Thursday, November 13, 2008

Adjusting to a Depressive Episode

While I had intended to continue my posts about managing a depression, I'm not able to at this point. I'm not feeling well and it's taking too much effort. I'll continue the discussion when I can. Yesterday was one of the worse days yet. After taking the Adderall, I had the energy to get out of bed, but as I've mentioned before, the medication doesn't make me happy.

I couldn't go to my badminton class, and I realize now that I'll have to drop the class even though there are only a few weeks left. The additional dose of Adderall puts too much strain on my heart for an activity that requires so much effort. And I'm unable to socialize with so many people right now.

In the past, quitting badminton or some other activity would have made me feel bad. Now, I realize it's okay. Rather than feeling bad that I have to quit, I've decided to feel happy that I was able to play for the last few months...and will be able to continue in spring when I feel better and stop taking Adderall.

That said...I spent six hours doing the one activity that I know I can always do when I'm blue, which is gardening. Probably the better description is lawn maintenance, because I spent hours trimming bushes, weeding, and raking. We have Eugenia trees in the backyard and they have these red berries that fall all over the lawn and wreak havoc with everything. So, raking them was a perfect chore for me.

After all these years, it's nice to know that I can always garden (or do home improvement chores outside) during the difficult times. And rather than feeling bad that I have to quit other activities and become more insular, I can feel happy I've figured this out, feel grateful I'm still productive, and thankful that I live in a climate where the sunlight helps me heal.

P.S. Mariposa has said that a Vitamin B complex really helps her during the difficult times, and today she's written an entire post about it that I found very helpful and quite interesting. It's something I intend to pursue and I so appreciate all her effort in writing about it.


Mariposa said...

Hi Susan,

I can totally understand what you are going through, as I have been there and will always be in that cycle. Speaking of gardening, what a coincidence, bec my I am doinf a renovation with our garden too...and yes, it does help.

I was quite hesitant since the post I did on B Complex was quite long and not sure how organize my thoughts are...I hope you get the right dosage for your needs and that it will help you the way it did help me!

Sending happy thoughts!

Wellness Writer said...

I thought your post was great and very well-organized. I'm going to find a doctor to advise me on dosage, and see what happens. Again, I really appreciate it.

It's interesting that we both find gardening to be helpful!

Thanks for the happy thoughts!


Gianna said...

I'm sorry you're not feeling well Susan, but I'm sure with your attitude you will be fine.

I have to accept my incapacity every day and most of the time I'm at peace with it. I know it will pass.

I am thinking of you, as always.

Mariposa said...

Hey, Susan, I'm back.

I called my shots Mariposa cocktail, but guess what, my doctor told me that booster (which I said I had when I got sick) was called Myer's Cocktail...that was the first shot that I had.

Wellness Writer said...

And I thank you for thinking of me!


Wellness Writer said...

Good to know. Thanks!


Meredith said...


I'm so sorry to hear that things have gotten rough for you. I'm starting to come out of the depressive cycle I'd been in, but with the nights getting longer, it always makes things harder, and it's so hard to get out of bed some mornings. I need to stop taking early classes because this is hurting my GPA, and there's only so much forgiveness professors have, even when you're physically sick as well. (And at this late stage in my college career, it's not worth it to me to have Disability Services registration on my record...)

Wellness Writer said...

Dear Meredith,
Glad to hear from you; sorry you haven't been well.

I've been depressed for about a month or so, and while it's not great, it's way better than in years past.

I've finally realized it's Seasonal Affective Disorder, and while I do everything "right," it just is. So, I've decided to deal with it...and try not to feel bad about it.

Yes, you're right about early classes and also about not having Disability Services registration on your record. Hope you feel better soon!


Immi said...

I'm sorry you're having such a hard time Susan. I'm glad you can get some relief from the gardening.

Wellness Writer said...

Thanks Immi. I appreciate it!


Carrie said...

It is truly a blessing to have something that unfailing provides relief - for some its faith, a loved one, a quote.

Wellness Writer said...

Dear Carrie,
I haven't heard from you in a long time, and I guess I thought you'd stop blogging at some point. Glad to hear you haven't and thanks for the comment!


Rod Guthrie said...

The next best step and that's enough when depressed, as I take my generic Wellbutrin and write this comment to you.

I knew a therapist who greeted me with the customary "how are you" and I responded that it was a rough go with depression.

He said why don't we invite depression into the session with us, give him a spot and listen to what he has to tell us.

I don't recall my response but I remember the question.

Wellness Writer said...

Dear Rod,
During a severe depression, it's always difficult for me to speak. That's why I look for tasks that don't require it.

But, it is an interesting question, although I can't imagine how I would have answered it either.