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The Roller Coaster Ride of Treatment Resistant Depression

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When I first opened up about experiencing symptoms of depression and anxiety, I was told help is readily available. What no one wanted to tell me was that sometimes, even with therapy and medication, the thick and gloomy cloud of mental illness still lingers.

In a span of eight months, I have tried nine different antidepressant/anti-anxiety medications. I have increased doses, mixed complimentary medicines and gotten my hopes up every time. Some caused intolerable side effects while others seemed to have no effect at all. I have lived nearly the past year of my life feeling like a rat in a lab, constantly being tested for a positive effect, but to no avail.

I understand I cannot put all of my faith into medicine. I know the most successful course of treatment involves a combination of therapy, medication and superb self-care. Trust me, I will do anything I can to dissipate the black cloud of mental Illness that seems to follow me anywhere I go. However, sometimes medication is a crucial piece to recovery, and it can be exceedingly disappointing when you can’t seem to find the right one.

Deciding to go on mental health medication is an incredibly difficult task, often met with scrutiny and judgment. Acknowledging the stigma that comes with medicating and doing what’s in your best interest anyway is even tougher. Then, on top of that, having said medication not work? Time after time? That’s excruciating. 

If you are someone with treatment resistant depression, I stand with you. You probably don’t even realize how brave, persevering and amazing you are. Living with a mental illness and then having what is suppose to be a helpful treatment backfire on you is daunting, but you are stronger than the storm that follows you. Maybe the cloud will follow us for a little longer, but maybe we can learn to dance in the rain together. After all, living and surviving through the brutal storm that is mental illness is certainly something to be proud of.

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Image via Thinkstock Images

Originally published: November 10, 2016
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