Monday, January 14, 2008

Hold Off On That Thought....

I have made an agreement with myself and family tonight that I am going to try to spend the next couple of days getting better on my own without the help of outside forces. Please disregard the previous post. In the event that things don't work out and I do end up leaving, I'll let you know. Sorry for the confusion. It's just that I would rather stay home instead of going somewhere that has not helped me in the past. ECT is a very attractive option to me and I have discussed it before with my doctor. I might just give that a try before I go for a stay in a hospital again. I've read many pages online that seem to attest to the benefits of ECT. I am not at all afraid of it. Old movies make it look bad ("One Flew Over a Cuckoo's Nest") but in the 21st century it is a very safe and painless therapy. There may be memory loss but that is a price I am willing to pay in order to find relief from depression.

"ECT is generally used in severely depressed patients for whom psychotherapy and medication are proving ineffective." ~ http://ky.essortment.com/whatiselectroc_riek.htm

29 comments:

Chris said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jim said...

Sophia, all my love to you, as always, I'll be here whenever...

You do what is best from your personal point of view, you and your family have to make these decisions, you and they are there, we are not, but I personally expect to be here later, so stay in touch if you desire, I do always want to hear from you Love!

Later Sophia, as is good for you, Love, Jim.

jim said...

Feel free, Sophia, to contact me anytime, Love to you and your family, my best to you Love!

Un-Enlightened Society Fan said...

Hi Sophia,

It might be like the flu only more intense and longer lasting.

But these things pass.

Killing brain cells is drastic.

You have so much more to offer!

Un-Enlightened Society Fan

Alexander M Zoltai said...

A prayer for you:

"O God! Refresh and gladden my spirit. Purify my heart. Illumine my powers. I lay all my affairs in Thy hand. Thou art my Guide and my Refuge. I will no longer be sorrowful and grieved; I will be a happy and joyful being. O God! I will no longer be full of anxiety, nor will I let trouble harass me. I will not dwell on the unpleasant things of life.

"O God! Thou art more friend to me than I am to myself. I dedicate myself to Thee, O Lord."

- 'Abdu'l-Bahá

(Compilations, Baha'i Prayers, p. 150)

Cookiemouse said...

Trust the power of your own mind. Believe that you have the strength to pull through to better days. I used to suffer a lot of depression when I was younger and it was not until I discovered the power of my own mind to choose how I wanted to be that I got over it. Humour helps and so does chocolate. Light a candle and look at your favourite picture or a flower. Focus on the purity of spirit in human form. After all Sophia is the holy spirit. Trust her and she will guide you.

goatman said...

A past friend of mine who was damaged by VietNam had to attend ECT every now and then at the VA Hospital in Georgia to help him when he reached an impossible point. Ray was a kind and gentle soul and never should have been exposed to the rigors of death, wounding , and war. But it seemed to help when nothing else would (including alcohol.) I would not fear it if recommended by your medical professional.
My thoughts are with you.

Siegfried said...

Reality is far less magical than fantasy.
Dream on.

Sophia said...

Hi Jim,

Of course I want to stay in touch with you. Thank you for saying sweet things today.

Whatever you do, don't worry, it appears this thing is cycling away again. I believe I may go to work tomorrow, in fact. I don't get this depression thing. I don't get it at all. But thanks for your availability.

I actually got out of the bed today, went to eat breakfast at a small restaurant down the road. I came home and only took a short nap, and then I was up putting my house back together from all the remodeling we've been doing. I can't believe I actually felt well enough to work around the house! I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I feel like this tomorrow morning.

Sophia said...

Hi Un-enlightened Society Fan,

I read your comment earlier today. Then this evening, my younger sister asked me on the phone to describe to her what depression is like. I used your words. I told her "it is like the flu". Of course I explained further that it comes and goes.

Thank you for your visit and comment.

Sophia said...

Thank you dear Alex, my kind friend.

The prayer is right on!

I admit that I don't pray very much, but of course it would never hurt to try. Thanks for giving me the words with which to start.

Sophia said...

Thank you, Cookiemouse.

Sometimes it seems that a lot of us spiritual types have gone through depression. I wonder to myself if this is a call to the divine, a call that we must answer, but to do so we have to muster as much strength as we can.

Chocolate of course would be very delightful. Speaking of, I have a box of Lindt truffles laying on the kitchen counter. It wouldn't hurt to have just one.... ;)

Sophia said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Goatman. Since my doctor said that they would anesthetize me beforehand, as well as give me muscle relaxers, I am not as afraid of it as I was the first time I had seen "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest". I think those movies give it a bad name.

My doctor is not ready for it yet, but she's getting there. She's waiting until we've exhausted absolutely every possible method. Psychotherapy does not seem to be helping. I suppose I am immune to talk and drugs. If it helped your friend, maybe it will help me.

Thanks for your thoughts and your friendship. I am thinking of you, too, just because I like you! :)

Sophia said...

Siegfried,

My sentiments exactly. :)

Anonymous said...

Please use google to search on

"syndrome x" depression.

Psychiatrists aren't usually well versed in endochrinology and aren't at all usually aware of the implications of less obvious physical reasons for depression. It took the emergence of type 2 diabetes for me to be rid of depression and all sorts of other symptoms. Your mom might be right about the treadmill after all.

But I better add one more thing. It is called sleep apnea and, undiagnosed, that has serious life shortening as well as psychological consequences. Your husband should be aware if you stop breathing at night while asleep. If he's a deep sleeper there are ways to figure this out including a sleep study. Seek out a good neurologist.

Please look at all the other possibilities before undertaking ECT.

Best of luck and I'll pop back later to see if this information was of help to you or not.

Vincent said...

Don't know what to say, Sophia: I think you have what you need. I think it will work out for you extremely well. You will get beyond these cycles to a place where you feel less vulnerable, less at the mercy of these things.

And I think you are going the right way about it.

Sophia said...

Hi anonymous,

Thank you for your comment.

Per your recommendation, I Googled "syndrome x depression" and learned of a few things. I've had all my blood work done numerous times lately, and I will say that while I am not diabetic, my blood sugar level has been very low, around 62 I think, which might be considered prediabetic? My blood pressure has only been high a couple times, but is normally very good. However, my cholesterol is absolutely terrible unless I'm on some sort of statin, and I'm currently on generic Zocor (simvistatin). It's keeping my bad cholesterol under control but my good cholesterol isn't so good. They say I need to increase it.

I know my diet is terrible but I find I lack even the motivation to start eating healthier foods. I know I could be slowly killing myself but strangely I feel apathetic to the idea. Maybe it's because I think I'm invincible, which I of course know I'm not, but subconsciously it could be that I feel that way.

It's funny you mention sleep apnea because I have had a sleep study done recently. While I do have minor sleep apnea I don't have enough to require a CPAP machine. Well, at least the doctor said my level wasn't high enough for my health insurance to pay for it. My husband was never aware of any of my breathing problems because he sleeps soundly through the night, almost like a log. It was actually myself who noticed that I kept waking up taking quick gasps of air. It was like I had been sleeping underwater, and then quickly I'd awaken while involuntarily trying to take in air. I even noticed that sometimes I'd do this while awake, but not on purpose.

Thanks again for your concern and for your helpful comment. I will bring up my low blood sugar level again the next time I see my "shrink". I don't want to get diabetes.

For the time being we're altering my medications. I think we still have a few cocktails left before she lets me do ECT. I'm embarrassed to say how many drugs I take, but the number is horrendous, and includes drugs, presently, like Risperdal, Effexor and Lamictal. I've been on other drugs for OCD but treatment for that got put on the back burner when I started to develop depression.

Sorry for the long comment. It seems I have a lot to say when I talk about myself. :)

By the way, how are you?

Sophia said...

Hi Vincent,

I know it's hard to think of things to say when someone is going through a bad experience. I feel that way when someone has experienced the death of a loved one, for instance. It seems like I have to fumble for words, and it feels like there is a tension in the air that makes me uncomfortable. I think it is a fear that I'll either say the wrong thing or not say enough. Communications between two people sometimes are so formal, it's like one has to follow some form of etiquette. This could be one of the reasons I avoid funerals. Sadly, it looks like I'll have to go to one on Saturday as my mother's boyfriend of seven years just had his dad die today. If I didn't go, I'd seem careless, which I'm not, but funerals are one of my biggest fears when it comes to social anxiety.

I hope I didn't do the wrong thing, but I wrote my boss an email today explaining to him what's been going on lately. He wrote me a brief email asking if there's anything he could do. I wrote a long drawn-out response telling him that I apologize for the absenteeism but that my depression comes and goes; I'm sorry for missing so much work; it's mostly due to genetics because...yadda yadda yadda. I don't even know if he cares. He was probably just trying to do the good Christian thing by offering his assistance should I need it. I think in the end he would take the side of the employer if it ever came down to getting rid of me because of my absences, which currently they can't do since I've registered for FMLA. But still, they don't seem so happy to be my friends anymore. Another boss walked right by me today, looked me in the eye but didn't say hello. This is the same boss who three years ago recommended me for a big job that I took for a while. I hate the feeling that she doesn't like me anymore. I feel like lots of people don't like me anymore, that they think I'm crazy. Unfortunately, a lot of people think depressed people are either lazy, faking it, or crazy. I don't know which category they think I fit into but I do feel the tension in the air when I'm around the bosses. I think they talk about me behind my back and only pretend to be nice to me. I think they wait for May of 2009 when I am due to be up again for a contract extension. I don't think they'll renew me.

I think I'm paranoid.

I also think I talk too much. (Only online, though.)

Sorry.

It felt good to vent all this.

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for following my advice to look.

A blood sugar of 62 with not very much physical activity and the usual depressive's lousy diet can mean only one thing; insulin resistance and hyperinsulemia.

An excess of natural insulin in the blood usually leads to psychological symptoms so much so, in fact, that insulin was administered in the past to induce elipleptic seizures as a form of therapy. That method has since been replaced by more humane and more sensible (and less dangerous) treatments. In large amounts but too small to cause coma and so on the psychological effects of insulin mimic the symptoms of ADD, ADHD, depression, and a host of other diagnosable ailmentes.

My diabetes came from a path similar to the one you might be on, that is insulin resistance drives the pancreeas into manufcturing high levels of insulin which eventually burns out the beta cells and the production of insulin drops to levels so low that blood glucose rises and the person suddenly has type 2 diabetes.

I was actually grateful to have found a solution (any solution short of death was acceptable) for my symptoms. Every time I tried a new prescription it would work for a while, and after a few weeks or a few months at most it would stop helping and the old symptoms would emerge again. It was a horrid merry-go-round. Every time I found a magic bullet it eventually let me down. Having type 2 diabetes emerge along with the disappearance of those psychological symptoms was such a relief .

I know it is rough, but please give this a significant trial if you can.

1) Reduce all glucose intake as low as you can possibly get it. Nope, no Atkins diet. But there's lots you can do that will help. Start reading labels. You'll find that "light" means less fat but more carbohydrates and carbs convert rapidly into sugar in your body. For right now get your sugar intake down. You can go back to your regular diet at will, so don't be afraid to try this to see how you feel in a few days.

2) Make a concerted effort to actually exercise. Think of your family and that you are doing it for them. First week 5 minutes a day. There are 168 hours a week, surely you can afford 5 minutes a day.

3) Increase exercise period every week till you get up to an hour a day. It sounds like a lot, but if I'm right you'll start feeling much better within the first few days if you follow these simple steps. Why would America today be so exercise concious if there weren't a significant "feel good" return?

What I suggest will get you started. If it works as I think it might (it has for me) then you'll start inventing your own stuff and experimenting with what makes you feel better yet.

Your family will welcome you back!!!!

As I said earlier, psychiatrists aren't usually well versed in endochronology and the effects of such problems. Please get input from an astute endochronologist. They have all sorts of cool tests these days that can prevent you from developing diabetes if you're on yur way. Syndrome X is sometimes called pre-diabetes.

Me? I have a lot of good days (thanks for asking) but I'm in the winter doldrums right now but I keep busy with more projects than I can finish in this lifetime so for me winter doldrums is like a wonderful day for many people I know. I can't complain.

Sorry this got so long, but my standard ftf discussion is, at a minimum, about an hour, so this is a very short discussion for me.

Yes, I have that awake apnea sometimes as well. I have an entire long apnea discussion as well! Another time.

Please try exercise immediately. That's not only free but makes most people, even people with no problems at all, feel better the first day. A little muscle soreness is actually a good thing!

Chris said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mark said...

Tough decisions. Love, peace and wellness, may you always be blessed with these things.

Sophia said...

Hi Anonymous,

I was not aware of the possible symptoms of having too much insulin in the body. When I think about it now, I can kind of see how it all might fit together. I started taking medicines for OCD in 2002. I was in excellent shape and health. The medicines caused me to start to gain weight, but slowly. I can see where it is possible that the weight gain might have produced some insulin problems that therefore resulted in my depression that started in December of 2004. From that point, I was given more medications that only made me gain more weight. I'm not 300 pounds or anything, not even 230, but I'm at an unhealthy (and unattractive) weight. I know weight problems can cause other health problems. So maybe all this extra weight caused some insulin problems. Thanks for making me aware of this. The doctors never go into this much detail with me. I appreciate it.

You might be happy to know, that your motivation resulted in my walking five minutes on the treadmill today. It wasn't even plugged in and there was some dust on it. :) I hope I can keep it up. Now I just have to give-up sugary sodas and make some alterations to my diet.

A couple years ago I was seeing an endocrinologist and he put me on Metformin. I really don't know what that drug is supposed to do, but my prescription ran out and I didn't go back to see him because I had to drive into the city to see him. It's not a long drive but I don't much like city driving.

I am sorry you're going through the winter doldrums. I am assuming that you have S.A.D.? I wish I could give you good recommendations as you have done me. If you're not allergic to cats, you could try one of those. :) Unless you already have one, of course. One thing that helped me get through a few winters was engaging in creating fractals with Apophysis software. Just a warning, it can be addictive, but it's very meditative. In fact, you could find yourself lost in a zone of sorts!

OK, I know I could talk all night, so I better stop here before I lose you.

Thanks. Have a great night.

Sophia said...

Mark, thanks for the gift of your visit and company. I hope to put your well-wishes to good use by manifesting them!

I wish the same for you, ten-fold!

Anonymous said...

I'm so pleased to have your attention along with some of those following your blog and our discussion. However that leads us now to this short piece that ties everything together--sort of.

Here's a fascinating link:

http://tde.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/33/3/475

I've, hopefully, set your feet on a path that might resolve the issues you've brought into discussion. I hope this information serves you well. A wikipedia search on metformin leads to hyperinsulemia, insulin resistance and other things that sound as though they fit the symptoms you've been mentioning.

It sounds like your endo had a grasp on where you were heading. Metformin is used in type 2 as well as for insulin resistance.

Atkins diet? A wonderful tool to relieve problems that can be helped by diet. But as a permanent lifestyle I don't see it as a very good solution. The body is used to and needs a lot of stuff. That's why we worked to discover what a balanced diet is. Trying to do end runs around that doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

I've kind of thrown a lot of information out there for consideration and I don't want to appear to overwhelm the calm and serene conversation that lives here, so I'll just read for a while till it looks like additional input is asked for.

Best to all!

Happily_anonymous

mossy said...

Yes,

Exersize is wonderful for the mind and body. I get low blood oxygen levels if I do not exersize.

Sophia said...

Hi Happily_Anonymous,

Interesting, as one of my first complaints was related to excessive daytime sleepiness. During a slow period at work, I would sometimes be so tired I'd lay my chin on my hand and pretend to be reading the monitor. Little did anyone know that I was sleeping! I was so tired that I'd lay my head down on my desk during lunch breaks. I attributed the sleepiness to depression, however, and my psychiatrist put me on Wellbutrin, which seems to have done a good job of keeping me awake when I'm actually able to go to work. I feel alert on the days I'm not missing work, on the days I'm not so depressed I can't do anything. Like today, I feel great, really. However, during a depressive episode, I can sleep literally for days.

But I have to say, that even as a teenager, I was quite the sleeper. I was skinny, too, and in excellent shape. I just loved to sleep in 'til noon and of course it drove my mother batty sometimes. It was in my 20s that I began to sleep entire weekends away, though. My psychologist has pointed out some signs of teenage depression. (Well, the most obvious was an attempt to overdose on aspirin!)

I do not know my paternal biological family, but I do know from a letter I had received from my biological great uncle, that diabetes runs in the family. I do not know if it is type I or II. I can't remember which type requires shots of insulin? I don't know if they require the shots or not, I was just wondering out loud.

Comment whenever you like. I am just pleased as pleased can be that there is someone here with this knowledge. I think it is beneficial. You can, of course, always join in on the small chat, too.

I actually can't wait to get home so I can spend five minutes on the treadmill. Oh, and today I didn't bring any sugary sodas to work with me! Just bottles of water. I hope I can keep this up. :)

Sophia said...

Mossy, what causes low blood oxygen levels? Does it have anything to do with circulation?

I used to get runners' high when I was in cross country. When I stopped running on terrain, I'd made the switch to treadmills and would get in the zone often. I could run endlessly once over the initial bit of pain. I'd like to be like that again someday.

My mom said the other night that she wishes she had her hiking buddy back. That "buddy" was me. We went hiking together all the time. Not anymore, though.

If I remember correctly, you're a big time hiker!

mossy said...

Yes I love to hike.

I did not know that you ran Cross Country. So did I.

I really do not know much about low blood oxygen but last time I went to the doctor they said that I had it. I associate it with a feeling of certain shortness of breath and fatigue. I am considering getting a pulse oximeter for $65.

Sophia said...

Mossy,

Yes, I mostly ran cross country because my father wanted me to, along with playing basketball. He pushed me so hard in sports growing up that now I can hardly bear to see sports on television. But I think now that being active in the two is what helped me stay so skinny growing up.

Does your doctor think there is a solution to your low blood oxygen problem? How will the pulse oximeter help?