Monday, March 02, 2020

This Is Truth Week on Drugs--Any Questions?

In trying to understand my depression, I have come to look at it this way. Let's say -100 is perfect bliss and 100 is perfect misery, and 0 is perfectly neutral. For most of my life, my baseline mood was about 60 or 70. Stressors would increase that number, reaching 100 on a few memorable occasions (July 1997, February 1999, April 2005, August 2010, January 2013, July 2015, April 2017), and then when those stressors abated, I would return to my baseline. My medication lowered my baseline mood to about 10, which was amazing. But stressors continue to come and go, and so that number still moves around.

In the past 10 months or so, that number has steadily increased, until now it feels like my old baseline. The implication is that, without my medicine, I'd probably be well over 100 (which is hard to do on a scale that tops out at 100). So, on the one hand, hurray for my medicine. On the other hand, though, the problem with my old baseline mood was that I couldn't get any work done. And I find I'm often back in that same position.

The good news, I guess, is that I've learned some better replacements for some of my least-helpful coping mechanisms. So being at 70 isn't as damaging as it used to be. But I'm not sleeping, and then I'm not waking up, and I'm not getting work done at anywhere near the needed pace.

In my mind, I keep thinking, "If I get past this stressor, everything'll drop back down to 10." But there's no indication that I'm going to get past this stressor.

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