Things have been getting worse with time. Yep.
I stopped taking my medication the last time I got out of the internship (aug 11 ish…?). I was taking Sertraline 100 mg + Valproic Acid 250 mg at night and Fluoxetine 20 mgs in the mornings to help me stay awake. At first I stopped because it was pointless to continue, I failed again and nothing was getting better, so why would I keep taking pills that were not working? In a way I was also trying to bring me to the lowest degree of desperation; I figured that if I was going to fall I’d better fall fast, deep and hopefully, permanently.
Instead I fell rather normally. I was obviously down and desperate but it felt more circumstantial than depression-related. It was a tangible problem I could talk about with people: “Yeah damn, I was taken out of the internship!”/ “That sucks girl!”/ “Yeah, I will have to figure something to do to fix it” / “That’s a thought situation, I hope you get through it!” / “okay thanks.” As opposed to the usual “you look terrible! why are you down?” / “noidea idontknowwhatswrong dontknowwhattosay whatswrongwithme. know what, get away from me” gibberish. I suppose that for a while, it felt good to have an actual problem that would justify what I was feeling.
But the mood has been going downhill, lower with every passing day. I’m not hitting rock bottom yet as my moods are still reactive. This means I can still be distracted, and if the situation is good enough I’ll even enjoy it very much, but as soon as the good situation passes, I’ll fall down. In my life in general, it’s been very rare to get caught in a true melancholic depression episode, when nothing causes a reaction on me. Having Atypical Depression, my moods are relatively reactive. While in theory this is much better than becoming a total zombie, as the episode gets worse, it demands higher levels of “good stuff” and ultimately you stop looking for it. Also, it becomes increasingly tiring to see yourself feeling better in response to something while being aware that as soon as that thing is gone, you’ll fall back. That leads to anxiety when something good is happening, with the urge to cling onto it and not let it go. However, this clinging rarely works: for instance, If I realize a specific tune is keeping my moods up at any given time, I’ll want to make a “mental bookmark” of it, and be able to go stay in that place whenever I need it. Sadly, after forcing this over and over it loses its effect. I get bored of the song and the bookmark stops taking me to the desired place. With people, it’s usually the opposite; if you force it, they’ll get bored of you. Knowing this, I can get so terrified, that I’ll let them go before they let me go.
All this predisposes to an extreme fear of psychological pain and is a fertile ground for development of Avoidant Personality Disorder. I match all the criteria only while in a depressive episode now as it was sort of permanent while I was a kid. (Note: children aren’t usually diagnosed with any personality disorders as it is thought that the personality hasn’t been “fixed” until humans are 16 – 18 years of age. Antisocial personality disorder cannot be diagnosed at all before 18 years of age).
I’m reluctant to think this can become the permanent me. Personality disorders are the terminal illnesses of psychiatry. In psych class they always talked of people with these as people with no hope of recovery. It’s frightening. But lately it seems harder to remember when it was the last time I was not in an episode.
On the up side, I haven’t been suicidal. The idea hasn’t been seducing me like it has in the past.
I gotta remind the readers though, that I write these blogs as a way to keep up with my own mind, to monitor my progress (or lack thereof) and of course as a cathartic. I cannot imagine telling this to a person who is looking at me in the eye, so I go coward and just write it out to no particular human. I am not looking for advice as this is not one of the “tangible” problems I mention above that you can give advice to. That said, you’re still welcome to read, and thank you for doing so.