Tonight I am despondent…my last hope for relief was dashed this week, by a psychiatric resident. The Nova Scotia Health Authority have failed once again. In fact, this week’s appointment convinces me that there is no help in the system, I can’t afford private help, so my days are numbered.
When I was diagnosed, three staff psychiatrists and a friend of mine (also a psychiatrist) diagnosed me as Major Depressive Disorder with concomitant Generalized Anxiety Disorder. I started a course of treatment that, for fifteen years, kept me at baseline and productive at least 80% of the time. I had a GP (family doctor) who understood the approach and supported me. My SO also supported me, to some degree, but never fully accepted that it wasn’t a ‘failing’ on my part (I only learned this later).
About eleven years ago, my life went off the rails. As my primary source of employment was as a professional musician, I was one of those that began to feel the pinch of the Internet changing our industry.
At the same time I was forced, due to retirement, to change GPs. Almost immediately I had my meds fail and the new GP would not follow the working protocol. As a result, my depression worsened, followed by my anxiety. This incompetent doctor prescribed more and more benzodiazepines which only served to make the situation worse.
My wife then became fully menopausal and, with it, came increasingly frequent and vicious verbal and emotional abuse. With no place to retreat from all of these stressors, I became more and more debilitated.
At the same time, the inept GP sent me to one psychiatrist after another. In rapid fire I was diagnosed as Bipolar, Borderline Personality Disorder and Bipolar II, by three different doctors and, finally, had my original diagnosis restored by a fourth.
I began to look for day work, began taking distance courses, all toward trying to find a new vocation. In the face of constant cruelty and abuse from my now ex-wife, I was unable to keep a job and was able to finish only one course in electronic book-keeping.
It’s now three years later. My marriage is behind me, my cognitive and learning abilities are seriously diminished and I am unable to work. I am waiting on civil servants and doctors to do their parts so that I can start the battle for disability. My savings are disappearing and I am in misery and, now, have had a serious mental illness downgraded to dysthymia by a Millennial psych resident…where do you turn once you run out of road?
My chances at any relief and peace in what are surely my twilight years seem far beyond my reach.