The Upside

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.

Wise Words from Leonard Cohen


Old Diary Entries Resurrected

March 2002

The doctor from the HMO misdiagnosed me...and she threw Lithium on top of the two meds I was already on. Besides the side effects from these many meds, I began experiencing anxiety attacks that started to trigger social phobia. She increased the Lithium and gave me an anti-anxiety drug. Then I began to hallucinate that people were in my house. She gave me an anti-hallucinogen. My skin was crawling, I was up all night long cleaning the house, I became obsessed with pulling out my leg hairs one-by-one with a tweezer and picking at my skin and hair. I hid ALL OF THIS. And I was on seven meds...a sinister cocktail of the wrong meds. Because that is what the HMO doctor did. Gave me one more thing to cut down on office time and send me away. It was a disaster that made me worse instead of better. My boyfriend and sister became so concerned one night that they came over with an extra key because I had stopped answering the phone and doorbell. When they let themselves in, I raged at them, physically attacked them with my fists and slammed the door in their faces.

Finally, I was admitted to a nearby emergency room--was hospitalized as I was taken off all of these drugs at once and suffered withdrawal--and was only able to get decent caregivers because my hospitalization was so stunning to the managed care consultants that they were terrified of legal action. So I was able to choose my own providers outside of the network.


Seven years later, as a happy, functioning person on a maintenance dosage of the RIGHT anti-depressant--just one--as well as a thyroid drug, I look back at that time and think, "What on earth happened to me?" I graduated from an Ivy-League university with a Masters Degree while working full-time. Had and have a loving circle of family and friends. Have a successful career and at the time was a mid-career, white-collar professional with ("supposedly") the best medical care that money could buy. However, depression is ultimately incredibly fair...it does not discriminate. It doesn't care about your income, your education, your manners. It is an equal opportunity trainwreck...


Best of Depressed People Message Board

I love listening in on a conversation between funny depressed people...

I wish there was just a PsychoBot 3000 that would do the therapist's job, so that we wouldn't have to determine for ourselves if we're the biggest nutbar in the room or not. "and. how. did. that. make. you. feel? Press 1 for Good, 2 for Bad, and 3 for I wish I had a penis."

...thanks for sticking with me during this "I am the piece of shit around which the universe revolves" phase. I promise my head won't always be so firmly planted in my navel.

Stare at that navel all you need to, Honey, till YOU get tired of it.

I think I'm going to market a line of navel decorations, since I spend so much time looking at mine and it's getting a little boring now that each piece of lint has a name and a backstory. I'm thinking something with feathers and glitter to start with. Either that, or starting a psychologist-screening service like 1-800-DENTIST (1-800-MY-NAVEL?) which will take over all the shit that is too hard to deal with when you're depressed, like making appointments and talking to people and getting the insurance clearance. Also, they will dispatch the Massage Van to wherever you are, and be there in thirty minutes or your pedicure is free.