The medical doctor suggested that Gabapentin withdrawal, not Lyrica is the culprit and that perimenopause is also playing a part in this emotional and medical crisis. She made some suggestions to improve the terrible mood swings such as Dong quai and Black cohosh.

When asked why I didn’t lower the dose of Lyrica when it was originally thought to be a problem, I told her, at this point I’m more afraid of the pain than of my mind.

The difficulty with me saying to someone that at times I feel overwhelmingly suicidal is that I appear ok. But I do not get asked if I’m eating right, showering, brushing my teeth, taking care of the house. I have on clean looking clothing but honestly, I showed up to that appointment in the same sweatpants I slept in. I changed essentials but I put the pants and shirt right back on bc nothing else is clean. There’s no clean laundry at all, not towels, wash rags or clothing.

I’m depressed and sometimes suicidal, but I don’t look it. Then of course there’s that terrible habit I have of laughing and joking with people even when my heart feels crushed to pieces by depression.

How does the average clinician see past those who appear to be high functioning who say they’re depressed? They don’t have to, they can simply ask questions. What are you eating? It took me three nights to eat a cake for dinner. I had a box of donuts for dinner. I had a salad one night, a sandwich another night. Eating junk once a day was the norm for November. Are you keeping up with self care? No. Are you able to concentrate on daily tasks? Hardly. It takes forever to complete the most simple task. Is your anxiety manageable? I pace the floors. I walk from one end of the apartment to the next. They could ask point blank how often I consider a way to end things.

I know I don’t ‘look’ deeply depressed. Even my long time therapist gets sucked into outward appearances. I will flat out say to him how I’m feeling and that the depression hasn’t changed but I’m not certain I hear concern. Also, I don’t remind him to ask questions about the level of the depression. Why? Because there’s no extra strength to be my own therapist too. When it comes to suicidal ideation, my therapist drops the ball every time which means my support for SI will come from outside a professional setting.

Depression and suicidality can be tricky to spot. There are also times when people who ‘should’ get it don’t. However, there are many, many who will listen with care and concern. They may not have answers but they will listen. No matter the source of the depression, listening is a wonderful gift to a depressed soul.


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