to take or not to take

this week, i have had a question of my own mortality rolling around in my head. no, not i plan to find a tall bridge, more of a long term outlook. ya see, i had my annual physical this week and my cholesterol came back high. being a good modern doctor, she pushed statin drugs. do i take them or not? the question arises, why?

why yes in deed. extend my life so i can live through another depressive cycle or two? i have seven depressive cycle or there abouts, so far. research has shown that successive cycles tend to get longer and worse.

let’s see, this cycle has lasted longer than two years. for a month and a half I was mentally comatose. i’d be at my therapist office  and he’d start our time as it often gets started, “so, what do you want to talk about today?” i’d stare off into nothingness for 15 to 20 seconds looking for an answer before I could come up with something, anything.

a good majority of the time in this cycle i lived in despair, probably a year and a half. despair is one step beyond depression. despair settles in when most hope drains from life.  it can be spotted rather easily; someone offers up hope and it gets answered with something like,”i can’t see that hope.” it’s a real suckie place to be. it took pretty much all my energy to make it to bed each night alive. i would have survived another day on one hand, and on the other i’d ask why.

thankfully, research shows the time between depression gets longer, too. the last time out of depression lasted about a year and a half. I hope for double that. that still puts me in two depressions every decade.

let’s say the statin drug gives me another fives extra  years to live, one depressive cycle; 10 years, 2 cycles; 20 years, 4 cycles. would it be worth it?

I would not call what I’ve been doing the last two years as living. more like just surviving. even at a ratio of 3:2 to the good, i’d still be not really living 40% of the time.

but maybe a miracle cure lurks around the corner, someone might say. yea, right! call me a skeptic. ever since paxil, new anti-depressants have been marketed as the bee all to end all drug, the best thing since sliced toast.  none of them have worked. no exciting new research shows itself on the horizon. will a miracle come in time? I have my doubts.

are statins really worth it if all they do is buy me more time in severe depression? what are your thoughts?

if you never commented before, i want to know what you think. i’m an equal opportunity listener. if you commented before, at your thoughts here.

much appreciated.

This entry was posted in depression and tagged , , , on by .

About bipolarsojourner

i have struggled with episodic depression for years. i then received a diagnosis of being bipolar, only to find out i didn’t. ends up my psychiatrist really meant to say that multiple bouts of depression are often best treated like bipolar. i had already started this blog as bipolar sojourner and didn't want to switch it over. i am documenting my journeys through my depression jungle.

13 thoughts on “to take or not to take

  1. Anxious Mom

    That’s a tough question. Let’s say you do get to the 20 year mark where you would be dead if not for taking the statin–do you think you’d rather choose *then* whether you want to take on the extra five years or not rather than make that decision decades in advance? In other words, if it were me (and I realize we’re two different people in terms of where we are in life and whatnot), I’d take the meds now, hope for the best in the long run, and then when the long run gets here, make the decision for myself whether I want to stick around.

    1. bipolarsojourner Post author

      thank you for replying. I much appreciate that. you words give me something to ponder. though I see two difference and have an additional comment.

      the first is age. let’s say we are both destined to live to 70. you would have about 40 years to live, while i would have about 20 years to live. (omg! I think I just gave away my age.) definitely, if i got this news at 30, my answer would change. i’d still have the 30 to 50 ahead of me. btw, i found that timeframe to be one of the most fun a rewarding times of my life. but, I’ve already lived those years putting me closer to inevitable.

      the second, and i consider this a biggie is kids. you have two while i do not have any. i know if i had kids, my answer would be different. i would fight for every precious moment to hopefully guide them to a better life than I have lived. i live vicariously through your blog and your stories of little man. I’m sure if i had my own, my enjoyment would be at least 10 times the enjoyment you give me through your stories. i’d likely be writing some of my own stories.

      i have a family that has disowned me, few friends that truly support me and a wife who sometimes triggers me. on top of that, i experience the bring-me-down emotions deeply, they tax me. on the other hand, i do not have the counter balance of experiencing the pick-me-up emotions deeply. this creates a propensity towards the negative, which, I believe, creates a leaning to the depressive side. as you know, depression sucks! those gifts on more give me less of a reason to carry on.

      thank you for you thoughts. they gave me time to further ponder. though, it may come against taking it, i actually concerned it neutral. i do apologize if my opinions came across as too much of a drag.

      1. Anxious Mom

        I wasn’t sure whether you had any kids (grown ones) or not, but i do see your point, it’s hard to compare with us both being in very different walks of our lives. No matter what you decide now medicine wise, that can always be changed. ❤️

        1. bipolarsojourner Post author

          i guess that’ s the important thing, what I decide today, doesn’t mean i can’t try something tomorrow. hell, you would thing I would understand that from all the different depression related drugs I’ve taken. :-)-: (couldn’t decide if that was a happy or sad statement. )

    1. bipolarsojourner Post author

      thanks for this reference. I appreciate it.

      yea, that’s one thing i don’t like about my doc; she goes a little quick to the pills. cbt brought me out of my last depressive cycle. i brought in the book i used for learning cbt, and she said, “my patients don’t have time for that.” modern medicine has become too much about the symptom instead of treating the real problem i plan to take a more long term approach like outlined in this article. again thanks.

    1. bipolarsojourner Post author

      no matter. for me, i find difficulty in this decision. i recognize the affect high cholesterol has on my health and future. on the other hand, i prefer to deal with the problems as opposed to trying to fix the symptom. I think pills just fix the symptoms

  2. emmagc75

    I’m so sorry you are suffering. What about electroshock therapy? A family friend who has struggled with severe depression had it last year when nothing else worked. It’s nothing like the old days, they even sedate you. This woman tried to kill herself countless times. She’s even off meds now.

    1. bipolarsojourner Post author

      thanks for replying and the idea. i find myself relatively adverse to ect. while there are nearly miraculous stories about what happens with ect, i don’t think that its success rate is much higher than most prescription drugs. additionally, ect offers some hope for people with drug resistant depression but at similar success rates as non-drug resistant depression.

      i know doctors who have pushed ect by saying if you’ve tried two different prescriptions for your depression an they did not work, you’re a good candidate for ect. that seems to be a little quick to me on pulling the trigger. I would have had ect in just about every cycle I have had.

      i just helped a friend through ect with transportation. she and/or her insurance is $11,000 poorer and she is no closer to freedom from her depression. she may be an exception to the rule, but her story has equal validity to the miracles.

      i would also pass along some information to your family friend. one study showed that the positive effects of ect held longer when the patient maintained their existing drug routine.

      additionally another way that i have found in my research to prolong the positive effects of ect, is to go in for monthly “boosters”. the monthly treatments, for some reason, helps to keep brain stuff in order longer.

  3. Crissy Dean

    Your pictures are stunning. Modern medicine is definitely about the problem and not the patient as a whole.. my interests are in holistic healing. Thanks for sharing your post with us 🙂

    I’m new to blogging and have a new page I just created. I hope you’ll check it out and let me know what you think.. Enjoy the day!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s