Sinking into a depression

It started really two weeks ago, was progressively getting worse. The last time I saw the (useless) shrink I mentioned it, to which his answer was, “The things that are bothering you are things that medication doesn’t treat anyway.” I am not sure what to say to something so unhelpful. Mostly because I know that when the medication is right, I wouldn’t set foot in a shrink’s office. Unfortunately, it isn’t right, and hasn’t been for a long time, and they are pretty much the only game in town.

Something about that comment really irked me. Medication doesn’t treat early waking? Pervasive guilt? Suicidal thoughts? Anhedonia? It’s not like I’m complaining of interpersonal difficulties or relationship conflict. I’m not under any particular stress elsewhere.

I guess it is belittling. When I say I’m depressed, slowed down, I really am. I could go on and on and spell it out for him, but I just am not that type.

Can someone explain to me why I can’t just fire this guy?

Tomorrow I go back to work after a few days off. No, they weren’t health days. I haven’t taken a sick day ever, not even at my most crazy. Sometimes I wonder what some of my locked-away evaluations say, the ones from when I was fully manic. I worry about that sometimes too, at least when I’m not medicated.

I’m supposed to see the shrink again tomorrow – why, I have no idea. So he can tell me I’m fine or even improved, I suppose, because all the energy to get irritated has run out of me.

I tried to read all day today, yesterday, this whole time off, and I can’t. I can’t focus, I can’t remember what I read five minutes before.

I guess I just need to get through the day tomorrow. Maybe even cancel the appointment, as it will almost certainly make me feel worse. Stop this fucking soul-draining lithium too.

I hate this person I’ve become, the true “mentally-ill” type, focused and closed in my own private misery, eating to swollen proportions I’ve never reached before, oblivious to others around me, to the amazing colorful magical world. I used to be a person, a good one even, one who was lively and alive and capable and funny. And I don’t even think it’s really the illness that has shipwrecked me – I think it is the treatment. I’m starting to hate this blog, because while it once was maybe interesting or insightful, now all it is is shit, which is oddly like my life.

Lithium has eaten my hope for a better day. The suicidality that I thought was gone is creeping back over me. It’s a cumulative thing. This has been going on for a year and a half, for I don’t know how many drug trials. Everyone has their limit, and that isn’t a judgmental statement. Everyone just does. I am reaching mine. I can’t take the self-doubt, the guilt, the dreams in which I sob and beg forgiveness of patients who have died.

People say, “Why not take some time off?” But time off isn’t time off from myself. It doesn’t matter if I go to work or not; sometimes I think it was vaguely better when I was working so much harder – at least I was busy. Now, the whole future seems insurmountable, and not worth surmounting at that.

And I can’t help thinking that all this psychiatric care is somewhat to blame. When I was on my own, forced to get by, I did. But with all this encouragement to get treatment, somehow I end up worse off than before. Maybe I am unhelpable; maybe we all are, ultimately left to save ourselves. “We’re all alone, until the day we die.”

So this will be my last random med trial. If this doesn’t work, that’s it. I quit, stretch me no longer on this rough world, whatever. All of this freaky talent, the freak IQ, the whatever it is that I’m supposed to have, well, fuck it, I didn’t ask for it, and I am tired of feeling like I owe the world something.



  1. Dear Sara,
    i want you to know how much you mean to me and how much i care about you…and how i know, if even a tiny bit, what those feelings are like. i wish there were something i could say…i am so very sorry you have come to this despair againi am sorry i have nothing to offer.

  2. Hi Sara,
    I read your post this a.m. and didn’t know what to say, because I have been in that declining soul defeating mood too many times myself. If you really think your pdoc is that bad, please, please, please begin a search for someone who is completely your advocate. There are pdoc’s out there like that. I know that for a fact because mineis one, and he insists there are others like him, others even I would connect with.

    Please don’t give up. I disagree that medication cannot help the things you need help with. I do not believe they will make things perfect, but coupled with a SUPPORTIVE and CARING & COMPASSIONATE pdoc…They can really, really help. Please e-mail me if you want some extra support, or just need someone to vent to. I will respond.
    Take care,

  3. Sara, i wish i could reach out to you, lock your hands into mine, pull you out of that black hole and never let you sink ever again… coz you DESERVE this life and your talents. and most of all, you deserve to enjoy them. I wish this for anyone coming here reading this.
    love.. Milo

  4. Sara – I understand not being able to quit your shrink. Dunno if you remember but it took me nearly a year to quit mine. I have a need-for-approval-thing from my childhood but that’s not the whole explanation.

  5. Hi Sara,

    I understand the feelings you described so beautifully. I have the same problem with lithium. It does drain your soul, and I think it goes into your entire being as well.

    I am currently also in that depressive pit you describe. It sucks. But please hang in there and keep writing, I will keep reading.

    Take care.


  6. So what is the issue that is bothering you? Why are you depressed? When a shrink is saying that you have a problems meds can’t treat they are telling you that there is nothing wrong with you. It is a way of warning you that meds will only turn you into a mental patient. You have to find the reason why you are depressed. Meds will not help you in the long term and by taking them you will lose more and more of who you are. You will not be alone in this outcome. You have to find a way to love yourself as you are, even if you don’t like who you are now. That is the only way out. Depression, for those who hate themselves, comes from you being hard on the self. You judge and condemn yourself because you can’t do something that you want to do, because of some fault that you perceive makes you wrong. When was the last time you loved who you are? You should read a great book on meditation called A Gradual Awakening by Levine. In it he shows you how to train your mind to become free of the tyranny of thoughts. You suffer now because maladaptive thoughts have taken control over you. They will never cease by medication. They will only stop when you awake to a deeper level of perceiving your mental process. Give it a try.

  7. I love you.
    You should tell someone that everday.

  8. dear sarah

    i will not pretend i know what u feel and what ur going through. it’s 4.30am here and yet i cant sleep another night. i just googled the phrase sinking into depression and your blog came as a result. for the last couple i feel im sinking more and more. now i feel im so deep into it that nothing can bring me back. i wish it would all be over already. and at the same time i think these thoughts comes the guilt and i realise again what a terrible person i am for thinking this way. i mean i am healthy woman of 30 who had many possibilities but simply does not care anymore. how many people in hospitals who wont live to see tomorrow would trade places with me right now. and i would trade places with them too. im not bipolar as far as i know and i have no experience with doctors and so on. i just know i feel everything is futile and i dont care about tomorrow, i dont care if things end right now. in fact i wish they would. but they wont…im incapable even for that u see. i have so many things to say and so few people who will listen or none to be exact. so let me thank your blog for offering a temporary shelter to my thoughts. i dont think tomorrow will be better but maybe i will have burried all this negativity and i will not think about it for a while. all this is too overwhelming for me to handle. i wish u all the best.

  9. Hello Sara,
    I’ve found your post, and I wanted you to know that you make perfect sense to me. I don’t know if there is ever a solution to this condition, maybe there isn’t supposed to be one.
    I’ve been there, and I worry that I’ll slide back. Every morning I wake up and I’m relieved that my thoughts aren’t suicidal anymore. I’m grateful that I’m able to keep some sense of perspective on all of my shortcomings because I remember all too well how it felt when I couldn’t. Believe me, you aren’t crazy, and you aren’t alone (small comfort when you feel alone), you aren’t the only person who feels this way.
    I can’t say that you’ll overcome it, not all of us do, but I hope you do. You seem like an intelligent, thoughtful person, but I’m starting to think that these feelings might be the price one pays for that gift.

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