Taking A Dip
OK, I’ll admit it: my mood has taken a dip. The mild mixed episode I had last month has settled into a moderate depression, and now I’m utterly lacking in motivation. It’s not bad as depressions go; I’m able to enjoy things and people given the opportunity, and I can comfort myself with the fact that this will pass. There are no suicidal thoughts, no feeling of hopelessness or worthlessness. I have plenty to live for, family most of all, and of course there’s that trip in December to look forward to. I’m just blue.
Dr. Goodenough says it’s classic seasonal depression, and wants me to use my light for 45 minutes in the morning now rather than 30. He is a wee bit concerned that it might turn me around to the point where I become hypo/manic, but is giving me the discretion to back it off if I do. (Well hell, I could use a dose of mania right now, but that’s no more acceptable than depression and I know it.) He also wants me to get up just a little earlier in the mornings to take full advantage of my artificial sunlight, but thank God he’s understanding about my night-owl nature. I was never meant to be a day person, but staying up till two or three in the morning and then sleeping fitfully until 11 is ridiculous.
It’s amazing how much ground Dr. G and I can cover in a half-hour session. We go over meds, but most of the time is spent asking and answering questions. He asks very good ones—some of which I really have to think about—and listens to me before adding his ideas. (Yes, I know psychiatrists are supposed to do that.) I’ve learned things from him too, like today when we talked about thyroid testing and how the measurement of thyroid hormone can be normal medically, but for psychiatric purposes the range is a lot narrower. I may even have to go on thyroid medicine although my level is within normal limits. Who knew?
We’re back to monthly appointments again. I was able to go six weeks before, but he’s going to watch me a little more closely since I’m a bit unstable. That is comforting in its own way. He has the same theory as I do about medications: they mask the symptoms, but I’m still cycling even if I don’t feel it. Then of course I have grief to deal with on top of my moods, though I don’t know if grief complicates depression or if depression complicates grief.
I guess it’s a little of both. I had a down-and-dirty sob-fest last night in which I cried till I thought I was going to throw up; I was by myself, thank goodness, and I just let it all hang out. I miss Will so much it physically hurts, and apparently the only way I can express it adequately is in tears. I still hate crying, but it must’ve done me good, because I feel somewhat better today. My grief counselor, Ginny, is coming on Friday and I’ve got a lot to tell her…strangely enough, that undignified episode was something of a breakthrough. I realized that although I have a long way to go before I’m through the worst of it, I am healing. And that is encouraging.
I was looking back over my blog posts from a year ago, and I could have written those entries today. It was the same setup—winter was in full swing, and so were my moods. Like Dr. G said, it’s classic SAD and I can probably look forward to some elevation once the cherry blossoms are in bloom.
I can’t wait. 🙂