Wednesday, February 4, 2009


These are the daffodils coming up in my flower beds. Spring is on it's way, although there is still snow on the ground and the temperature hovers in the 40's during the day. But slowly, and gradually, the earth is beginning to thaw and things are coming back to life.

I have felt that way recently. Thawing. It is true, the meds do seem to be helping. But my life still feels chaotic and overwhelming. I am trying to gain a little more control, piece by piece, slowly and gradually. This blog sometimes has to fall by the wayside as I reprioritize and simplify and try to find ways to bring more peace to my life - and help my little boy.

Some things I have been doing lately are I signed up for an 8 week parent education from the CHADD organization (Children and Adults with ADHD) to get more info to help my son. We are considering medication to calm him down when necessary. But as I know from my own experience with SSRI's, there are always pros and cons, risks and benefits. And he is only 4. It is a tough decision to make - and one we don't make lightly.

I have also started participating in a 7-week Depression seminar offered through a local university based on this book: Has anyone else heard of this, read it, tried the program or anything? I went to the first seminar this past week, and there are lots of ideas to try to implement, which is somewhat overwhelming to me right now. Maybe if I get a chance, I will post some of the things I am learning from this class.
Anyway - I am taking both the Wellbutrin and Paxil and not having any noticable side effects right now, which is very nice. I feel a lot more hopeful, even though some days are still tough. And that is good. I am still quite sleepy in the afternoons, and I would love to see the day when I don't feel like I need a nap!! But I have been able to get some housework done. I was even dancing around to some music one evening while we were making dinner, and my husband remarked that he hasn't seen me that "peppy" in many years.
I know the meds aren't a miracle cure. But I'm not sure I believe that they only mask the symptoms of depression either. I think that in some cases, it truly can correct a biological deficiency in the brain. I am very happy to have an option that allows a lot of people to feel even well enough to attempt to make all these other changes that can aid their recovery. Meds can bring someone up to the level where they can live again. Sometimes that is the essential key.
So, sorry I haven't been posting here. I may continue to be sporadic in the future, as well. But I am still reading other blogs and gaining from your experiences and insights, even though you may not know it. :)
And from time to time, you will hear from me on here. I just need to take things as they come for a little while. Try to get some things in order. And wait for Spring.

Monday, November 24, 2008

back on some meds - again

Well, last week sometime my husband very tentatively informed me that he could really use some more help around the house, dishes, packing school lunches, etc. He was worn out. And I don't blame him. And I don't know how to explain how completely paralyzed I sometimes feel when faced with these tasks. How something so simple can overwhelm me and it's as if my whole being has been sucked out of me. It's all I can do to move. I don't know how to explain how terrible I feel for not doing more, and the guilt, and the shame - and how all of that piles on top of me and makes it even more difficult to actually move and do anything at all. I just felt really bad.

Also my 4 yr. old son has been diagnosed with ADHD, anxiety disorder, expressive language disorder and possibly sensory processing disorder. And I need to be a better parent to even begin to tackle all the tasks that lie ahead in getting him help. I have to be a more patient, and understanding, and organized mom. And I can't do it if I am depressed.

So I made an appointment with my Dr. last Thurs.

We discussed different options and medications for nearly an hour, and finally decided to try a lower dose of Paxil than I had taken before and combine it with a low dose of Wellbutrin and hope that the combination of the 2 can help me. The idea, I guess, is that the Wellbutrin will help with the depression, the Paxil will help the anxiety and the lower doses of each will hopefully not give me so many negative side effects, but combine together to be effective for me. We'll see. I started on the 12.5 mg of Paxil on Friday, then I after a week or so, I will add in the Wellbutrin.

I'll try to keep you updated.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

it's been awhile

I guess it's been awhile since I've written on this blog. I finished the bottle of St. John's Wort that I had and didn't really feel like it had been helping. I didn't really feel any different after I stopped.

Things with my kids and family have been overwhelming lately. We are trying to get a diagnosis for my son and it has been taking a lot of time and money. I think I've been waiting for a week where I don't already have other appointments for the kids (ha! when will that be??) before I schedule an appt. with my Dr. I'm also just not sure what I will tell him. Seems like they kind of expect me to have my own idea of what to do to help my depression and I have run out of ideas.

I haven't felt as depressed lately as just hopeless and irritable. I guess that kind of goes hand in hand with the whole depression package, though.

I just haven't really had anything new to say on here. It's just kind of the same old, same old. And I'm tired. So I've kind of set it aside for a bit.

Thanks for your comment, Aqua, and for asking how I'm doing. :)

Hopefully I will think of something else to write about soon.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

and an update on the St John's Wort

Has it really only been a few weeks since I started the St. John's Wort? Well, for a little while there, I really felt like it must be working. I felt a bit better. But these last few days, PMS has hit full force and I am weepy and discouraged, overwhelmed, anxious and irritable. And, it's not helping. So that stinks.

I have long thought that PMS contributes quite a bit to my cycles of depression, or at least makes it all worse. But I've never actually charted it to see for sure. Something I need to do sometime.

I hate feeling like the mommy-monster.

What I'm Reading

I am reading this book right now and finding myself near tears on almost every page. It is painful to read, because I identify so fully with it. But it is also nice to feel like I am not alone in feeling like such a complete and utter failure and struggling as a mother.

Part of me still feels a tug of resistence in accepting that it is the disease that is causing these problems for me. I still hear echoes of disbelieving and judgmental voices in the back of my head that think that I should "buck up" or that "everyone feels that way" and I have "no good reason" to be depressed. It is hard to ignore the fact that some people don't "believe" in depression as a disease: friends, family, doctors, religious leaders. That makes it hard.

I will write more about this book as I finish it. As of now (I'm about half-way through), I would recommend it to any mother struggling with depression and I would wish I could persuade every person who knows me (or knows any other mother with depression) to read it. If I were brave enough to recommend it to them. And if they would read it with an open mind.

Monday, September 22, 2008

worry about me

At church this Sunday, a friend of mine said hi as we were walking our kids to their classes. And she casually remarked that everyone was "worried about me." She said she told them she has "seen me worse" and so she thinks I am "doing ok." And I replied something along the lines of "it's all relative, I guess."

So I was talking to my husband about it later, because first, I can't decide if people should be "worried about me" or not. And then, second, I was sort of bothered that she didn't seem worried because I'm not doing as bad as I have been in the past. And I wonder if anyone would really ever know how I'm really doing.

This isn't a friend I talk to very often. We keep in touch through our "family blogs", we go to church together and live in the same neighborhood, we go to a bookclub group together. But it's not like we chat on a regular basis. Really, there is no one who would ever know how I'm really doing. And it bothers me that no one would ever know.

But anyway, my husband didn't think there was any point to having anyone "worry about me" because it's just something I deal with ongoing and there is nothing anyone can do to help. It's not going to be fixed or cured. It's not going to go away. So what good would being worried be?

But somewhere in my mind, being worried is equated with caring. And I want to feel like someone cares. I would like someone to know how I am feeling so I am not so alone. True, there is nothing anyone can do. But sometimes, I just want someone to know. And sometimes I am worried about myself. Sometimes I think they should be worried! They should know that I can't handle more stress sometimes. That I have to resist urges to hurt myself sometimes. That sometimes all I can do is get through the day.

I don't really know why I want someone to know.
I just feel like no one really understands. And no one really wants to know. They wouldn't know what to do and they hate feeling powerless and useless. They want to "help." And there is nothing they can do.
But sometimes, just telling someone helps. Being heard helps. Being understood helps. And being cared about helps.
Sometimes that's all I need.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

what the pharmacist said . . .

I called the pharmacist to find out about possible food interactions with the St. John's Wort. From what he found, in whatever information they have access to, he said that it is "theoretically possible" if taken in "large amounts", that the St. John's Wort could cause hypertension when combined with foods such as cheese and other foods containing Tyramine. But he didn't think that taking a normal recommended dose would cause any potentially dangerous interactions. And there is no actual tested "proof" from scientific studies that this would actually be the case anyway. It is just a theory.

So this is one problem I have with taking herbal supplements, just in general. There are many unknowns. It is not as well studied. They don't even know for sure by what mechanism it even works (specifically for St. John's Wort). Dosing isn't regulated. So, I have mixed feelings about taking it.

It's been about a week now and I have actually been feeling a little better. And no noticable side effects. Since my mood seems to fluctuate quite a bit over time (mostly on the negative side. I can't say I ever get mood "highs" really) - but I would need to stay on it for a longer period of time before I would say with confidence that it's really helping for me.

So - that's where I am today.