Monday, August 23, 2010

Have you gone mental?

I am not writing this to garner sympathy. I hope to show that my story could be anyone's story who has struggled with mental health diagnoses. I offer this partial story this evening as an attempt to describe what I experience that it may encourage someone else, or atleast show them they are not alone in this "fight".

Round about January 2010 I, emotionally and mentally, stepped on a banana peel. The depression and anxiety I have battled for more than 20 years finally got the best of me.

On the 14th or 15th of January I went on medical leave for two months due to excessive depression and anxiety. The mistake was that I thought two months would complete my healing process! I've never been so wrong. The two conditions attacked me as if they had a mind of their own. Each day I arose I experienced tremendous anxiety that continues in this fashion to this day. The depression? It came to the surface to join the anxiety sometime before noon every single day. I was totally demobilized. I began taking short walks, probably in late February. I walked and thought. and prayed. I developed affirmations and rfead them daily. I also journaled.

My medication was prescribed by a very skillful Psychiatric Nurse Practioner until she realized my case was growing more and more complicated and that I needed the services of a Psychiatrist. I followed her direction and also formed a therapeutic relation with a Psychologist.
I still do not fine tremendous relief from the medications I am taking.

On May 30th I had experienced enough. I decided to take my own life. I made what I thought was a good plan; one that would look like an accident so my family would not lose out on my life insurance. (Stupid I know.) About 9:30 AM (on my way to church) I drove along Marine drive hoping to drive off the road at a high speed looking to drive off one of the higher "cliffs" overlooking the Columbia River. As I neared 75 miles an hour travelling east bound, I was looking to take a quick left off the road and meet my demise. Sunday morning traffic west-bound was extra heavy that morning. Each time I found a good spot, an oncoming car or two would come and was prevented. I wanted to die, but was not willing to take someone out with me.

I got home and confessed my desire and my actions to my wife who immediately called a professional for advice, and was I told I was going to the hospital for evaluation. They kept me for eight days. Lying in bed with a visit from a psychiatrist was not extremely helpful. However my strong suicidal ideation left me by this time. My friends and family were in attendance and gave me great strength and encouragement.

After 8 days I was referred to a local partial hospitalization program .......

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