I’ve long struggled with sleep apnea and chronic depression, which compound each other. I am getting treated for both under the care of specialists, but I’ve been having memory problems that seem to be getting worse. A month ago I told my psychiatrist about it, and she suggested dropping the dosage of one of my meds. Of course the changes are slow, and I’ve been patient letting them take effect. As far as I can tell, I don’t lose track of conversations as much as I used to, but I also don’t remember much of anything that’s happened within the last couple weeks. Even the previous day is fuzzy lately. It’s frustrating, but it’s also really scary. Last night, when my wife got home, I kissed her hello and asked how her day was twice within about 5 minutes because I spaced out the first time around. I think incidents like that are becoming more frequent and worse. I don’t think that’s normal, and I’m scared. I know I’m doing all the things I need to get done, I just can’t remember what those are after I do them. I’m in my early 30s, and other than my sleep and brain chemistry I’m very healthy physically. I can’t imagine I’m having neurological issues this young, but I don’t know what’s going on or why I can’t seem to remember anything from more than a day ago. It scares me, and in acute cases I have angry outbursts. In those moments I understand why some nursing home patients are so angry and mean. I just wanted to get that out there.
Which takes courage. Thank you for being honest. I know it must be scary, but you yourself know that it gets better. You have experienced so much, you are so strong, this is just another fight you need to win. And you will.
It’s okay to be scared. It’s okay to be angry. You’re in the middle of a difficult situation right now and it’s natural to feel that way.
Like you said, “the changes are slow.” It may take a bit for some normalcy to come back. That’s okay too. Keep putting one foot in front of the other.
I love you and I am praying for you.
Thank you for sharing.
Having a chronic depression myself, I can tell that I also feel angry when I’m really frustrated by it, so I have less patience. There is this part of my mind who still dream of a different life, one without any depression nor anxiety. Even though I hate being angry, I try to accept that I’m just human and I can’t expect to only fight against depression all the time wthout reacting to it. Otherwise I become angry because I’m angry… which is a neverending circle.
Depression is tough, friend. It is an everyday battle that drains your energy. If you’re afraid of this reaction, maybe there are things you could try to help you manage those emotions: a physical activity, a hobby, meditation or breathing exercises? For me, dancing or having a walk outside helps. Because as I try to slow down my physical movements and become more focused on that than my frustration, my heartbeat slows down and it helps me to feel more calm.
Also I can only encourage you to talk about your memory loss with a doctor. When you’re feeling burned out it can absolutely impact your immediate memory, so maybe it’s just about that. But it’s still important to have a medical check up and see if everything is okay. At least because it could be reassuring to you. Also, don’t hesitate to have a notebook and write down the things you need. I did that when I got back to work while I was struggling with depression and memory losses. I just explained why I needed to write things down and people were genuinely comprehensive.
I hope this will get better for you in times to come. And know that my DMs are always open to you if you need to talk or vent.
Thanks for the encouragement. My depression is decently well managed, somehow I broke the cycle and most days are “good,” I just feel tired a lot. I can’t imagine a life without depression or anxiety, looking back I think I’ve had it since middle school, but I’ve come far enough to “know” that I’m enough and that I’m so much more than my depression or the delusions it causes. My struggles are a part of me, which I don’t say to throw a despondent pity party, but I’d be a stranger to myself if I didn’t have depression and anxiety to mindfully manage.
As far as activities to help combat depression, I know that journaling helps, but boneheaded procrastinator that I am I don’t do it very often. I’ve been trying to face my deepest demons in counseling and generally have done pretty well. The failures I once used to define myself are now fading memories of things that happened in another lifetime. I also just started a program through a local church that’s a year-long 12-step program for whoever needs it, something I’ve been interested in for a long time. I’ve been doing the Groundwork for a few months, exercises to prepare me for the step work ahead, and I’ve already identified areas in my life and mind to focus on and have started praying more. I might keep a thread on my progress here.
I’m due for a physical right about now, and I’m going to try to find an internist to get a full picture of my health, since carrying messages between all my doctors is slow and ineffective. I do feel burnt out, and a few days off always helps, but it doesn’t carry me for long. I need something more enduring than an escape, and I really want something more holistic than more drugs–I’m on 4, and I already feel like that’s too much.
@WeartheAnswer, thank you for the prayers. I’m coming to appreciate prayers more and more every day. @confused.04, thank you for your encouragement. I do know that it gets better, but being relatively healthy is new to me and confusing in itself. The world is my oyster, so now what? Can it really get better again? And what would that look or feel like?
“Left-right-left, right-left-wrong, I don’t know where I’m going but I just keep moving on.”
I just needed to take a short moment to thank you. Especially for this:
My depression is decently well managed, somehow I broke the cycle and most days are “good,” I just feel tired a lot. I can’t imagine a life without depression or anxiety, looking back I think I’ve had it since middle school, but I’ve come far enough to “know” that I’m enough and that I’m so much more than my depression or the delusions it causes. My struggles are a part of me, which I don’t say to throw a despondent pity party, but I’d be a stranger to myself if I didn’t have depression and anxiety to mindfully manage.
I could have written this myself. And I couldn’t really explain why but reading your entire message hits home but in a positive way. Having a depression is something incredibly difficult but you can hang on to the idea that it will get better one day or another. But a chronic depression doesn’t offer the same perspectives. Fighting against this is more about improving your quality of life than anything else. And this question of seeing the difference between you and your depression is something I’ve been struggling with for a long time. I think this is the first time I ever heard/read someone describing this in such a thoughtful way. So, sorry for the ramblings, and thank you.
I’m so glad it hit home! A therapist told me 5 years ago that “You are not your depression” and that my negative cognitions are false. It took about a year for me to understand that, which happened when I made a big career move, bought a house, and started a new relationship in the span of about 4 months. My life was going objectively well, independently of my thoughts and feelings.
You are not your depression any more than you are a head cold, diabetes, or arthritis. They may be challenging and at times debilitating, but they don’t define you.
Update: the last 2 weeks, my head cleared up and I have been feeling “normal” on my new lower dose of Lamictal. My doctor is pleased, and so am I, even though “normal” is lethargic and spacey.
Now, keep me in your thoughts and prayers going forward the next few weeks. Starting this weekend I’ll be scaling back my Pristiq under my doctor’s care. This is a really exciting step for me, but she told me it would be rough. I’ve been on Pristiq for about 5 years now, and I know missing just one dose is extremely unpleasant. I’m not going cold turkey, I’m cutting my dose in half, but it’s such a strong drug and I’ve grown so dependent on it, it’ll be a hard change for a bit. I’ll be letting those around me know what’s going on in the context of my general health, and I think they should be understanding. Just send positive vibes my way to help me get through the worst of it.
Thanks for the update!
My thoughts go to you. Sounds that it’s gonna be rough but you got this. Letting others know and understand what’s going on is a very wise thing to do. We’ll be here for you as well.
Update: I started my new lower dose 5 days ago. I expected the first few days to be the worst of it and wanted to sweat it out through the weekend, but the weekend was good and really positive. Starting Monday afternoon, my normal foggy state started to lift and I started getting anxious, irritable, and confused. Yesterday I got into a 2 hour obsessive loop over tiny details in a project at work where the details down to .01 inches really didn’t matter that much. I was rage-working, and by the time I was done I was burnt out and just wanted to sleep.
Yesterday afternoon I went to get a suit for my brother’s wedding. I felt like the salesman was nearly going out of his way to be unhelpful, and he was definitely condescending and bordering on outright rude, but I made it through the transaction. I don’t know if I was overthinking things, or if my demeanor set him against me, though my brother told me he had worse luck in that particular store than in other locations.
I barely slept last night with really painful stomach cramps. Thankfully they’ve subsided, but I have no focus or drive as I write this, and I just want to be at home in bed. I have a couple simple assignments to complete at work, but even they feel consuming. My boss is aware that I’m transitioning meds. He is by no means a slave driver, but I’ve told him that a few words of encouragement and nudging would go a long way. I feel bad because even though my assignments are simple, they are time critical for a really important bidding project we’re wrapping up. Hopefully I can wake up this afternoon enough to get them done and leave feeling accomplished for the day.
It’s Ash Wednesday. For Lent I’m giving up alcohol and pot, and plan to focus that altered-mind energy on connecting with my wife and being more mindful about the step work I’m doing through my church. I’ve given up mind-altering substances for Lent before, but never done much to make the effort worthwhile. But this is shaping up to be a transformative year for me, and I’m determined to be more mindful. If I can just focus a bit…
I keep reminding myself it’s only a couple weeks. I’ve endured worse and longer. If things don’t get better I can always call my doctor, and in any case I see her again in 5 weeks for a checkup. I can do this. But right now, just for today, it hurts. I can barely keep my head up or keep my eyes open and uncrossed, even after my usual dose of morning coffee, and I haven’t spoken to anyone since I said goodbye to my wife this morning. The day goes by so slowly when I’m not doing anything, but getting started seems really daunting right now.
Thank you Blank Typing Field for giving me a place to collect and solidify my thoughts. I feel a bit more grounded now. Another cup of coffee may be just the thing.
UPDATE: I SLEPT SO WELL LAST NIGHT! My wife didn’t get home from work until 11, so the night was cut short, but I SLEPT! I feel so clearheaded and positive today. Before I had my coffee I came up with an idea that may as well have come from a fever dream, an idea that seemed completely insane, so insane that it just might work. I ran it by my boss, and he was lost for words at what it could do for our products. He told me to run with it and design a system around it. That’s a real perk of my current job–my boss loves crazy ideas, and likes to see them all the way through before coming back to earth and deciding if they’re any good. I feel good, positive, and encouraged, and it’s almost time for my annual review
Tonight my wife gets off work at 5:00, more or less her normal time. She got the Frozen 2 DVD today, and we’re going to order takeout and watch it tonight, then hopefully go to bed good and early Tomorrow is Friday, this weekend is going to be a good one, and hopefully I can keep the good feelings going.
If any of you have sent any positive vibes or prayers my way, thank you. I’ve just felt at peace today. Things are going to be okay, even good.
UPDATE: I’m struggling today. I ran out of Clonazepam over the weekend and missed 2 doses. Some of you may know how bad that can be. By Monday morning, my skin was crawling. But then something amazing happened: Monday evening I was in a really good mood! I was happy, alert, and energetic, where I usually live with malaise and lethargy, and the greatest good is simply making it through the day. Monday I picked up more Clonazepam. I didn’t want the good feelings to go away, but I’ve been told that to drop it cold turkey can cause serious, even life threatening withdrawals. So the last 2 nights I took half doses. Monday night I didn’t sleep great, so last night I took a Trazodone to help me. This morning, waking up from a drug-induced sleep that was only about 6 hours long, I felt miserable. So, even though I knew better, I took Nuvigil and washed it down with coffee. Now, I’m dizzy, disoriented, can’t seem to regulate my body temperature, and my thoughts and emotions are all over the place. I keep telling myself it’s just for today, it’s just short term, it will balance itself out, but I’m not sure if I want to cry or sleep. Tonight I’m going to go back to normal meds and doses and quit being my own pharmacist, but it’s going to be hard to get through today. In 3 weeks I have appointments with my psychiatrist and my sleep specialist to discuss cutting more heavy meds out of my diet, and I know rationally it won’t be fun, but the not-having-fun part of that has been and will continue to be really hard to deal with day to day. I can’t wait for this to be over, which at this point is about 2 months away at the earliest. Keep me in your thoughts and prayers. Especially when I’m driving
Oof friend. I certainly know the effects of missing doses on medications and going without. While I don’t know that particular medication. I don’t really usually discuss medication by name on the forums, but I have taken some of the ones you mentioned. Hopefully you can get back to “normal” so you can feel better. Sounds rough.
But I hope that this next 3 weeks go by quickly so you can connect with your psychiatrist and sleep specialist. I know how anxious it can be waiting on the appointments to come around. That was me last year. Hopefully you will get the answers you need.
This isn’t nearly as helpful as your response on my post, but I just wanted to extend love to you and tell you that I appreciate you and hope things smooth out. And BE CAREFUL <3