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  • Mrs Chakotay 10:40 am on September 26, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , depression, , , , rage, ,   

    PTSD 

    It’s a never ending nightmare
    A long dark tunnel
    A permanent panic attack
    Pain in my chest
    Never feeling safe
    Down the rabbit hole
    Into unreality
    I’m reaching out
    Trying to slow my fall
    Wondering what is real
    Hoping I will wake up
    Holding in my rage
    But discovering
    I turned it in on myself

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  • Mrs Chakotay 2:08 pm on June 21, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 5htp, , , citalopram, depression, , side-effects   

    Citalopram – adverse reaction 

    I haven’t posted recently, on any of my blogs, because I have really not been well (mostly physically, but that has an impact on mental health too of course).

    I always seem to be worse in the summer for some reason, and even though (thank God!) I’m not suffering from hayfever to anything like the extent I usually do, I really feel knocked out and completely zapped of energy, more confused and disorganised than normal and really just struggling to drag myself through each day.

    I wanted to write a quick post though to mention that I had had a very bad reaction indeed to Citalopram.

    I have struggled with depression, which I have really had incessantly since childhood (and I suspect it is largely due to the head injury I had aged 12 when I was knocked off my push bike in a hit and run ‘accident’ in 1983).

    I liken my depression to a mild, grey cloud that never goes away. Most of the time, I just live with it. No amount of positive thinking, yoga or mindfulness takes the cloud away, but it’s manageable, I have more or less got used to it.

    My GP gave me citalopram for depression and anxiety and I tried it because I thought it was worth a try.

    However…

    I was only on 10 mg of citalopram for about 5 days, and almost immediately, my little grey cloud went from a mild, manageable thing to a horrible big, thick, dark, heavy cloud that seemed to engulf me. I woke up feeling suicidal the first morning after I started taking it, and every day afterwards. When I stopped taking it, it took more than 10 days to come out of the thick dark cloud, and to be honest – more than 2 weeks later, I have a niggling feeling that the world would be a better if I wasn’t here. That’s not me. I don’t normally feel like that. (I do regularly feel despair, and I often feel that it’s not worth carrying on, but it’s more a feeling of laying down and waiting for death rather than actively trying to end it all. The citalopram reaction was more of the latter.)

    I wasn’t imagining it. It was palpable.

    Additionally, during the days that I was on citalopram, I had a greatly reduced ability to urinate. It just so happened that I needed to do a 24 hour urine sample during that week. It’s the second or third time I’ve had to do it this year, because I’m currently being tested for Cushing’s and/ or other pituitary gland disorders. Usually, I do so much I can’t fit the whole 24 hours in the pot, which takes 1200 ml. (The previous time, I only fit 18 hours in). This time, in the whole 24 hours, I managed 200 ml. I have no doubt whatsoever that citalopram was to blame.

    I made a point of not reading the paper insert before I tried citalopram, not wanting to give my suggestible brain ideas! But of course afterwards I checked and both suicidal ideation and inability to urinate were listed in the potention serious side effects.

    The reaction was so severe, it has made me wary of trying any other kind of pharmaceutical solution for anxiety or depression. It’s not the first time I have reacted poorly to anti-depressants, but this was by far the worst.

    I’m not a person who would advise other people to not take the meds they need. Far from it. I know that meds help a lot of people, and you can only tell if they’ll work for you by trying them.

    But for me (perhaps because there is Bipolar in the family, or for some other reason) I don’t seem to suit pharmaceutical meds. I think I need to start looking to food, herbs and natural solutions.

    5htp has worked for me somewhat with no side effects. Not spectacular, but seems to ‘take the edge off’ without doing any harm.

    St Johns Wort did not work for me, in fact it sent me completely loopy. But for others, I know this is a good natural solution that works.

    People are different. I know plenty of people who swear by their anti-depressants and others who are equally opposed to them. I even know one lady who controls her Bipolar using homeopathy.

    Each to their own!

    What works for you?

    Are there any natural solutions you recommend?

    Or do anti-depressants work really well for you?

     

     
    • BipolarOnFire 2:35 pm on June 21, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Abilify has been miraculous for me. I also take Wellbutrin.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Admin 4:06 pm on June 21, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        That’s really great @BipolaronFire! Did you find you had to try a few before you found the right one for you or was it good first try?

        Liked by 1 person

        • BipolarOnFire 7:43 pm on June 21, 2017 Permalink

          I tried fifty million things before Abilify. Abilify has worked the best for me for mood stabilization.

          Like

  • Mrs Chakotay 11:11 am on June 1, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: depression, ,   

    Deep, dark pit 

    Depression is like falling into a deep, dark pit. 

    Where are the handholds and footholds

    to pull myself up and out?

    I can’t see any. 

     
  • Mrs Chakotay 4:40 pm on November 24, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , depression, , , , ,   

    First Sunday of Advent 

    advent1

    Psalms: Psalm 122
    OT: Isaiah 2:1-5
    Gospel: Matthew 24:36-44
    Epistles: Romans 13:11-14

    The Psalm for today was 122, “I was glad when they said to me, let us go to the house of the Lord.”

    I was unable to go to church this Sunday because, in addition to my own health issues, I am now looking after my mother who suffers from bipolar disorder.

    My mother always becomes anxious, tearful, angry as Sunday rolls around. Having grown up in what was effectively a very abusive religious home, she is deeply conflicted about church. She wants to be there, she yearns for community, but it is tainted by the memory of forced religion.

    I, meanwhile, would love to be there but my health more often than not prevents me, and I am constantly angry at the way the church neglects us, rejects us, forgets us.

    I saw this poem on a facebook group and decided to share it because the words are so close to my own heart.

    How baffling you are, oh Church,
    and yet how I love you!
    How you have made me suffer,
    and yet how much I owe you!
    I would like to see you destroyed,
    and yet I need your presence.
    You have given me so much scandal
    and yet you have made me understand what sanctity is.
    I have seen nothing in the world
    more devoted to obscurity, more compromised, more false,
    and yet I have touched nothing
    more pure, more generous, more beautiful.
    How often I have wanted to shut the doors of my soul in your face,
    and how often I have prayed to die in the safety of your arms.
    No, I cannot free myself from you,
    because I am you, though not completely.
    And besides, where would I go?
    Would I establish another?
    I would not be able to establish it without the same faults,
    for they are the same faults I carry in me.
    And if I did establish another,
    it would be my Church, not the Church of Christ.
    And I am old enough to know
    that I am no better than anyone else.

    – by Carlo Carretto, from The God Who Comes

     
  • Mrs Chakotay 5:56 pm on August 20, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: depression, despair, , haiku, , , sadness,   

    Abandoned Hope 

    Cast off the mooring,

    The rope in the boat,

    And watched it floating away.

     
  • Mrs Chakotay 6:01 pm on June 2, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , depression, , , , tattoo, ,   

    Looking forward 

    Hi people 🙂 A happy post for a change. I’m feeling good!

    I have been so down for so long. All the heaviness of the past few years just heaped up on me and I was so weighed down I couldn’t get up. There is obviously a situational basis for my misery – I had the most miserable year of my life living by the beach (ironically) because I was ill in an unsuitable house, with financial troubles (not to mention marital, car, family troubles!) and no friends! But it was more than that. The stress had worn me down until I had no mental or emotional strength to fight it.

    But then, there’s no rhyme or reason to depression.

    black cat

    I feel better now, but there’s no particular or obvious reason why I should feel better. I just do. I’m sleeping better too, and hopefully that means that the vicious circle is straightening itself out.  I hope I’ll be able to shrug it all off now and things will start to look better on a permanent basis.

    I know I keep saying this, but I don’t have the life I wanted, or hoped for, or thought was right around the corner. But we hopefully have some good things on the horizon, and I truly am grateful for all the good things I have.

    (But, do you know what? the glad game doesn’t work when you’re deep in the pit.)

    I started a dose of amitriptyline about 3 weeks ago, and honestly I usually forget to take it, so I’m not sure whether or not it’s having any effect. But at this point, knowing what the deep pit looks like, I thoroughly recommend taking whatever hand is held out to you, just to get your head above the parapet where you can see the sun again.

    Funnily, you know – I have been down in the pit deep enough to ask my GP before to give me anti-depressants, but that GP refused (bizarrely, a few years before, when I was desperately trying to get a proper diagnosis of ME, I was offered anti-depressants when I didn’t need them). This time, I just casually mentioned to my new GP that battling ME makes me feel a bit depressed every now and then, could I try anti-depressants?

    No problem.

    It totally depends on the doctor you get. If you need it, don’t take no for an answer, or by all means find a better doctor. They are so variable, and some of them are complete buggers.

    So now, despite contemplating moving house again for the 7th time in just over 5 years, I am actually looking forward to moving. I think. I mean, I’m not looking forward to the actual moving of course, that would be crazy. But I am looking forward to being settled.

    I’m looking forward to living right in the centre of town where everything I need will be within walking distance. I’m looking forward to living in a place where I already have a bunch of good friends who can’t wait to visit us.

    Incidentally, I keep wondering why I found this place so unfriendly? I can’t work it out. I don’t think it has anything to do with Cornish culture, because we’re not even that far down into Cornwall, and it isn’t that Cornish here. (And before I am accused of being racist, I never thought it was that, but the suggestion keeps getting thrown into the mix, so I thought I’d mention it. Whether there is a truly Cornish culture, or whether what we’re experiencing up here is just countryside culture is another topic.)

    I think the problem here has been a mixture of being here at the wrong time, with the wrong aged children (home educating never isolated us until we moved here, but the HE group in this place was just filled to the brim with under 8s. The only families with teens we knew passed through and moved away long ago) and apparently having nothing in common with any of the people we met. It can’t be helped. I think we weren’t meant to stay here, it was just for a season. I do just wish that season had been a little easier. But anyway. It’s nearly over.

    And here’s another irony for you. After all this time – five years with virtually no friends despite huge effort on my part to be social and gregarious (without appearing desparate! lol) to no avail – I just discovered a local vegan group that didn’t seem to exist when I searched for it a year ago, or five years ago, and I’ve MADE FRIENDS.

    Really.

    So here’s what I am expecting to happen: when we move away, we will be coming back here to visit and go to the beach more than we ever did when we lived here.

    Isn’t life just gloriously ridiculous?!

    p.s. I just passed my one month as a vegan mark. It’s about as long as I’ve managed to stay vegan before, but this time I have plugged into social networking for accountability, and I’m thinking about getting a vegan tattoo. That would probably keep me vegan. Oy vey.

     

     
  • Mrs Chakotay 11:51 pm on March 26, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: clocks, depression, disappointment, , , , gratitude, happiness, , , LongDarkNightOfTheSoul, longing, patience, positivity, , waiting, wilderness   

    Hope Deferred 

    We’ve been in the housing association accommodation now for just over a year, and I think that, on reflection, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that – even allowing for some of the awful things that happened in the past – this past year has been the worst year of my life.

    I used to really believe that gratitude and positive thinking could make a difference but now I am pretty sure that nothing can make up for not having your basic needs met.

    I am not going to bore you with the details, I have already gone on and on ad nauseum.

    Good times always seem to be around the corner, but somehow (it seems to me) hope, if it’s false hope, is the real killer.

    “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”
    Proverbs 13:12

    Purim Sameach or Happy Easter to you, whichever you prefer.

    Don’t forget to move the clocks forward tonight if you’re in the UK.

     
  • Mrs Chakotay 2:07 pm on March 9, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , depression, , ,   

    The Last Straw 

    Another lick of paint, to cheer things up. What do you think?

    The sun is shining, but I cannot tell you how deeply low and bad and desperate I feel. I didn’t go under when I lost my babies, when my Dad died, when uncle then aunt died in quick succession, when we endured floods, when we lost our house, when husband lost his job, when we had to move 6 times in under 5 years*. I just worked through every new grief like a Trojan. See these big muscles? I’m invincible.

    But right now, I am seriously considering admitting defeat. I feel as though cruelty upon cruelty has been heaped upon us, and I have had enough. I won’t bore you with all the horrible things I’m having to deal with right now, but Whistler’s passing might just possibly have been the straw that broke the camel’s back.

    And the next person to suggest that I’m ‘attracting’ all this bad luck can expect to be beaten to a pulp before I get dragged off to the funny farm.

    • The abridged version.

     

     
    • Alison 12:06 pm on March 12, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Taking anti depressants isn’t admitting defeat, it’s accepting that your body can only take so much and it needs a little help to get back to its natural equilibrium. Take care x

      Like

  • Mrs Chakotay 4:10 pm on January 18, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , depression, , , panic attacks   

    Trip to Morrisons 

    So, as I alluded to in my last post, I am a (hopefully recovering) agoraphobic.

    I never previously considered myself an anxious person (although I suspect my husband might disagree because he is so laid-back that he thinks hippies are highly strung! 🙂

    But we have had a run of hard times, culminating last year with our landlord evicting us – not because we were bad tenants, or because we weren’t paying the rent: we were good, regular rent-paying tenants – but simply because he wanted to sell the house. My friends in the US were shocked and appalled that such action is legal, but here in the UK, tenants have almost no security, even when it’s the landlords who are bad, as in our case.

    Our old house stood empty for almost a year while our greedy landlord learned the hard lesson that greed doesn’t always pay. And needless to say, I don’t have a lot of sympathy for him.

    So, here I am, traumatised! Really not liking the house we are in now, but ironically stuck inside a lot of the time because going out sets off the anxiety, and I find ways to avoid going out unless absolutely necessary. Shopping deliveries have been a ‘life-saver’ in that regard.

    But I am on the mend, hopefully, and trying to make sure that I do step out as much as I can.

    So far this year the weather has been pretty horrendously un-outviting (humour me!) But since today was a little brighter, I girded my loins and got myself out… To the supermarket. Morrison’s in fact. By car. Not my favourite place, for sure. (And no pictures, obviously) But I did it.

    One of these days – perhaps in the summer, I will actually start walking to places from home again but, for now, going by car and not having a panic attack inside was a small achievement.

    So, yes, I do hope that my next outing will be more fun and joyful than a supermarket!

    And it will be really great if you can forgive me for the boring blog without pictures so far, and help me with encouragement and accountability to keep trying 🙂

     
    • Emma 8:33 am on January 24, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      It amazes me what landlords can get away with. When I was pregnant we asked our landlady if we would be able to stay in the house we were then renting long term. She said yes. Two days before my daughter was born we got 60 days notice she wanted the house back (as with you, not our fault, she just wanted to live in it herself). It’s criminal, if you rent you have very few rights and little security 😦

      Like

  • Mrs Chakotay 10:10 pm on January 16, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , depression, ,   

    Wilderness Experience 

    I have a confession to make. I try not to let this blog get too personal – I prefer to keep it ‘on topic’, just talking mainly about cooking and housework and crafts.

    But here is the thing. I am really, really struggling.

    I know that we are blessed in many ways. After our landlord evicted us, we were re-housed against all the odds, in the town where we wanted to be. That was pretty miraculous, but it is far from ideal.

    The house that we were put in has turned out to be totally unsuitable – there is no garden for the children (they were pretty heartbroken when we had to sell their trampoline), and since it is designed over three floors (meaning that I have to be more active than I can cope with), I have got much sicker since we moved here. In fact, I seem to be in relapse. I’m arguably sicker now than I was when I first got ill. It’s too small, so most of our books and possessions and furniture is still in storage, and our finances are a nightmare. My kids are ill, there just seems no end of massive, insurmountable problems.

    I feel as though I am in the ‘pit’.

    The result of this is that I am finding the upkeep of the housework impossible, and I’m not well enough to do the cooking. Added to the physical issues, or perhaps as a result of them, I think I can safely say that I have descended into a deep depression.

    And I am feeling a failure.

    We have had a run of more than five really rough years now, and I feel as though I have been brought into a long-term, painful wilderness experience, or a ‘Job’ experience, and I don’t really understand why.

    So many scripture passages talk about blessing following the keeping of Torah, and for those who bless Israel. So I just keep wondering, what have I done wrong, and why am I missing the blessing? And when is it going to end?

    I pray, I read the Word, I try to remain faithful. But it feels as though my prayers fall on deaf ears, and I have never felt more distant from Abba.

    I never expected the ‘narrow way’ to be quite this rocky.

     
    • Rhonda 10:28 pm on January 16, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Can you imagine 40 years of living uncomfortably? Lol. I’ve been in deut.most of the day,I know what you mean. I finally went to the desktop and looked up a list off the 613 commands to print out. I too am looking to see if there’s disobedience in our lives. Remember that abba has mercy and he it’s longggg suffering. There’s lessons in everything we go thru. Try and be still and listen for his voice. Not sure what ailments your dealing with but I’ll be praying for you and your whole situation. Shalom.

      Like

      • lillbjorne 10:39 pm on January 16, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Thank-you. I was thinking of 40 years when I wrote it! I so hope it won’t take 40 years to reach the blessing! 🙂

        Like

    • Suzette 10:36 pm on January 16, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Your situation sounds tough at the moment. You have to stay strong http://www.healurhead.com

      Like

    • recoveringmotherhood 2:31 pm on June 21, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Hey sister, I know how painful these trying times can be. May you have shalom on this rocky narrow path

      Like

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