Mental Health Wobbles

Since about mid-December
– no motivation at all to do anything. My usual exercise regime of swimming 3-5 times a week plus 1 session of pilates has been reduced to swimming class once a week (and I think I only struggle to that because I don’t have to talk to anyone while I’m there). Apart from class, I’ve swum once this year and managed one session of pilates. I’ve made it to one of my silver classes and every other Tuesday night I’ve got home from work and been utterly unable to go out again. I’m spending every weekend in my pyjamas doing nothing, not even cleaning my teeth until bedtime. On Saturday I was really thirsty and it took me 40 minutes to work up the oomph to walk five paces and get a drink of water
– bad thoughts. No thoughts of suicide or self-harm, but constant thoughts about bad things happening to loved ones, like daydreams of awfulness which eventually bring me to tears unless something external gets me out of it, like a phone call or a cat jumping on my head
– really tired all the time, but no changes to my sleep pattern
– joint pain, especially really sore elbows in the morning
– the elbows might be because the 2+ stone I have lost over the past 2 years has all gone back on in the past 3 months and lying on them hurts. Not motivated to cook properly for myself, living on delicious chocolate and biscuits. All I want is sugar and carbs
– no desire to socialise at all, just want to be left alone in silence
– all my work paperwork is up to date, for the first time in ever, because I’d rather sit at my desk typing than make phone calls or visits.
– all of the things that I should do to combat it all, like exercise and eating healthily, are utterly beyond me
– I can make an effort and put a front up in front of other people, but as soon as I’m on my own I turn into a big schlumping human beanbag. I’m trudging through a sludgy brown world instead of skipping (or at least ambling) through a world of colour

Saw the GP today and agreed that we would do blood tests to check for thyroid problems etc and if that’s all normal then we’ll start antidepressants. We also agreed that there was no point telling me to eat healthily and do regular exercise, cos I was doing all that when it started, and if I could do it now I wouldn’t have gone to the doctor in the first place.

6 thoughts on “Mental Health Wobbles

  1. I’m not sure what to say, other than I wanted to say something. I am in the midst of my own struggle at the moment and I wanted you to know that you are an inspiring and full person who I respect and as bullshitty as it may sound two things are keeping my head up and shoulders back and they are: ‘Nothing is permanent’ and ‘Everything is connected’. Stringy xx

    • It’s just wonky chemistry for me. It’s nothing I did, it’s not a result of anything that happened, it’s just a bit of my brain not making the right chemicals (combined with a Scottish winter). It’s fixable and I can keep going til it is fixed. Meanwhile, my colleagues who know how mad I was on cocodamol, can’t wait to see me on antidepressants/thyroxin. But thank you for your kind words.

  2. I have used a light box for over 8 years, from clocks going back to mid-March. For reasons I don’t fully understand I always try to hold out using it until the clocks go back but my partner usually prompts me a week or so beforehand, she can spot my mood change better than me! It only works for me if used religiously – I can tolerate missing it one day a week. This week it has felt like I can start discontinuing it and put it away for 7 months.

    Having been through a significant “dip” last year I appear to have been going in the right direction since December and have started to believe I can do my job again. What frustrated me most about needing time off last year was that I believed I was insightful and could “see the edge”, however this wasn’t true and I’d effectively “stepped off” before realising I needed to do something about it! It is surprisingly common and now i’m getting back on form I have made a conscious decision to share my experience with work colleagues so am open about why I needed a month off and that getting better is a work in progress.

    • I decided that I would tell my colleagues straight away. The trouble with having a reputation as easy-going and stoic is that when you say “I’ve been diagnosed with depression, we’re just not sure yet whether it’s thyroid problems or proper depression” they all go “stop taking the piss. Are you serious? Oh, you’re serious!” And then they remember how totally off my face I was on the good cocodamol and they get excited about how entertaining I will be on other drugs…

  3. I hope you emerge from this dark dip soon and safely and healthily.

    A quick word on new drugs: keep a tab on it. I get side effects very quickly from most medication I’ve taken (I think I lasted on cocodamol for maybe two days before they took me off it due to the side effects, if that gives you an idea) and some of the worst for side effects for me have been anti-depressants (that I was given for chronic pain, in incredibly small doses – I still suffer a little from residual effects about five years later from a single week on amitriptyline!). They often start you on the cheapest ones (it makes sense for their budget, as they also often work for patients) but there are often alternatives if you get horrid side effects and it is worth going back and finding what is right for you. Unfortunately sometimes it means you end up feeling a bit like a guinea pig though.

    • Thanks Naystar.
      I had 6 months of Lustral about 20 years ago, having taken part in a research project looking at the effects of diet on PMT. The researchers found diet had no effect on my PMT but felt mine was severe enough to warrant anti-depressants. Six months of Lustral reduced my PMT to more reasonable levels and the side-effects were irritating but bearable. I know some people who have been unable to tolerate any anti-ds at all and others who have got on fine with the first one they tried. It’s just trial and error.

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