Saturday, March 19, 2011

Back from the Hospital, Hanging By a Thread

I just returned from a 45-day stay at the UCSF mental ward, where they tried maximum medications and finally 12 bilateral ECT treatments to treat my acute depression with little success.  As they had done all they could do, I opted to come home, where I have a little more freedom and familiarity with my surroundings, and above all, a loving wife in Kathleen whom I desperately missed in the hospital. 

I wish I could report that I'm well but I'm not.  I'm still very sick and suffer from predictable weeping spells, suicidal ideation, anhedonia, sleep disturbance--in a word, all the symptoms of a severe depression.  Naturally this comes on the heels of a mania, recorded in these pages, which I did not correctly perceive for what it was as I was so happy just to be delivered from depression for a time.  But I'm paying for it now.

I ask for your prayers and encouragement.  There are times when I am so overcome by hopelessness I really don't know what to do.  I become paralyzed, the proverbial deer in the headlight.  The smallest tasks overwhelm me.

I ask forgiveness for any I may have offended in my manic phase; I said and wrote some cruel things when I was so sure that my judgment was divine and not just the product of a diseased mind, which it turned out to be, for the most part.  Naturally I am embarrassed and ashamed.  But I did not choose this illness, it chose me.  It is not my fault but it is my responsibility, and a terrible responsibility that is.  Someday I would like to feel like a useful member of the human race again but that day is not near.  Now I am barely functional, just doing my best not to give into suicidal fantasies.  Pray for me.  I hang by a thread, truly.

Namaste in any case,

Craig Erick

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