I suffer from depression, and have since adolescence. The condition has been worsening over the years. Less than a month ago I destroyed the engine of my own car with a botched oil change. In the immediate aftermath the slim buffer of wellbeing that insulates my psyche was stripped away and I could feel myself on the verge of a depressive episode. That protective layer had worn very thin.
With Mate’s comfort and reassurances I was able to avoid an immediate crash, but within a week I was clearly descending back into the abyss.
Fortunately I had a scheduled appointment with my psychiatrist. With Mate’s assistance in describing my current symptoms and her observations over the past four years, and in light of my family’s mental health history, my doctor diagnosed me with Type II Bipolar Disorder and prescribed Lamotrigine.
I am quite familiar with Type II Bipolar Disorder. My ex-wife suffers from an extreme expression of the disease exacerbated by life history, PTSD, and a traumatic brain injury.
My own experience is a pale shadow of hers, which is part of why I have always been reluctant to consider it. But my father was diagnosed with it a few years ago, and now I am recognizing the cyclicity and depths of my depressive episodes (which seem to be becoming more pronounced). I guess at some point desperation overcomes reluctance to accept reality.
The good news – through either exceptionally quick drug efficacy, a placebo effect, or a happy coincidence, within a couple days of starting Lamotrigine my depressive descent had ceased and I was feeling better. I haven’t veered towards depression in the subsequent two weeks, even after watching the destruction of a fine automobile under my care – the second in the span of a month.
So fingers crossed this actually represents “better living through chemistry.”
The Daily Stone