Posts Tagged ‘depression’

Re-evaluating Things a Bit…

March 29, 2014 3 comments

I think I’m going to need to manage my expectations about my illness differently.

From one perspective I’m very lucky. My lows and highs used to be very extreme and both of them made me pretty dysfunctional. That’s not remarkable, but it’s not pleasant.

Since I’ve been on decent meds the extremes have levelled out and I’ve been able to live a mostly normal life, however saying that things are completely normal is still wishful thinking. I noticed this fact this week when my brain tipped over from low to high (it is a gradual process).

I am a computer programmer and for months I have been having a lot of difficulty at work. I’ve been making all the usual excuses, telling myself I’m a procrastinator, that I’m just bored, that other people are making my work difficult, and so on. Even my psychiatrist told me what I needed was a good kick in the backside.

Then my brain switched into high mode and suddenly how to do all my jobs became so clear and I started working my way through them. I saw my excuses for what they were. It was my brain that was still impaired.

Don’t get me wrong: my meds deal with the worst of my symptoms. However they are not 100% effective, either.

I suppose I need to look at adjusting my meds, which is a scary thing because they do work very well. I certainly don’t want to become less functional again. Still the way things stand when I’m low things at work are pretty hard, so something has to change. No more wishful thinking.


Losing my Job (and Lactose for the Last Time)

June 1, 2013 1 comment

Wow, I’m writing again!

Just an update. I was told at work that I’m being given my six-weeks’ notice on September 1st. My boss said that I’m smart, but the time it took me to get my work done was “retarded”. He said I wasn’t the person he hired. Of course when he hired me I was high and I would get up at 3am every night and work, and I’ve been mostly normal or low ever since. He also said I needed to get my meds changed because I was a spaced out all the time.

To be honest, I probably deserve to be let go. Also, I really don’t like working at this place, so it’s a blessing in disguise. Unfortunately it’s scary because I have to find another job and I can’t afford to be even a week without work. I’m one of those people who is one paycheque away from ruin. That’s another story for another time.

In other news, I am back on the normal generic versions of all my meds. I’m off of all the exotic stuff I was taking trying to be lactose free. It turns out it wasn’t the meds that were giving me the problems; it was all the dairy related stuff in my diet despite my best efforts to get rid of it. I found some extra strength lactase enzyme pills (Webber’s) that I take with things that give me trouble, and I’m doing pretty well. Hopefully this is the end of this topic. I know I keep saying that.

Well, I don’t have anything witty or insightful to say right now. I did find a web site that has a pretty witty and insightful look at depression:

Status Report #8 (And a Segue into Mood Swings)

March 24, 2012 4 comments

Sorry I haven’t been posting much to the blog, but it’s been hectic the past two weeks at work. I’ve even been bringing work home. I’ve already used up my three sick days for 2012, plus a fourth day (which was unpaid). The problem is I’ll have my OCD nightmares all night, then in the morning I won’t be thinking straight and I’ll call in sick just for a few more hours of sleep. Well, not any more. I can’t afford to lose any more days’ pay.

In other news, I had a bit of a down time in the past few weeks, but it was so mild I didn’t say anything because I wasn’t even sure if it was there. Mostly it has just manifested itself in a greater need for sleep, a decreased need for self-expression, and a decreased need for sex. In the past few days I have noticed less need for sleep, an increase in self-expression, and an increased need for sex. It’s a faster cycle than I am used to. I think I had a downtime at this same time last year, but coincidentally, I had my Modecate injection three weeks ago. I am due for another one on Monday. If I have another dip in my mood, next week I’m really going to wonder about a correlation with the Modecate.

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My ex-employer stiffed me for over $5000 last year

February 23, 2012 Leave a comment

I’m just doing my 2011 taxes and I now see the extent of what happened. In October and November I was depressed anyway, and the organization I worked for was failing. I wanted desperately to keep things as they were, so I kept working for no pay hoping things would turn up and money would miraculously appear. I worked for almost two months before I took another job in desperation.

I’ve always hated change, and I’ve always been willing to go to insane lengths to avoid it (absolutely no joke intended). When I’m depressed, I’m at my worst.

Now that it is all worked out I am writing off over $5000 in lost pay. There is no sense going after my ex-boss: he tried everything he could and he’s worse off than I am and there is simply no money. I knew when I took the job that if there was no business there would be no pay.

The only thing is that my ex-boss is still calling trying to get me to do free work for him. I did over 20 hours this past weekend, but I think enough is enough. I’ve got enough good karma. I should mention that he is a university professor, so he is used to having grad students who are only too willing to work for free (or for low pay). I don’t think he quite grasps the dividing line between grad student and employee. Sure I do the work because I love it (right now that’s the only reason) but I do have a mortgage, too.

I have to say that my new boss has been extremely great. I’ve done some dumb things, but he keeps cutting me slack. He even thinks he caught me in an outright lie, and he has cut me slack. About the lie: I misunderstood a superior co-worker and thought I was finished a project and told the boss. It turned out I wasn’t finished, so I could either be a liar or an idiot and I decided to be a liar. Since the boss forgave me anyway, it didn’t seem like a good idea to argue.

Not So Fast!

January 31, 2012 Leave a comment

Well, after about a week of thinking I was depressed, suddenly I’m not depressed. Either I never was, or it was the shortest, mildest depression in my life. It could also just have been the middle ground, which I’m not used to. I wouldn’t know normal if it fell on me.

If the meds work I may have to get out of this binary thinking mode that I’m either manic or depressed. How fascinating.

The Depression is Mostly Over

November 26, 2011 Leave a comment

I’m still a bit tired, but the despair is gone and I’ve been able to do computer programming for sustained periods of time lately. That means the depression is basically over. For sure this time. It’s not just wishful thinking. The ability to do computer programming has always been my truest indicator of how healthy I am. It’s something you can’t fake or lie about.

I don’t know why I always get depressed in October, but I do. None of my other mood swings follow a schedule but this one does. Except this year it came about a week later and it only lasted just over a month. Usually it lasts well into the new year (and it’s hard to tell when it goes away). I’m sure the difference this year is because of the new med combination (lithium carbonate, divalproex sodium[1], and perphenazine). This fall’s milder depression counts as a big victory in my books, for the first time since I was a teenager.

[1] I guess it’s called Depakote in the USA.

You Can Never Tell About Employers

November 8, 2011 Leave a comment

Since 2001, with a short break, I have worked for a university. I had to tell my first boss I am bipolar because there are some things I cannot do well depending on my mental state. For example, I cannot mark fifty test papers in a reasonable amount of time when I am depressed. The work is too repetitive. Luckily, she had another instructor take over my marking duties. Thankfully, I can deliver lectures and tutor students no matter what is going on in my head. Sometimes tutoring literally makes me crazy, and I hear my students’ voices 24 hours a day asking me questions, but I can deal with that. That’s okay. I also did some computer programming and sometimes I was very fast and sometimes I was pretty slow. Everyone knew I was bipolar and there was never a problem.

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