The Life You Save May Be Your Own

DID, knitting, sci-fi, and strong opinions

My brain is not the problem October 24, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — weordmyndum @ 5:39 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,

(Note: this rant is not directed toward anyone here.)

I am so tired of this pervasive myth that everyone’s depression is biochemical. I’m tired of people who barely know my name(s) telling me I should talk to my psychiatrist and try more meds.

I have already tried all the meds, and no, that is not hyperbole. My depression is not an imbalance of neurotransmitters, and more drugs are not going to fix it.

To insist that my depression is biochemical is to deny the very real and valid reasons I’m depressed. I’m depressed because my father raped me for 16 years, took explicit pictures of me, loaned me to other men, forced me to participate in my sister’s abuse, and frequently threatened and even attempted to kill me. I’m depressed because my mother is a narcissist who taught me I was a worthless waste of oxygen, verbally and emotionally abused me, abandoned me to take care of my sisters at a young age, and dumped me when I stopped participating in her mind games. I’m depressed because my grandparents only value me for my external achievements, and they threaten to withdraw financial support at a whim, leaving me homeless. I’m depressed because the damage from ECT leaves me with huge functional deficits. I’m depressed because I’m in constant physical pain.

These are valid reasons to feel depressed. It’s not because some little receptor in my brain isn’t getting enough dopamine or serotonin.

My unwillingness to stay on the psych med merry-go-round does not mean I’m not trying to get better. It means I’m making an informed choice: since I’ve been on tons of meds with no benefit, it’s unlikely that new drugs or cocktails will benefit me.

On the flip side of the coin, don’t tell me that the meds I’m on are causing my problems. See above elaboration on all my valid, non-chemical reasons for being depressed. In terms of implication, “all your problems are caused by your meds” is the same as “all your problems can be solved by meds.” They both invalidate the experiences that really cause the depression.

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3 Responses to “My brain is not the problem”

  1. You are spot on. Most depression, by far the vast majority, may have biochemical components but is situational and adaptational in nature. Depression is rarely a lifelong issue unless we aren’t, as you say, “moving forward”.
    Sure dopamine and serotonin are wacked: but what if that is a result of the situation not a cause of it.

    It’s far easier to give you a pill and send you are on your way. Psychiatrists get paid on commission.

  2. lindakay1948 Says:

    If everything you’ve said about your life is true it’s no wonder that you’d be depressed. However, some of the drugs CAN exacerbate that condition. Akathisea is one of the things I experienced when forced to take an “antipsychotic”. Before that, during the years I worked in psych, I didn’t understand why some patients paced back and forth and couldn’t seem to stay still for any length of time.

    Also, as long as you are taking some of these drugs, you may be risking the development of tardive dyskinesia, permanent brain damage manifested in involuntary movements, sometimes very grotesque. My mother, who was on psych drugs most of her life, had it, and I felt very bad for her. I still don’t understand why, while working on my BA in Psychology, we were never told about these adverse drug effects. After I graduated, when I worked in halfway houses and hospitals, I thought these involuntary movements were just part of the diseases our clients had.

    Also, as I may have said before, there is a Yahoo group of over 3000 people complaining of sexual side effects from taking SSRIs. These side effects include, not only ED in men, but genital anesthesis in both men and women, often lasting YEARS after taking and then discontinuing the drugs. Although I have never taken SSRIs, I am a member of this group.

    ~ Linda Kay

    • weordmyndum Says:

      Yes, I know very well about the side effects of drugs. I don’t need a lecture on it.

      As I’ve said before, I don’t see my asexuality as a dysfunction or a disorder. I know some people have a different experience of it, and that’s fine. But please stop telling me about it like I could fix my sexuality by going off the meds. My asexuality is no more a problem that needs fixing than a gay person’s homosexuality. It’s offensive to hear you imply over and over that there’s something wrong with my sexual orientation.

      Going off meds wouldn’t fix my depression, either. I was depressed before I was on meds, and I was depressed when I took myself off meds, and I’m depressed now while on meds. If I was having dangerous or intolerable side effects like TD, then I’d look at getting off the meds more quickly. But as it stands now, without the meds, I don’t sleep. Since the only noticeable side effect I get from the meds is a bit of dry mouth, they’re doing less harm than long-term sleep deprivation would.

      I’m an adult, and I’m a damned smart one. I am plenty capable of weighing risks and benefits to make an informed choice about my healthcare. I really don’t need your assistance. I get that you have strong opinions. You’re entitled to them, but to repeatedly lecture me about them unsolicited is presumptuous and rude. Please confine your proselytizing to your own blog, or at least keep it out of mine.


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