Tuesday, April 19, 2011

My oh my! What a pig sty!

This past week I was cleaning out the pig sty I call my study and I ran across a booklet sent to me when I was diagnosed with depression in 2007. (I never did like filing!)

I was treated for depression with medication and I did quite well. I never really felt like I had a strong case of depression, I never wanted to hurt myself, but I do tend to be antisocial. I'm not unfriendly, I'm just a loner type who likes my peace and quiet AND my space. Occasionally (when my depression was at it's worst and when I was over-tired) I would feel like the world would be better without me in it, but I would NEVER EVER think of hurting myself. Thank God I have Christ in my life because with Christ there is ALWAYS hope. On the meds, I was much more social and was able to chase the blues away easier. I stopped taking the meds in 2009 when my boss changed our health insurance as I could no longer afford the medication and the multiple trips to the doctor for monitoring. I do well most of the time.

As I was reading the booklet, It listed out the different types of depression and their symptoms. There are several types of depression, ranging from Major Depression to a mild form called SAD. Major depression symptoms include deep sadness, apathy, agitation/restlessness, sleep disturbances, WEIGHT/appetite disturbances, lack of concentration, feelings of excessive guilt, morbid thoughts, and fatigue. There is bi-polar/manic depression, Dysthemia, and SAD. SAD stands for Seasonal Affective Disorder. After reading the booklet, I am 10,000% convinced I suffer from SAD. (A large number of people in the Northern states do.) The booklet states that people with SAD usually
  • feel low or depressed
  • have an increased appetite (particularly for carbohydrates)
  • gain weight
  • sleep alot more, but still feel very tired
All four register checkmarks for me. I generally feel like I'm running about 90-95% at capacity, never quite feeling 100%. I LOVE food, I crave carbs, I love to sleep, but I always complain about how tired I am even after getting a full 7 or 8 hours in. As for the gaining weight....Uhm Yeah! That one's obvious.

I always seem to get (for lack of a better word) sad in the fall/winter time and usually snap out of it in the Spring. I have always attributed this to the fact that my parents left to hit the road in the fall, I wouldn't see them again until Christmas time and then they would come back to Michigan in the spring. They lived in an RV full time and would travel around the country visiting new and exciting places and making the rounds to see my siblings and their children/grandchildren. Michigan winters were just too harsh on them so they were off to warmer climates. Lucky ducks!

I pulled out another book I bought on depression. It's called Depression: The Way Out. It's written by Dr. Neal Nedley. I've made it through chapter one. He's a doctor and writes like a doctor. Lots of big medical words. He talks about how lifestyle choices affect your brain and how the brain functions. He talks a little bit about SAD and recommends Bright Light Therapy. BLT helps put the bodies circadian rhythm back in sync, which helps with sleep and mood. Outdoor light/air is best of course, but BLT can help chase away the winter blues. I know for me, when the sun is shining my face is smiling. I feel uplifted. One other thing I noticed is that during the spring and summer, when its bright and cheery out, my cravings tend more toward fruit and veggies.

I guess I have alot of reading to do. I think I will take Dr. Nedley's book to bed with me. That should knock me out cold in no time flat; if not from the reading material, then from the weight of the book! All joking aside, IF depression is what is keeping me from staying motivated/focused, I need to figure out how to fight the depression without the use of medication and then MAYBE just maybe I will be able to shed this unwanted weight for good. I also think a move out of this GREY sky state will help. Anyone wanna buy my house???


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