The Snowflake That Caused the Avalanche
After my first break down discussed in my last post on my life with depression, Life with Depression: First Major Crash, I was in a pretty delicate state but still able to move forward.
I was in my first semester of Police Foundations course, which was going pretty well. I made some friends and sometime later starting dating someone. I seemed to be recovering from that crash but in the back of my head, I could still feel the walls bending from the pressure of the depression.
Towards the end of the first semester, my girlfriend broke up with me. We hadn’t been dating too long so not too much of a connection had been made, but had started. That was the snowflake that caused the avalanche so to speak.
The Walls Crumble
Everything that I had been holding back, the worthlessness, the feelings of not being wanted or belonging, the death wishes and so much more pushed through my walls and everything came down. My walls and barriers were shattered and nonexistent. It wasn’t pretty.
When the second semester of school started I was in really rough shape. My parents knew that I was in bad shape and so I started seeing a counselor.
After a few meetings with him, I started opening up to him and it was during one of our sessions that I started talking about the suicidal ideation, obsession really, and that I not only wanted to die but was ready to die.
My First Form 1
My counselor’s office was across from the hospital. As we discussed a bit more he decided that I needed to be hospitalized and walked me across the street and had me admitted to the hospital on a Form 1.
For those of you who don’t know, a Form 1 gives the ability for the hospital to hold me against my will as a harm to myself or others for 72 hours in order to have an assessment by a psychiatrist.
I did see a psychiatrist and it was decided that I needed to be held in hospital under supervision, and needed to look into starting medication.
At this point the psychiatric floor hadn’t opened, it was a few days away from opening so I was put in a room with a security guard outside my door to make sure that I didn’t leave the hospital as I was still on the Form 1.
Up to the Psych Ward
Once the psych ward was opened I was transferred up to the unit to a room. It is a looked ward so there was no need for a security guard anymore. This is where things start to get a little fuzzy for me.
I was in such a state of uncaring and just wanting to die that I had no need to commit specifics to memory.
I was given a pass after the 72 hours ended and it was agreed I would stay in the hospital in order to go into the college and talk to my teachers. I explained my situation to them and gave them a brief overview of what was going on.
Wanting to Make Sure I Finished Second Semester
I wanted to finish the second semester, the first year, of the Police Foundations course. As my grades during the first semester, and I had many of the same teachers, they all agreed that if I did the assignments and the exams they were ok with me not attending class.
During the second semester, I was constantly in and out of the hospital, sometimes of my own free will and sometimes after making a suicide attempt. I was in anywhere from a week to a month at a time as the doctors worked aggressively with me and different medications.
Treatments and Depression Failing
Every medication they tried seemed to have no effect. They would start me on a medication and take me to the max dose within a month. When there were no positive effects the next medication would start.
There was a period of time that I became so low in my depression that all I could do was sit up in bed when the doctor entered my room, nod my head at whatever he said and then lay back down when he left the room. I had no recollection of what was discussed.
The nurses had to come and get me, to take me to the dining room and make sure that I ate. After eating I would just go back to my room and lay down in my bed again. Sometimes I would sleep, other times I would just stare at the wall blankly.
I was lost and wasn’t sure if I could even come back from this. All I wanted was to die.
It was decided that it would be best for me and the situation if I allowed my parents to be my advocates so that they could talk to the doctors and make decisions.
I was no longer able to work and was currently living on ODSP (Ontario Disability Support Program). So my parents would also manage my money.
Starting Shock Therapy
Because of the lack of success of medications and my condition my psychiatrist thought that ECT, more commonly known as Shock Therapy or Electro Convulsive Therapy would be the best course of action.
So I started receiving ECT treatments. It was done 3 days a week, Monday’s, Wednesday’s and Friday’s. I went through 10 sessions of the ECT without much success or change and so it was decided that we should stop the treatment as ineffective.
So it was back to the drawing boards and more medications.
I finished the second semester of the Police Foundations course mostly from the hospital. My parents would pick up the assignments when I couldn’t and I would go in to take tests and exams.
Despite being in the condition I was in, I was able to finish the second semester with good grades.
This was only the beginning. My first hospitalization was in 2006 and on average I was in the hospital at least 3 or 4 times a year ranging from a week to a month at a time over the course of the next 10 years.
In my next post on my life with depression, I hope to discuss more of what I went through with the medications, alternative treatments, and coping mechanisms that helped me to get by and continue the fight.
Read other posts in this series:
- Life With Depression: Onset of the Depression
- Life With Depression: Second Cry for Help
- Life With Depression: Third Cry for Help
- Life With Depression: Moving Back to Canada
- Life With Depression: First Major Crash