Skip Ahead / by Charlie Francis Cassidy

Trigger warning: Self harm

Now skip ahead a few years, and I’d made it out of high school and was managing to do some further study. It’s frustrating to think back on, because I could have done so much better in my last 2 years. But I was struggling to get day to day, so in the end I am just glad I got through. It wasn’t hard to get into the courses I wanted after either. Getting through them was a mission though.

Anyway, I did end up getting sent to that psychiatrist, I only lasted 2 sessions though. I did my best to convince him things had turned around since I got the referral to see him, I don’t think he ever actually believed me though.

There were a few factors into me refusing to go back. One, he was setup in a private hospital. I didn’t like that at all. It made me very concerned about saying anything, as I might end up not leaving. Two, he wanted me to start some therapy that sounded stupid at the time. All I wanted was for people to leave me alone about it. The last thing I wanted to do was CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy). It did not sound like a choice either if I kept seeing him. Lastly, he was expensive. I obviously didn’t have to pay, since I was like, 16. But with neither of my parents working, I was very worried about them paying for this. Now of course they were happy to get me whatever I needed to help myself. But I wasn’t helping myself here, I was sitting in a room and refusing to reveal anything. I didn’t know if I ever would. It seemed like such a waste of money.

So I told them I wouldn’t go back, that I was alright and didn’t need CBT and all that. I don’t think my dad pushed it very far and just accepted that it wasn’t worth forcing me into. After all that I was pretty much left alone on the topic of my depression. I made sure to not concern them in any way, lest they decide to take action again. 

And if we skip ahead to now, I’m in my second year out of uni and basically living the dream. Well I should be, I have the exact job I’ve wanted in games since I was 16 and got my heart set on it. Problem is, I’m still battling with depression.

I’d been hiding it pretty well, and it felt like it had almost gone away. Till about half way through my first year of uni. It started getting really bad again. I had no idea what to do. I definitely couldn’t go to my family. They had enough going on at the time, and I’m just not that close to any of them. One my friends I’d made that year ended up being the biggest help. Without her I’d never have gotten help and I wouldn’t have made it through uni either.

It took me a long time to get to the point of help though. I had to move out first, there was too much going on at home for me stay there anymore, especially with my depression coming back. That helped quite a bit, but it wasn’t long till I was spiraling down again.

A good friend finally hassled me into seeing my first psychiatrist since the high school incident. Seeing a new one is always so hard too. You have to get the referral. Then you have to call up to book in. Then you actually have to go and meet this new person who is going to try to get to know your life. Well, sometimes. The first one I saw put me on Lovan and otherwise didn’t say much. I mean, he’d kind of wait for me to say stuff, but that isn’t how I work at all. I am never going to volunteer information without prompting. I have to get very comfortable with someone first. I mean I can say inane things, but not “hey, I kind of like to hurt myself but don’t put me in hospital, I’d hate that”. 

I did go for awhile, because just giving up would be bad but it really wasn’t working. So, I had to get another referral. Make another phone call. And go and see another new person. Except not at a new place. I was back at that same private hospital I had been to when I was 16. I did not enjoy that all. It brought back a lot of memories I didn’t want. I was seeing someone different though, otherwise that would have been weird. I was then taken off Lovan, which was good because it made me sick whenever I ate anything. First she got me onto Cymbalta, I can’t remember much about it except that it didn’t help. 

I don’t remember when exactly it became apparent I also had anxiety, I think maybe during my visits here I talked about it. So she gave me some samples of Seroquel XR to see if that would help. Since the Cymbalta wasn’t working I had to stop taking it and jump straight onto a full dose of Valdoxan. Shortly after this I actually ended up in the ER, with uncontrollable shaking/twitching/spasms and a lot of dizziness to the point that I basically couldn’t stand. Sitting was even a bit much. The doctor just told me to stop the medications and gave me some Valium that I was to have as much of as I wanted/needed, so it was alright in the end.

I’m still not sure if it was a side effect from how I changed over my medications, or the painkillers (Tramal) I was on for my back that clashed with something, but I try to avoid those painkillers anyway. I was put back on Seroquel, and then Lexapro. Now, the Seroquel did help and it also solved my sleeping problems. (I have big sleeping problems, as in, I can rarely sleep/stay asleep) But, I really didn’t like how lethargic I was. In fact the day after my first dose, I just couldn’t get out of bed at all. I kept falling back asleep all day, I was doped out of my mind, my muscles were actually too relaxed to stand. It calmed down a bit eventually, as my body got more used to it, but still. It’s not a feeling I enjoy getting from medication.

In the end, I actually couldn’t afford it. So that solved that dilemma. I also stopped seeing that psychiatrist. She never called me back about me not being able to get my medication, so I just didn’t show up to my next appointment. I never got a call or anything about it either. Which concerns me. There could have been a lot of reasons for me not showing up, and they never checked to make sure I was actually okay.

The next psychiatrist I ended up going to was from a friends recommendation, I was a bit over trying random ones that my doctor pulled from his list of people. I’m still seeing him now actually, it’s been 2 years. He talks a lot and asks a lot of questions, so it actually works out well for me. I am still no good at talking about things, but I’m slowly getting better. I’m at the point where I will genuinely attempt to describe the feelings I have, but I still won’t talk about my thoughts/past events much. I am very, very bad with feelings. As in, I don’t really understand them, or what feeling it is I’m having in a given moment. It’s hard to describe, for me anyway.

The reason why I don’t talk about thoughts much because I am still convinced I might be hospitalised. I kind of logically know it’s silly, and I’ve asked him what it would take for that happen, he even said he probably wouldn’t do that for me anyway. But, the thing is, he doesn’t know what’s in my head, half the time I don’t. I genuinely worry what people would think of me if they knew what being in my head was like. Anyway, he tried me on Dothep first, we gave it a good go because he likes to go slow and steady, unlike my last gung-ho doctor. But it didn’t work out so next we tried Effexor XR, which is what I’m on now. It did work in the beginning, or appeared to but it’s really not doing much now. Despite trying out a higher dosage as well.