I have an 18 year history of severe depressive episodes....years ago the diagnosis was bipolar2. I have been hospitalized 8 times over this timeframe; twice for serious suicide attempts. There is a history on my maternal side of depression and suicides.
Last year I suffered from a brain aneurysm rupture. I was told that I was a "miracle", which I now believe is true. I had surgery at Toronto Western Hospital and have a clip in my head where the aneurysm ruptured. I also have a "mirror image" aneurysm on the left side of the brain, which is currently being monitored. I am to go yearly to the Toronto Western Hospital for an angiogram to check the size and rate of growth. My first angiogram was done last December, and it looked okay; only .03 cms (I think it's cms!) and no growth reported from when I had the surgery on the right side, in March/07.
My choices are to continue to go yearly, or I can opt for surgery at any time. Coiling apparently is not an option due to where it is located. I really didn't understand a lot of what happened at the time and immediately was in a deep depressive state after the surgery. To compound these depressed feelings, I felt guilty for living....I sincerely felt that this "miracle" should have been saved for someone more worthy...i.e someone who didn't have bipolar/depression....someone full of life who wasn't making their loving families lives a living hell at least once every 2 years. I strongly believed that I must be a horrible person.....neither God nor the devil wanted me.
In August of last year, months into this living hell once again (I did seek treatment from my doctor and was on medication), but to no avail. Then I had a seizure. I couldn't/wouldn't believe it... but it was true and it ultimately was the best thing that could have happened. I was hospitalized for depression and took 6 months off work. (Afther the aneurysm rupture, I went back to work 4 weeks later, which in hindsight might have been too soon). I continued taking antidepressants and monthly follow ups with my psychiatrist.
I recently read an article in the Globe & Mail regarding Mental Illness...in particular a not widely used treatment for various illnesses called DBS (Deep Brain Stimulation). The procedure sounds to be very similar to that of the brain aneurysm surgery that I had and perhaps will have to have again. I am seriously thinking of talking to my psychiatrist about this treatment. I once joked with the neurologist at TW Hospital about "if I was to have the second surgery, could they "balance" the chemical inbalances in my brain? He just smiled at me as he knew I was joking.
But now after reading this article about how it could potentially cure the "unhappy" thoughts I am thinking of little else.
I would appreciate any comment from anyone.