Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, see our mental health web guide which can point you to expert advice.
Depression returned, not sure the best course of action.(9 Posts)
Sorry, this is a long post!
I've not made a post before, but have read these forums for years, and always considered joining to ask for help but been a bit scared. It's now reached the point where I just feel I need an objective outsider's opinion. I hope this is an okay place to ask this
I had depression for most of my late teens (now early twenties). It took a while to go to the doctor about it because I was just nervous they'd think I was putting it on. When I finally went, it did feel like a load off, but in my mind I still felt as though I was pestering the doctor, who had probably dealt with 70 more severe issues that morning.
I had no interest in life, each morning I felt as though I would've rather not woken up. I constantly felt as though I was putting on a front to others, even my much-loved partner and parents. I felt my entire personality was fake, and despite attempting to show happiness, I never felt it. I cried almost daily, sometimes with no no apparent reason, sometimes at just the overwhelming feeling of life.
I was prescribed citalopram 15mg. I managed to stick with this for almost 7 months but the nightmares were almost unbearable. Nightly dreams about my partner, my parents or my pets dying. Torture and murder. Incredibly upsetting and I couldn't continue. After taking so much effort to ever go to the doctor, and in my frustration, I just totally gave up with medication, naively thinking things would get better on their own, and perhaps that the nightmares were a sign medication wasn't suited to me (I know see how daft I was but I think this was my then-justification).
Since then I have dealt with the depression alone with varying degrees of success. Some months I feel numb to it, and others I am consumed by it every day. I have been to university and am currently half way through my masters. I have hated the entire experience. The self-doubt and self-loathing of continually producing work I have no faith in has been crushing, and totally ruined an entire field for me (despite getting good results). If I felt I could get another opportunity at my MA I am sure I would drop out now, but I am financially invested and feel unable to let my parents down by quitting something they are so visibly proud of.
After that huge waffle for context, my main problem is:
I really don't think I'll be able to continue my course if things don't change. I'm barely sleeping, I can't concentrate on my work and have none of the motivation required to do it justice. I have no desire to look after myself (food or personal appearance) through my constant low mood. My sex drive is non-existent. I am incredibly introverted and happy to have minimal contact with others, but find any contact whatsoever at the moment is totally exhausting and I will avoid ever leaving the house if possible (I work PT from home). I do not feel suicidal but have no desire to live such a joyless and overwhelming life.
If I go back to the doctors, is it likely I will have to go through the initial stages of diagnosis again (questionnaire which I was required to take two weeks over, asking general questions about mood). Or will it be understood that as this is a pre-existing issue I am aware of what is happening to me? What are my other options in terms of medication? I have Googled, but any extra info would really help.
I have endometriosis which in itself has also been hard to deal with, and while I haven't been back to the doctor regarding depression I have been several times for this, and I really dread them thinking I'm wasting their time.
I think I'm just asking for a bit of advice on what to do and how to change what has now become a way of life. Thanks a lot x
First of all , and congratulations on getting good marks even through depression - that's impressive.
Am not an expert at all, but a couple of things come to mind.
1) Your university may well have a counselling service that's free.
2 For mild/moderate depression exercise can sometimes be as effective as drugs
Oh OP please go back to your GP, there's so much that could be done to improve things for you, it breaks my heart you've struggled with this alone for so long. Citalopram is only one in a huge number of medications, it does sound like it didn't suit you (it didn't suit me either) but there will be something that does. Everything you're describing is familiar to me but getting the appropriate treatment can make such a massive difference, I've recently had a relapse and am currently back on Sertraline, it's early days but things are improving already. Medication for depression is no different than treating a physical illness, if you have diabetes you need insulin to correct the balance in your body so correcting the chemical imbalance in your brain which causes depression works in exactly the same way. I don't know whether you will have to go through the questionnaire process again and I'm not familiar with the two week delay thing, I've always done an on the spot assessment and been given a prescription there and then but it's possible they will treat it as a pre-existing condition, you do need to tell the GP the issues you had with Citalopram though so they can prescribe something different this time. I know it's hard taking that first step and asking for help but it doesn't sound as though you can continue as you are for much longer and the right medication could make such a huge difference to your life. You've achieved so much in spite of being ill but life honestly doesn't have to be this hard or this joyless and you deserve to be happy
Do go back to your GP, please don't feel you are wasting their time. They will daily see other patients with depression and it is just a valid illness as any other.
There are many different ADs and this is because some work better for different people. The GP may ask you to fill in another questionnaire to gauge how severe your depressive feelings are at the moment, to save time it might be helpful to find one online, print it out and complete before you go.
Please go back to the Dr you're not wasting their time at all. I'm on my 4th different ad. First 2 didn't work 3rd worked for a while then I became allergic but one I'm on now works, just started taking again. I get the stigma and hating taking meds but honestly you'll be glad if it means you finish your masters and can then live your life as you choose.
Thank you so much for such kind and quick responses, you've all given me the push I think I needed to just get back to the doctor. Will try for an appointment asap. Also reassuring to hear others have needed to try multiple ADs before finding a match (although sorry you had to go through the trial and error).
I wish I'd made the push to ask for some help on here before, as I find it quite hard to speak to my family about it. I really appreciate your messages.
MN good for this I've found plus handy for when nobody else up and you're (I'm) worrying yourself silly in the wee hours.
Hi, had a busy day with uni work & making arrangements for the weekend but had a long talk with my partner (which in itself was massively cathartic), showed them my OP & intend to get to the doctor after the bank holiday. Thank you for asking
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.