So I think I diagnosed myself while sitting in class the other day. I am depressed. We learned the qualifications needed to get the "medical" diagnosis of depression and I hit ALL the marks. I thought I was, but this kinda sealed it for me. Am I going to the doctor? Nope. I have gone to doctors for other things and all I got was $1200 of medical bills for tests to tell me that I have irritable bowel syndrome and not celiac disease. Although I am happy it is not celiac disease! Yeah, not going through that again. So what are the markers you ask? Well, my notes are temporarily MIA thanks to the rush cleaning of the house before the holiday, but from my memory they are:
Need to have one of these almost all day, everyday for at least 2 weeks??
- depressed mood
- anhedonia (lack of pleasure)
Well, I have the anhedonia...and I have had it for a LONG time now. Seriously. I used to LOVE couponing and now the thought of it annoys me. I LOVE the holidays and decorating and shopping, the whole shabang. This year, I couldn't be bothered. Seriously. I WANT to decorate and shop and bake, but I have absolutely no interest. It is frustrating. I have no interest in ANYTHING!
This next section you have to have 4 of the listed in addition to the above. I cannot remember all of the list, but here is what I checked off:
- poor concentration, line of thinking (this one is really bad for me...I have no memory)
- sleep disturbance (ya think? I cannot stay asleep for more than one sleep cycle it seems)
- weight/appetite gain/loss - yeah, I gained about 10 lbs in 3 months and have no desire to eat
- fatigue/loss of energy - yep, that's me...I could sleep off and on all day
- psychomotor agitation/retardation - quick moving or slowed movement...aka clumsy
Then after all that, there is a depressive symptom spectrum. You have the above and also some of the next list (I will list what I have):
- irritability (sorry family)
- social withdrawl and social isolation (ummm...yeah, I love people, but lately not so much)
- absence of positive mood (really not good since I normally am the optimist of the family)
Ok, one other thing I learned, which I found so very interesting, is that people who are depressed have different sleep cycle than "normal" people. For instance, "normal" people go to sleep and they slowly fall into the sleep cycles and spend most of their time in REM sleep and have their heavy sleeping later in the night. Depressed people fall quickly into the REM cycle. This give them that falling feeling, you know, when you jerk yourself awake as you are falling asleep? You do that when you are falling through the sleep cycles fast. Interesting, huh? Anyway, depressed people also do their heavy sleeping early in the night and then spend the later hours more awake. This is why some depressed people who sleep all night will then say they feel like they havent slept....they really havent had good sleep at all.
Ok, so what am I going to do about it? Well, I think I feel depressed because I am not healthy, as in, I think I am nutrient deficient. I did some research and here is what I came up with. So, I take weekly injections of Enbrel and Methotrexate for the arthritis. I am also supposed to take folic acid daily since the Methotrexate depletes it. I do not. One symptom of folic acid deficiency is depression. I also would not be surprised if I was deficient in others too. So here is what I am going to do. I am going to do a little experiment. I pray it works! I am going to start taking vitamins. I am taking a multivitamin (possibly 2 a day if I remember), folic acid, calcium, probiotics, and fish oil. I am also going to try to drink more water (although today I drank more wine...hee hee). This is it. I put them all in a pill box and have asked my son to help me to remember to take them. I am giving myself one month to feel a difference, even just a tiny bit. If I feel absolutely nothing, then I will go to the doctor for an antidepressant. I think my experiment will work though. So today is day one. November 22nd. Let's pray it works!