Friday, July 16, 2010

A Side Order of Effects

Probably because I've been fat my whole life, I don't have a lot of problems carrying the weight of responsibilities that come with living my life. I'm OK with being an adult, OK with having expectations, OK with doing what my hands were created to do. Really. I am.

But the last few days have been so difficult for me. I've felt tired and resentful, angry and moody ... flat out depressed. I'm someone prone to depression, know the warning signs of it's approach and have strategies to pull myself back from the edge. As a result, I'm seldom actually depressed. This time, though, it caught me completely unawares. No triggers were noticed therefore no strategies were used. Hmmmm. I began to wonder if the antecedents to depression were changing as I got older.

I did some serious and sober second thought. In the midst of this bleakness and darkness, I could find none. I've never been debilitated by depression. I still go to work, I still give lectures, I still do what I'm supposed to do - I just hope that people don't pick up on the fact that my eyes are a darker shade of green.

Yesterday I went to the doctor to review what's going on. I'm fighting a minor infection and have been on anti-biotics (pre-prescribed and available whenever an infection sprouts up) for 10 days or so. These happen, less and less often thankfully, and though they annoy me - they aren't (or haven't been) the 'snap' that sends the avalanche on it's way.

At the end of the visit with the doctor, Joe and I went home and he went over to pick up some more anti-biotics. When he got home he said, 'The pharmacist told me something interesting.' I looked at him listlessly. He continued, 'Did you know that one of the side effects of this medication is depression?'

I perked up, shucking off listlessness, and asked, 'Say that again.'

Joe threw the bombshell again.


So that's it.

Now that I know that I'm chemically depressed not actually depressed, I'm somehow better. I know that it will go away when the pills are done - the sun will shine again.

So if you note a bit of a 'down turn' in my posts, a bit of bleakness sneaking in, just shake your head and realize that this ...

0 this is my brain.

O( is my brain on drugs.


Shan said...

Yeah that sh*t will get you down all right.

theknapper said...

How amazing that one small piece of info can change everything.Feel better.

Peter said...

Which is why I have learned that no medication is far better than any medication which has side effects and such seems to be all of them.

On a happier note the hype over this this has me somewhat bemused
Happily a Wheel chair bound person did comment on telly that part of the problem is people viewing those in wheel chairs as sitting about waiting for some Silver Bullet instead of adapting to challenges and getting on with life.
To me, who is not quite wheelchair bound, it all looks rather clumsy heavy, slow and I wonder how quickly the batteries go flat.

Or what happens if you leave the remote control on the bench when you walk away from it?

Anne said...

Dad, we are NOT wheelchair bound! Wheelchairs liberate, they free, they make living possible. I HATE the term wheelchair bound. It's like people who walk seem to think that I am duct taped to the moment of time I became disabled. I am not bound by my disability. If you need a term, try 'wheelchair user'.

Belinda said...

I so understand why this information makes a difference.There is a reason; it is temporary; an environmental chemical imbalance.

So glad that the pharmacist did their job so well. Hope the pills are over with very soon.

Celebrate Friday! Yeay!

Kristin said...

It is a bit better to know that it's because of the meds. Hope the infection is gone soon and with the meds gone you get back to an even keel.

Liz Miller said...

Boo for meds that make you feel blue, but yay for the blues being caused by the meds and not by something less temporary.

Susan said...

Good. I can stop worrying and wondering what to say.

I have meds-induced depression on occasion. The weirdest thing about it is that I don't usually recognize that it's a chemical imbalance of some sort until it's over, or at least until it's gone on for way too long. My assumption is always that it's "me" - my being a crazy person has finally caught up to me, I can't hide it or keep it under control anymore. You'd think we'd know ourselves better than that. Come to think of it, those who are closest to me have a hard time spotting it, too. They never seem very surprised by my behaviour. I assume that means that their initial conclusions must be the same as mine. "Hmm. I always knew she was crazy..! Not very comforting!

Lene Andersen said...

what a relief! this amazing how such news can make you feel like you're back in control.

Glad to hear you found the reason behind it all.

Anonymous said...

You know, as soon as you said you were on antibiotics, I was going to suggest...

Obviously, Joe and the pharm beat me to the punch.

The other thing I was going to mention is that sometimes an infection can kick you over into depression without you realizing it. (as in, the physical infection causing chemical depression, not emotionally getting upset over the infection etc)


Anonymous said...

Anne/others using adaptive do you feel about "person using a wheelchair".

I am at a point where my body and mind function are considered "normal" and I have had individuals who have recognizable differences/use adaptive equipment tell me that it is important to them to be a person first and the difference second (or fifth or sixth).

Just curious what common thought might be!