Saturday, November 17, 2007

Rx: Teletoon, 2 units daily

This past spring, I asked my doctor for anti-depressants.  I was sick of tired of being in a dark hole inside myself, and I wanted to take a pill that would make it all better, NOW!  This wasn't the first time I'd spent months seeing the world through a dark veil, but it was the worst so far.

Normally, I shun medication.  If there is a side effect to be had, I will have it.  Plain old Tylenol gives me palpitations.   I even get side effects from herbal remedies.  Usually I'd rather just tough it out.

So there I was in the examining room, hands shaking, telling the doc about how I'd been feeling lately.  How I'd been thinking way too much about hurting myself, and feeling hopeless all of the time.  But darn it all, wasn't it just my bad luck that I didn't qualify for a diagnosis.  Because in typical depression, you sleep less and eat less.  In atypical depression you sleep more and eat more.  I was sleeping more and eating less.  Therefore, as per the doctor, I wasn't depressed.  Uh, that's good to know.  I guess I'll just stop feeling bad right now because you said it's not real.

In the end, the doctor did finally agree to write me a prescription, for Zoloft, because he didn't want to be held responsible if I harmed myself.  I felt validated.

I never did fill the prescription.  I did some research and found out how terrible these pills can be, not while you're taking them, but when you are ready to stop.  Basically, any symptom in the book is a possibility during withdrawal, including diarrhea, dizziness, burning sensations all over your body, and anxiety.  And it can go on for months.  I decided, as usual, to just tough it out.  And in the end, I got through to brighter times.

Being prone to mood swings has forced me to get to know myself very well.  If I lie to myself about how I'm feeling, I can't expect to get away with it for long.  Also, I have to take good care of my body, or my moods will take a nose dive.  8 hours of sleep, vitamins, exercise: they're not optional.  Depression can bring on severe fatigue and even joint pains, and conversely being tired can bring on depression.  So I have to keep on top of these things.

Sometimes, during hormonal moments, or when I've been too busy, I can feel the gravitational pull of the dark pit trying to drag me down.  I talk back to the negativity.  I get myself to my couch on the double, under a blanket, and dose myself liberally with Sponge Bob Square Pants and other comforts.  I'm doing good so far, and at least Sponge Bob has no side effects.

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