Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Mental Health Update

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, so I thought it was the perfect time to give you an update on where things currently stand with mine. {Holy crapoly, I can't believe it's been OVER A YEAR since my post about "my darkness"!} [Note - I'm NOT sharing this because I am looking for pity or even for input, but I am opening up with the InterWebs because talking about our mental health should NOT be taboo and should be just as normal as taking about our physical health or even the weather. Let's stop the stigma surrounding how we are REALLY doing. #ItsOkayToNotBeOkay]

In case you didn't read the post last year entitled "The Darkness, My Darkness", let me give you a brief summary. I had been struggling with what I was calling "darkness" (I didn't want to call it depression without having it clinically diagnosed) and nothing I was doing on my own was making a difference. I knew I needed professional help, so a little over a year ago I admitted to myself, to those closest to me and then to the InterWebs that I couldn't do it on my own any longer.

Sometimes a year can feel like it flew by in the blink of an eye and other times it feels like an eternity. I guess you can say both about this past year when it came to diving into my mental health. It started by going to my primary care physician. She did a complete physical and lots of bloodwork to see if what I was feeling had a physical component to it. We found out during this testing that I actually have Hashimoto's Disease - an autoimmune disorder that causes an underactive thyroid. Because your thyroid controls/ regulates a lot in your body, my PCP decided the first line of action should be to try and get my thyroid under control. After about 6 months (where I had to continue increasing my medication dosage to get my thyroid to respond appropriately) we finally got my thyroid in a "normal" range but my darkness was still there. 


Once my doctor determined that the thyroid issue was not the cause of the darkness (or at least that getting my thyroid where it should be didn't alleviate the darkness I was feeling - the whole reason I went to the doctor's in the first place) we started on antidepressants. (She didn't want to change too much at once in case I either had an adverse reaction and she wouldn't be able to pinpoint where the issue was coming from or had an improvement and she wasn't able to find out what to attribute it to.) I know there are folks who are opposed to medication, but I was all about trying whatever might help. 

A few of the medications I have tried in the past year...

In the past six months I have tried multiple medications at different dosages and, unfortunately, to no avail. To say I am frustrated would be an understatement. All I want to do is feel better and it just feels out of reach. I realize the field of medicine is often a lot of trial and error, but I really wish it was a little lot more of an immediate fix. But, even still, I am not giving up (or at least I am trying to remind myself on a daily, if not hourly, basis that giving up isn't an option because it won't get me closer to feeling any better). My primary care physician has recently suggested that because what we have tried hasn't seemed to help anything, it might be time that I look into another doctor to see what they may be able to do. 


I'll be honest, I feel like a failure. I realize it is the medication that has failed, but it's hard not to think it's somehow my fault. I know it will take more guess and checking, but I feel like my life and happiness hangs in the balance and let's just say it is NOT fun. I am also hoping that I can find some therapy options that will fit into my schedule (and accept our insurance). Hopefully I'll be able to share an update sooner than a year from now, but at least I'm still doing the work and trying... 


Again, I'm not looking for pity [although a little grace and understanding would be greatly appreciated]. I just want others who might be going through something similar to know that they are NOT alone and that they are worth fighting for!


How are YOU doing right now?


Elizabeth Cousino said...

We did the GeneSight testing when my daughter also did not respond to anti-depressants. It wasn't cheap but it did confirm what we were experiencing, the meds she had been taking would not be effective. The medication guidance has been helpful.

San said...

I am glad you're seeking help, Carlee, even if it hasn't been an immediate fix ... it's hard to find what " works for you" (I've been there with a loved one)... but as you said, giving up is not an option and I actually think it's great that your PCP has suggested getting a second opinion (and hopefully some more helpful suggestions) from someone else! Sometimes it takes a different person to look at the issue and find a solution. Fingers crossed for you.

Anonymous said...

You are doing incredibly hard and important work to improve your mental health. I am so impressed with your patience and tenacity. It will not always feel this way has been a very helpful truth for me. Hoping and praying that relief comes soon for you.

Terra Heck said...

I wish you all the best in finding something that helps. You're right, mental health should not be taboo. In fact, I posted on my blog about my psychiatric hospital stay when I admitted myself about three years ago. Self-care and prayer are important. I, too, had to try a few different meds before finally finding the right one. I've been taking Venlafaxine (generic form of Effexor) for about four years now. It's quite obvious if I miss a dose! You're a strong woman and I hope nothing but the best for you.

Giant Sis said...

Thank you for talking about it and sharing your journey. It's not easy to talk and it's not easy to take steps, but you're doing it! That's SO frustrating that they can't find the right solution for your body. Maybe the new doctor can help in other ways. A friend gets ketamine for her depression - not sure if you ever looked into that. You inspire me in many ways! Thank you for being you - you matter!!

live casino said...

I am so impressed with your patience and tenacity.

Anne said...

Thank you for sharing your journey and your challenges along the way. I'm sorry that you have not been able to find meds that work. Yet. I hope that you continue to try - and that your provider is supportive as you do so. You have so much strength - and you are doing so much good - by sharing your story here. <3