I have mentioned before that my son was diagnosed as bipolar in his late teens. I always knew he had a problem, but way back then I didn’t know anything about the subject. I never quite knew where it came from because he was so unlike me. In 1998 however I was diagnosed as being unipolar.
The difference of course between the two was that he would have manic episodes where I would just be down all the time and they told me that I was clinically depressed so they put me on antidepressants, they didn’t know at the time that I was unipolar they simply thought I was depressed and I would need these pills the rest of my life.
I had a horrible reaction to antidepressants they didn’t help me function at all and they actually made me feel like I could kill someone, it wasn’t nice. They tried several different brand names that had helped so many and I was dismayed at the reaction they created in me, I told them I preferred to be depressed to these feelings of rage.
So that’s when my doctor said she thought I might be unipolar and she put me on Neurontin. I felt an immediate lightness of spirit it was amazing how that pill affected me, it was like I felt something actually shifting in my brain it was wonderful. They use that particular drug for people that have seizures and also for back pain among other uses.
I took this drug up until 3 years ago, it worked as a mood elevator. I had never realized I was a depressed person until they told me I was, I simply thought I had a very serious temperament. I know as I have grown older that my emotions are more flat and unresponsive, but I also contributed part of that to menopause which I’m sure hasn’t helped.
I decided that I liked these pills way too much and because I was finally happy in a relationship that I would wean myself off of them. I started cutting the dosage down until I was taking 1 half a pill a day usually in the morning instead of 300mg 3 or 4 times a day. It took me awhile and I did it gradually, but I did stop.
I must admit that I miss having that lift in spirit, but I wanted to stop because they had made my hands and fingers feel weird and there were a few other things that I didn’t like. I sometimes find that I can actually feel happiness about certain things whereas for the longest time I couldn’t. I struggle daily with depression, but I try to maintain an optimistic outlook.
I found this bit over at Wikipedia:“The most common time of onset is between the ages of 30 and 40 years, with a later peak between 50 and 60 years. Major depression occurs more often in women than men, although men are at higher risk for suicide.”
There are many symptoms that a person could exhibit who is experiencing a major depressive episode that you may need to seek help for such as:
•appetite and sleep disturbances
• persistent emotional feelings of anxiety, anger,
sadness, guilt, isolation and hopelessness
• indifference, apathy or self-loathing
• suicidal tendencies or morbid thinking
• depersonalization and extreme loneliness
• fatigue and extreme restlessness
• unable to become interested in usually enjoyable
• chronic pain that usually triggers irritability
• social anxiety and shyness
• lack of interest in having sexual activities