Depression – Still, Again
I was writing for HepatitisC.net, but I stopped. Why? My traveling companion, depression. Over time, it has gotten as bad as it was during treatment. Ain’t no sunshine. My soul grays up. The world is flat. I don’t care about anything but checking-out. I don’t want a drink or a drug. I just want to step off the planet and catch my breath. There is no walking, exercise, no coming or going, and sometimes, no grooming. Why bother? I check out with reruns from “Project Runway”.
Depression, compounded by anxiety
Now that might be okay if depression wasn’t accompanied by anxiety. Adding anxiety is like lying on a bed and setting it on fire. I want to get up because my mind is racing. I can’t get up because my mind is racing. I need to fight the prescription drug supplement company to get my tier three medications. Lexapro, yes, Lexapro, was replaced by the generic escitalopram and this triggered the new wave. So I purchased the brand name at $500 for 90 tablets. My dose is 1 1/2 tablets daily. Who can afford this? No one on a fixed income. And my fixed income is above average.
The corporate ladder
I acquired hepatitis C in 1975 (which I didn’t learn until 1990), and that was when depression began to flourish. I saw many treatment gurus. I was always referred to as a “high functioning depressive”. As long as I was in the top 10%, I was good with that. Prozac was launched by Eli Lilly and Company while I worked there. I was the scientist training sales people about the depression diagnosis and treatment. But I purchased my Prozac at a retail pharmacy rather than getting it free at the Lilly Clinic. In a corporate setting, even a drug company, depression was considered a path to derailment. It was seen as a failing rather than a disease. Even though Lilly was promoting both depression and Prozac to physicians, no one with depression was promoted up the ladder, only lateral or down. Nothing in writing, of course. It was whispered in the halls about someone having depression, drinking, or having family problems. Then that person faded away. Hell, you were supposed to get cancer treatments on your on time. My boss did- He took work to the hospital.
For three years, I became a brain with life support. No human attributes. Prozac and therapy propped me up, even as I spiraled down. The doctor recommended in-patient therapy, but alas, I could not agree because of my blasted career. So, I dodged being in-house where possible, hiding out in the field, until the day when there was no more promotion in the field, and my only option was as a sales representative. I went to Abbott at that time, they were not as soul-sucking as Lilly, and I could get promoted in the field. This continued through several pharmaceutical companies and mergers.
“Depression has plagued my family for generations”
Then I was forced to get treatment for hepatitis C (my secret diagnosis for 15 years). Through therapy and medications, I had taped and sealed shut Pandora’s Box, but with hepatitis C treatment, the box burst open and everything refused to yield, except hope. Hope abandoned me immediately. You might wish that everything worked out and I am set for life. The good news is that I am hepatitis C-free for 6 years after two rounds of treatment. But no, simply switching to generic for Lexapro kicked opened Hell’s Gate and here I am, eating fat and sugar, and watching only programs that do not stick even a toe into the human condition. Where is my rabbit hole? I misplaced it.
This is my story, not yours. Depression has plagued my family for generations and continues on through a granddaughter. Newer hepatitis C treatments without Interferon and Ribavirin certainly are an improvement. But there are many genotypes that still use this old witch’s brew. Always monitor your own emotional status or have a loved one if you cannot.