 20+ years off and on but for the last 5 years or so have been doing really well. Just a few short moderate episodes. Have no idea why it seemed to have subsided for the most part. I thank God often for my good fortune but think how helpful and supportive these types of blogs would have been for me when I was going through my frequent, very dark, lengthy episodes years ago. So if a very lengthy remission (cure?)can happen for me, it can happen for you as well dear readers. Thank you again Etta for being so selfless and advocating for all of us who have and do battle mental illness.