I hear you 100% on the suckiness. Although I can tell you're much farther down the road than I, I'm far enough down the road to be able to be able to transcend my depressive episodes and see them for what they are. For years I battled them as character flaws; now I'm able to just let them be, knowing they'll eventually pass, and in the mean time saying to myself, "Yep, this SUCKS." Part of me will never stop fighting with the hope that I'll eventually overcome it for good, but I'm to the point where I can accept the potential permanence of it, including the potential permanence of being on drugs if that's what fate has in store.
I've actually read a lot of positive things about electroshock therapy and would it open to it if it were appropriate for me, but it seems to be geared more toward major depressive disorders.
Indeed, "babe" is a psychiatrist, an MD of psychiatry. I also have a talk therapist so I know the difference quite well.
Why do you recommend so strongly against amphetamine as an antidepressant? I can tell you that in 34 years of living, no other factor has had such a positive impact on my health, including a directly positive impact on my mental health which has indirectly led to me becoming by far the physically healthiest I've ever been. While it's true that I seem to be affected by some tolerance effects, that's relatively minor compared to where I was before. I'm not experiencing any kind of crash or slippery slope, at least none that I perceive. In fact, if nothing changed and I wasn't able to milk a little extra juice out of my dose to get back to the 100% I was at, I'd still be at 85% and holding.
That said, I realize that there's a reason what I'm taking is in the same class of drug as cocaine: It's not pixy stix. On the other hand, what I'm taking was recommended and prescribed by a psychiatrist (not a family doctor), and it is something that I've been taking successfully going on 2 years now.
Is there a long-term risk I should be aware of? What about it makes it problematic? Does that depend on the person or is it something inherently problematic about taking amphetamine for depression? Might the tolerance effect start picking up again at some point?
The interesting thing is that while I don't feel any physical addiction (there's no craving) or psychological dependence (I don't "look forward" to taking it), my lifestyle is completely dependent on it. When I go off it, I have no subconscious desire to go back on it per se, but I get extraordinarily sleepy and depressed, and I eat poorly (which is my addiction and source of psychological dependence). My biggest risk is that something will happen that will interrupt my ability to procure the dextroamphetamine (I'll get laid off and lose insurance, etc.). For a long time I was scared that "babe" was eventually going to say, "Okay, you're looking better now, let's take you off," but I now realize that she doesn't necessarily see me ever getting off it...which both reassured me and rocked my perspective that the drugs are just a short-term solution.
Understood with regards to the ix-nay on the elf-say eatment-tray. It's good to know what to expect and propose the next time I see Dr. Babe.
I don't doubt that what's worked for me could backfire miserably for some. But at this point I can live with minor complexities and even deterioration compared to what life was like before. Sometimes the solution is worse than the problem, but not this time.
And I have no ethical or social qualms about being "addicted" to an amphetamine. If it's a side-effect of an approach that helps me contribute better to society, if it's an appropriately considered and managed lesser-of-evils, I'm at peace with it. Others who may have problems with my solution are entitled to their problems.