Sometimes it takes a little time to see that a change occurred, even when it should be obvious.
About 2 weeks ago my antidepressant cocktail mostly stopped working. Because of the nausea it caused, I’d been slowly decreasing the dosage levels to try and find a happy medium – potency and no nausea. What I wound up with was minor nausea and no potency. After a period of time, it caught up with me. The depression has been brutal since then. That’s why I haven’t been posting much lately and why my post “I’m Blessed? Really?” was so intense.
I’m on a new set of antidepressants now. So far they seem to be working. I’m feeling OK for a half day more frequently. The new cocktail’s screwing up my sleep patterns, but that’s nothing new. The constant low level nausea is gone. Yay!
As you have probably figured out, I have “treatment-resistant depression.” It also goes by the names drug resistant depression and refractory depression. My impression is that about 30% of the folks with serious depression fall into this category. A good article about it is here.
For the last couple years I’ve been on combination or augmentation therapies, where multiple drugs are used (see the aforementioned article for more info). Actually neither of the drugs I’m on now are standard antidepressants. They’re from the classes of drugs used once everything else has failed. They typically have significant side effects and can often be quite pricey. Even with insurance discounts, my two anti-depression meds cost a little over $20 a day. I’m lucky enough to be able to afford them.
This most recent depression is so bad I had to take a break from the casodex. I don’t know that can help much right away, though. Casodex’s half life is 5.8 days. That means it will take about 3 weeks to get it mostly out of my system. It just seemed a good idea in case the new cocktail didn’t work out. I do plan to go back on casodex sometime in December.
I’ve also pretty much stopped reading other’s medically related blogs. I’m trying to stay in a more positive environment and all that. Once I start feeling better, this will change. I miss not keeping up with the many folks I follow. I choose to believe that my comments and likes help or are at least welcome, and I feel a little guilty not “being there.”
On the other drugs front, I had the meeting with my GP. He was great, as usual. I’m off the high cholesterol drug, Crestor, and one of the high blood pressure meds. We decided that the time it would take for my arteries to clog up after going off Crestor is well beyond my expected life span. The high blood pressure situation isn’t as simple. I’m off the med with the worst side effects and am monitoring my BP at home to see how things go with the single BP med. Hopefully, it’s all I’ll need.
Despite all the depression, I’m trying to live as normal a life as possible. There are lots of times when I feel really good, usually in the evenings.