Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Venlafaxine And Therapy

I've been struggling with depression of late, very serious depression. Of course having ALS can depress the shit out of you, at least it does out of me. I wake up each day wondering if I should even bother. The struggle to sit up, the ache of failing muscles, the fight to dress myself; then there is the whole day in a wheelchair in front of me after that. Depression not only makes sense, I would be more than just a little odd if I didn't struggle with it.

I take medication for depression, but it seems to have failed me of late. I think of suicide almost constantly, planning how, wondering if tonight is the right night. I haven't done it yet, clearly, but these thoughts are rarely far from my mind, these ideas constantly percolating, waiting for the right moment. I haven't done it yet, but I want to. I simply lack the impulse at the right time.

Today I went to the ALS clinic and discussed this with the counselor and the neurologist. As expected we are increasing the depression medication I take on a daily basis. There are limits to the rate at which you can put this stuff into your system, so my dosage will go up slightly tomorrow, then, after two weeks, we will review it again to see if it still working. Hopefully the signal will be a lowered impulse to "off" myself.

This is the same medication which helps with impulse control, feeling like I want to cry all the time, and my emotional variability, all effects of FrontoTemporal Dysfunction. It's not really surprising if you think about it. These other issues are an outflow of my emotional and mental state associated with failing neurons. They are directly related to my depression as well.

I'm not crazy, or at least not any more than I am normally crazy. My physical illness has a mental component as well. Since it's taking place in my brain, that should come as no surprise. My hope is that my increase in Venlafaxine will take care of it all. Plus, a little therapy couldn't hurt. After all, we all need a little therapy, right?


  1. As my therapist told me- if I didn't have clear signs of depression and distress at having MND, that would be a warning sign in itself.
    You are facing an increasingly burdensome disease and way of life. It's bound to affect you very seriously and very negatively. Glad they're keeping an eye on the meds and hope an increase helps your mood.

  2. I look at it as we should be grateful that we can see and hear and smile. I don't think we can mask how scary or how frustrating it is to try to act normal and be normal in a completely abnormal and unrelenting situation.

    I saw someone walking into the hospital and she had one arm. She looked carefree and certainly healthy. You never know, she could have had a disease that cost her arm, but she is happy for the chance to be healthy. Or she has lost an arm but is happy not to have a disease. Comparison is never really fair, but we should still find a way to go about our day with as little drugs as possible, if any, and use our greatest strength, our mind, the part they say we don't use, to overcome.