An Openly Honest Comment Upon My Condition

Dealing with depression and anxiety is no laughing matter, to be sure, especially when prescribed medications begin working against you. Not that medication alone is the answer, but when what has been prescribed no longer helps but, in fact, begins causing negative side-effects, then you are moved beyond frustration to the point of tears.

This has been, and continues to be, my own experience. Several weeks ago, it seems the antidepressant prescribed to me lost its effectiveness and then actually caused akathisia – that is, continual restlessness, agitation, sleeplessness and heightened anxiety. This has been enough to drive me to tears, as I am fighting on two fronts: depression and akathisia.

After numerous visits to the emergency room and three hospital stays, my psychiatrist wisely removed all antidepressants and even cut in half the dosage of the mood-stabilizer I have been taking. Alas, though, largely removing the culprits – that is, the psychotic medications – has only partially subdued my akathisia, for which I am now taking medication.

What am I to do? In many ways I believe I am actually taking too much medication, mostly to address side effects of other medication, but without the medication for akathisia I am caught up in a whirlwind of nervousness, agitation, restlessness, and high anxiety. Will I ever know freedom from all of the above? In other words, will I ever be free of depression, anxiety, and akathisia? Of course, this is my ongoing prayer.

But let me get to the point of sharing all of this: One who does not struggle with these internal problems, or ailments, should be very careful not to judge those who are experiencing this (or other physio-psychological difficulties.) Really, unless you have experienced this, or another condition, yourself then you really don’t know the awful reality of bearing this burden. You cannot understand just what devastating effect it all has on the victim.

However, you can show love and compassion, encourage and offer to help to the extent that you can help, and you certainly can pray for the person who suffers. This is a point well-worth stating, remembering, and putting into practice. Sufferers need kindness, sympathy, and help rather than suspicion and condemnation.

Moreover, it is really beneficial – potentially, at least – for family and friends to acquaint themselves with depression, anxiety, akathisia, and other conditions. Learning is the first step toward authentic sympathy as well as the ability to truly help the one suffering. As you begin to better understand the condition(s) then the better equipped you are to actually provide much-needed, genuine, and courteous benevolence.

Personally, as I suffer I realize that most people in my life just don’t have a clue. Depression and anxiety are largely “unseen” afflictions. The akathisia is more evident because it is more physiological, manifesting itself in constant, erratic motion – i.e. extremely jittery nerves, inability to concentrate or carry on a sustained conversation, etc. – but even still, people wonder why I just don’t settle myself down.

I feel a certain sense of hopelessness because I cannot adequately explain my depression, anxiety and akathisia, and I am worn to a frazzle anyway. As moment follows moment, and day slips into night, my whole person is seemingly at war with itself . . . and I seem to be losing! Thank the Lord God I have been able to hold on to hope born of faith that this too shall pass; otherwise, I would despair to the point of giving up altogether.

On the brighter side, though, there are those who do understand, either from personal experience or through a loved one (or close friend), and so they are able to relate. Of course, this only goes so far; after all, they are unable to alleviate my actual suffering. Still, it is an astounding blessing to know that I am not alone. Now if I could just find the cure for it all! (And I say this sincerely.)

Right now the war is thick and every battle has its own special aspect with which to deal. Right now I hardly know which end is up and which is down . . . but I do know the suffering and am well-acquainted with the wounds resulting from the fight. I also know how tremendously grateful I am to God, who has sustained me thus far and promises never to leave nor forsake me!

No, none of this is a laughing matter. It is serious and I would not wish any of this on my worst enemy. God help me! And God help those around me – those within my network of friends and family – to understand (to the greatest extent possible), and to be patient while encouraging and praying for me. Finally, may I learn to be even more empathetic toward those gripped by depression, anxiety, akathisia, and other difficult ailments while longing and waiting for my own redemption from this awful pit! Lord, have mercy!

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16 thoughts on “An Openly Honest Comment Upon My Condition

    1. Thank you so very, very much! Yes, please pray for me… This time in my life is particularly rough, and I deeply appreciate every prayer, every good thought, every kind encouragement. Blessings to you!

        1. Thank you so very much, my friend! Thank you especially for sharing the Word of Truth from holy Scripture; the promise of the steadfast and unchanging love of God is very deeply comforting.

  1. I am so sorry. Living with this stuff isn’t easy. It’s a bitch sometimes excuse my language. I know exactly how you feel. I have struggled with depression and anxiety since 2011. I tried to take medicine in 2011-2013 and it didn’t work for me. It ended up not helping me after a while. So I stopped taking the medicine in 2013 and I haven’t had to take any since. I just get up everyday and I fight it. I fight very hard and I’m tired all the time. But if I explained this to others they would think I’m crazy and think that was stupid and that I’m being silly, but it’s the truth. I haven’t had to take medicine since 2013, but sometimes even though I have good intentions I still struggle. I work through it and I go on. It’s not easy. In all of this I think that you should do what’s best for you. I’m not telling you what to do, but there are plenty of options out there. I tried vitamins for a while and they seemed to help. Vitamins are natural so they won’t hurt you long term. But always consult a doctor or whoever you get your meds through to make sure. That’s the Massage Therapist part of me talking. Also getting massages have proven to help those with depression and anxiety. For me personally massages helped me to not have as many migraines which I also suffer from and it helped me to feel as anxious and it helped me to sleep better at night. Just wanted to share that with you. I pray you find some answers that work for you and just know you are not alone. I love you and I’m sending you my love and a hug!!! Blessings to you and thanks for sharing your story with us. I think the more we talk about this and reach out to help one another the more we can help ourselves find the answers that work for us and that help us to be the best person we can be.

    1. Your words are like rain to a parched land, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your own struggles with me. It helps immensely to know that not only am I not alone, there are many people who truly understand and reach out with love, encouragement and prayers. So, again, thank you! I do not have words adequate enough to fully express my appreciation… I do believe that this is only a season in my life, so I hold onto hope by faith … moment by moment, step by step. Blessings to you, my dear friend!

      1. You are welcome. We don’t heal and overcome things if we don’t share them. I truly want what’s best for you. I love you my friend. It helps to know you are not alone. It truly does. You have surrounded yourself with good people and that’s a great thing. It’s a step in the right direction. Keep holding onto your faith and hope. You will need it and it will help in the dark times. Blessings to you my friend. Reach out to me whenever you need anything. I’m here for you. Love you! Hugs!

  2. Thanks for sharing this! You will be in my thoughts and prayers.
    I am just recently recovered from my third, and deepest episode of depression. It took me eleven months to recover this time.

    You, and me, have both the gift of putting words to our sufferings. Some do not, and they are, as I use to say, one with their suffering and darkness, and therefore see no way out.

    Lennart in Sweden

    1. Thank you so much for your kind comments and understanding… I am so very glad for you that you are emerging from the Valley of Depression and pray that your days grow fuller and brighter as you continue your journey … and may the same be true for me as well. Thank you most of all for your gracious prayers on my behalf! Thank you ever so much!

  3. This is a huge step you took, to share this very personal information about you, with us readers. So openly and in addition very wise advice. I am proud to be connected to you, a very kind man, and I hope you know, you can always reach out to me. XxX

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