I have been dealing with my depression for 24 years and most likely all my life. For the first 10 years I self medicated and choose not do deal with the depression at all or take the prescribed meds. Then for 10 years self medication was on and off and I dealt with the depression on and off as well. At the end of that, 10 years I went through a personal hell. Today and for the last 4 years self medication is not an option and my depression has been worse than ever. Partly due to the hell I went through and partly for the first time in my life I believe I am feeling the depths of my depression. Recently I have been put on Effexor and so far so good.
So, for me right now I will do almost anything to stop the pain and confusion I have been in lately and if that includes taking meds for the rest of my life so be it and bring it on.
I have been where you are-completely! I am bipolar and I was in a job that was making my illness impossible to fight. To this day I know for a fact if I would have stayed at that job on more week, I would have landed in the hospital for awhile. So-trust me there are options! However, I didn't think there were at the time I left.
It all started when I began this Bipolar support group through my hospital. My pdoc referred me, and each week I found myself in tears telling everyone how horrible ppl were to me at my job (my managers), how I didn't have any rights there (w/a mental illness). Towards the end, someone there said to me "you have to leave, we can all see this is killing you, and the job is not worth your life" (or my health, my well being!).
Here where I live, I left my job with a letter from my pdoc stating that due to health reasons, I was no longer able to work. With that letter I was able to go on Unemployment, for Sick Benefits. Government options may be different where you are. This was available to me for 15 weeks, at which point I decided I need to go back to school to get a career that is going to suit me medically. I am applying for the goverment to fund my schooling.
I am MUCH better now that I left the job-So please hear me when I tell you, there is a way...And as another posting suggested, the next job you have may have better coverage.
Now-meds. This also is something I would like to share with you...Currently I am Bipolar.... I tried and tried, and the meds just seemed to make me worse. So, for now, I am not on any. When I made the decision in October to go off meds, I knew I would have to try to cope extra hard in other ways. Hence, the Support group (ask your pdoc! or counsellor). I learned a ton of coping skills that I am still practicing today. It became a little harder once the Support group ended, but now I am awaiting counselling.
So, make sure you really think about things. Talk to your pdoc, ask about your options. Try not to be scared to make the right decision. Meds may be long term, short term...It truly is different for everyone, and it changes throughout the course of the illness. I might be back on meds one day, and it may be sooner than I think. But for right now, I'm trying to deal without them.
Hope that was some help, please take special care.
Thank you for your encouragement; yesterday was an especially bad day so it was nice to read your post this morning and get a little ray of light. I think the thing that makes this so painful is that I'm very good at my job--that, in fact, I'm doing the jobs of several people and doing them well (yeah, my company is really lucky that my depression just happens to be coupled with an overwhelming compulsion to never let anyone down...). I don't even like most of what I do, but I still produce good results...and here as things are clearly coming to an end, I'm somehow the problem because I keep asking for others to pull their weight. Even my boss, who used to be someone I could go to for help, is now making excuses for the people who aren't getting their jobs done and then wondering why I'm not happy. I feel like I've done so much to try to make things work -- I take the meds, I go to therapy, I've taken all sorts of suggestions on different techniques to deal with different people and different situations and it's like it's all just ignored or taken for granted and I'm being sucked completely dry by people who then complain about me not being an oasis. Sorry...having myself a little pity party... I know, I have to make a change; I just keep seeing how difficult it's going to be on top of how difficult it's been already--i.e., as bad as things are at this job right now, at least it's "the devil I know".
I completely understand what you're going through. I know how scary it is to make change. And it's not something you can do unless you are ready. And if you're not ready that is TOTALLY okay. This illness is SO overwhelming (that is my favourite word to describe it) and you're right, change on top of everything else, might be too much right now.
You are in my thoughts, and you are doing a tremendous job at trying to push through.
Hope your day is better today,