Bipolar Depression

Depression differs for all of us. But for me it’s a monster!
Earlier this year I fell into depression, not the kinds you call the blues, but severe. I couldn’t get out of bed easily, I slept on my couch most of the day. When I was awake , I was dragging myself to function.

My psychiatrist prescribed me Effexor (antidepressants) to help me. Now, most of us know it’s walking a fine line to prescribe an antidepressant to someone with bipolar disorder as it could cause mania. So, I was on high alert while taking these pills.

The pills didn’t take effect right away. I was beginning to lose hope after 3 weeks. My moods were irritable, tired, and depressed. When I had to go out into society it was a serious battle! I almost never leave my house without makeup on or dress for the occasion.

But during deep depression, I don’t give a damn how I look or who I run into. This is the opposite of my normal outings. Hence, a trip to see my psychiatrist one day I was not wearing makeup, had on sweat pants, a t-shirt, and hadn’t recently showered.

He asked me how my new prescription of Effexor was working? I told him it wasn’t! He then increased my dose in hopes to help me manage my depression more effectively. He (as he always does) asked me if I had feelings of hurting myself or others. I NEVER have a feeling of hurting others, but this time I was honest and told him I did feel suicidal. Though, I would not hurt myself, I didn’t make any plans to do so, it’s just a feeling of how depressed I was.

He encouraged me to call crisis support and not test the waters when it comes to feeling suicidal. I agreed and promised if it happened again, I would call.I left his office, got my prescription and went home.

Feeling so depressed that eating is a chore, brushing my teeth is a chore, geez hygiene itself is a chore!

Within two-weeks of my prescription increase I began to feel a bit better. Not sunshine and roses but I could stay awake a few extra hours in the day and get out of bed easier. By the next month I was starting to really feel, better! Almost scary better. Yep, hypomania!

I began to experience rapid speech, could stay awake all day, wanted to jump into projects, etc. So, the Effexor really kicked in! A little to good! Per doctors orders I immediately discontinued taking my Effexor.

Unfortunately, the damage was done. I quickly went into mania and then had to start doubling up on my Zyprexa, and due to my sleeping habits (insomnia), was prescribed Ativan. It took a month or so, but I’m now feeling stable.

The sad thing is that I can never (per my psychiatrist) be on antidepressants again! They always put me into mania. So I’m praying that I don’t go back into severe depression again. Yeah, hopeful thinking I know. I’m sure my psychiatrist has a game plan. I hope!



Living with type 1 bipolar disorder, PTSD (due to childhood trauma), Rapid Cycling, and Seasonal Affective Disorder. Writing about my life experiences.

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