Two steps forward, One step back.

It looks like I will need another round of Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). The last few weeks have been tough. I won’t bore you with the details as to why, but the blog post from last month was oddly prescient. I wrote, "Whether my depression returns in a month, a year or thirty years — remembering that I felt this good will be the hope I need." Knowing that "better" exists has provided me with continued comfort, and I've reread that post whenever I started to feel hopeless.

At first, it was difficult for me to identify what I am experiencing as depression. An overwhelming negative self-talk has always dominated my experience with depression. This time, I have more traditional symptoms of depression: exhaustion, sleeping a lot, eating too little and then eating too much, nightmares, panic attacks, and the inability to do anything. The negative self-talk is still there but at a much lower level, and it feels like it is caused by the other symptoms rather than a symptom itself.

I would love to have a wrap up like in my last two posts and put a nice bow on it. But, I haven’t figured this one out yet, and I’m still taking it day to day. And each of the last three days was better than the last. Luckily, I have a great support system. My sister-in-law, Ellery, flew up to help Clare and me while I work on getting another round of ECT treatments. I know that I shouldn’t feel bad, most ECT patients need some amount of maintenance treatment, but it is hard to not feel like a failure.

Ellery and me at the Museum of the American Revolution

Being honest about my mental health continues to be a challenge, especially when I am not “better” yet. But treating mental health problems is a process, and others who struggle with depression need to know that it is okay not to have a solution figured out. I hope this post helps.

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