It’s been a while since I posted anything about my treatments so I thought I would check in with everyone.
I have gone through 11 treatments, and it has come to a crux, or a split in the road that decisions have to be made. Given the nature of ECT and having to be put under anesthesia, there are a limited number of times that it is healthy to go through it; I’m at the end of this period.
Now for the decisions that need to be made. I could stop altogether if I don’t think they are helping, or I could come up with a “taper-down” schedule that would allow the last bit of help to be stuck in and still keep a sensible outlook on how long to let the treatments last. I guess the main decision point is to ask myself if I’m getting a benefit. Dr Hermida (my supervising psychiatrist) asked me and I told her that I didn’t think I was getting the results that I thought I would. I felt like I should be “exuberant” about life and chomping at the bit to explore my photography and how to further it more of a career.
So after backing myself into a corner of a black and white view of success or failure, my wife and some close friends let me know that they see things happening that I apparently don’t see. Of course it is crazy (excuse the unintentional pun) to think that I’m not fully aware of my condition and well-being. 🙂 So, I’m trying to take a step back and reevaluate my situation and try to really see where it is that I stand.
Given the fact that I am writing this blog-post says that I am not at least somewhat compelled to communicate with the outside world. That’s a good sign I suppose. I have recently signed up for a trip to eastern Tennessee this October to take advantage of the fall foliage. Those of you that saw last year’s results should be intrigued. Last year turned out great if I say so myself!! You can see those photos at LeeVannPhotography.com. Feel free to comment or give feedback on any go the photos. I always love discussing them and how people perceive them. I also signed up for an event coming to Atlanta this fall sponsored by Atlanta Celebrates Photography (ACP). I’m looking forward to and am a little scared about the portfolio review. People that can really help my career will see my work. What if they say it’s just ok, or even not that great? I have to keep in mind that even if they do say that, I know how it makes me feel, and that counts for most of what I should be concerned with.
So I suppose my doubts about the effectiveness of the treatments are self-answering. My depression causes me to feel in a rut and unmotivated, as well as sad. Given the stuff I plan to participate in this fall, I would say that it has helped the rut for sure. My wife says she can see a difference in my happiness. I’m naturally very self-judgmental, so it’s easy for me to let myself feel like it’s not helping my sadness at all. Luckily my wife is nearby to remind me that she sees me from a better angle (outside myself), and almost as frequently as I see myself, and she can see improvements in my mood. She says I smile more than I did. I’m glad that it is her that gets to see that improvement in me especially. I’m lucky enough to have snared her in my trap, so she deserves to see as much positive as possible. When you are lucky enough to trade up as far as I did with a spouse, it makes me feel good when I can show her that she made the right decision now and then.
So let’s sum it up! After 11 treatments, there definitely is a difference. I have a better overall outlook and have the capacity to push my career forward. So, I will speaking with Dr Hermida about tapering down treatment and see if I can extend this improvement as long as possible. I am also taking a much larger interest in portraiture. I have always had a knack for them (in my own opinion). When I started The Faces of Depression, I did some pretty damn good portrait work. Go check it out yourself! I tend to lean toward more of a dramatically lit scene with portraits. I’m also looking forward to exploring various looks. Everything from natural looks, to professionally made-up and hair-dressed, to off the wall scenes, even maybe some artistic nudes or just implied. As a side note, I did some pretty good self-taught work in video. Feel free to check out what some of my experts say about various aspects of depression and some of the treatments.
I look forward to hearing from some of you. I am open to anything you want to discuss. A lot of people try to hide their depression, but I am just not that type of person. I would come off very disingenuous if I tried to hide it. I always do my best when I just expose myself, and hope that I have chosen the right people to be in my life that will be understanding and supportive. So, CHEERS to all of you as well!!
- My Journey Through ECT- Treatment 7- July 20
- My Journey Through ECT- Final Treatments-End Thoughts