Throwback Thursday #5: A Lot Happening

rear-view-of-woman-looking-down-bwThrowback Thursdays feature relevant posts (of about 20) from a private, online journal I kept last fall. They chronicle my time during a depressive episode, which led to another round of  ECT. You’ll read firsthand what that was like for me. The entries are slightly edited for clarity, and with regard to anonymity.

A Lot Happening – October 25, 2016

Ha. I can’t even think of an original subject line. Oh, well.

Called DBT Hospital yesterday about the program; was very anxious about calling. I have an assessment interview this Friday at 1:30, so had to reschedule my therapist appointment to a phone session.

I don’t even know that I can make it to DBT even if my husband drives me (I’m too anxious to drive) because I feel worse. I don’t want to kill myself, but I don’t want to go on living, either. I feel like ECT is the only way that I can even be well enough to go to the DBT program and actually get anything out of it.

Cancelled coffee with my friend this morning. Don’t even know if she got my text. I also had asked her to pick me up because I was too anxious to take the bus by myself.

I’ve been putting on some weight. Either because I’ve been craving and eating so many sweets and/or because of PMS. That just brings me down more. Didn’t eat breakfast, not because of that; just had no appetite.

I was able to brush my teeth, change my underwear, and put on sweats. And run a comb through my hair.

Photo via

The Rx Allergy Med Episode


NOTE: This post discusses self-harm. If that’s a trigger for you, then please discontinue reading this post.

Last April or May, I saw my primary care physician for a dry cough that wouldn’t go away. He attributed this to allergies, and prescribed the oral (as opposed to inhaler) version of an allergy medication.

I took the first dose on Saturday night, and felt inexplicably moody the next day — like I was PMSing, but I wasn’t. I took a second dose Sunday night, and by Monday I was a mess. I felt depressed and had suicidal thoughts. Sounds like a description of side effects, doesn’t it? That’s because they are! My suicidal thoughts, I knew, weren’t “real” as opposed to “induced,” because I didn’t really want to kill myself. I didn’t want to die. But I wanted to self-harm…I couldn’t get away from it.

I hadn’t self-harmed in months, and before that, in years. But this time the pull was incredibly strong. When I’ve self-harmed in the past, it was because I had so much emotional pain that I felt the only way to release it was to cut myself, make myself bleed. I was, in my opinion, transferring the emotional pain to physical pain because physical wounds heal. Guess what? It doesn’t work.

This time, I did it for an entirely new reason: I felt that I should be punished for being depressed. Instead of cutting, I scratched at my wrist until the top layer of skin was gone. Then I felt that I should be punished for having self-harmed, but I stopped scratching.

I called my doctor Monday morning, before the self-harm happened, but he was on vacation. Of course. So I talked to a nurse practitioner who told me to stop taking the medication immediately, which I would have done anyway. Still, it triggered a depressive episode that lasted about 3 weeks. I saw my psychiatrist immediately. He increased the dosage on one of my antidepressants, which helped. Fortunately, hospitalization or ECT wasn’t required.

Photo credit: Charles Williams via Visual hunt / CC BY