Confessions of a depressed #Autism Dad: A long overdue update

It’s no state secret that I have a great many things on my plate.  It’s also no secret that I have my own personal demons to contend with at the same time as well. 

One of the many battles I’m fighting is with depression. 

In the grand scheme of things, it’s just one battle in a much larger war. Having said that, it’s a significant one. 

My personal struggle with depression began in my teens.  While it’s true that we have had a very fragile peace, allowing for many years of a relatively depression free existence, I always knew that it was likely only a matter of time before we faced off once again.

As many of you already know, I’m currently engaged in a battle with depression, once again.

There are days that are worse than others but every day is a struggle to remain motivated, engaged, happy and even moving forward. That’s the sad, simple truth of the matter. 

Depression is a bitch and not something you can simply will yourself out of. 

Having said that, while I have my bad days, I’m not alone in this struggle.  I do have allies that aide in this battle. The biggest ally I have is a medication known as Paxil. Paxil isn’t exactly a fix all, but at the same time, it does help to give me an edge and it works well with ongoing therapy (think counseling).

Right now, things are a bit tougher but I manage.

Whenever I need to find the strength to pick up and move forward, I remember how tough everything is for my kids with Autism.  I’m reminded how much they need me and I somehow muster up the strength and courage to pick myself up and move forward.

As far as today goes, I’m exhausted but otherwise doing pretty good. 

I’ve found that bye sharing my story and opening speaking about depression, not only helps to remove the horrible stigma attached but it also helps to be feel less isolated.

I suppose that’s all I really have to say at this point. 

My hope is that this has helped those of you out there, going through something similar.

image

This site is managed almost exclusively from my Galaxy S4. Please forgive any typos as autocorrect HATES me. 😉



“Like” me on Facebook

Visit the My Autism Help Forums

To reach me via email, please Contact Me


 

Setup of an account with Bluehost and I get paid. If your looking for a host for your website or blog.

Click the image below and check out Bluehost. It’s what I use.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

27 Comments
most voted
newest oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Tammymcgann

lostandtired Tammymcgann rmagliozzi 
Part One: http://celiacsquirrel.com/2013/08/06/what-doesnt-kill-you-makes-you-want-to-kill-yourself-part-4-mthfr-1/
Part Two: http://celiacsquirrel.com/2013/08/07/what-doesnt-kill-you-makes-you-want-to-kill-yourself-part-5-mthfr-2/
You never know. It could end up helping you in the long-run! 🙂

Tammymcgann

lostandtired Tammymcgann rmagliozzi 
And it can cause everything from psoriasis to psychosis. It’s an evil gene
mutation that isn’t currently understood or accepted by the majority of the
medical community.  But I wrote a crazy looooong two-part blog post on the
condition. So if you ever find yourself with some spare time (like, when you’re
going to the bathroom, because–let’s face it–that’s pretty much the only time
we have to ourselves!) read my INSANELY long blog posts:

Tammymcgann

lostandtired Tammymcgann rmagliozzi Basically, I was bleeding to death internally.
Thankfully, I’m fine, but I made sure to have all kinds of testing done to
ensure that NEVER HAPPENS AGAIN. So now, if we ever decide to have another
child, our chances of conception have been cut in half. And its all due to this
MTHFR gene mutation that so few people have heard of, but that so many people
have. Literally, nearly 50% of the population have a mutation of the MTHFR
gene.

Tammymcgann

lostandtired Tammymcgann rmagliozzi Really, I appreciate it SO MUCH because, and I’m sure @rmagliozzi  agrees:  some of us suffer from conditions that are RARELY diagnosed, but EXTREMELY common among the general population.  The only reason I was tested for MTHFR was because I have suffered from 3 miscarriages, including a ruptured ectopic pregnancy that resulted in emergency surgery and removal of my left fallopian tube.

lostandtired

Tammymcgann rmagliozzi I love how we are all learning from each other. 🙂

Tammymcgann

rmagliozzi I’ve got homozygous a1298c!!!  My son (with Down syndrome and autism) is in the process of being tested for it (he tested negative for any extra copies of c677T, but unbeknownst to me, when Children’s Hospital Boston runs the MTHFR test, they ONLY test for c677T and NOT a1298c.  Irritating beyond belief, because my son’s a difficult blood draw to begin with, so it’s not like getting blood work is easy for us).  I’ve been on Metan-x for a few years now, but what has personally helped me the most is taking the strongest probiotic on the market.  On a daily basis.  Depression is a big problem for me (well-controlled by antidepressants), but my bigger problem was “chronic fatigue”.  Can you tell me more about this Deplin equivalent?  I don’t know what Deplin is.

lostandtired

MikeNYvetteKennedy Thanks Vet. We love you guys and definitely don’t see enough of you guys. Hang in there and keep fighting the good fight. 🙂

MikeNYvetteKennedy

I too have depression (coupled with Bipolar disorder, anxiety, ADD, OCD and I’m sure some other undiagnosed battles) anyhow, there are days that I am right there with you (even on my medication).  There are days that I don’t even want to get off the couch or out from under my blanket.  However, I have to say that my meds help and the counseling, but I think somehow our children are a bigger help than those two things combined.  Why?  Well that’s simple.  B/c we have to muster up that strength (as you said) to do it…we have no choice.  Our children cannot care for themselves and we are too good of parents to just wallow in our own self pity or whatever you want to call it to let them just go without.  So, I know that being a parent with depression is probably one of the hardest jobs ever, however, take pride in knowing that you fight against it everyday to rise in the morning and do your fatherly/husband duties and that my friend (my brother-in-law) takes great strength!  I hope this all makes sense right now…my heads a bit fuzzy today 🙂

lostandtired

Tammymcgann everyone’s experience is relative my friend.  🙂

Tammymcgann

Believe me, I can feel sorry for myself all I want, but at the end of the day, the battles I face on a daily basis PALE in comparison to the battles you face. Give yourself a pat on the back and call yourself a hero.

Tammymcgann

Meaghan1985 Tammymcgann 
But I continued to say that I wouldn’t consider a
psychiatric medication unless it was effecting his progress in school. And this
past school year, it became unbelievably obvious that Jack was just, mentally,
all over the place. He couldn’t concentrate. He couldn’t focus. His attention
span was about 5 seconds long. And at that point, I didn’t care WHAT people had
to say; I knew he NEEDED a medication in order to progress. We’re still trying
to get the right dosage, accepting the fact that his medication helps him to
focus at school, but the second he’s home . . . Oh God. He’s just a tornado.
And I’ve come to terms with that too. As long as he’s making progress at
school, I’ll accept that my life won’t change. Because this is where Jack feels
the most comfortable, and he knows mom is too tired to discipline him so he
just does whatever he wants.

Tammymcgann

Meaghan1985 Tammymcgann
UNBELIEVABLE!!! I CAN’T STAND those self-righteous people who feel that
psychiatric medications are unnecessary for children and simply a parent’s way
of essentially sedating their children in order to make their own lives easier.
For 6 long years, I told myself that Jack wasn’t hyperactive; I was just a bad
mom. Until other people told me that yeah, Jack was bouncing off the walls.
That his amount of energy couldn’t be chalked up to “well boys will be
boys!”

lostandtired

Meaghan1985 Tammymcgann Thank you again for your honesty and openness. You are amazing. 🙂

Meaghan1985

Tammymcgann Yeah, I constantly felt like a complete failure. I was convinced that no one liked me and that I was worthless. Once my depression got REALLY bad, bordering on psychosis — I was at college and didn’t have a car, so I had to walk places, and I started walking out of sight of the road instead of on the sidewalk because I kept thinking the people driving by were saying nasty things about me.
(I eventually sought help at my college’s health center, which had a therapist. But, well, I’m not going to say she was incompetent exactly, but she was in way over her head with me. She was somehow under the impression that I was just a bit overwhelmed with schoolwork and, when I suggested that perhaps maybe I should go to the hospital, laughed and told me I didn’t need that. Then some other bungling happened, but that’s another story.)
When I was young, during another serious bout of depression, I knew someone who was kind of famous. We were sort of friends. He was a very kind man and he was very nice to me. I thought to myself: “Why is he being nice to me? I am not worthy of his attention. He must hate me like everyone else does, but then why is he so nice to me?” Then I thought: “I know! He’s such a nice person that he feels bad about the fact that he secretly hates me. So he acts extra nice to me to hide this.” So, in short, the fact that this man was nice to me and took time out of his busy schedule to talk to me became EVIDENCE that he secretly hated me.
I didn’t start to get properly treated until I was 22 years old, and, as is usual, it took a few years for them to find the right medications, and even now I need to have them adjusted every so often. I have good days and bad days, good weeks and bad weeks.
Recently I got into an argument on Twitter with someone who said psych drugs should never, under any circumstances, be given to children. I told her I had been suicidal, off and on, since I was twelve. She then claimed it was “perfectly normal” for twelve-year-olds to be suicidal! After that I could see that there was clearly no point in trying to convince her of anything. I did tell my psychiatrist about the argument and what she thinks is “perfectly normal” and he burst out laughing.
I am a bit sad when I think of those wasted years, my entire adolescence, suffering horribly all the time, in such a tremendous amount of emotional pain. An entire decade of it.

Meaghan1985

Tammymcgann Yeah, I constantly felt like a complete failure. I was convinced that no one liked me and that I was worthless. Once my depression got REALLY bad, bordering on psychosis — I was at college and didn’t have a car, so I had to walk places, and I started walking out of sight of the road instead of on the sidewalk because I kept thinking the people driving by were saying nasty things about me.
(I eventually sought help at my college’s health center, which had a therapist. But, well, I’m not going to say she was incompetent exactly, but she was in way over her head with me. She was somehow under the impression that I was just a bit overwhelmed with schoolwork and, when I suggested that perhaps maybe I should go to the hospital, laughed and told me I didn’t need that. Then some other bungling happened, but that’s another story.)
When I was young, during another serious bout of depression, I knew someone who was kind of famous. We were sort of friends. He was a very kind man and he was very nice to me. I thought to myself: “Why is he being nice to me? I am not worthy of his attention. He must hate me like everyone else does, but then why is he so nice to me?” Then I thought: “I know! He’s such a nice person that he feels bad about the fact that he secretly hates me. So he acts extra nice to me to hide this.” So, in short, the fact that this man was nice to me and took time out of his busy schedule to talk to me became EVIDENCE that he secretly hated me.
I didn’t start to get properly treated until I was 22 years old, and, as is usual, it took a few years for them to find the right medications, and even now I need to have them adjusted every so often. I have good days and bad days, good weeks and bad weeks.
Recently I got into an argument on Twitter with someone who said psych drugs should never, under any circumstances, be given to children. I told her I had been suicidal, off and on, since I was twelve. She then claimed it was “perfectly normal” for twelve-year-olds to be suicidal! After that I could see that there was clearly no point in trying to convince her of anything. I did tell my psychiatrist about the argument and what she thinks is “perfectly normal” and he burst out laughing.
I am a bit sad when I think of those wasted years, my entire adolescence, suffering horribly all the time, in such a tremendous amount of emotional pain. An entire decade of it.

lostandtired

@Rosie Calabro Meaghan1985 Tammymcgann @Kristine Lackner-All rmagliozzi I’m so grateful that we can have an open, honest and judgment free dialogue about depression.  🙂

Tammymcgann

Meaghan1985 I married him because he was responsible,
dependable, HILARIOUS, and mature for his age. I didn’t think he was hot at the
time! But wow, have times changed! I’m a very lucky girl. So if I had to take
1,000 medications to keep my marriage going, I would! But I remember the day of
9/11. Following the news reports. Looking out the window of our (at the time)
crappy apartment and thinking “Why? Why do I bother to stay alive? What
good am I to ANYBODY?” My whole life was “gray clouds” that
never lifted. And I knew something had to change. I knew I had to set aside my
pride and just take the medication. Same as you–life-changing. And because of
me dealing with MY depression, my husband then had the strength to address his
own depression. Now we’re both veeeeery well-medicated (even more so, now that
we have a child with Down syndrome and autism!). I don’t quite understand (and
therefore force myself to pity) people who decide to fight their depression on
their own. It makes no sense to me. Kinda like deciding that you’re going to
“fight a broken leg” on your own. Yeah, good luck with

Tammymcgann

Meaghan1985 Tammymcgann 
If you’re like me, it’s so horrible the
way you view yourself. You just keep thinking: “Suck it up! Get a grip!
Why can’t you just grow up and deal with your problems like an adult!” In
hindsight, I got married when I was 20. I wasn’t pregnant and it wasn’t an
impulsive decision. It was actually a well-thought-out decision and I MADE the
decision to marry the type of man that was nothing like the drug-addicted
losers with MAJOR issues that I was naturally attracted to. Thirteen years
later and my husband and I are still together. HE is the best decision I ever
made. And HE is the reason I chose to go on medication. And I have no regrets.
Because as the years went by, my husband grew into this crazy-hot guy who all
of the younger girls wish they had.

rmagliozzi

I have struggled with depression and anxiety most of my life (partly due to autoimmune thyroid disease), and in the last year have found complete relief using a low dose immune modulator and a methylfolate supplement in the last few months. both my boys have PANDAS, and one has autism too, so our PANDAS doc tested for MTHFR genetic mutations, which most of her PANDAS patients have. Because one had a heterozygous mutation, it meant he got it from both parents. So our whole family is on almost the equivalent of Deplin, and it has been a miracle. My husband’s ADHD and my depression have slowly resolved itself. I am completely shocked. Never in my life would I think it was possible, but apparently this mutation is linked to depression and chronic health issues. I wish more doctors would know about his and test their patients who come in with depression, anxiety or autoimmune illnesses.

Kristine Lackner-All

Hang in there dad. I feel depressed a lot sometimes. Being a single mom with 2 boys with autism and very little help makes even some of the smallest tasks impossible sometimes. But each day I make it through. We all have our wonderful children for a reason. It’s hard, but they picked us for a reason.

Rosie Calabro

It is a hard thing to live with and the biggest battle we all face with depression is admitting it first. The next hardest thing is dealing with the day to day normal tasks. The next challenge we face is dealing with special needs children who need us even more but, some how they give us the strength to get up and face each day.

Meaghan1985

Tammymcgann I kind of felt the same way when my lifelong, severe depression got treated with drugs. Like I’d been in a dark room and suddenly the lights came on.

Tammymcgann

Unfortunately, since Jack’s birth we’ve had to add to the Wellbutrin, just so I can get through the day with all of Jack’s diagnoses. We’ve since added Klonopin (Which I originally thought was only for crazy people. Hmmm, maybe all of Jack’s diagnoses have made me crazy! I’m totally cool with that! And if you told me I needed to drink the brine out of a jar of pickles to keep me sane for the sake of my marriage and for the sake of my son, I’d gladly do that too!) Remeron, and Lexapro. I don’t have any shame anymore; I’m not concerned with saving face. I’m just concerned with taking whatever pills I need to take to help me properly care for my son. END OF STORY. Bottom line–take whatever pills your doctor recommends so you can be on your A-game. Because we “Autism Parents” can’t afford to be anything less than “at the top of our game”. For the sake of our children. THAT’S why I feel no guilt and have no stigma about being labeled as an “antidepressant junkie” by outsiders who don’t understand our situation.

Tammymcgann

Please, been there, AM there!  Before Jack, I was forced to face the reality that I suffered from major depression.  If you knew what my childhood was like, you would cry.  But I thought I was handling everything on my own just fine.  Turns out I wasn’t.  And it was effecting my brand-spanking-new marriage.  And so I was put on Wellbutrin by my therapist.  Oh my gosh, suddenly I saw life in color, instead of just black, white, and gray!  I didn’t realize I was depressed until I began taking an antidepressant for the sake of my marriage.  Yes, I had come to terms with my childhood, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t scarred by it.  And so 10+ years later, I continue to take Wellbutrin.

Tammy McGann

I just have to tell you how much I love your honesty. Seriously. Life is hard for us and I feel less "alone" when I know I'm not the only one suffering day-in and day-out.

Lost and Tired

Thank you for sharing but keep in mind that everything is relative and my problems are no worse than yours. 🙂 Best of luck to you my friend.

Mel Charman

I also am battling depression, but mine comes in the form of Dysthymia with a side of General Anxiety Disorder. I have been in constant mild depressed state since I hit puberty with cycles of double depression. I am now 36. I am also medicated up to my eyeballs. My son has High functioning ASD and SPD. He is turning 8. I also have a 5 year old daughter who is showing signs of Anxiety Disorder. My Husband (who is not likely to remain so much longer) is legally deaf. I understand your struggle all too well. Especially since my meds are no longer working and I have to have them changed. Keep moving forward. I don't know how you do it. Your load is much bigger then mine and I'm barely keeping my head above water.

27
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x
%d bloggers like this: