I pride myself on being a consistently inconsistent blogger. I am serious about not being the ADHD guy who starts a blog and doesn’t keep it up. But, knowing myself, my life, my schedule, etc., I know that I’m not the kind of guy who will religiously post every Thursday or something like that. I tend to post in bursts on my off weeks from coaching or other times that I have “free.”
But, it has been almost exactly a month since I posted. Here’s why: I recently recently got back together with my ex… depression. This isn’t the easiest thing to post on my website, especially since I use my website as a marketing tool. For the most part I like to portray me as the organized, efficient, together guy that I am most of the time. But if I’m totally honest with myself and the world, I think it is appropriate to point out that I don’t have it all figured out all the time. I hope that admitting my struggles and my vulnerabilities shows something as important as my strengths and accomplishments. So here goes…
I am genetically predisposed to depression/anxiety from both sides of my family. I had my first major depressive episode in college at age 19. The psychiatrist that I was seeing at the time, who was an idiot, totally missed it. Long story short: he put me on a tricyclic antidepressant, but took me off my ritalin. So, it unintentionally moderated the depression… kinda’. But only kinda moderated the ADHD symptoms. That was a very difficult time in my life. I think it could have been much less shitty and shorter if I had been getting better care. (Ultimately, I went back to my pediatric psychopharmacologist and he got me back on track. I still see him at 36 yrs old.)
Good thing I was still seeing him when I had my first panic attack and second major depressive episode in 2004. This time I was appropriately medicated and continued with my therapist. It really only knocked me out for about 6 weeks. (Better than 2 years.) And, I continued on medication for about 5 years.
In the last 5 years I’ve been antidepressant free, though I still take Ativan to manage acute anxiety as needed. I’m proud of the fact that I now manage my life and my ADHD so well that I was able to keep this at bay for so long. Of course, the better you are at something, the harder it can be to admit when you are struggling with it.
It was a very tough winter. I will leave it at that. But it was a tough winter for our household. I fought so hard not to have to go back on medication, partly because of side effects, partly because I wanted to believe that I had “beaten” my depression. The end result is that I probably pushed through longer than I should have. Then I crashed.
But here’s the thing: About a month ago I emailed my doctor in the middle of the night and he called in an Rx for what had been a good med for me in the past. At a very low dose, it made me much worse and gave me gnarly side effects. So I came off it within 10 days and have been waiting for my insurance company to deny a new med that my doctor really likes. But my depression has gotten better since then. I think the lesson is that I was making it worse by ignoring it and pushing through. Some of the pressures that were causative factors have lessened, but I’m also acknowledging it now, which is tremendously helpful.
The bottom line is that I was debilitated for only about two weeks this time. It was bad, but short. So, I guess if I’m depressed for two weeks every 5 years, I am doing a pretty good job managing my life, my ADHD, and my anxiety. I don’t need to pretend that there is no elephant in the room.
As usual, I don’t really feel like rereading and editing this… Hope it makes sense!