I’m here again. I am taking a lower dose than normal as I have yet again misjudged how much medication I had left and won’t be able to last on a full dose till I can get more.

Every time I miss or reduce a dose I start to feel parts of me creeping back in. I start to feel parts of my mind waking up again. I feel alive. I feel my creativity sneaking back; I believe it is not coincidence that since I have been on higher and higher doses of anti-depressants my creative output has gone down, its almost zero these days. I used to be kept awake by thoughts I needed to write down. I used to be able to think in rhyme, poetry would just spin around my brain like a free-verse beat def jam open mic conga line. I’d carry a camera round everywhere and photographs would spring out at me from unlikely places. Now I just seem to see the world like everyone else, a dull blank canvas of unremarkable pebble dashed beige that needs no further inspection. Like out of town suburban sprawl, retail parks of hangars selling shit sofas and drive through edible composite cardboard food. I don’t see those little glimpses in shadows and corners.

Yet this life is unstable. This life in me has it’s downside, the depression. Yet I am starting to wonder if I am not better off dealing with those downs when they come than living this half life, a life where I feel I may never get the drive to do anything of interest or worth and just trundle on being ‘stable’ but an epitome of mediocrity and dullness I might as well be Milton Keynes.


As much as I feel my new soon to be old therapist ‘gets’ me more than other’s I’ve had perviously I still faced a worrying moment when I explained how I felt and was met by a very confused look.

This was in the midst of a the worst depressive mood I’d had since I started seeing him. It seems to be similar, people seem OK with the not so bad bad moods but when I slide into the abyss they can’t seem to conceptualise it.

I was trying to explain I felt blank, I felt dead inside, I felt unable to feel. This has been a big problem for me and I am convinced it is to do with my meds but no one listens to me on that issue. I’d use the term ‘anhedonia’ but the poor guy didn’t know what I meant by ‘ambivalent’ (to be fair to the guy English isn’t his first language and perhaps that’s where some of the understanding problems stem from) . Though it goes beyond anhedonia, it’s not just an inability to feel pleasure it’s an inability to feel anything but a dull, gnawing numbness.

This is why this blog goes silent for so long; if I can’t feel anything I have no impetus to write , to do anything but lull about in a half catatonic state. I can’t THINK, I don’t have to words to describe how I feel because my brain won’t fucking work. There’s a line from a Bob Dylan song ‘Tomorrow is such a long time’ that goes

I can’t see my reflection in the waters
I can’t speak the sounds that show no pain
I can’t hear the echo of my footsteps
Or can’t remember the sound of my own name

whilst the song refers to being in love that inability to function at even a basic level is what I feel, but with more angst. I swear I do struggle to remember my name sometimes. It is so unbelievably frustrating, especially as someone who has constructed part of their identity around intelligence, when you’re shit at sport, not very popular but like reading it just sort of happens, “I might be a geek and a bit fat but at least I’m not stupid!”.

I’ve also been reading up (on my blackberry, in the dark, in bed when I can’t sleep and I wonder why my eyesight is so bad) about depression and I came across this article ‘Hard depression, Soft Bipolar” which seems to explain how I have been since I was about 11. It would certainly explain the tendency for me to ‘poop out’ on various drugs (I must be on no 3 or 4 by now and I’m still not really any better) and a million other things (I am never depressed ‘all the time’ but it comes and goes, often frighteningly quickly and intensely)  but alas the whole ‘not really recognised by most doctors’ bit gives me little hope.



I got rather freaked out by missing one day of my medication. I couldn’t sleep, when I did I had nightmares that were so vivid it was more like hallucination and I woke up in a cold sweat. Eww. I was seriosuly contemplating phoning my parents and crying down the phone and begging them to miss thier weekend away becuase I felt I wasn’t safe on my own. Very pannicy , tense and weepy.

Thankfully I managed to calm myself down a bit, take my newly replenished medication and go back to sleep for a bit.

All after one missed dose. This terrifies me. I feel like I’m an inadvertant drug addict, that if anything should happen and I can’t get my medication I’m screwed, this is after a day, after longer I’d be a wreck. I’m worried that I’ve signed up for a lifetime of strong medication, I was first put on prozzac as a teenager and I’ve been on various things since. I’m not sure I’m comfortable with this, I’m not sure it does me good, but withdrawal symptoms are hellish it’s not worth even considering coming off without a supportive Psychiatrist, mine has told me I am not stable enough to even think about lowering things, maybe he’s right. Or maybe the drugs are making me madder, it’s hard to tell when the list of side effects is oddly similar to the list of symptoms of your illness (how do you tell if you;re depressed becuase of anti depressants or becuase they’re just not working?).

So yes, must be super organised in future and not develop a lack of medication induced moment of madness when home alone, which just adds another level of panic re: creaky house noises, wind, funny sounding cats in the street, omgi’mcrackingupican’tcopei’mallalone


They’ve been in the news, mostly focusing on in patient care. Whilst this does need highlighting I’d like to have a rant about out patient services, or the complete and utter lack of them.

I’ve never been in in patient care, I was threatened with it once as a teenager but I can barely remember those years and ironically I wasn’t really crazy then (they saw my M.E/CFS as psychological, so I was sent to the psychiatrist from hell), they just thought I was and now I am actually going crazy everyone seems much less keen to actually treat my craziness.

My experience of outpatient care can be mostly described in one word :




constituting a minimum: a minimal mode of transportation.

barely adequate or the least possible: minimal care.
No 2 specifically.

I was formally diagnosed with depression (as opposed to the false it’s not M.E it’s depression mess from my teens) about 5 or 6 years ago. In those 5 or 6 years I’ve been on about 3 different anti-depressants, none of which have really worked and some of which have sent me crazier, or just not worked at all. My doubts and queries about my medication have rarely been given an answer beyond the monosyllabic, I have felt for the last year or so that my latest medication, venlafaxine (which has had the dosage raised again and again, like all the others) is leaving me emotionally dulled and deadened to the extent that it is starting to add to my depression symptoms. All I’ve been told is I am not well enough to consider lowering the dose as I am still ‘very depressed’. I need to be ‘more stable’. It’s like talking to a brick wall.

I have been referred to psychotherapy twice. The first time was useless. I had 16 sessions of CBT which I didn’t find very helpful and when I came to the end of my allotted 16 sessions I was told that was it regardless of the fact I was still as depressed as ever. It took me about 2 years to get referred for a second time; with one memorable false start of referred for counselling at my GP’s surgery only to be told a few weeks later I wasn’t eligible as I was seeing a psychiatrist and was thus too ill. That counselling wasn’t for ‘people as depressed as me’. After asking the psychiatrist and GP about 20000000 times again the psychiatrist (not my regular guy, interesting)  referred me to some ‘improving access to talking therapies’ thing. About 6 months or more after I got that referral I had my first appointment. It seems like it’s CBT again, which I have told everyone I didn’t find helpful. Though on the plus side the guy seems nicer than the other one and said there were other options available should I need them.

My appointments with the psychiatrist last about 5 minutes on average, I say I’m still depressed, go over my feelings, say when I was hurt myself or felt suicidal it all gets noted down and nothing happens. I raise the odd question it gets ignored or I just get told to go away.  I had one good one hour or so session about 5 years ago where I went over things in depth, but no more since as it was an introductory type thingy-ma-bob.

I am just given pills and sent away. I am not getting better, if anything I am getting worse. No one seems to care.

Beyond mostly ineffectual pills or short courses of CBT it seems there is nothing anyone can offer me.

The treatment I found most helpful, when I thought I might be getting somewhere was when I saw a clinical psychologist, I had more than one long session where I could talk in depth (one hour is woefully inadequate for a long history of ‘shitty stuff that fucked you up’) but that was arranged through university and I graduated last year.

I feel pretty much left to get on with it on my own.

It’d be nice to have someone who listens to me and my concerns, to not be fobbed off with more pills that don’t seem to bloody work; it’s the same pattern over and over. I get a bit better, it fades, the dose gets raised with little or no improvement till I plateau or even get worse, I can’t go any higher on the dosage so my medication gets changed and it starts all over again, or I just get stuck asking questions and being ignored. Not to mention the good few months of the horror that is withdrawal and changing over of anti-depressants , which I why I won’t just stop taking them as I am often tempted too, it’s too fucking hard to come off them without doing it properly, If I miss even a day or two I go ‘cold turkey’ (or more accurately hot, sweaty, dizzy, nauseous, headachy and roller coaster emotion turkey).

I spend more time starting at the fish in the waiting room than getting anything that can be described as ‘care’.


A bit like writer’s block but it encompasses everything. I am suffering from this of late, hence the lack of updates. Every creative impulse seems to have dried up  as has the impluse to do anything really.

Any ideas how to break this?

I have a sneaky feeling it’s my medication, at least in part, ever since I went onto a higher dose about a year ago, or what feels like a year ago, I’ve just become so dull, any creativity has just gone. All that fizzing energy has vanished to be replaced by beige woodchip wallpaper, a sea of polyester slacks with creases down the front old men wear with velcro trainers. I am emotionless, and in a not very academic ilustration of why logic doesn’t always work: getting rid of feelings does not make ones negative feelings go away and cure ‘moods’ it just makes you feel empty, dead and oddly inhuman as if any blood is your veins is now dust.

I have become the personification of ‘meh’.

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