I mentioned in a previous blog post that I was back on meds because I was backsliding into a depressive state. Last weekend, I had one of my worst suicidal episodes yet. I wanted to kill myself.
It was 3am on Saturday. I was laying in bed, chilling with Youtube videos, when without warning, I felt terrible. No trigger whatsoever—I just suddenly felt that everything was pointless. That I’m a worthless loser who will never amount to anything, who will always be a burden to my loved ones.
I started sobbing, tears and snot running down my face. As soon as I wiped them away, they started anew. It went on like that until 6am.
I was Googling “how to die painlessly” and “voluntary euthanasia”. I cursed the fact that assisted suicide is punishable by law in the Philippines. I even relapsed into the worst bout of self-harm I’ve done in several months.
Luckily, I had just enough sense to realize that I was in a very dangerous state of mind, so I started reaching out to people.
I tried calling and messaging my boyfriend and my closest friends, desperate for someone to help me return to rationality. However, since it was the dead of night and everyone was asleep, I didn’t hear from them until sunrise.
My last resort was Mama.
I texted her, can she come to my room, please? If you’re awake, please come here.
She did, and I wept in her arms, all the while saying what no mother wants to hear: I’m tired of living, I want to die, I’m worthless, I’m a burden to you and everyone else. I want to get into a car accident that would kill me instantly.
I didn’t want to wake my mom because I already take up too much of her time and energy, and too much of her life. I don’t want to add yet another cross for her to bear. I want her to be happy, and in my eyes, having a depressed daughter does not factor into that equation.
She managed to calm me down after several minutes. When I came to my senses, she said, not unkindly, “If you’re going to die, just think: what will I do with my life then? And who’s going to take care of Pawcard?”
The next day, I went for a session with my psychiatrist.
I told him everything. I even requested, half-jokingly, that he prescribe me a bunch of drugs that would kill me painlessly. (Needless to say, he refused, and he reiterated his strict instructions to give all my meds to Mama so she can hide them.)
Key points from our session:
- Exercise in any form, no matter how short, is good. It releases endorphins and gives me confidence. It’s also a good distraction because how can I feel existential dread when all I can feel is the burning in my calves?
- Think of Pawcard. Mama’s always kidding that she hates him, but it helps me not kill myself because I’m worried that she won’t take care of him as well as I do.
- If it helps me get a sense of purpose, get a new cat! I would very much like to adopt a cat (hopefully a senior cat) from my favorite no-kill animal shelter. I’ll have given a cat a loving home, and Pawcard will have a new playmate! However, I’ll need to think this over very carefully, since it’s an additional expense.
- Break down goals into small, manageable tasks so as not to get overwhelmed.
- Depressed people need twice the energy of normal people to do the same task. I need to force myself to do things especially when I’m feeling down, because remaining prone in bed will only make matters worse.
- Get a blood test to see if thyroid hormone imbalances are to blame for my moods.
My psychiatrist also increased my dosage of Sertraline by 100mg. On top of the Clonazepam and Divalproex Sodium I was already taking, he added Risperidone.
I already tried several medications (Fluoxetine, Escitalopram, Aripiprazole) before that didn’t work for me. I took Sertraline and Risperidone previously too, but not together.
“We’re not running out of drugs to prescribe me, are we?” I joked, but deep down I worried that I’m now a hopeless case.
I don’t have a positive quote to wrap this up neatly, because depression is never neat. It’s never easy. There are no quick fixes.
If you’re suffering too, my heart goes out to you. I hope you know we’re in this together.