A long day’s journey into night (and back again)

In a comment that I read recently, someone said people shouldn’t be condemned to a lifetime of taking medication. I don’t like the word “condemned” in relation to medication. I don’t think anyone should be condemned to a life of severe chronic major depression, without the help of medication. I feel thankful to be living in a period where medication is available.In the 16th century it was called “the dark night of the soul” and the option was to retreat into mysticism and have decades of spiritual torment. In the 19th century it was a matter of being locked up in the attic, a la Wuthering Heights, or in the madhouse, being treated worse than an animal.

Wuthering Heights (1939 film)

Wuthering Heights (1939 film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Even in my father’s day, the medication available to him (pre-SSRIs) was pretty ineffective and had a lot of side effects, so he went through hell for 20 years.

I have been fortunate to find two psychiatrists who have had the patience to try many different medications, to find ones that work for me. I have also been lucky not to have had serious side-effects. I agree totally that other options should be explored, including long-term psychotherapy. Six months ago I experienced a dramatic, almost overnight change. My current psychiatrist has even used the “r” word (recovery), and the “t” word (transformation), a Jungian concept which means a person returns from a very long “night journey on the ocean”. See my article on this website:


I told some friends recently that I had experienced an overnight recovery. They said “what do you attribute this to?” I replied “twenty years of psychotherapy”. It’s like having an overnight success after twenty years of hard work. So far, I am back in the land of the living. But I am still on medication, as we wait patiently to see whether this is a genuine recovery and not just a mood swing. Here’s hoping!

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: