1) Writing is my way of processing things in my own head and, oftentimes, of letting go of them.
2) Someone may read this and have some good input for me.
3) Someone may read this and in some way be helped by it.
I have struggled most of my adult life with just getting "down in the dumps" from time to time. I would not begin to say that what I experience is anywhere near the horrid depths of darkness experienced by those with clinical depression, but it's still no fun.
My blues come and go. It's interesting to note that my first real experience was about the same time I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. That has always intrigued me. Depression is considered to be a symptom of fibro. To me, it's sort of a chicken and the egg thing though. Am I down as part of my fibro or am I down because I am tired of being in pain all the time. Interesting, eh?
Anyway ... maybe about 12 years ago, my blues hit the point where I inquired with my doctor about antidepressants. This was about the time that Prozac and some of the other drugs were hitting it big. He put me on Paxil. I went back to him after a month and reported that I was feeling much better in terms of my depression. So, we agreed that I would stay on it.
Then, about two weeks later, things changed. I started having real vivid, intense and unpleasant dreams. And I started feeling more than ever like I was in a fog -- like I wasn't "all there". So, I stopped taking Paxil and never really looked back. About that time, my doctor changed so no one ever asked me about it.
Fast forward to this past winter. Again, I was feeling pretty blue. Not as bad as I remember 12 years ago but still not the greatest. I also have been feeling pretty bad with fibro symptoms. Again, the chicken and the egg thing between the fibro and the depression. So, I talked to my doctor and he prescribed Effexor which is an antidepressant but is also used a lot to treat fibro.
Same story as with Paxil ... at the end of a month, I felt pretty good. And the fibro was better. We decided I'd stay on the same dosage of Effexor. Then, about two weeks later (just recently), the dreams set in. Real vivid, intense dreams, often about childhood experiences that I really would prefer to not re-live without the help of a trained therapist. And then a fibro flare set in. And then I felt like I was in a fog ... very little energy ... and my creativity (which normally is reasonably high), fell dramatically. It took a toll on my blogging, my family life, and my work.
So, I have stopped taking Effexor. I realize I have some issues from my childhood that I need to process. I really can't process them in an open forum like my blog. I have talked to close friends about them but they are not necessarily trained to ask those "tell me more" sort of questions that really help one work through such things.
One of these days, I need to invest in a therapist. But, until then, antidepressants are not for me I have decided.
There you have it ... just keepin' it real.