Yesterday I attended an appointment with my psychiatrist to reassess my state of health after a number of weeks of electroconvulsive therapy. I was hoping to be told I was coming out of my major depressive episode and was on the road to good health. I was dreading the realistic possibility that I would be told I was in a mixed state, which is exactly what happened.
So while I still have residual symptoms from my major depressive episode. I now have a new range of symptoms to deal with as well (hence the mixed state diagnosis). First of all lets inspect the residual symptoms from the depression. I am still very agoraphobic, lethargic, and suffering from low self-esteem and a complete lack of appetite. I also have poor personal hygiene and high anxiety. All of these things however are comparatively good as compared with how I was pre-ECT.
My new symptoms are mania related. They include racing thoughts (mostly negative), high anxiety (once again), fixations, irrational agitation, over-reaction to somewhat emotional events and lack of appetite (once again) to name a few. These mania symptoms need to be curbed before I fall into a full manic period and my psychiatrist has made changes to my care plan to avoid this happening.
First of all, he has reduced one of my anti-depressants to two tablets a day instead of three. Secondly, he has put me on an anti-psychotic medication (which acts somewhat as a sedative) and reduces the amount of valium I require. Thirdly he will most likely finish my electroconvulsive therapy as of this coming Monday, to ensure the treatments don’t push me further into mania. He has also asked me to make sure I eat at least one small portion per day as a starting point to fixing my lack of appetite, which I started this morning by eating one wheatbix (and I managed not to throw it up which was a miracle) for breakfast. He has also asked me to ensure I leave the house a few times a week to socialise with friends and/or do shopping etc, to combat my agoraphobia, this too I have already begun, despite how incredibly uncomfortable it makes me. I have faith in my psychiatrist and I am confident that these adjustments will work to balance me out and bring me to a place of well-being.
The down side to all of this is that I need to stay in Brisbane for at least the next two weeks in order to finish my ECT and see my psychiatrist in his rooms. Daniel (my husband) however must head home to Chinchilla for work and that means that once again we will be apart for a number of weeks and I will miss him dreadfully. Furthermore, my birthday is in just over 10 days and so I won’t be able to celebrate it with him. I dare say my birthday will pass this year without any real celebration, which is ok, it just makes me a bit sad. I deeply appreciate my parents-in-law allowing me to stay with them, but I also really miss the comforts of my own home and can’t wait to get back there. Fingers and toes crossed that in two more weeks I will be given a relatively clear bill of health and I’ll be on my way home! I’ll keep you posted!