Posts tagged ‘suicial ideation’

My SSDI Story part 2

It was the additional weekend job that finally broke me. I could barely manage to go to work, and when I did go I was nervous and agitated. I fell down a staircase at the preschool and injured my knee, requiring arthroscopic surgery. At the same time my depression became acute and I was suicidal. I spent much of my time with a friend of mine because I was afraid to be alone.

One night I took an overdose of tranquilizers — just enough to make me sick. The next day my therapist found out, and she instructed my friend to take me to the emergency room.

I was in a severe psychotic depression by this time, which led to my first inpatient stay in a mental hospital (and my only involuntary admission). After a week in the hospital, I returned to my friend’s home and she helped me move out of my apartment. I was nervous about getting another job, but about six weeks later I started a temp job that ended up lasting about 16 months. The first half of that period I worked for the temp agency, then the company hired me directly.

I was the assistant to an administrative assistant, and she was a kind and friendly person. If she had not been patient as well, I would not have lasted a month. But it was summer before I had another manic episode and I was able to conceal it most of the time. It appeared occasionally in the form of unexpected insolence. I could tell she didn’t know what to make of it, but she didn’t question me.

Of course, as day follows night, depression follows mania, and once again I was suicidal. My boss had been depressed herself in the past and when I told her how I felt, she told me to go home and call the doctor. That was the last day I worked.

I went back to the mental hospital, then remained out on short-term disability, possibly a little longer than absolutely necessary. Meanwhile there were massive layoffs at the company and my boss herself was laid off. I returned from disability for only one day, so that they could give me my pink slip.

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April 25, 2009 at 5:49 am Leave a comment

Depakote and Suicidal Ideation

If you haven’t already heard — research suggests a link between Depakote and an increase in suicidal ideation. This may be in the form of frequent thoughts about death, wanting to die, planning suicide, or active suicide. It is not clear yet why Depakote would have this effect.

Personally, I have taken Depakote steadily for 12 years (well, except when I stopped my meds ;-)) and I have not noticed any increase in suicidal ideation, either on regular doses or when my dosage was raised. I think the increase is more likely when you first start on Depakote, or when the dose is titrated upward. Doctors and patients should be especially alert at these times for any signs of trouble.

April 24, 2009 at 9:40 am Leave a comment


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