Tuesday, October 7, 2008

How do I know if it's time to talk to my Doc

about depression?

I've been thinking about it off & on for years, but pretty consistently over the last few months.

I have a family history on both Mom & Dad's sides, and have all the textbook symptoms (short of suicidal thoughts).

Part of me thinks it's time to suck it up and try to get some medicinal help. But the other part of me - the outrageously stubborn part - insists that I have a LOT going on right now, and not much of it is bright & cheery & sunny & happy. If there was ever a time in my life that situational depression would be justified... well, right now seems to top the list.

BUT - I've been like this consistently for 3 months now. I *usually* make it to work (late), and fake my way through most of my day. I go home exhausted, sleep for a few hours, eat something, veg in front of the tv (or laptop), and go back to bed. Repeat daily Mon - Thur (with a Dad visit thrown in the mix 1 or 2 times). The weekends are about the same, obviously missing work - but throwing in much more sleep.

I don't call friends, I don't see people, I don't engage, I don't clean my house, I only do laundry when it NEEDS to be done (and then only 1 load, just to get us through). I go grocery shopping, but end up throwing a significant portion of the fresh food out, either because I don't cook, or I don't get it in the freezer before it spoils. My garden has been taken over by weeds and tomatoes that are rotting on the vine.

So tell me - Do I need to suck it up? Or is it time to get some medicinal help?


Lori said...

Have you considered 5HTP? You can get it at a health food store, and it has similar effects to antidepressants.

It might be a good time to go to a doctor, too. Seems like you have been dealing with this a long time and it hasn't gone away by itself.

Peace, my friend.

Wordgirl said...

Hi Beth,

You know I've been thinking of you off and on since last January -- I don't know how I haven't found my way to you before --

You know I've had a history of depression -- early on I took St.John's Wort -- a natural alternative to antidepressants -- but when it became clear -- I did have suicidal thoughts -- but mostly overwhelming depression, anxiety, trouble swallowing etc...I found a cognitive therapist and it was truly wonderful. I did try antidepressants and while that one I tried wasn't for me -- and I used exercise as well as intensive therapy -- I knew that to relieve the suffering if that hadn't worked I absolutely would have sought help finding the right antidepressant.

I found that a doctor was such a relief.

Thinking of you,


Lollipop Goldstein said...

I think it's better to treat something that doesn't necessarily need treating rather than the alternative of leaving something untreated that does need treating. For what it's worth.

Kaci said...

I think if you are asking the question, it's time. While we can play doctor internet all day & self diagnose, they are the pros. You've certainly had a TON on your plate lately and that could be all it is, but no reason to stay in a funk if you don't have to.

Vacant Uterus said...

Beth? It's time to go. I say that as gently as possible and with no judgement. I struggled for years with depression thinking that it would pass and that it wasn't legit because you know, Sarge was sick and we were infertile and it was all just situational. It went on for YEARS. I did just what you are doing with the laundry and the food. My friends wouldn't let me isolate myself but I have a tendancy to turtle and not answer email even though I WANT to because it just seems so overwhelming. That's depression. It's legitimate. It is debilitating, it stresses your body and your mind and your marriage.

Go see your doctor. If he prescribes meds, take them. I know that Elavil changed my world and made it much, much better. I wasn't on it forever but it really helped. The thing about situational depression is that left untreated it can become chemical. It becomes the brain's default. Please don't let that happen. Things WILL get better for you but it's okay to have help when things are hard. When they do get better, you can go back to being Unaided Beth. Even if there are no meds in your future, talking to someone can help too.

I'm going to stop, I feel like I'm belaboring the point. You are a really great person. Please take care of yourself! (Heh, instead of "care" at first I typed "cake." Give yourself some cake too!)

Road Blocks and Roller Coasters said...

I would definitely go to the doctor. Is there a therapist in your area that you can see? I would try counseling first and then move to antidepressants if it is recommended. I say that because I went to see someone for my OCD and though I was prescribed (and took) zoloft for some time, the counseling sessions were much more helpful to me combined with a very low dose of zoloft.

The way I see it is you have nothing to lose by seeking out help and if it makes you feel better or at least if it helps you reconnect with your life then go for it. Thinking of you. ((HUGS))

Dr Zibbs said...

Get medical help. I know many people with depression and the medicine has done wonders.

Becky T-Florida said...

I would say it's time to talk to some one too. There's tons of alternatives to antidepressants now a days and your doctor can help you find one, if that's what you want.

Tigger said...

Even if things are going on that are rough and depression is "justified", meds CAN help you make it through that part a little better. Just because you go on meds for a while doesn't mean you have to be on them your whole life. I go on and off as life dictates. Sometimes I'm doing well enough that I don't think I need them - other times (like now) I go to my doc and beg to be put on them.

Know this, too. Not all meds are the same. If the one he prescribes initially doesn't give you the response you want, try something else. People have different responses to drugs (Prozac makes some people happy, others feel numb for example) and you have to find what works for you. I've been on several and can give you my take on a few, if you like. You know how to reach me.

I definitely think you should go, though. It's better to go and get checked, even if you DON'T need meds, than to not go and need them.

luna said...

beth, I think it would be helpful to at least talk to someone. I'm not suggesting medication is necessary -- I personally think meds are over-prescribed -- but depression can be debilitating and sometimes meds can be helpful to help you through a rough patch.

personally I'd be more inclined to try talking to a therapist, or maybe an herbal remedy like st. john's wort, or force myself to go for a regular walk, but sometimes that is just not enough.

wishing you some peace.

Jenny F. Scientist said...

Here via LFCA- have been profoundly depressed at times and medication made a huge difference. Exercise and supplements are fine, but if they don't work for you... just wanted to say that someone very wise once said to me, 'If you had asthma nobody would judge you for taking medicine.' Please don't suffer for no reason; go see someone. I hope you fell better soon!

sara said...

Over from lost and found and just wanted to say that I hope things turn around soon. I'll keep you in my thoughts...

Shinejil said...

Beth, I'd say if you're asking the question here, it's worth asking of your doc. It may not mean you decide to go with anti-dep meds, though if that helps you get through this, then great. Just to know all your options would be helpful, and to hear what a pro thinks.

Sending lots of good wishes your way, and hope that joy shines a few rays into your life soon.

Kelly D said...

You already know the answer, you wouldn't have asked the question otherwise. Sometimes we have to be ready in order to do something about it. It took me 6 months, I hope you do something about it now. Good luck.

Rebecca said...

Here from LFCA. I agree...if you're asking, it's time. I recently started taking Zoloft, and it has made a world of difference, and people around me have noticed. It hasn't taken away the problems I'm dealing with, it simply makes it a little easier to cope. I have found I'm a much more pleasant person, less anxeity ridden, less depressed feeling, and can handle things better than before, and feel much more even keeled rather than flying off the handle all the time and riding the roller coaster of highs and lows. That's not to say I don't have bad days...everyone does. But it makes the bad a little less hellish and the good a little better.
I wish you luck and peace in whatever you decide.

Kim said...

I'm with everyone else. If you are worried about having to take drugs, there are other avenues and your doctor will likely give you options. For me, just talking to my doctor a few years back was freeing. Hope this helps. Being aware of how you feel is so important and you seem to be there.
Be thinking of you!!!

nancy said...

maybe just the fact you are asking about it means you are needing to talk to your doctor.


Bea said...

When in doubt, ask someone who's qualified to know. I hope you're not that low, but if you are, I hope someone can help you out of it.

And yes, there's serious stuff going on, but the important question is are you coping with it?


Celia said...

I am dealing with that right now. No one would give me drugs. I asked my obgyn and she said focusing on TTC would help. right.

I asked my RE and he said drugs are not good when TTC.

I asked my GP and he said the same thing.

So I set myself up with a therapist. Which helped. Plus she had me listen to cds while I was sleeping. I use Dr. Jeffrey Thompson's Alpha Relaxation System and it really has made a huge difference. My favorite is the ocean waves one. I was desperate so I tried it and was shocked that it worked. It took maybe a week or so to start to see a difference.

I also unplugged myself for a week and used the internet for only an hour a day to do email and stuff. NO infertility searches, no watching Discovery Health Channel.

I also started a blog and that has really, really helped. Anyhow hi, and I hope this helps.