||[Jul. 31st, 2006|06:08 pm]
Friends in Need of Depression Support
Hi - I think that everyone who will be here at least initially knows me already, but I thought I'd do a short intro anyway.
I'm Sue. I'm 44, married for almost 14 years and soon to be divorced, mother to a ten year old son. I live in the Baltimore area with my son and 4 cats, and I'm involved in a terrific, slightly over a year-long relationship with a wonderful man. We are practically living together now and will be in fact shortly, as soon as we can find a place to live that we can be happy with. We intend at some point to buy a house, but may look for a rental in between now and when we can afford a house. I'm currently renting a 1 bedroom place which is too small for the 3 of us (4 with his daughter). He is divorced, and his 8 year old daughter is with him every Tuesday and Wednesday night for dinner, and every other weekend.
I'm currently employed full-time as a nanny, and will be looking for a new job in September. I was certified as a massage therapist in 1991 and licensed in NY, but haven't worked in that field in many years. I am registered for a course in the fall in Infant Massage Instruction, and I plan to offer classes to parents as soon as I've got the credentials to do that. I've had LOTS of different work experiences, some of them in offices, and some of them doing other things. I'm not sure what I will be doing in the fall, but I will need a full-time type of income, and medical benefits once the divorce comes through and I will be taken off my husband's health plan.
I've had depressive issues since I was a kid, really manifesting in a big way in my early teens, which is when I first sought professional help. I was in therapy on and off for many years, diagnosed with depression. It stopped me from doing a lot of things in my life, primarily finishing college. I was not -constantly- depressed, but I had many long bouts of depression over the years, some mild, and some NOT. I had the kind of depression early in my life that robbed me of energy. I slept a LOT during those times. In more recent years, I've had the anxious kind of depression, with sleep difficulties. When I was pregnant, I was also diagnosed with OCD, mostly in the form of hoarding. I'm doing well with that now, but I do need some assistance in keeping up with the constant barrage of papers in my life. Luckily my boyfriend likes helping me with that :)
I was not really treated with medication until shortly before and then again after the birth of my son, but meds that worked for awhile eventually stopped. I suffered from severe anxiety with several bad panic attacks while pregnant, and suicidal depressions that eventually became not only emotionally but physically painful, almost to the point of being unbearable. I have seen over a dozen psychiatrists over the years, some of them only short-term in the hospital - I had about 6 hospital visits for depression in the late 1990's and early 2000's, and finally got diagnosed in late 2002 as bipolar 2. Before that time I was tried on a large variety of meds - imipramine, xanax, prozac, ativan, celexa, zyprexa, clonazepam, trazodone, effexor, welbutrin, remeron, paxil, risperdal, lamictal. I've also seen somewhere around a dozen therapists, mostly short-lived. I had a hard time finding someone who was simpatico enough and smart enough to deal with. I am currently only under a psychiatrist's care, and mostly it's just medication management. I don't currently feel a need for psychotherapy, but I'm not against the idea if the need arises again.
I've been basically stable on my meds since being diagnosed bipolar 2, with only a few mild bouts of depression/inertia, and some nasty bits of anxiety - no severe suicidal ideations. My current regimen of meds is imipramine (Tofranil), lamictal, and trazodone has been recently added for insomnia. Ambien was unfortunately causing an allergic reaction, so although I slept fairly well on that, I had to discontinue it. I also take Necon for birth control and menstrual regulation, and mirapex, for RLS (restless leg syndrome).
I'm doing quite well in general lately, the anxiety is mostly gone for now, and I am not depressed. Unfortunately, the insomnia which has been chronic for the last 2 1/2 to 3 years really makes life difficult. It's hard to function with only a few hours per night of sleep. I use caffeine only medicinally, and since I don't ordinarily take it, when I do I don't need much. I think that I am more productive at this time in my life more consistently than every before, even with the insomnia problem.
I'm looking forward to hearing from the other members of this community. I hope that we can all be of good support to each other.