Since my last post, I've been keeping busy and for the most part (bar a couple of kiddie frustration inspired rages) I've been ok. There's been running, yoga, walking and quiet. It has all helped enormously. And, the biggest change of all - the brain zaps have finally, finally stopped. This is huge. Not only were they incredibly disorientating, but I figured as long as that was still going on, then surely my body and mind must still be adapting to life without drugs, and so I couldn't be sure that what I was feeling was genuine, or medication related. But now?
Ok, I realise it's actually only been two days since my last meltdown, but I'm going to go ahead and be optimistic about that. I'm trying to figure out what's the best thing to do now. Take more time off and keep the yoga/walk/run combo going till I'm more balanced? Get back to work and see how I fare with the real world? It's really hard to know, because when I feel like I do now, it's hard to imagine ever again feeling as bad as I did at the weekend. You'd think bitter experience would have taught me about my lightening quick mood changes! I think the biggest difficulty right now is everything is so finely balanced that I've no idea how I'll be when I can't have all these things in place every day, but until I try, I guess I can't know.
I've recently been in touch with someone who knows a lot about depression, and when I asked him about my fluctuating moods, and whether or not this is consistent with depression, he came back with this:
|My current prescription|
'Depression is defined as a pervasively (but not consistently) low mood. So people with depression can fluctuate depending on circumstances going on around. But the key thing I guess is that when 'well' are you really well or just better than when lower? And do you feel better just because you are distracting yourself and when you stop it is still there?'
My initial reaction to this was to wonder why in two years, not one of the many psychiatrists I've seen has thought to explain depression so simply, and to ask such straightforward questions. My next reaction was disappointment, because in general I do feel better when I distract myself or am in good company, but if I allow myself to stop, it's still there. Does that mean I need to go back on medication? I don't know.
There are a lot of unknowns right now. This is officially a brave new world, because it's the longest I've been medication free* in two years. With all the turmoil of the last four weeks, I was sorely tempted to throw my hands up, admit defeat and take whatever I was given. But then therapist pointed out that there has been so much chopping and changing that I really haven't had a chance to see how I'm doing either on or off meds, at any time in the last year or so. So maybe going back for more now isn't the best plan, maybe I really do need to just get back to work, keep up as much yoga etc as I can and see how I go. With a caveat - if things were to continue as bad as this last week has been, there would have to be some kind of intervention, because living with that intensity of low is unsustainable.
So maybe that's my answer. Use the next few days as best I can to keep going with getting myself grounded, and then get back to life and see how I go. It's a little scary. Actually, it's a lot scary. But what's the alternative?
*Almost. I still take a small dose of a mood stabiliser, although as far as I can gather the biggest benefit this gives me is that it helps me sleep
Labels: choices, distraction, exercise, functioning, Medication, mood, psychiatry, running, Self care, stability, support, therapist, well being, work, yoga