I've been getting treatment for depression for 17 years, but in August, I went to the hospital to treat severe depression and an eating disorder. The doctors changed my meds, and in a few days it was as if I had never been depressed at all. I was stunned. I described the effect in this Facebook post:
I've been getting treatment for clinical depression for 17 years, but a few days ago, the doctor changed my medication. In the last few days, I have been able to respond to the possibility of good things happening in the future rather than struggling not to see it "catastrophically"-Ie, when I'm severely depressed, my perception of the future goes like this: "Horrible things are going to happen; and there's nothing that you can do to stop them from happening"-"That's not true..., you're [Depression] just teling me that." "Yes, it is; because..." "Well, fine; but you telling me that doesn't make it true; things*still* might get better, so I'm going to do some breathing exercises, walk to the Y, eat omega 3s, and go to DBT therapy."
I've also been able to :
Smile at others
Be affectionate towards others and thus receive affection
Engage in "happy" stimming at points throughout the day as opposed to some anxiety-related behaviors
Think and write cogently
Express my wants and needs
Get up and get a glass of water, brush my hair, etc; instead of lying in bed and thinking about how much I would like to do those things.
Describe my depression symptoms with metaphors
Hear criticism without being triggered
Stick up for myself effectively, get an apology,and accept the apology
Improve my eating habits
Organize my writing projects into folders
Make headway on those projects
Finish a draft of a project
Actually know *why* I am crying
Study my drivers manual and take practice tests online
Breath without feeling a squeezing sensation in my diaphram
Write down several goals
Make my bed
Feel like I could actually fill out a job application, a PHD application, or submit academic projects to journals (which I've been meaning to do.)
I don't *think* that I am manic, but my doctor and I will watch out for that. Please pray that all of this continues."
Sadly, the initial effect of the medication has worn off, but that episode has helped me realize how severely depressed I have been; so I would like to seek other treatments. In particular, however, I covet the cognitive and executive functioning improvement that initially occurred with the new meds-as the above list indicates, the depression has caused a kind of pseudodementia that has prevented me from getting work done and communicating well. For instance, here's Facebook status that I wrote:
Asking for something while severely depressed: "Mom...can...you please...get that...*thingy* [pointing] over there...you know, the round *thing* that..goes in the...square...*thingy* [pointing]..over...there?"
Asking for something when not severely depressed: "Mom, could you hand me that plate; so that I can put it in the dishwasher? Thanks!"
That experience showed me how severely depressed I have been, and Since I'm noticing the same symptoms again, I'm looking into ECT and ElectroMagnetic Stimulation. The frustrating thing is that I've heard contradictory things about the former-ie, that it improves depression and concentration/cognitive function, or that it scews those things up. Has anyone had any experience with these treatments, and how did they impact cognitive functioning?