I dislike me. Currently teaching at the university, regularly teach at the high school full-time; so I’m just part timing at the moment. Working keeps me slightly “busy,” but not enough to distract me from my thoughts; every once in a while I have this thoughts of complete unsatisfaction. Last year I taught without a break (all summer + all year round school) and I felt very exhausted towards the end of teaching at the high school, I even had a couple of break points. I see a psychiatrist, she says I’m bipolar (2). I’ve tried so many many many meds that at this point, it’s pointless to continue taking them, I really want to get off them; be it uncomfortable side effects like lactating or gaining so MUCH MUCH weight — I just got off Zyprexa and lost about 6 or 7 pounds; plus, I’m not sure if it clouds my thinking, as I’ve felt that I’m just not as quick as I once was — which is the strongest reason to come off them. I also see a psychologist, but I don’t get to see her very often, mostly once a month, if not every two weeks; she says I have GAD and not bipolar. I’m just so tired that I just go by without a will or purpose to continue. It is such a dull time consuming annoyance dislike to continue; but I know there’s no reason to “off” me. I probably am too hard on myself, but I just see so many “excuses” to come up with that don’t lead me to something productive and prosperous set of achievements. I’m just SO TIRED, VERY TIRED; this is never ending. When I go see my primary physician, he will include the bipolar diagnosis, I HATE IT!!! The psychiatrist tells me she will look up for something else I can take, but I just don’t feel any relief. My primary doctor tells me he is glad that I seem to manage my work/career good enough considering, but I don’t even feel/think I’m bipolar to begin with.I guess every once in a while it seems so much more pointless that the psychiatrist recommended ECT; I know I don’t want to take lithium; even the ticks I feel, I dislike; seems as if I were to have a stroke. I don’t know what to do.
Your dissatisfaction with life is propelling you to search for something better. This may sound counterintuitive, but that’s a good thing. You’re unwilling to tolerate unhappiness. That is a necessary prerequisite for a happy life.
Your current therapy arrangement does not seem to be meeting your needs. You should either see your therapist more often or make a concerted effort to find the most competent and best therapist in your community.
Begin your search by making a list of five to 10 highly-rated therapists. Call each one and inquire about how they conduct therapy, which problems they have had the most success in solving, how much they charge per hour, and so forth. When you find several with whom you connect with over the phone, go meet them in person. Choose the one with whom you have the strongest connection.
In the meantime, consider group therapy. It could help to stabilize your mood between your one-on-one sessions.
Your letter touched upon some potential thinking errors. For instance, you have achieved success in your career but you downplay your achievements. When someone is depressed, they tend to minimize their successes. You might be guilty of minimization.
Incorrect thinking can lead to incorrect decisions. It’s no small thing. Your thoughts and behavior are correlative. It’s important that your thoughts are consistent with reality so as to avoid making mistakes in life.
One of your biggest complaints is your being tired. I’m not certain if you meant tired of life in a more general sense or if you are quite literally fatigued. In the latter case, medications often cause fatigue. Tiredness increases irritability which affects mood. Medication changes an individual’s personality, even if ever so slightly. Many people have reported that they do not feel quite like themselves when taking medication.
Reading is not an official treatment for depression but there are some great books that just might improve your mindset and help move you in the right direction. Some of my favorites include: The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck; Many Lives, Many Masters by Dr. Brian Weiss; and Man’s Search for Meaning by Dr. Viktor Frankl.
I have also recently came across a great blog called Barking Up The Wrong Tree by Eric Barker. Some of his work has been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, among others. It’s filled with evidence-based insights about happiness. You might want to check it out.
I hope that my advice has helped you in some small way. If your current therapy regimen isn’t working, then search for something better and don’t stop until you are satisfied. Yes, it might take some work but it is well worth your time and effort. The right treatment can make all the difference. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle