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View Thread: Hey, um Rory...
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    Hey, mon -

    I just went over to your site and left a comment, though I didn't see the comment appear. I don't know if they're moderated or what, but there wasn't a message stating as much, so... I'm going to post the comment here, too. I'll check back at your site later to see what happened:


    As someone who has repeatedly cried - sobbed - at work, I can hopefully tell you a few things:

    1. It doesn't help much to hear that life has this way of mending itself, but I still have to say it. I ignored it whenever I heard it because it did *nothing* to fix whatever acute mess I was in, but I've always looked back on those episodes and thought, "Huh. It *did* get better."

    2. Although this won't sound like a bright side to your situation, it sounds like whatever has you down was a specific event. I don't know - judging from the order of photos and the caption for the final one, I can guess. Whatever it is, though, if you're feeling down because things have gone horribly wrong, then that's a good thing. For over half my life, you could have dropped a sack of cash and a gorgeous woman in my lap, and I wouldn't have cared. I probably would have cried Smiley

    Feeling down in response to an event is *completely* normal. Even feeling like life is worthless. I just watched my best friend go through the messiest breakup I've ever seen. He had only been with this girl a couple years, but he had grown quite attached to her. I've been down to Portland a dozen times over the past month just to try and to... *anything* to cheer him up. It's gotten very dramatic, but that's normal, you know?

    When my French grandmother died last year, I thought I'd never feel all right again. Yeah, it took nearly a year for me to find my feet again, but life still found its way back. To be fair, though, I'm past my drug addiction, and the suicidal ideations have been medicated out of my mind. Three months ago, I genuinely wanted to die; right now I think I feel better than I've ever felt (sober) since I was about 13.

    Some advice for powering through what you're feeling - all the stuff that's getting you down - upsetting you - it *is* going to take off. You'll adjust. You can speed things up by doing things out of your routine. People create associations left and right in the strangest ways. One reason I've left Microsoft isn't that it was tough, but because I associate it with Kori, Aydika, losing both of my grandmothers, having had my mom thrown in jail, spending time in hospitals, doing tons of drugs to forget about all the other crap, and more... that's just too much. I feel the same way about certain restaurants, cafes, bards - places I immediately associate with a previous life that I'm not ready to think about yet.

    Everybody says it, but exercise is huge. If you pick up a jogging or biking or whatevering habit, you'll eventually get to the point where your body releases endorphins. People talk about these, but don't seem to know what they are - they're naturally occurring opiates in your own body. They aren't the same as morphine or whatever, which is good - there's just a slight hint of mood elevation. It's amazing. The problem is that, when feeling down, people often feel lethargic. Exercise *sounds* like a good idea, but... not today.

    3. Sometimes things reach a point where you need a shove. There are meds that can be used for short periods to get people out of their funks. Some of it's benign, while some *can* produce dependency if taken for too long, but the course of these meds for short term depression are so short that the danger is virtually nonexistent.

    People usually don't want meds, but if you're feeling miserable, and if you know you want to feel better, then meds should be considered. Stay away from the SSRIs (prozac, etc.) - I've taken just about all of them, and they're all messed up. Bad, bad news. However, if your doc recommends something like Wellbutrin, then it'd be worth considering. It's non-addictive, it'll give you a little pep, and it should provide a boost to your sense of well being.

    Some ADD meds are used as well. For short term courses, you'd probably get adderall, which is just a mild amphetamine. That sounds bad, but an amphetamine without the "meth" in front of it is a perfectly safe class of meds. If you have high blood pressure, or if there's a clear history of early stroke or heart attack in your family, then you'd want to stay away. Otherwise, it's a fine med. To keep the story short, it works on some Feel Good bits of the brain while also giving you the energy to stop dreading getting out of bed. There are various stimulants (including non-amphetamines) that can be used for short term depression, and they even come in time release formulations so that you don't have a big down in the day. One was even released in patch form - Daytrana - a formulation of Concerta which is a non-amphetamine stimulant.

    Some docs would prescribe short courses of opioids like hydrocodone or oxycodone. If you can tolerate these meds (some people get really nauseous), then they're fantastic. The problem comes when you move on to bigger opioids after treatment and start an addiction for yourself. That's not how I got into it, but I could see that happening.

    If you can find a doctor who will do it, there's mounting evidence that ketamine can totally alleviate depression for a few days at a time following a single two hour infusion. However, because that's so off-label that there isn't even a label to be off of, it's highly unlikely you'll find anybody besides my old dealer who would do it. But it really is supposed to work amazingly well.

    If you feel like you don't need pep or a distinct mood elevation, you could go on a temporary course of lithium. It doesn't take too long to begin working - it can be within a couple days, or a week, give or take - but when it kicks in, you might find that a lot of the negative feelings in your head recede a bit. Lithium is great because, at least for me, it did away with the extreme thoughts, and left me only feeling bad about what I *should* fee bad about. It was several days into my lithium treatment that, for the first time in a decade, the constant buzzing of suicidal thoughts in my head finally quieted down (and eventually disappeared).

    There are some considerations with lithium, but it's extremely safe for the most part. You'll have to get a couple blood tests to ensure that you have a therapeutic, non-toxic level of lithium in your blood. It's no biggie, and it's totally worth the positive effects. You might also have to avoid certain things - alcohol, excessive salt, most over the counter pain killers other than aspirin - but since this would hopefully only be temporary for you, that shouldn't be a big deal.


    I guess that's about it:

    1. Make some lifestyle changes - temporary or otherwise - to get your mind focused on something other than the pain and things associated with it.

    2. Take solace in the fact that you're reacting normally to a stressful situation. What it is, I don't know, but it's clearly buggin' ya.

    3. If it gets to the point that you think meds would help - if you're almost unable to get out of bed - if you're unable to focus during the day - if nothing sounds "good" to you - if you lose the ability to enjoy life even a little - then, seriously, consider them. And consider the list. I'm very serious about the med stuff, as I've been nailed (and watched other people get screwed) by bad meds. No prozac. No SSRIs at all. They'll make you worse before you get "better" anyway, and "better" is just zombie mode.

    I hope this helps. If there's any other advice I can give that would be of use, then definitely let me know. I've been where you are, and the feelings of isolation are horrible.

    Look forward to the day when you'll look back on this and wonder how you ever could have felt so bad Smiley

    It'll come.