Struggling with the Elephant in the Room

A Manic Depressive Blog

Depression, Depression, Depression and Anxiety

I seem to be floating around a mental purgatory. Every time I get close to stabilizing myself, a new problem arises. Lately I’ve been working with my psych and therapist to get my depression under control.

I’ve been depressed for almost six months, this is the longest depressive episode I’ve had. What makes it worse is that its not consistent, it fluctuates- one day I’m mildly depressed, the next extremely depressed. However, in the last few months my episodes have been cycling even faster- within a day I could go from really really really depressed to somewhat stable, back to really depressed and then mildly depressed. My mood is constantly shifting and to make things worse my OCD, anxiety and paranoia are out of control.

As I noted above every time I get close to stability, I fall into a new problem. Monday, I saw my pscyh and he put me on Lamictal for depression, we are starting at 25mg for a week and then next week I go up to 50mg. The Lamictal seems to be working, however, I’m having a real hard time swallowing the pill.

It’s in the shape of a diamond, very small, sharp edges. The second time I took it, the pill got stuck in my throat and cut it up. As a result, every time I get ready to take the pill I start to freak out- I get really anxious, I start breathing heavily, my thoughts start racing, I get sick to my stomach and I feel like I’m going to pass out. Which is exactly what happened this morning- I forced myself to take the pill and even though I was able to swallow it, I was still really paranoid. I ended up making myself sick, causing myself to have the hiccups which made me even more anxious. I could’t go to sleep, because I was convinced that if went to sleep with the hiccups I would suffocate and die. (More after the pic)

An hour later, I finally finally got the hiccups to stop. I was dead tired, stressed out and extremely pale. I spent the next 30 min checking my apartment, going through my nightly (well actually I go to sleep in the morning) routine, making sure everything was in its place. I checked the dials on the oven, making sure the line on the oven split the word “off” in half. I was convinced that if I didn’t align the dials, the oven would some how turn on, and deadly fumes would rush out into my apartment, causing me to suffocate in my sleep. It took me awhile to realize it, but my OCD was out of control. The example I provided above is only one of the many “things” I check before I go to sleep. Maybe in a future post I will go over my obsessive compulsions.

Let us return to my original topic, struggling to swallow the Lamictal pill and then making myself sick: I eventually made my way to my chair (I don’t sleep in my bedroom, I get too paranoid if I sleep in another room because I’m convinced that someone will break into my apartment, slip into my bedroom and either suffocate me or slit my throat), a large, soft recliner that my dad had found at a Jewish Center sale, sat down and fell asleep.

My sleep was fucking horrible, I had four dreams and in each dream I died. It felt real and the pain was beyond horrible. After each time I died, I woke up, turned onto one of my sides and fell back asleep. All of this psychological pain was due to my fear of taking the Lamictal pill. It is completely irrational, and yet I forced myself to fall apart. I consider myself a pretty rational person, and yet I allow myself to fall into extremely irrational episodes.

My OCD and anxiety confuses and scares me. I hope that one day I will be able to overcome these irrational thoughts, but at the moment my mind is completely controlled by my obsessions.

I want to apologize for not posting the last few weeks (I feel really bad that I constantly start and stop writing, telling you guys that I am back, and then falling off the face of the earth a week later. I feel extremely ashamed that I constantly do this, I don’t know how to motivate myself to consistently write. And what frustrates me the most is that writing makes me happy, in fact its the only thing that makes me happy) I’ve been struggling with depression which has completely eliminated my motivation. Also, please forgive my horrible writing, my mind is still a mess.

I hope you are all doing well and maybe I will be able to post again in the next few days. To end this, I was wondering if any of you would be willing to comment about your depression, anxiety, ocd or paranoia in the comment section. I think it would be a great opportunity for all of us to be able to talk about a struggles.

Again I hope you are all well,

Dave.

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8 thoughts on “Depression, Depression, Depression and Anxiety

  1. lamotragine the generic is round at least the 100′s that’s what I take and they go down easy do you have the option for generic?

    • That I don’t know, I will have to ask my pscyh the next time I see him to write a new script for the generic. Do you know if the generic works the same as the name brand, because I have seen generic version of meds that cause horrible side-effects.

      Thanks for the suggestion, it definitely has helped,

      Dave.

      • my doc had me go generic all the way and a girl i met in rehab takes the generic and its her main med so unless your doc thinks otherwise i’d ask for it i’m even surprized the pharmacy didn’t offer the generic he must have put nbo its worked for me since 2004 with no side effects, good luck

  2. I’ve been on the generic Lamictal (lamotrigene) for over 2 years now, and I’m up to 300mg per day. It has greatly improved (not cured) my instability, and the depressive episodes are not as bad as they once were. I have had very little side-effects other than an occasional tremor in the hands (which might be anxiety rather than a side-effect). I hope you can get past the swallowing problems, because it really does help (for me at least).

  3. I am sorry to hear that you are feeling so out of control.

    My depression seems to be managed by my med and the work I have done on trying to accept things as they are. I can relate to you completely on the paranoia about dying and that causing anxiety attacks–I am convinced every little disruption in my body is a sign that I am about to die on the spot.

    Yesterday was my birthday and I was convinced I would die (because it was my birthday of course!) and though I can rationalize and say “that’s just a thought”, I ended up in a situation where I became very overstimulated because I felt “unsafe” and when I feel “unsafe”, I immediately take on the fear of dying. What do I do? I tell myself to let go of wanting control over the situation. To relax into my feeling of chaos and overwhelm.

    This has taken a couple years of mindfulness practice and being on my meds has assisted me in achieving this. I also empower myself to leave if I want to and do my best to not beat myself up later because I “ran”.

    You have support and you are trying new meds and those are big steps forward. Truly. I think that is a big piece of the formula to recovery.

    I also think a big piece is being at peace with who you are RIGHT NOW and what you have to do to feel safe RIGHT NOW. It is okay. I know we are conditioned to think it is crazy but consider what you have been through and why you need to do your rituals to feel safe. I truly believe that paranoia and OCD don’t just emerge out of thin air because there is something “wrong” with you, there is a belief(s) you are holding that precipitate your behaviour. I believe this because this has been my experience with paranoia and OCD.

    I have made peace (practice affirmations every day in meditation) with my thoughts of my death and my gruesome visions of how I am going to die. They no longer distress me like they used to and I now feel strong enough to face the trauma that created my belief in the first place.

    Much love,
    Trish

  4. Dave, I’m afraid this sounds more like hell than purgatory. 6 months of depression is, well, depressing. It sucks! I’ve never take lamictal, but Iwill remind you to hand in there, my friend. I’m thinking about you!
    Hugs,
    Kathy

  5. Hi, I’ve had the diamond-shaped Lamictal, but now I’m on a generic brand of Lamotrigine (same drug) , different shape and easier to swallow! I think there are quite a few versions available.

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