Not Dead, Not Alive

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Depression, well, complete apathy is now my go to state. It is why I suddenly stopped blogging, I don’t care about anything. I get a few hours, four to six, each morning, at the start of Vyvanse, to function. Vyvanse gets me up, it doesn’t give me emotion, but it does give me an ability to do things, things that I don’t care about when it wears off.

I am scared, I’ve pushed my doctor to let me take two doses, I am taking 30mg now. I have no desire to go up to 40mg, I rather take 20mg in the morning and 20mg in the afternoon. She has resisted, saying it isn’t a real solution, I am once again relying on stimulants to combat my depression. She wants a more permanent solution.

Although, I am not sure it wouldn’t be permanent. I guess inevitably we would have to increase the dose. But if we could find a medication that let me desire, that let me feel alive, I don’t think I would care so much about stimulants. Sigh, I don’t know.

So, instead, we are trying another antidepressant, third one in four weeks. She suggested Effexor or Pristiq. I’ve been on Effexor, it didn’t seem too effective, but it is hard to tell since I was abusing Adderall. It definitely helped at first. So I went with Pristiq, it is actually cheaper with my insurance and we schedule an appointment two weeks out.

It kills me. She could provided me more Vyvanse and make tomorrow better, right away. Yes, it would probably fade after a few weeks, but we could use that time to find something better. I understand her fear, I have a clear history of abusing stimulants. But god, I’d love to have a good week or two.

Below is an email my partner, Dan, wrote to my psychiatrist. I asked him to write it, I wanted her to have his perspective. He is a better writer than I am. He captures perfectly the prison of nothingness I find myself in.

Dan’s email:

TooPolar asked me to reach out in advance of his appointment today to offer my perspective on how he is doing.

First, let me say that he is doing so much better. Thank you for that. He is doing so much better but he is still a shell of a person. He’ll tell you this but I think he’ll tell you it for very different reasons.

TooPolar thinks he has so much further to go because he wants more hours of being productive. In my eyes that is, if anything, a symptom of the larger problem. He has still not regained the ability to actually care about anything.

At this point he still doesn’t get excited about anything, doesn’t look forward to anything and isn’t passionate about anything. I don’t know if it’s a matter of the Seroquel always adding a layer of tired over everything or because he spent years using Adderall to trigger mania in lieu of ordinary caring and has fried his dopamine receptors as a result.

He keeps pointing to the Vyvnase and thinking the key is finding ways to extend that because it covers up his lack of caring. He worries that he can’t find motivation and wants to just throw on more external motivation, but I think the missing piece is that in order to motivate himself he needs to be able to summon up some interest in things. He wants these meds to push him to achieve more because when nothing matters to him, the achievement is still something he can point to and say that it matters.

To me, the problem isn’t achievement. It is still that he has lost the ability to care about anything. Once Vyvanse starts to wear off, he just sits around playing video games he doesn’t really care about or enjoy, and passes the time until he can sleep. He’ll do things like exercise, because they are things he has to do (although it feels like he is only exercising out of hate for his body and so that he can spitefully say endorphins don’t work for him and that only drugs work), but he doesn’t look forward to anything, won’t make plans, dreads anything he has to do and suffers through it when he has to do something like hang out with his friends.

I don’t really know how to describe it, but there is a way that people light up when they talk about things they care about. TooPolar doesn’t have that light anymore. I think if he had it, he wouldn’t care so much about getting a drug to motivate himself, because he would be okay when he wasn’t motivated and he’d be more able to motivate himself. Right now, though, when the Vyvanse is done, there is nothing left that matters to him. He’s just passing time.

Thank you for everything you are doing for TooPolar. I know that he can be difficult and frustrating and I really appreciate the care and patience you are showing with him.

Current Medication: Vyvanse 30mg, Lamictal 200mg, Pristiq 100mg, Seroquel XR 300mg, Strattera 80mg

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Not Dead, Not Alive

9 thoughts on “Not Dead, Not Alive

  1. Your partner is ever so supportive. How lovely to have such a wonderful person in your life. I was on Strattera and found it flat lined me even though it helped with the racing thoughts. I know the med tweaks are a pain in the ass, just have a little faith in your doc that things will eventually be a little better.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. tipsynipsy says:

    This may sound silly but I suggest volunteering. Just chose a cause, it can be anything, feeding the hunger, working with children, or providing companionship to seniors, just chose something which at some point effected you personally in some way. Then commit to going for one hour per week for a full month. Regardless of how you are feeling just force yourself to go and do the work. If you get no satisfaction from this by the end of the month, all you have lost is four hours you would have otherwise spent playing video games. By measuring hormones and brain activity, researchers have discovered that being helpful to others can deliver immense pleasure. Just please try it and let me know how it goes. In return I am willing to take you up on one suggestion on how you think I can improve my crazy life in return 😋

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I volunteer weekly hanging out and helping children at a free or low cost day care. I usually do three hours a week, but it varies from two to six. It can help to distract while doing it, but I don’t see residual benefits from it. I do appreciate the thought!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. tipsynipsy says:

        Distractions are my coping mechanisms when I am going through one of me depression episodes. Volunteering helps me to ignore all the negative self talk for awhile. I used to think feeling nothing/ numb would be better then being depressed but my meds just make me feel like a zombie most of the time. I find training helps. I take krav maga and jiu jitsu classes. The grappling sessions are my favourite. I never tap out. I wear my bruises like a badge of honour. Physically, for a moment, I feel something besides nothing.

        Good luck on your journey. I hope you find some relief. I think its great that you volunteer, you should be proud of yourself for using your time wisely for something meaningful. 😘

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Hey,
    I just read a few of your posts. On a personal level, I empathize with you. I’ve been in similar situations. I agree with what @TipsyNipsy just said. Try taking some classes like Mixed Martial Arts or Krav Maga. It saved my life, maybe it’ll make yours just a little bit better ❤ Loads of love and support.
    A member of The LonePack team

    Liked by 1 person

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