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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5810
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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I was diagnosed in 2003 with Major Depression with premorbic

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Hello! I was diagnosed in 2003 with Major Depression with premorbic Dysthymic (sic?) Disorder. I'd had a run-in with coworkers. I was in a small, crowded, loud office (dispatch) trying to finish up my paperwork for the day, and two different coworkers came in separately and raised their voices at me for two different issues. I needed them to leave me alone so I could finish my time-sensitive paperwork. This so overwhelmed me that I picked up my belongings and left without telling anyone. On the way out, I started crying uncontrollably. But it wasn't, like, blubbering; my face was normal, I wasn't making any noise, but my eyes would not stop crying. Of course I was also extremely frustrated and angry. The bad news: I was Active Duty military; crying at work and leaving work without notice was not good. Once the consequences my actions could have on my career hit me, I diverted to the Mental Health Clinic instead of going home. This also made sense to me because I had had problems weeping at work for the past year or so and had struggled with suicidal thoughts. I've been reading about it, and I could consider the weeping "emotional lability." Except for the above incident, the weeping spells were complete overreactions. I knew this while it was happening, but I couldn't stop it. Other things that I think might be significant that happened between 2000-2003: 1. I used to binge drink every weekend. 2. I fell backwards down two steps in a rolling office chair, hitting my head on the wooden floor (concrete subfloor). I was pretty drunk and embarrassed, so I played it off and laughed at myself. I remember being very jarred, but I don't remember dizziness (because of alcohol) or prolonged pain. I don't remember whether I had pain or swelling the next day. 3. I began missing appointments...just forgetting I was ever supposed to go. Once I was told I'd missed the appointment, I was embarrassed and taken aback each time. One time I didn't even know what the guy was talking about until he'd been explaining it to me for a few minutes. These were sort of significant events I missed: a. Commander's call--this is a mandatory military appointment. Where was I? On the beach, sunbathing alone. My friend asked me later where I'd been. b. I was in charge of picking up a new coworker and his family from the airport and taking them to lodging then helping them get settled in over the next few months. One day I was window shopping and received a call. It was a coworker asking where I was, that my sponsoree had arrived. Fortunately, my coworker knew the new guy from being stationed with him before and took over the sponsor duties. c. I was out for dinner with some girl friends, and my coworker called and asked if I was coming to work. It never even crossed my mind that I had to work that night. Other memory/judgment problems: a. When my trip to Thailand was cancelled, I screamed and yelled at my boss (outranked me by 3 pay grades) over the phone that I was replaced by a (male) coworker because I didn't have a penis. I would describe this as being in a rage. Thailand is a prime "don't ask, don't tell" destination. The same guys seemed to rotate and at least one married guy who regularly went had a girlfriend there. b. I showed up for training in jeans and flip-flops instead of in uniform. ALSO we were supposed to take a group photo in uniform after training, which I had completely forgotten. c. I showed up for a meeting in jeans and flip-flops. I did this after all of the other lapses in memory/judgment had happened, and I broke down in tears once the meeting was over. I didn't understand what was happening to me. I knew better than to show up in civilian clothes, and I was not/am not someone who didn't respect authority. So...the day I went to the Mental Health Clinic, the psychiatrist gave me Zoloft. After years of weeping, anger and frustration, I was so relieved
to hide behind the medication. I have since transitioned to the Reserves and have not been without antidepressants since that day. I am now on 150 mg Effexor XR and 200 mg Lamotrigine prescribed by my psychiatrist who is also my GP, and I have weekly appointments with my psychologist. I gained 50lbs in 6 years (I'm 5'2"; went from 120 to 170), lost 30 of it with Alli & diet and gained back 10 when I stopped the Alli. I've held steady at 150lbs for about the past year. Now I am in trouble with the Reserves because I can't seem to muster the motivation to maintain a fitness regimen regularly to stay fit and pass
my military fitness assessments (1.5mile run, push-ups, sit-ups). I was constantly tired and would sleep through entire weekends. My psychiatrist/GP sent me for a sleep study. I had ~50-80 (can't remember exactly) arousals, but not from apnea. So he put me on Nuvigil 250mg for morning and Klonopin 1mg for night. While I have much more energy, I still have zero motivation. My psychiatrist and psychologist seem very skeptical about my lack of motivation. ThankYou!

Hi, I'd like to help you with your problem.

Lack of motivation and difficulty with energy can be related to having Major Depression. It is a very common symptom. Since you have already talked with your doctor about your medication and had it changed, you were able to increase your energy, which is great. But you may either still have side effects from the medications or you are experiencing a symptom of your diagnosis.

Have you been able to go to therapy? Medications are great to help you cope with the symptoms of your diagnosis and also help you function. But therapy could also help you cope with your diagnosis and help you find ways to deal with the stress and issues you have. You need support right now and a therapist can provide that. Also, a therapist can help coordinate your care so you are getting everything you need and your medications are working to help control your symptoms.

Since you are in the military, you need to utilize their services. But once you are assigned a therapist, they can do an evaluation to determine your needs.

Meanwhile, keep working on getting enough rest, exercise as much as you can, and work on your memory issues. Get a large calendar and write out all of the appointments and other important things you need to remember. Keep paper and a pen with you so when you do have something to complete, you can write it down immediately, then transfer the information at the end of the day to your main calendar.

Is your doctor aware of your memory issues? You may need a scan or other tests to be sure that your memory issues are not physical in nature. Once you have been cleared by your doctor, the therapist can help you find more ways to work on the problem.

I hope this has helped you,


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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thank you for answering even though I accidentally edited out the most important parts due to space limitations--the question(space limitations)! My current doctors never met me before the medication. My psychologist (I see her weekly) says it's not a good idea to go off the medication because when I decrease the dosage I seem to get worse. But I think the worsening symptoms are part of "withdrawal" and once everything's out of my system, given time I will only be Eeyore--I don't think I would constantly be in a Depressive episode...mode. I asked my GP/psychiatrist to please try to figure out if there's anything physical wrong with me because my bosses think I'm malingering and, if he can't find anything physical, I want to go off the meds. I feel they're blunting my motivation and ambition, enabling apathy. I will never commit suicide because, though I have a feeling that my family is misguided for loving me, I know it would upset them terribly if anything happened to me, and I don't want to put them through that. So do you think rehab'ing from my meds a viable option, or do you think it would be a huge mistake that would make everything worse? I'm in a Catch 22. Therapist says get fit first then try, but I can't seem to make myself get fit.

It is worth a try. If you feel that you would be better off without the medication, try it. Before you do it though, I would set up ways for you to be monitored so if you do become worse, there is someone who can help you get back on the medicine. Maybe your therapist and a friend, perhaps? Someone professional and someone who sees you at home. A sort of safety valve for yourself.


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