(((Butterfly))) I know what you are going through. I too have been changed forever and boy does it SUCK!
You are doing everything right, everything, and now you just keep working in therapy, hoping, being open to med changes, keep your lifestyle changes and follow your path to wellness. Recovery can take a long time as you know. I sometimes find it funny that they even call my situation "recovery" as this isn't something I can ever get over or put behind me.
Now I know you’ve tried just about everything so I’m going to go with the more “out there” things.
I don't particularly care for DBT, but a lot of people swear by it and there are some parts of it that can be very helpful. One part of DBT that made a difference to me was the idea of Radical Acceptance. Radical acceptance is total and complete acceptance and different than the logical acceptance, the acknowledging of the problem, the tailoring of our lives to it, the acceptance of treatment, etc. It is really on a different level. I didn’t “get it” until one day it sort of clicked. I have a handout from the hospital that has a few things underlined in it about Radical Acceptance and one says “ACCEPTANCE is the only way out of hell” and “Pain creates suffering only when you refuse to ACCEPT the pain.” So basically by accepting my situation and that my life will contain pain and that will be routine for me I was able to take a lot of the suffering out of it. Now when things get hard I sort of shrug and go say, “Here we go again, time to break out the coping techniques.” Basically I now still feel the pain, but it doesn’t destroy me or cause intense suffering anymore.
Your life will never be the same. Going through this has changed you for better or worse, even if you wake up one morning and there are not more symptoms of PTSD or depression or anxiety you can't go back to the times before it all took place. Those experiences have added to your strength, patience, empathy, and through all this work you have been doing you have a better understanding of those around you and yourself. Perhaps by accepting on that deep level that things will never be the same and that the road to recovery will have pain can help take away some of the suffering from the pain. Sounds bizarre and sort of hooky I know and I still roll my eyes about a lot of DBT at times.
I believe you’ve done CBT so perhaps giving some DBT or ACT a shot could help. ACT taught me that accepting doesn’t mean I have to like anything, that they are two completely different things, and that I’m allowed to hate what I’m accepting and mourn the loss and that doesn’t mean I’m not accepting the problem. The two sites my one good counselor at the hospital gave me was www.dbtselfhelp.com
. I also have a list of books he recommended on DBT and ACT if you are interested.
It is hard to feel so alone in this so perhaps going to a NAMI or DBSA group could help. I attended a few DBSA meetings and there were a good mix of dx, including a lot of people with co-morbid anxiety disorders, but I stopped because my x-pdoc would attend occasional meetings too and they only happen once a month. NAMI is more of an “everybody with MI” organization rather than just focusing on depression and bipolar. If nothing else going to one every once in a while will help you see what others are trying, who they are seeing, and probably make you feel relieved when you see how bad off some people are. Oh and I’ve been hearing great things about NAMI’s family group and you might benefit from that at some point in the future too. Honestly though, nothing is going to be the exact right fit because our situations are sort of unique. No one seems to understand the pregnancy causing the MI element even if they understand the MI element.
As for your family, well my parents were similar until recently, not sure why they changed, but I just didn’t discuss the meds situation with them. When I’ve had them roll their eyes I’ve made a sarcastic joke out of it asking them if they would like me to share. I’ve even told them straight up to get used to it because it is my reality. They have changed their attitude recently, after nearly 9 years since my formal dx. Before then I didn’t confide unless I had to and when I did, if they gave me attitude about it, I got sarcastic so they learned to hide their disapproving or your not really sick you’re a drama queen looks.
Whatever you do, don’t give up hope. I’ve always seemed to have depression and some issue with anxiety, but as you know it went wild after my first pg and got much worse after my second. I just started to get real relief from my symptoms last fall, it came back for a few months, and now I’m once again having many more good days than bad. Sometimes it takes more time than we think we have endurance for, but we do have the endurance. We survived HG so we definitely have the endurance right?