I have not been blogging much of late. I have thought of a few things to write about; I have even sat down at the computer with the intention of blogging. But it was just too much trouble to actually do it.
Tuesday I had an appointment with a very good doctor in Billings. I finally talked to her about the fact that I realize that I am operating at a low level of depression. (She agreed with my self-diagnosis.)
This is not the kind of big, bad depression that afflicted me forty years ago after the birth of my second child. That was a very dark and scary place that I don't even like to think about. My intense and protective love for my children and my very supportive husband pulled me through that time, but the healing took months. There was a time that I came to believe I would always feel that way and I would just cope the best I could for the sake of my family. I am glad that I did eventually and gradually recover.
This is not the kind of depression I have heard about, but have not experienced, that comes with crying jags and/or impulses to harm one's self.
This is the kind of depression that sucks out physical, mental, and emotional energy. It creates an overall dullness where doing anything is just too difficult. I had to admit I was not really able to handle it on my own when I realized that I was dreading an upcoming Bible class that I am to teach beginning in mid-September. I love teaching Bible classes and I have really wanted to teach this particular adult class. Now, I find that I regret getting myself into it; it just takes too much energy and mental discipline. The joy is gone and it just seems like a chore.
And that is not all that I have no energy--mental or physical--for. I'm definitely not keeping up my house the way I would like it to be. I have almost abandoned work on several projects that I was formerly enthusiastic about. I don't really care much about going out and doing anything.
So, combining this overall energy-sapping dullness and the fact that I have had trouble sleeping for months, Dr. Malody put me on a low dose of antidepressant. It was very difficult for me to admit I needed it or to tell anyone what I did know about what was happening to me.
Depression seems to be a factor on both sides of my family tree--in the past, before the development of better understanding of how the brain works and medicines that have effectiveness for mental disorders, a lot of people self-treated with alcohol. Which, of course, just caused more problems. I truly believe that most alcoholics start out as depressives. Because of family history I have always had an intense fear of alcohol.
It takes time to build up to the complete effects of an antidepressant. However, the last two nights I have really slept! That, in itself, is a blessing. I am still feeling a little "druggy" and my balance is a little off. No, two doses have not restored me to mental energy and ambition. That is the waiting to see part. But I have hope that the results will be good and I will really care about, and enjoy, doing things again!