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Author Topic: can't keep fighting to live when all I want to do is die  (Read 4855 times)

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Offline vamark

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can't keep fighting to live when all I want to do is die
« on: January 04, 2010, 04:19:44 AM »

I am male, 47 y/o, tested positive for HIV and AIDS about 15 years ago with 40 t-cells. Had 2 very painful rectal surgeries, shingles, PCP and various other AIDS complications in the first years. Since then physically very healthy, but mentally NOT A DAY HAS GONE BY FOR MOST OF MY LIFE THAT I DID NOT WISH IT WERE MY LAST. Compared to severe depression, AIDS is a walk in the park for me. I would take the any physical pain over this severe mental torture any day. When I found out I had AIDS, instead of sadness and despair, I was relived. This was before HAART, AIDS was still a death sentence and considering my t-cell count at the time I was very close and looking very forward to finally ending this nightmare I have been in most of my adult life. I swear I was never happier, never more at peace knowing that death was just around the corner, imminent. Unfortunately for me, (though I am so happy for everyone else) as my luck goes, protease inhibiters were introduced soon thereafter, so my incredible happiness was short lived as I discovered I was going to live a very long time. My depression is not due to AIDS or the meds, it was there long before I had AIDS. I have been on just about every antidepressant available in combination with psychotherapy for many, many years with different psychotherapists with no relief at all. I am in a relationship with a great guy but for the past year and a half I have only left the house when it was absolutely necessary, I have lost contact with all of my friends simply because I can't bring myself to talk to anyone, I sleep as much as possible so I can avoid being awake and in this hellish nightmare as much as possible. When I can't sleep any more, I drag myself from the bed to the sofa and stare blankly at the TV until it is time to go to bed again. I enjoy nothing, every day is filled with despair and never ending sadness. I could go on and on, but you get my meaning, I am hopelessly depressed. The only reason I started taking AIDS medications was because I did not want my loved ones to have to watch me suffer such a horrible death without putting up a fight. I have been putting up a good fight for everyone else, while I suffered unbelievable mental anguish for over 15 years and now I am done. As of 7 months ago I stopped all HIV medication, including prophylactics for PCP etc, no one knows I have done this, I just want to die of AIDS as opposed to killing myself (even though I am basically killing myself anyway, but no one knows). My death will be incredibly hard on the people that love me, but not as hard as obvious suicide. I am not selfish, I have lived in this hell for most of my life because I did not want to put my loved ones through the trauma of suicide and believe me, swallowing a bunch of pills would be easier than the horrendous death I will suffer, but I will suffer it to keep my family from dealing with suicide, I would call that anything but selfish.
As you can tell, this is not a sudden, non- thought out decision., it has been on my mind since I started taking meds 15 years ago. If I thought I could overcome severe depression I would try anything, but a lifetime of fighting my mental illness has proven to me there is no hope of ever feeling better and I have suffered enough, I just want the suffering to finally stop.  This is a permanent solution to permanent problem. My only problem with doing this is the overwhelming guilt of hurting the people I love. Nothing anyone can say will change my mind, so please, someone give me a little peace of mind and tell me it's ok, that you understand and I can go now. If I were suffering very severe, incurable physical pain, most people would understand if I killed myself, but because it is mental, I fear most will not understand. At least with physical pain, pain medication will relive it, nothing, and I have tried everything, nothing,  relives the constant agony of depression.
I have an appointment with my DR in about a week only because he will not write anymore prescriptions for sleeping pills until I see him again. I thought of telling him what I am doing but I am afraid he will get mad. He will know something because I am sure (with any luck) my viral load (which was undetectable and t-cells were around 200) is very high and my t-cells have dropped since I last seen him over 6 months ago, but I am hoping he will just think it is drug resistance.  I really need to let him know so he can (I hope he will) help relieve my suffering from AIDS once it starts with palliative care. Sorry this is so long. Thanks for your time, my best to all of you.

Offline emeraldize

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Re: can't keep fighting to live when all I want to do is die
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2010, 10:11:06 PM »
Hi Vamark,

I just finished reading your post. And, two questions come to mind, does your "great guy" partner know of your wishes? If yes, what does he think ? If no, why have you not told him or if that is a flat out no-go, how will he respond once he learns it was your choice to opt out on your med regimen?

Having lost a brother-in-law to suicide a tad over a year ago, I have some strong, painful, insomnia-driven nights and have equally strong feelings about the collateral damage of offing one's self. However, having had a friend who's suffered relentless anxiety and panic disorder, I understand, but cannot empathize completely with, a lifelong waltz with mental illness and the complete wear down it can cause.         

So, while I see this is your first post, and uncharacteristically no one's responded to you for an extraordinary number of hours, I sense you're simply sharing. I don't get the feeling at all that you're crying out for help, want to be stopped, discuss a switch of therapists or therapy...none of that. And, I think, to the degree I'm able, I understand your wanting it to end. And you have an organic, (protracted as hell sadly) route out of the game.

I can envision opting for that were I you. I can envision it if the same set of circumstances plagued me.

If you believe you've exhausted all avenues and are exhausted and ready, then I believe it is your map to make.

Now, before you go thinking you've got my 100% endorsement of your route and plan, I have one final question. Have you ever heard of NET (neuro emotional technique)? If the answer is No, please promise you'll reply to this thread and state that. I'll monitor your replies. If you reply No, then I'm going to push one set of actions  your way.

First things first.

Hope to see your reply.

Em

Offline leatherman

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Re: can't keep fighting to live when all I want to do is die
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2010, 10:27:38 PM »
Hi vamrk,
I too read through your post and was waiting to see what others might have to say to you. I think you just took us all off-guard with such a bold, declarative post. Rather than asking for helping, implicitly or explicitly, your post seems to be a statement of your intents and nothing else. Frankly, I don't understand quite why you posted this and what you expected to hear from anyone here.

My depression is not due to AIDS or the meds, it was there long before I had AIDS. I have been on just about every antidepressant available in combination with psychotherapy for many, many years with different psychotherapists with no relief at all.
I am very sorry to hear that you have been so troubled for so many years. Although I have lived through a house fire, burglaries, near homeless, hospitalizations, and the death of two partners, I can't imagine the circumstances you described, especially with no relief from meds or counseling. But can you truly not say that you have been glad to be alive at least some of the days out of the last two decades? Do you not get some happiness from being with your partner? Is every day that miserable?

I am in a relationship with a great guy ... I am not selfish, I have lived in this hell for most of my life because I did not want to put my loved ones through the trauma of suicide and believe me, swallowing a bunch of pills would be easier than the horrendous death I will suffer, but I will suffer it to keep my family from dealing with suicide, I would call that anything but selfish.

I really need to let him know so he can (I hope he will) help relieve my suffering from AIDS once it starts with palliative care.
even with palliative care, dying is not an easy thing. I've sat by the bedside of two different partners, while under hospice care in our home, watching and waiting while they passed away, each of them over a period of nine days. Death comes not so much from any illness (unless pneumonia settles in) as much as it does from starvation and no liquid-intake. It's very disturbing to keep administering more and more pain meds while your partner neither eats or drinks (from illness and weakness) and begs you to "help" them along. Having experienced that, along with nearly dying in the hospital twice myself with pneumonia, you're definitely not taking the "easy way". The path you are going down will be very painful and protracted for you, while taking a huge toll on on those caring for you - the nurses and your partner.

Plus, I should point out that after you pass away, if anyone discovers that you had gone off meds, they will know that you enabled yourself to die. They will know that it was a suicide. You'll be leaving behind people who not only will wonder why they failed to notice your actions (put I guess it would be your "inactions" of not taking your meds) and who will be left without you in their lives; but they may harbor bad feeling against you for your lies and for the suicide that you did actually commit.

Sorry this is so long. Thanks for your time, my best to all of you.
I'm still very sorry for you situation; but I must ask why you wrote this in this forum? As you have already chosen your course of action 6 months ago, are you looking for us (strangers to you) to provide some sort of comfort? are you looking for some sort of approval? would you not be better served, since you have been treating your HIV successfully for at least 14 years and not the issue, to discuss your issues with your partner, your own doctor, a suicide hot line, or a mental health website?

As I said, I'm sorry for your situation, but the only good advice that anyone could probably offer you from an hiv/aids website is to consult your doctor and re-start taking meds for the HIV as soon as possible.

my thoughts go out to you and I hope you choose to change the course you have set out on before it's too late.
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Offline vamark

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Re: can't keep fighting to live when all I want to do is die
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2010, 01:30:53 AM »
Emeraldize and Leatherman, Thanks for responding. I am going to reply to you both in two posts.
Emeraldize, No my “great guy” does not know my plan, no one does except you out there in cyberspace  The whole point is for this to look like a natural death, otherwise I would just swallow all the pills I have saved over the years and be done with it, certainly would be easier. You talk about you brother in laws suicide and the effect it had on you and I am sure others, that is exactly what I am trying to avoid.  Not going to be easy, never thought it would be but I do think a natural death is easier  for loved ones to deal with than suicide.
I do thank you for your understanding, even if it is not a 100% endorsement. I did not expect anyone to come on here and say “yea dude, life sucks, go ahead…off yourself”. To be honest I don’t really know why I did post it, except, and please this is not for sympathy,  with no one knowing this is bottled up inside with no one to talk to about it, so I suppose I was hoping for some compassion, understanding and perhaps a little interaction even if it is with strangers, so again thank you.
As far as NET goes, no I had never heard of it so I googled it and to be honest it, from what I read it is not for me. I can’t believe that my problems are within my “Lung Meridian or Liver Meridian” and many warnings came up warning to stay away from such procedures. Though I don’t want to be critical of something I have no real experience with and am willing to hear you out but make no promises I will try this treatment myself. Again, thanks for your response.

Offline vamark

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Re: can't keep fighting to live when all I want to do is die
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2010, 02:18:40 AM »
Leatherman, You say to don’t know why I posted and what I expected, to be honest I wrote that post about two weeks ago and kept hesitating posting it for that very reason, all I can say is the same thing I said too Emeraldize. What Did I expect? Well in retrospect, I wish I did not post it, as I said above I really had no illusion of people getting on here and saying  “yea dude, life sucks, go ahead…off yourself” even though to be honest that is what I want to hear. I realize this puts people in a bad situation because while many may understand, most, understandably are not going to contribute to my actions by encouraging me and the lack of response is understandable, what can anyone say.? Unfortunately once a post has been made it can’t be “unposted”, so sorry if I made anyone feel uncomfortable.
Trust me I know how horrible this is and will be. I am a gay man pushing 50 so although I have not lost a partner to AIDS I was 18 in 1980 and right in the heart of this pandemic. The guy I was with when I  discovered my AIDS status was one of the people that the new drugs literally resurrected from his deathbed. He had KS and PCP and it was like I could watch the weight falling off him right in front of my eyes (he was doing great the last time I seen him about a year ago). I have also lost countless friends to AIDS so I am very aware of the seriousness of this and am under no illusion it is going to be easy. In fact I even went online many times and checked out sites about the early days of AIDS in the US as a reminder of what I was going to be putting myself, and unfortunately others through. I know I write of this very matter of fact like, but it scares the hell out of me, I am terrified of what I know I will go through but I can’t go on like this any longer. I have a choice and I choose death, this by no means, means it is an easy choice. As I said in my original post, the hardest thing I am dealing with is the guilt of what I will be doing to my loved ones.
Since I have had PCP before, it is very likely I will get it again and if there is a God in heaven that will happen and I will not linger long putting myself and others through a long agonizing ordeal. Of course no guarantee that will happen.
I can only hope that no one discovers that I stopped my meds after I am gone, I can’t imagine a much worse situation, again the whole point is to look like a natural death. 
I sympathize and am sorry for the hardships you have had to endure and I truly hope things are and continue to get better for you. It must be understood that I am not depressed due to the difficulties in my life, I wish that were the case, those things can be dealt with. My life is such a mess because of depression and it never ends. I will not lie and say that every minute of every day for the past 20 or 30 years has be without any happiness, but I can say that as time passes it gets worse. I can also honestly say that in the past 10 years or more, at any point in time, given the choice between life and death I would have chosen death.
Again you ask why I posted….. main reason is the guilt but nothing anyone can say can alleviate that.
Thanks for your response. 

Offline emeraldize

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Re: can't keep fighting to live when all I want to do is die
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2010, 07:54:25 AM »
Good Morning Vamark,

Must head to work, so this is quick. re: "As far as NET goes, no I had never heard of it so I googled it and to be honest it, from what I read it is not for me. I can’t believe that my problems are within my “Lung Meridian or Liver Meridian” and many warnings came up warning to stay away from such procedures. Though I don’t want to be critical of something I have no real experience with and am willing to hear you out but make no promises I will try this treatment myself. Again, thanks for your response."

Please refer me to the source of your "many warnings" and second, this is definitely in the category of Don't Knock It Until You Try It.  Clearly, it's an avenue you haven't tried and for many, it is efficacious. What you've got to lose, from my perspective, is your life---so, you may want to consider it an option.

Thank you for replying.  Gotta fly!
Em

Offline Ann

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Re: can't keep fighting to live when all I want to do is die
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2010, 11:37:16 AM »
Vamark, do you honestly think you're going to be able to keep your "no meds" secret? Never mind after you're gone, what about when you're in the hospital dying? They're going to think you've acquired resistance. They'll do tests. They'll want to put you on different meds. What are you going to do when you're too weak to get out of bed by yourself to flush the unwanted pills down the can? I can't see how you'd be able to keep this secret. No way, no how.

Ann
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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline darkerpozz

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Re: can't keep fighting to live when all I want to do is die
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2010, 12:43:05 PM »
Vanmark, I feel your pain so completely that it was a letter I could have wrote except you said you had a great love. I too was diagnosed with severe clinical depression long before my HIV diagnosis  but I have had luck with medications off and on but the depression is consistent and always there. I too am considering a doctor approved pill break so don't think your going to die immediately from stopping meds ( some folks never start and are LTS with HIV) Unfortunately when I was diagnosed it was because the AIDS had attacked my brain and my body was shutting down(walking,speech,sight,coordination) and it was horid and not something you want to slowly happen.I totally feel your pain that it would be easier to be over and done because I have had a great life laughing more than humanly tolerated but the one thing I wish I had and would give the world for is to have a love in my life.I assume you don't want to burden him but I wouldn't see it that way and he may not either. He LOVES you and wants to be there for you.Here is my divine power moment, I tried the suicide route three times(drinking and pills, drugs,and a car crash) and the Lord kept saying "Not Yet" so as much as you think your in control your exit date is written in the stars beyond your control. I pray that you'll keep trying to find that mixture of whatever to keep you alive. I have nothing to gain but our stories are so similar I would hurt to find you quit the battle and I due regularly ponder those same thoughts but I get past them and before I know it I am looking forward to something. I don't go out much,have lost or pushed away all my friends,am so tired of tv and movies and resting( I don't really sleep)but I am finding the joy somehow. There is no reason for me to stay in my house all the time I look great but the depression kicks my ass. I would be willing to e-mail back and forth  if you just want to complain cause your releasing it, just a thought and I can't sleep so I am always up. Wishing you well,  M

Offline leatherman

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Re: can't keep fighting to live when all I want to do is die
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2010, 01:06:01 PM »
Leatherman, You say to don’t know why I posted and what I expected, to be honest I wrote that post about two weeks ago and kept hesitating posting it for that very reason, ... Unfortunately once a post has been made it can’t be “unposted”, so sorry if I made anyone feel uncomfortable.
Hi Vamark,
Thank you so much for writing back. You know it's just human nature for us to try to help others to preserve life, so of course, you weren't going to get the validation you might have hoped for. All I hoped for was that you continue to discuss your situation some. I'll apologize now for my long post; but talking about life and death is never a neat little package that be contained in just a few quips - at least not to one as talkative as I am LOL So please bear with me, as I try to understand, dissuade, explain, and offer at least some support (as I hope you see my comments) in such a difficult time of your life.

I know that I, some stranger on the internet, may not change your mind; but I do feel obligated by my own humanity (sorry, I do think I am my brother's keeper, although many do not) and by the circumstances that I've been though to make sure that you consider all the ramifications of the decision that you told us about. I would venture to say that that is the reason you posted. Nearly everyone has some kernel of hope that they cling to, to get through the days, and you may just be hoping to hear something, anything that could help in your situation. I mean why else bother to talk to people if not to hear their slant on things. Who knows what may be unknown to you could be common knowledge to someone else.

Recently in a few other threads about suicides I though people were being just a bit too PC, suggesting that those thinking about suicide had some implicit right to be allowed to continue to think that they're actions might not be selfish. You have quite bravely talked about your underlying mental/depression issues, and that's why I think it's a good choice of yours to post and hear some of us out. In the mental state that you're coming from, I hope that you can understand that I don't think that you're objectively and rationally looking at your life. I have no illusions that my mere words on a screen can dissuade you from your course; but what do you have to lose by listening to what someone on the outside looking in has to say? Having been so reasonable to have written out your thoughts on how you reached your decision, it would only be reasonable to see what we have to say. Although in the end, I took my meds today, you did not, and the world goes on just like it was.

My point of view, from the outside of your situation, can only see the loss to your family and your partner. Especially your partner. In another thread, I put forth the notion that the poster considering suicide was being selfish as his justification seemed to be that he thought his death could somehow benefit his partner. Having lost my two guys, I just have to say that that this is the dumbest, most selfish thing I had even heard. I would trade nearly anything and take on any problem to have either of my two partners back. The poster too seemed to be hiding/lying to his partner, and as to him, to you I say, please consider talking to your partner. That's what they are there for, to be a helpmate for those times when you don't have the strength to carry on. Surely, your partner would move heaven and earth to help you if he only understood how low you feel at this point in your life.

Quote
Trust me I know how horrible this is and will be. I am a gay man pushing 50 so although I have not lost a partner to AIDS I was 18 in 1980 and right in the heart of this pandemic. .. I have a choice and I choose death, this by no means, means it is an easy choice.
I'm coming up quick on 48 (I was 18 in 1980 too!) and though I'm saddened that any of us had to live through "those" times, knowing that much about you now, let's me know that you do truly understand at least some of the ramifications of your decision. Many people claiming they want to "end it all" really have never seen the how it all ends. I tell you having sat at the bedside of my two partners and seen what I did, I plan to do whatever it takes to not go like that. But I don't think of that resolution of mine as a suicide plan. That for me, like making the decision to have the vet put down 7 of my 10 spaniels so far, is a justified end of life decision. I mean, I've certainly seen enough and am realistic enough to know that when the end is coming, it's coming. What sense is there to drag out a painful experience for a few more hours or days of the terminally ill just to justify my selfish in wanting them a few moments more?

If you were in such a terminal state, I could condone your actions to stop your meds. When I was taking meds in 1995 and 1998 that were literally making me throw up every damned day, I made a quality of life decision both times and stopped my meds. I firmly believe, having experienced it for at least 12 months, that throwing up daily is no life at all, and I refuse to even pretend to "live" like that. But at those times, I was also living 550 miles from my family, had been hospitalized with PCP and pneumonia, and was grieving the loss of my partner, and the loss of too many friends to count. (While I had been in the hospital rooms of many of my friends, they were all dead and there was no one to sit by me while I suffered through my two hospitalizations alone with only the doctors telling me how tenuous my situation was.) Having lived through all that, I believe that I can understand how depression is driving you into such despair. Thankfully though, my own actions never did cause my death, and as time went by the meds improved, I made new friends, and was even so lucky as to fall in love again. My current regime while imperfect (causing me to throw up 4 to 6 times a month) is a vast improvement and something that I can live with though.

Quote
I sympathize and am sorry for the hardships you have had to endure and I truly hope things are and continue to get better for you.
Please don't misunderstand me. I'm not asking for sympathy for anything that I've gone through, though I do appreciate your kindness as I struggle every day still missing my two partners - especially as I'm coming up on the 2 yr anniversary of the second one's death. I only put forth my situations in the hopes that you seeing that someone has come through such circumstances (some similar to your own) would give you some hope to try to get through your own situation. I often tell people that only one thing can't be fixed - and that's death. Everything else can be fixed, or at least made much better, but it often requires hard work and patience. (hmm, such few words to describe quite a Herculean task)

Quote
Again you ask why I posted….. main reason is the guilt but nothing anyone can say can alleviate that.
Thanks for your response. 
All I wanted while my partner was in the hospital March and April 2008 was a crystal ball to seek to know what should be done, whether his death was something we could fight off, or whether as a lost battle, we needed to throw in the towel sooner than later. Unfortunately, I just don't have enough fortune-tellers for friends and no one had a crystal ball and no one had the answer for me. Sadly I should have taken him from the hospital earlier rather than allow him to endure that hell for 60 days worth of torture.

As Ann mentioned, as your health worsens and you lose strength, the doctors and others will began to exert control over much more of your life - whether you want it or not. While my partner laid unconscious, I chose to continue his treatment. Though I was partially guided by my own desires to preserve his life, I felt I was also following his wishes along with the advice from the doctors. Sometimes even my choices were over-ridden by the doctor. Simply getting him out of the hospital, though the MRIs proved the tumors to still be growing after 2 rounds of chemo, took 3 days, and a lot of demanding on my part. Once in the clutches of the medical community, they are very persistant and loathe to let go. Without leaving specific instructions and without your partner knowing about your actions and wishes, you may find that your desire to just let it all end is denied. (If that day comes, do try to remember that all those people preventing your quick demise are only doing it out of love and respect for human life.)

Unfortunately, I still haven't found any crystal balls, and don't have any magical answers to help you endure whatever your future is holding. I do hope though that something I might have said has helped, made you think, or given you a bit of peace. The internet is such a poor way to try to understood and communicate to each other in times like this, so I urge you once again to seek out one-to-one counseling.

Please do keep in mind that many of us here, even those of haven't posted, are thinking of you and worrying about you. I would say we're sorry about that, but I won't, because many of them have graciously helped me and they're just that good-hearted. Please try to stay in touch, no matter how thing unfold for you, if we can't dissuade you from your present course of action, I would hope having been there and seen that, that we can at least provide you some sort of comfort in the even darker days coming upon you.

 :-* michael
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Offline Inchlingblue

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Re: can't keep fighting to live when all I want to do is die
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2010, 10:32:25 PM »
As I read this thread I can't think of any advice to give nor do I have any wisdom to impart yet I feel compelled to be included, not sure why. Maybe it's because I'm also 47, as is Leatherman and vanmark and, I think, Ann too? (1962!@ yeah~!)

I have an ex, who I'm still very close to and who I love very dearly, who was clinically depressed (and sometimes manic) when we were together. This was in the early 90s. He eventually went on Prozac and it worked so well for him that he's still on it and doesn't want to mess with a good thing by trying any of the newer and supposedly better drugs that have come since. Our relationship was extremely rocky, mainly due to his depression and the fact that I didn't know how to handle his extreme moods.

It's amazing that someone with your level of depression has managed to keep a loving partner, you must be doing something right! ;)

I take your word for it that no medication has worked for your depression, I've just never heard of such a scenario. I guess you've tried them all by now, huh?

All I can offer is my love and compassion and a big fat cyber hug.    

EDITED TO ADD:

Come to think of it, I do know of someone who was in a similar situation, can't believe I had forgotten. This person had severe depression that was not alleviated by anything and tried ECT and it worked. Have you tried this? It's not as bad as it sounds.

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), also known as electroshock, is a well-established, albeit controversial, psychiatric treatment in which seizures are electrically induced in anesthetized patients for therapeutic effect. Today, ECT is most often used as a treatment for severe major depression which has not responded to other treatment,[1] and is also used in the treatment of mania (often in bipolar disorder), catatonia and schizophrenia. It was first introduced in the 1930s[2] and gained widespread use as a form of treatment in the 1940s and 1950s; today, an estimated 1 million people worldwide receive ECT every year,[3] usually in a course of 6–12 treatments administered 2 or 3 times a week.

LINK:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electroconvulsive_therapy
« Last Edit: January 06, 2010, 10:46:58 AM by Inchlingblue »

Offline emeraldize

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Re: can't keep fighting to live when all I want to do is die
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2010, 03:58:06 AM »
Hi Vamark,

I'm glad Inchling included reference to ECT---my friend's former partner was similarly plagued and responded to ECT. Granted, she has had it a couple of times, at various points in her life, but has continued to maintain achieving higher degrees, gain employment and have another long-term love relationship.

Em

Offline leatherman

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Re: can't keep fighting to live when all I want to do is die
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2010, 09:48:51 AM »
Fighting off my depression monster through hard work, activities and positive thinking, I just haven't known enough about the medical side of depression treatment to suggest any solutions of that kind, Vamark. I've had several friends who have suffered with bi-polar and several from clinical depression; but medications and therapy has worked fairly well for most of them. (although the one bi-polar friend has an adherence issue that doesn't do him any good, cause when he's off meds his lfe spirals out of control). But I can also put in a personal endorsement of what Inch and Em have said.
my friend's former partner was similarly plagued and responded to ECT.
Though it's not something much talked about in my family, I know that after my second brother was born, my mom slipped into a severe post-partum depression. As a small child (I was seven when my brother was born), I do remember the bottles of valium and other drugs; but nothing specific. However, I have learned since that Mom had ECT, which definitely explained why that pill bottles all went away and mom became a much different person by the time I was 9 years old. Though she's a hypochondriac today and has some depression, the few family members that have spoken about it tell me that the treatment made all the difference in the world in my mom's life.
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Offline Inchlingblue

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Re: can't keep fighting to live when all I want to do is die
« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2010, 10:13:23 AM »
Coincidentally, after posting last night I watched part 2 of a new PBS series called This Emotional Life and there was a long segment on ECT which followed a young (19 or so) woman with untreatable depression who had no other options and tried ECT.

They explained that the treatment has evolved from how it was administered in the past. People are sedated and not awake during the actual procedure. It does require 6 to 9 treatments, sometimes more. This girl they followed I think had to get 16 treatments! But she did improve considerably, her depression lifted and she was ready to start college.

One of the fascinating facts they talked about is that it has been found that taking antidepressants can form new neurons and connections in the brain and that ECT also does this and even more so.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2010, 08:04:24 PM by Inchlingblue »

Offline emeraldize

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Re: can't keep fighting to live when all I want to do is die
« Reply #13 on: January 06, 2010, 12:11:03 PM »
"One of the fascinating facts they talked about is that it has been found that taking antidepressants can form new neurons and connections in the brain and that ECT also does this and even more so."

That is quite fascinating!

Offline Ann

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Re: can't keep fighting to live when all I want to do is die
« Reply #14 on: January 06, 2010, 12:29:54 PM »
I have a cousin-in-law who was treated with ECT (post-partum depression) and it helped her immensely as well. Worth looking into.

Ann
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Online Andy Velez

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Re: can't keep fighting to live when all I want to do is die
« Reply #15 on: January 06, 2010, 03:38:57 PM »
Van, I've been thinking about what you've said. Others have responded to you with compassion and eloquence.

Like Ann I think it will only be a question of time before those who are treating you medically are going to realize you are not taking meds. As for your partner the words I keep hearing are, "Why didn't you tell me?!!"

It's hard for anyone who hasn't suffered with depression to appreciate how hard it is to go on when you are living with it. Your writing here is a way of reaching out from under that terrible burden. It's actually a life affirming thing to have done. So as articulate and honest as you have been, I can't help thinking there is a life-affirming part of you that wants some help. It is to that part of you that I am speaking when I  urge you to get that help.

With best regards to you.
 
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Offline Boo Radley

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Re: can't keep fighting to live when all I want to do is die
« Reply #16 on: January 06, 2010, 07:40:05 PM »
vamark,

I think I understand you completely but cannot, in my heart and mind, tell you it is OK to end your life.  I've lived with depression almost all of my life with severe bouts and relatively easy periods which seemed to have no explanation or cause.   I know what craving peace feels like and how much worse it gets as time passes with no relief.  I can't walk in your shoes but what you write could be written by me. 

My first thought waking up every day has been "Why did I have to wake up?" more often than not.  My last serious suicide attempt was in January, 1999 and the sadness and grief I felt after waking up, realizing I'd failed again, were beyond description.  I've thought about it many times and still do but at 54 something holds me back.   It's not the anti-depressants I still take even though they helped in the past.  I have no family to speak of and self-isolation has reduced the number of friends I communicate with to a handful. 

I lie to my psychiatrist monthly because I don't want to be hospitalized again.  I semi-voluntarily entered a facility in 1997 and after one week had a miracle cure and said whatever was necessary to be released.    We have discussed ECT and I'm interested but can't manage to take the next step.  I guess I'm holding on to ECT as a last resort but also fear it won't help.

Nothing anyone says or does can help but I hope you gain some comfort knowing others are listening and trying to understand and help.   All I can think of is to give ECT a try.  Dying from AIDS is a very slow and painful way to go.  You must realize that PCP today isn't like PCP 10 years ago unless you successfully hide your condition to prevent being treated.  Would your partner or family let you go so far? 

Please let us know how your doctor's visit goes and what your labs are (or PM me if you don't want to publicly write them).   I hope writing here has helped a little and urge you to keep writing -- keeping it all inside isn't helpful. 

Take care.
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Offline TabooPrincess

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Re: can't keep fighting to live when all I want to do is die
« Reply #17 on: February 04, 2010, 04:09:57 PM »
Coincidentally, after posting last night I watched part 2 of a new PBS series called This Emotional Life and there was a long segment on ECT which followed a young (19 or so) woman with untreatable depression who had no other options and tried ECT.

They explained that the treatment has evolved from how it was administered in the past. People are sedated and not awake during the actual procedure. It does require 6 to 9 treatments, sometimes more. This girl they followed I think had to get 16 treatments! But she did improve considerably, her depression lifted and she was ready to start college.

One of the fascinating facts they talked about is that it has been found that taking antidepressants can form new neurons and connections in the brain and that ECT also does this and even more so.


In my line of work we sometimes use ECT on patients with severe depression.  It's not nearly as barbaric as people may think and is actually quite gentle.  Whilst I have seen some patients undergo a full course and it have no effect whatsoever, I've also seen miracles happen with others. It's quite difficult to get referred for though. And takes around 5 or more sessions before results, sometimes very small, are seen.  Worth a try though.
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Offline Theyer

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Re: can't keep fighting to live when all I want to do is die
« Reply #18 on: February 05, 2010, 12:44:00 PM »
Dear Vamark,

i would like to add that I too have seen people benefit from ECT and stress that it is not the aggressive treatment it was and is still perceived to be. I hope that you can find the will to investigate this.I hesitate to presume but you say you have a partner and you have generated a discussion thread here about a massively differcult subject and from the outside that speaks off a person who can and does maintain relationships therefore however you die your loss will be felt .You also understand the aw fall impact scuide has on those left behind, the tragedy seems to me that you cannot turn any off that gentle sensitivity on to yourself , I urge you to again try to treat yourself with the sensitivity you can summon for others.I know there will be no easy road but please keep investigating talking and posting.
m
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Offline Sterling

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Re: can't keep fighting to live when all I want to do is die
« Reply #19 on: February 11, 2010, 11:29:37 AM »
Severe depression is a monster.  It can take control of your life and make you do irrational things and just make you think irrationally.  Without it being properly medicated makes it all the worse.  It's tough to fight...some days you win and other days you don't.  Regardless, it's something you have to constantly battle and live with.

If all you want to do is die, then you'd be dead already.  There is still a part of you that compels you to live.  What I can say is grab ahold of that part with all your strength and don't let go.  Take a small step and make a positive affirmation every morning you wake up and build up a will to get through one more day on the good side.  You're looking for a way out of your despair and people here are telling you there are still options to LIVE.

Talk about your current feelings with your partner, your family, your doctor...just talk about it.  It can really help, and you might be able to find a solution for the dilemma you're in.  Good luck.

 


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