Depression Setting

I’m starting to feel it.  It’s been quite a while since I’ve felt those tendrils of depression reaching out to grab what they can of me.  There have too many changes in the past 6 weeks and no doubt, that is playing a role.

It’s been a month now since I closed down my last blog.  For more than three years, that blog was my place to go to vent, to find solace, and to commiserate with people who “knew me.”  While there are a few of you here who have “followed” me over here, I have been afraid to blog openly and candidly about my life like I used to.  I feel like my most powerful outlet is gone.

For those of you who are new to my blogging adventures, let me try to summarize, in vague terms, what happened: I blogged anonymously about my life and everything about me.  I had no identifying information about me, but I guess if you really tried hard and you knew me in real life, you could probably piece it together.  I wouldn’t have cared if people knew who I was, except that I’m a resident physician, so I have to maintain some level of professionalism in my work life.  A few days before I closed my blog, someone I work with wrote a very mean and hurtful comment basically saying that everyone I work with reads my blog and I am damaging my reputation.  More people from work came to read my blog and there was lots of gossip and it was stressful.  So I closed it down.  I haven’t even come close to writing about myself and my life here on this blog because part of me is scared (and a little shell shocked) to reveal anything too personal and identifying.

The “blog discovery” caused me a significant amount of stress at work, because while no one talked to me in person about it, I knew people were talking about it behind my back.  I’m confident that it hasn’t affected my reputation, at least with most of the people I work with, but it’s taken a while to come to that realization.  That whole work environment has been stressful because of this.

On my old blog, I used to have goals that I revisited every month.  I was making great progress on my goals and I think it was because my blog followers kept me accountable.  Needless to say, my goals progress has haulted.  My eating habits, my exercise plans, my efforts at personal time, and even my social and reading time has become obsolete.  That’s been hard.  I feel guilty for letting them slide, but I am also feeling the negative effects of “not taking care of myself.”

Part of my inability to meet my goals has also been due to the fact that my work commitments have changed considerably.  For the last 6 weeks, I have been working an average of 11 hours a day (and more if I am on call).  I have been working almost every second weekend for some portion of the weekend.  I am exhausted when I am at home.  The only thing I have found comfort in is sitting down at the end of the day (usually past 10:30) and watching a few episodes of Parks and Recreation with husband before I fall asleep.  But then I feel like maybe instead of watching TV, I should have gone running…

Anyhow, I have been trying to keep up with the things I enjoy, but it hasn’t been keeping up with me.  I haven’t been running and that makes me sad.  I’m always tired when I am at home with the kids, and that makes me sad too.  I contemplating returning to my anti-anxiety medications that I stopped a few months back, but they are not “safe” in pregnancy… I could try something different, but I really don’t feel like putting my body through that experimentation.

So I wonder, where does that leave me.  How do I work at preventing those dark arms of depression from taking a good, strong hold on me?

Too Young for This

“But Mommy, I can have good behavior without taking a pill. I promise!”
He was pleading with me after I asked him why our nanny found his Dexedrine tablet in the garbage can the other morning.“I don’t like having to take medicine, Mommy. No one else takes medicine, just me. I want to be normal, like everyone else.”
My Little One, while only 5 years old, has been diagnosed with high-functioning autism and ADHD. He’s been taking a small dose of Dexedrine for the past 5 months and we have noticed a huge improvement in his negative ASD symptoms: Less random noises, few and shorter lived emotional breakdowns, less disruptive and abusive behavior, less rigidity in his thinking, and better able to focus throughout the day. But, how do you argue with a 5-year-old to take medications when he comes back at you with such an adult complaint?
“Everyone takes medicine, Honey. Mommy takes pills, Daddy takes pills, and those puffers that Little Brother uses, that is medicine too. There is nothing wrong with taking medicine – sometimes we need a little medicine to make us feel better.”
“But I feel just fine when I don’t take my pills, Mommy. I’ll show you how good I can be when I don’t take my pills. Please Mommy, let me show you.”
My heart was breaking just a little bit. How does my little man already feel ashamed and marginalized for taking medications to help wit his mood and behaviour? So, over the weekend I decided to try a day without his medication. It was a horrible day filled with defiance, little brother beating, random sounds, and worst of all, lots of Mommy and Daddy yelling. But how do you get mad at a little boy for just being himself?
“See Honey, how much trouble you are getting into today? It’s because you didn’t take your pill this morning. Taking your medicine really helps to make sure you are the best you can be.”
“But Mommy, I’ll start having good behaviour right now. Watch, you’ll see.”
Apparently being yelled at and sitting on time out all day is better than taking medication.
The next morning it was back to direct observed Dexedrine therapy and my heart was breaking a little bit more