Mental Health

Diagnosed with Treatment Resistant Depression

“That’s one thing we can do with Treatment Resistant Depression.”

Blink. Blink.

Oh hey, new diagnosis. Wasn’t expecting to see you there.

I sat in the office of my Meds Doc with the windows open on February 6th because the temperature got random and hit 60 degrees. I felt the cool air on the back of my neck as the heat started to creep up my face. She continued to ask me questions.

“You said you’re sleeping again, but is it safe to assume you’re probably sleeping too much.”

Yes. And shut up.

I’ve known things were off for awhile now. I attempted to move this appointment up after my crash-and-burn in late December, but our mental health care system sucks, so this was the earliest I could get in to see my doc. My husband thought I just needed a med change, something I felt strongly opposed to at the time.

Changing meds is literally the worst. Tapering down on the old, up on the new. The side effects that slam into you, full force, that you’re just supposed to live through because “they go away after a few weeks.” It’s always great to feel nauseated and dizzy for three weeks on top of being depressed. It’s the best.

So, I started out the appointment telling her that my husband thought I needed a med change.

Then she made me get very specific about what had been happening since December. Then her tone changed, and she apologized that she couldn’t get me in earlier. She started listing off things we could do.

And then she said Treatment Resistant Depression.

I didn’t quite hear anything for a bit.

I’ve lived with a diagnosis of Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) since I sought care at the age of 25. Honestly, I have lived with anxiety my entire life, but that was the first time someone put a name to it. I also suffer from bouts of Major Depression, but normally I adjust what I’m doing, up my therapy, and I’m good to go.

Not this time.

I’ve lightly Dr. Googled the new diagnosis. I don’t really feel like delving into it just yet. I’m just sitting with it.

I know that a new diagnosis doesn’t define me. But it feels new and different and I don’t quite know what to do with it. I don’t know what box to put it in. I don’t know how it feels. It doesn’t actually change anything about me.

I start a new medication in the morning. They didn’t take me off any of my other medications, so this one is just added to my existing cocktail. I hope the side effects are minimal. I hope I feel like getting out of bed on a regular basis and not just when I absolutely have to in order to function as a parent or a dog owner. I hope I’ll resume the energy to work out again. I hope I’ll just enjoy anything again.

I do know that I have a wonderful tribe of people supporting me through this next step of my journey. I feel very thankful for their continued presence.

Treatment Resistant Depression

4 replies on “Diagnosed with Treatment Resistant Depression”

I know that the last thing you need is assvice from the internet, but on the off chance this helps you, I am passing it along.

My Sister-In-Law suffered from major depression for 3 years before she found a specialist who did genetic testing and blood tests to help determine exactly what medications would be most likely to work for her with her genetic profile. She was on the verge of getting electroshock treatment which would have destroyed her career (she is a doctor and the memory loss would have cost her her license), but the new medications that were suggested have been amazingly effective after trying so many other things and suffering for so many years. The genetic doctor worked with her regular psychiatrist in a consulting capacity, if I remember correctly. The guys’ website is stupid looking, but this is who she saw who is located in columbus.

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