Tags: depression, disappointment, drugs, health, history, interviews, medications, mental, spent, untreatable, vns
Depression is untreatable!
I had my interviews for VNS today, and it ended in disappointment.
I spent the first four hours talking to people about myself, my history and my feelings. It was hard work as I'm just not used to it. Then I waited an hour for them to come back with their decision. Well, they categorise the different forms of depression or anxiety. They decided that for me, there is no treatment. :( Basically I have to look forward to the rest of my life feeling like crap and they can't do anything about it. They don't even feel CBT or ECT or any medication would help. They did, however, offer an assertivness course and a debt management course! :eek: Well I admit I lost it, and almost walked out. But it still stands that I'm not going to get any treatment now and really do just need to deal with it. :( Oh what a wonderful health system the NHS is.
So I don't know what to do now. Whether to keep fighting on my own, or accept what I'm told is inevitable and learn to live the best I can with depression. :(
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- 19 Comments
- I am sorry to hear the news. I never heard of a depression being untreatable before. I think you should keep going after them until you reach a better solution.
trg247#1; Mon, 17 Dec 2007 22:34:00 GMT
- :wave: Tim they don't know what will help unless they allow you to try it...so the happy pills haven't worked...reading these threads and post doesn't look like they have helped alot of people...
MY VOTE IS TO KEEP SEARCHING!!!
Okay already vented on the other thread so will hush up here:D#2; Mon, 17 Dec 2007 22:35:00 GMT
- Sorry I'll post tomoorow. I'm not coping or thinking so well tonight and feel like worthless crap.
Tim#3; Mon, 17 Dec 2007 22:36:00 GMT
- Please don't feel the need to apologize...your in my thoughts and prayer's....
p. s. your not worthless or a peiece of crap...and even if you were...I'd still want to give you a Bug Hug:D
:angel:#4; Mon, 17 Dec 2007 22:37:00 GMT
I can't believe that doctors, specialists, would classify someone as completely untreatable unless you had a terminal illness with an ultra-high mortality rate. For one, it shows complete lack of people skills on their parts, as nothing is completeley hopeless. I'm really sorry to hear it. I know we've exchanged a note or two on Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation, and you are deservedly skeptical, I would see if you could give it a try. I know its expensive, but living with depression is the pits. Honestly, if I weren't slowly getting better, and believed that I was destined to unrelenting misery, I don't know what I'd do. I'm just stunned that they could come to such a conclusion of finality without exhausting all options.....
I'd be damn pissed, too!#5; Mon, 17 Dec 2007 22:38:00 GMT
- Doctors will give you one piece of advice one minute and another the next, no depression is untreatable - it's a case of finding the right method. Frankly to do that to you was disgusting, and I would hope you never had a repeat of it, don't let it stop you trying.#6; Mon, 17 Dec 2007 22:39:00 GMT
- What an insensitive and unprofessional thing for them to say! How do they even know it wouldn't help you if it hasn't been tried on you? Can you get another opinion from another clinic that offers this treatment?
Try not to let it get you down--there is an answer out there somewhere for you, just as I know there must be for me. We're not hopeless losers.#7; Mon, 17 Dec 2007 22:40:00 GMT
- Never get up!! Keep searching and searching--somewhere someone out there has the answer you are looking for. With the Internet, you have the whole world at your finger tips... You are in my thoughts and prayers...good luck.:blob_fire#8; Mon, 17 Dec 2007 22:41:00 GMT
- Thanks everyone for the replies, it means a lot. It really does. Last night I think you can imagine I was very upset and suicidal. I didn't sleep well and I've lain in bed with the same thoughts spinning around my head. The prospect of feeling like this for the rest of my life is unpalatable. But now I'm trying to change the pain into anger, and the anger into strength. There's no doubt I'll fall over many times, but I should try not to allow that to stop me from moving forward. The desert may be infinite but there's no way I can know unless I look.
In my career I worked with many doctors of computer science. Apart from their qualifications, every one of them had one thing in common. They were all fools, in their pursuit of knowledge they had gained a qualification, even a title, but they hadn't gained intelligence. I must keep that in mind about the professor I spoke to yesterday. He asked me about my life, all the way from where I was born to the present day. At every turn he asks about social life, friendships (or lack thereof) and times at school or work. This carries on for two hours, only now do I realise I was cajoled at every turn into talking about a lack of social contact. At the end of this session, he asked if I felt anything had been missed out. Well yes, I responded, We haven't covered anything about my family-life, the almost insane fantastical thoughts going through my head, how I feel. He asked for an example, I gave him one. Well yes yes, he said as I noticed he failed to write anything down, Well I think it's time we stopped for something to eat. You'll be meeting up with Bob next.
Well Bob wasn't any better. Let me give you an example.
Bob: So tell me what you like to do in your spare time.
Me: I used to love photography. I started when I was sixteen, and there's just something about it. Of course it's very rare that I get to do it these days, now I don't get out much any more. But it's something I would like to take up again sometime.
Bob: So what sort of photography do you enjoy?
Me: Nature landscapes and close-ups. Landscapes mainly though. It's amazing to be able to see the world most people don't and capture it at it's best.
Bob: Okay, tell me about the last time you did photography. When was that?
Me: Well...I'd say the last shoot I did was probably about two or three years ago. I got some nice work from that one. It was a dawn shoot, and I had to go some distance in the dark to reach my location. But having set up my equipment, then counting down the minutes for the sun to rise and watching the world wake up. Well it's just beautiful.
Bob: It's interesting that you should enjoy something that keeps you away from other people.
Me: [Confused] Er...yes.
Bob: So what's sort of books do you read?
Me: Well I like the old science fiction, but not what it's become these days. All aliens and shiny metal things doesn't appeal to me. The original science fiction used the extreme as a transport mechanism to say something else. For example, Body Snatchers wasn't about aliens, it was about whether or not we can ever really know those around us, ever trust them.
Bob: Okay, so the world of make believe then. [Writes down 'Science fiction'] So what would you say is your favourite film.
Me: [Slightly confused] The Shining, brilliant film. Good story, good directing, and one of my favourite actors in it. I didn't much like the book though.
Bob: Interesting, a rather macabre film then. [Writes down 'The Shining'] So, if we can cure your depression, what would you most like to do.
Me: I'd like to turn my depression from a disadvantage into an opportunity. An opportunity to learn. And of course I'd like to make up for the time I've lost. Lately, what I think I'd like to do, is spend some time photographing the middle east and far east. It's an area of the world we really know very little about. I think it would be a fantastic experience, perhaps I can find a way to make some money from it at the same time.
At the time Bob didn't have much to say about this, but later he did point out that it seemed to be a way to keep away from other people. Well if he's right, perhaps I should spend my time photographing the street outside my flat. At the same time watch The Waltons and read romance novels. :rolleyes:
Another thing, regarding the prof this time. I told him, at the start of our conversation, the family history of depression. Later in the day he agreed that it seemed to be genetic for sure, but we are years from starting to identify those genes which are responsible. This was the reason he gave for my depression being untreatable. Interesting. It took just five seconds to find an internet article explaining that in 2004 the Duke University discovered a mutated gene (5-HTT) that made people more vulnerable to depression due to their serotonin levels. Seems like some professors really do live in the past.
Well, finally, it seems obvious they don't give a damn about their patients. I told both Bob and the prof how nervous I was about the day and what they would say. I'm sure it would be obvious for any patient given the circumstances. After speaking to Bob, he told me to come back in half an hour, at quarter past, for their conclusion. So I went out for a short walk and a smoke. Returning at quarter past, I discovered the whole of the psychiatric out patient ward to be empty, not a person in sight. Nonetheless I took a seat in the waiting room and waited. And waited. Due to my nerves it felt longer, but 20-30 minutes later I saw them return. Where had they been? I wondered, Perhaps reaching a conclusion had taken longer than expected. Then I spotted the secretary with them, and the young lad who was working on a computer earlier. And the coffee mugs in their hands. So as they all came in laughing and Bob said cheerfully as he walked past One of us will come to get you soon. I realised they just didn't give a damn. And I was right. When they came to get me, I was forced to sit through a long derogatory speech, full of ridiculous questions. If I said to you we had a helicopter outside waiting to take you to Outer Mongolia would you take it? the prof asked. Well that's a ridiculous question, I tried to concentrate on an answer instead of imagining the almighty crash when the helicopter pilot realised there was not enough fuel. Surely there's a time and a place for hypothetical questions, even then we must learn the ridiculous and the sublime. Well, uhm, I don't know. Er, probably not but I don't know I said. Of course, the prof had made his mind up at the start of the day so it didn't matter what I said. Finally he came to his 'solution', an assertiveness course. At first they gave it the name 'Social Skills Training' but later gave it's name in its true guise. Well of course I told them I didn't feel that would be of any help, expressed my frustration. The prof finally asked if he had said this was the full solution, I admitted he hadn't and backed down. Well the prof would then then continue to speak what by now I had realised was just crap, before returning to the assertiveness course. Once more I would explain my frustration, and again the prof would ask if he had said this was his full solution for me to back down. After a few times he would say we were only going in circles, well of course we were because he kept returning to this ridiculous idea of his. One of those times, Bob even piped in to explain the course, that they do things like role play returning an item to a store! Well, at that point I had to laugh! Bob, are you clueless? After several of these circles, the prof told me his second part of the grand solution, a debt management course. Woohoo, a second chance for me to laugh! After all, the two wonder minds had failed to recognise I was in tears of this news. Now I was frustrating over not just the assertivness course but a debt management course too! Had I spoken about my debt? Well yes, as a passing comment and no more. I used to earn 36k a year, now I get 180 a fortnight. I have 10-20k debt plus mortgage and can't pay it, but my attitude is that they cant get blood out of a stone. In the grand scheme of things, it is but a grain of sand. So I expressed my frustration, and at this point I started to express anger too. I almost walked out. How did the prof react? You guessed it, he said we were going in circles and he hadn't yet said this was his full solution yet. The irony of it was, this was his full solution!
Some time during this escapade, while I was in tears, the prof told me my depression was untreatable. Just like that, a fact out of the blue. Obviously his training never included Empathy 101.
So what to do now? Well I'll be passing a copy of this post to my psych. Hopefully he'll tell them never to treat his patients in this way again. I'll be sending a copy of this post to the prof and Bob, perhaps they'll have something to say. Perhaps, we can always hope, they re-evaluate how they treat people which already have enough problems to cope with. I'll let the NHS know of the actions of their employees. Do I think it will make a difference? No because they have a qualification while I'm only a crazy depressive, but I'll try. And I'll inform any organisations I can think of. I believe the prof is heavily into his research, but that gives him no right to play games with the patients. If I find he's doing research on depression/sociology links, I'll take him to court.
However, with the result of yesterday, I don't think I'll be getting any more treatment from the NHS. So I'll do the research myself. But I guess I have to find more strength from somewhere to get on with the rest of my life. Okay, I've lost everything, but there are other things waiting to be found.#9; Mon, 17 Dec 2007 22:42:00 GMT
- Sorry I ran out of room to respond to the posts. Actually I had to do some cropping of my previous post, I'm sure you'll be glad to hear that! I don't know if it's my depression or my character or how I come across, I try to do my best for people but I know many people simply don't like me. There's nothing I can do about that, but each time I make a thread here I always feel I wont get a response. So when people do post back, like you have, it really does mean a lot. That's not just something I say out of politeness.
AstroBoy, I wouldn't say I'm skeptical about CES, I just try to keep in mind that nothing is guarenteed. So I think about it in the same lines I do any other possible solution. Yesterday I was asked that if I wanted to cause hell on earth what plague would I give everyone. Immediatly I answered hope, in my experience it's always led to pain. (He said a lack of social skills :rolleyes:). As I said in my last post I'm in extreme debt at the moment so I can't afford CES at the moment, but in my documented plan it does have a place. By the way the NHS doesn't cover the expense of CES so it would have to be financed by myself.
OceanDreams Unfortunately the way the NHS works, if my psych takes the advice of the people I saw yesterday (and undoubtedly he will) then I'm dropped from the system. There's no opportunity to go to another clinic. You see very few in the UK have health insurance, which sadly gives us a lack of choice. Your question reminds me of a part of the conversation yesterday though. I referred to the 'health industry' and the prof interrupted and was very adamant that in the UK we have a 'health service'! He was almost angry on that point, which only makes me suspicious to know why.
But everyone, I'm going to try not to give up. I've been documenting a plan, and for the moment I'll keep at it. There's not going to be a guarentee that next week I decide there's no point as at the moment I'm feeding off my pain and anger, but I'll carry on fighting as long as I can. As I hope we all can and will.
Best to you all,
Charme#10; Mon, 17 Dec 2007 22:43:00 GMT
- Hello Charme,
I stumbled onto this thread while looking up something completely unrelated...but I read about your situation with interest. First of all...I'm so sorry you have been through this. I have dear friends who work in Mental Heath Services...and they would and will cringe when they hear this. What a lack of professionalism and more importantly what a lack of intelligence! Good for you that you are willing to turn your pain into constructive anger. Don't give up. I have suffered from depression, and I know my situation is not the same as yours...but I promise you there is hope and help and peace possible in your future. Here is a conversation I'd like to see with you and Bob
You:, "So Bob..When did you decide to stop listening to people?
BobConfused says..."Er...well...I've had lots of training to do this..."
You: writes down on a sheet of paper..."Low self esteem...must project his own inadequacies onto clients..." Interesting...
All the best to you. My prayers and thoughts are with you.
:angel:#11; Mon, 17 Dec 2007 22:44:00 GMT
- LMAO, that made me laugh! :D Thank you so much for reading and responding to my post, especially when you were searching something else. I know not everyone in the health industry are like those two I spoke to yesterday, I have/had a great doctor and psych. Some people though think they're above the rest of the world, unfortunately they die still believing that. Shops get mystery customers, wouldn't it be great to have mystery patients too!
Charme#12; Mon, 17 Dec 2007 22:45:00 GMT
- Glad to hear your keeping your head up. We have programs in Canada when you ask for advice most people will say appeal as almost everyone is denied the first time through
trg247#13; Mon, 17 Dec 2007 22:46:00 GMT
- Thanks trg, it's not been an easy day, and as usual the night is even worse. I've started organising things to sell my home and posessions (to pay off the debts, and because I wont have the space). Unfortunately the way this worked it's highly unlikely an appeal will be possible. I'll certainly be asking on Friday when I see my psych though. I hate to admit it but I'm feeling sorry for myself at the moment, perhaps that is why I feel it's time now to get on with the rest of my life the best way I can.
Charme#14; Mon, 17 Dec 2007 22:47:00 GMT
- :wave: Master Tim...You truly need to take a deep breath and just say ****** for a day or two...your moving to fast...slllloooooowwwwww down my friend....
We're all here holding onto you hand:D#15; Mon, 17 Dec 2007 22:48:00 GMT
- Hi Charme,
would like to know what has been tried on your depression before now. You have not got to look forward to the rest of your life feeling like crap and they can't do anything about it. Sure they can. But can you do anything about it. Get back to me Charme and I'll let you know.#16; Mon, 17 Dec 2007 22:49:00 GMT
- Hi ChrisB,
Many thanks for your post. If I'm right in being bold enough to assume you registered to respond, then may I extend many many more thanks.
Up to this point I've been quite neglect in keeping detailed records of the treatments I've tried, something I'm rectifying. Having been reminded over the past couple of days how I felt living among the pressures of ordinary life I can understand why my mind was so disorganised that I failed to do so. However, I'll do my best in providing all the information I can.
I've been depressed my whole life, and only in recent years have I accepted that. My first attempts involved were all forms of self-help without visiting a doctor or psych. At first I tried exercise, 2-3hrs a night 3 or 4 nights a week. I tried that for several nights with no improvement at all. I gave that up and next tried to change my diet. I admit my attempts were rather poor. I was going through an especially emotional and suicidal period at the time, and can't remember the details of how I changed my diet. It wouldn't have helped that more often than not I forget to eat for several days or simply cannot face food. I simply don't have the appetite. That failed too, and with my mind already los tI gave up on myself.
Two years later, in a better state of mind I decided I should try again. I did some more light research and discovered some of the various supplements and vitamins which can work. I tried the more obvious ones, St Johns Wort, Evening Primrose Oil, Fish Oils, Zinc, Multi Vits and B Vits. I was taking these together, in hindsight I realise my dosage of B Vits probably wasn't high enough. At first this seemed to work, only as a placebo though.
The next step was to approach my GP, who referred me to a psych. That was in Feb 2005. I've been through a number of ADs in that time, each for a minimum of eight weeks at each dosage (unless side-effects dictated otherwise). The first was escitalopram (Cipralex). The dosage on this was slowly increased and later supplemented with Lithium (1,000mg). We spent some time on this due to its record of success but finally decided it wasn't going to work. I was sure we tried something else before moving onto the tricyclics but for the life of me I can't think of anything. Regardless, the next medication I recall trying was amitriptyline. The left me extreordinarily lethargic. I would sleep for up to 18hrs, then spend at best 3-4hrs awake. But that period of wakefulness I was very tired and dropped off if I stopped for five minutes. I was pulled off this when I went for a blood test (for the lithium) and the nurses realized how jaundiced I was. I wasn't a pretty sight! So I tried another tricyclic, imipramine. This one left me very nauseous. I couldn't eat and tried sticking two fingers down my throat to be sick. I do my best to cope with the side-effects but the nausea I couldn't cope with. The next AD I remember trying was venlafaxine (Efexor). This one made my depression worse, I lived in constant suicidal thoughts and everything was dark. My life was on a big slope and it almost ended there. Finally my GP and psych managed to get a hold of me and took me off it. At that point my psych wanted me to try an MAOI, but I rejected this on the basis that it gave me a perfect suicide opportunity. So I asked to try clomipramine. Given the record of side-effects I experienced with tricyclics we didn't expect that I'd last on clomipramine, but so far I haven't felt a thing (strange as it has a record of being worse than those others I tried). Just like the other ADs though, I haven't felt the slightest benefit.
Now I realise just how many ADs I've forgotten trying, I regret more than ever not keeping a detailed log. It's why I advise others to do just that now.
Now I'm making a plan as detailed as I can. I hope to use over the counter medications with an approach as methodical as I can. Though my study is not yet complete, I currently plan as a first approach to take B3, B6 and folic acid for my mood, and vit. C, B12, folate and niacin for my motivation. I understand these will help with the receptors to serotonin, noradrenalin and adrenalin. It will be a long exercise of trial and error, but a necessary one.
Well Chris I hope that isn't too tiresome to read. Perhaps you're pleased I don't have all the detail I wish I had kept! I would be very happy to hear any feedback you may offer.
Best to you,
Charme#17; Mon, 17 Dec 2007 22:50:00 GMT
- Well yesterday I left the post describing Tuesday's events to my psych, along with the following note:
Below is a post I made to an internet forum describing my experience of Tuesday with Keith M*****ws and Bob MacV***r. I still remain angry at the way they conducted themselves, their lack of professionalism and empathy. Quite frankly I deem them not as crme de la crme, but rather as crme of a rear part of the anatomy. The past two days and nights have been hell for me because of their actions. I want to be clear that I don't hold any blame toward you, but I hope you can find the time to read the following before our appointment tomorrow so that it may be put into its full context.
I admit I'm not a diplomatic man, I prefer to tell it like it is!
Well I saw him today, and he was full of apologies even though I kept telling him it wasn't his fault at all. Meeting those imbeciles on Tuesday made me even more appreciative of my doctor and psych. He hasn't received the full report yet so I wont hear anymore until early August.
Thankfully (for the moment at least) my psych has decided not to give up on me and has decided to up my dosage of clomipramine. We've stayed on a low dosage to this date as I have a history of reacting badly to tricyclics. That gives me some more time to work out a plan for medicating with over-the-counter supps/vits.
Now, the most interesting point I took from today. Bear in mind that my psych used to work as assistant to the prof. I said to my psych that the prof and Bob seemed more interested in research than the patient. I didn't get a verbal response, but I did get one of those knowing nods in agreement.
Well anyway, I just thought I'd keep you up-to-date. It's not been an easy week but I'm holding in there so far.
Charme#18; Mon, 17 Dec 2007 22:51:00 GMT
What ever happened to your experience with VNS? Did you get it resolved and have the treatment??#19; Mon, 17 Dec 2007 22:52:00 GMT