Thursday, January 08, 2009

Depression

A lot of people don't like to talk about it. I'll bet money that everyone reading this knows someone with depression although you may not realize it.

I come from a family of chronically depressed people. My maternal grandmother, my mother and my siblings. I like to think of my depression as akin to any other chronic disease. If your cholesterol is high you take a statin, at least I hope you do. If you are diabetic or have high blood pressure you take meds to stay healthy.

Well, my brain chemistry is short on serotonin so I take meds. Been doing this since 1985 (that was the dark ages of anti-depressants). I have come to realize that I will be taking them the rest of my life. But sometimes there are quirks with my meds and things turn dark.

That happened this week. About a month ago I talked to my psychiatrist about the fact that one of my meds (Wellbutrin) was making my heart race. We decided to reduce the Wellbutrin dose by 100 mg (I was on 300 mg) plus 100 mg of Zoloft. I've been on Zoloft forever.

I did fine for a while but then the insidious dark cloud entered my life and wouldn't go away. It slips in so quietly that sometimes you don't even know what's happening. Yesterday I figured out that something was really wrong so I e-mailed my psychiatrist. She figured out a new way for me to include the extra Wellbutrin tablet (take it later in the day so I'm not getting a big hit in the morning) and she increased my Zoloft to 150 mg.

The hard part about these meds is that the relief is not instant. It's not like taking a Tylenol for a headache. But that's okay because I feel good about recognizing what was happening and doing something about it. Each day will be a bit better.

So that's one person's perspective on depression. Anyone else out there care to weigh in on this major health problem. I'd really like to know what you think.

9 comments:

Wrensong Farm said...

Oh yeah. I can identify. I have no idea if mine is hereditary or not...I was adopted.

I was on anti-depressants for a few years, figured I was cured and went off. The dark cloud rolled in on day and I didn't even see it coming...at least when I got to the suicidal part I had the good sense to drag myself back to my Dr. I have now been back on ADs for almost 3 years.

She said I should probably face the fact that I will probably need to be on anti-depressants the rest of my life. I was on Wellbutrin and am now on Cymbalta...which seems to be working fairly well....I still get to where I'm dragging tail but the dark cloud isn't there.

I do have to thank my animals, they keep me grounded and wanting to stick around. :) Sometimes I don't know what I would do without them.

Joanna said...

You've heard, "a working alcoholic,"

I'm a working depressed person.

I take Lexapro, it helps me, but I sleep a lot, I need a forklift to get me out bed in the mornings to get to work.

My husband is very supportive and helps out wherever he's needed.

Same as above, my animals are everything for my therapy.

Oklahoma Farmgirl said...

Ah yes, depression. I think mine started when I was 18. I stopped all my "normal" activities my senior year. Then it was just an ongoing part of my life. I would be manic one moment, down the next. I raged.

My depression is both chemical & situational. I have been on lexapro (worked awhile then did not), effexor (felt no emotions at all), then I took a herbal remedy that my chiropractor/acupunturist recommended--it worked wonders. Years of therapy also helped. Then when my sleep apena was diagnosed I took amitriptelean (sp??) for a couple of years. Very old drug with no side effects supposedly. But it left me very foggy. I have been off my meds for over a year now & feel good. I have down days, but for me (since I have had addiction problems) I am dealing with it each day. I know that if the really dark days come back or if I again become suicidal I will have to go back on meds, but for now I am med free.

As stated by others, my furkids are my saving grace. They love me, they comfort me, they nourish my Spirit.


Blessed be...

dykewife said...

i've posted the new med i'm on (it's in the med stool (a footstool that has storage compartment where all the meds and supplements get put). part of the reason i stopped taking welbutrin (bupropion) and paxil was that the paxil made me fat and gave me wicked tiring dreams. i wanted to see if the depression had lifted. in some ways it has. going off was definitely a learning experience in relearning that anxiety sucks and depression sucks too. this time was different in that i wasn't suicidal, i was angry...always angry.

i hope the new med works without the weight gain and dreams. i'd like to not feel as dreadful as i do right now.

Mrs4444 said...

I'm sorry you have to deal with depression. I'm glad you are smart enough to understand the value of meds and to go through the adjustments, rather than giving up.

Rhonda said...

I can relate. I've been on and off these kinds of meds at different times in my life.

"A dark cloud" is the perfect description of depression.

It seems like just about every winter at some point before spring, I contemplate going to the Doc.

Rhonda said...

I see you have 56 and sunny today.
That's just not fair! (stomping foot like a 4 year old)

blogauthor said...

How strange. I'm in a massive funk right now too.

Nancy C said...

I came across your blog and it hit so "close to home" I just had to write you a note. I know you feel depressed right now but, you are right, your meds will kick in and you will feel better. I am in the process of a divorce after 23 years to a wonderful man who will not acknowledge that he is bipolar. No one can convince him he needs to be on medication. We have gone to doctors and therapists, counselors and pastors. He cannot accept that he isn't perfect and as a result, has become dangerous. We simply can't live together any more. So, it can be much worse. As much as I am suffering and the children, I can't imagine what my husband is going through. Thank you for sharing and being honest.