Exercise Doesn’t Really Help Depressed People

I told you. Didn’t I tell you?

Study participants, all of whom were diagnosed with depression, were split into two groups: one received “physical activity intervention” (which sounds like a scary new reality TV show) along with normal care for a year, while the other people weren’t forced to exert themselves. The people in the group that worked out for twelve months said the exercise didn’t alleviate their depression in the slightest.

via Exercise Doesn’t Really Help Depressed People.

Out, damned cold

I’m kicking ass at NaNoWriMo! No, wait. Take that and reverse it. NaNoWriMo is kicking my ass, but it’s okay, because everything else is kicking my ass too, because I’ve spent the last two weeks doing battle with the nastiest almost-cold ever. First I was getting the cold: tired, sore, cranky, scratchy throat, no energy. Then I was getting over the cold: tired, sore, cranky, hacky lungs, no energy. Apparently I skipped the part where I was actually sick, so…yay? But still.

The bright side to being distractingly sick is that I haven’t had the energy to properly stress out about all of the things I’m failing to do. And there are a lot of things! I’m not just saying that because I’m depressed (although, hey, if you’ve ever wondered about exactly how many things about you suck, depression can shine a Klieg light on each and every one of them). Just ask all the bill collectors. Oh the stories they could tell, if only I would answer their calls! (Which I am not. Because I can’t pay them, and really, how many times do I need to have that conversation?)

Not being able to pay my bills seriously bums me out. I worked really fucking hard to not be that person. After growing up on welfare, with various utilities constantly in a state of will-they or won’t-they shut them off today, I NEVER wanted to have that sense of helplessness again. And yet. AND YET. Granted, the bills I can’t pay currently aren’t of the sustenance-level variety (YET) but I still just want to lay down and die every time a due date passes and our bank account fails to inflate accordingly. I’m working really hard, too – it’s just not enough. None of it is enough.

Bah. Did I mention I’m feeling less sick? You know what that means. WELCOME BACK, CRIPPLING DEPRESSION. I HAVE MISSED YOU.

either or

So the main difference between Prozac and not-Prozac seems to be how overwhelmed I feel. On Prozac, my sense that everything was spinning rapidly out of my control was significantly reduced. Off Prozac, I feel like there is not enough time in my day to get anything done and also I cannot possibly do anything I need to do and we are all dooooooomed. On the other hand, I can get up in the morning without feeling like I need to immediately take a nap. So…win?

The thing that makes it tricky is that I do have a lot to do, and I don’t have enough time to do it, so feeling overwhelmed is kind of an appropriate reaction, right? Although it could be argued that keeping a level head makes it a lot easier to get as much done as possible, whereas sitting on the couch frozen by indecision isn’t exactly productive.

You see my conundrum.

Also: I hate taking pills every day, and I hate having to take pills every day. Blargh.

premiserable syndrome

I keep finding myself trying to describe what it feels like to get depressed. Which is ridiculous, if you think about it, because it’s not like I sit around trying to find the words to explain not being depressed – and, let’s face it, if you look at the averages that’s how I spend most of my life. But the Prozac (you knew I’d talk about the Prozac again eventually, didn’t you?) has been working, so there has been much less of the doom and gloom and somewhat more of the hey, look at that, things don’t suck entirely! which is a very nice change and I hope it stays that way.

But.

So I just snarfed a huge piece of really gross cake and I feel elephantine and miserable and I really want to sit in a quiet room where I have no projects (over)due and no one is demanding that I console them while they pee on me,* for christ’s sake, and maybe, just MAYBE, I can sleep for more than two hours at a stretch, please, yes?

*The kid is having a slight potty-training relapse. I mention this in case you were entertaining notions of a more adult nature, which, ew.


how i went to the doctor with cysts and came out with prozac

The cyst saga: it continues.

So here’s a thing: apparently the “many” cysts that showed up on the sonogram in New York have turned into two little book-end cysts, one in each ovary. Good news, right? Except for the part where they still cause me excruciating pain once a month, yes!

So no surgery for me; it seems that my body is well on the way to reabsorbing the cysts. KaiserDoc suggested going on the Pill for a few months so I wouldn’t ovulate; I explained that the Pill makes me crazy (bad-crazy, not fun-party-time crazy) and besides, wouldn’t that pretty much put the kibbosh on the whole second-kid question? We went back-and-forth for a bit, her saying “…or we could just do nothing” and me going “Um, PAIN,” punctuated by her leaving for ten minutes to take a phone call, which – professional! But what it came down to was that I’m not entirely comfortable with playing Russian roulette with my hormones, especially when there’s no guarantee it’s going to work.

KaiserDoc was reasonably sympathetic, in the way you sympathize with the crazy lady on the bus who tells you she’s misplaced her tinfoil hat. And speaking of crazy: I said maybe there was some magic combo of hormones and anti-depressants that might just mitigate some of the crazy, and KaiserDoc sort of jumped on that, giving me a delightful run-around about how she can’t recommend any one thing or combination of things because “everyone reacts differently” (which: OBVIOUSLY, but maybe as a DOCTOR you have SOME IDEA of which BCPs are most compatible with the chronically depressed, since I am REASONABLY CERTAIN I am not the first person in the world to be in this position) finally saying “Well, let’s just start you on Prozac and then re-visit the birth control pill idea after a few months.” So, basically: take some pills and quit being a crazy person, and then get back to me. Nice.

I’m not saying I shouldn’t be on meds, but, dude. Way to play up every stereotype of an insurance-company run health care conglomerate, KaiserDoc! Perhaps you can also sign me up for the newsletter – oh. You did. Right, thanks for that.

She did give me some Vicodin, too. So now I can be really high and also in pain. Yay!

things what are obvious

So, hey, funny thing: turns out after stopping my meds I’m depressed again! I know, right? NO ONE WOULD HAVE GUESSED THAT THIS WOULD HAPPEN EVER.

To be fair, I stopped the meds, like…three months ago? Four? So it’s not like I’m in withdrawal or anything. In fact, despite all the haters screaming about how hard it is to get off Wellbutrin, I had no problem whatsoever. Yay me! Except for the part where I’m all “nothing matters and I might as well jump off a bridge.” Again. Not that I’m going to jump off a bridge; that implies a certain amount of motivation, which I am totally lacking at the moment, but still. The sentiment! The sentiment remains the same, and has come creeping back rather predictably after a year-long medically-induced hiatus. (At the moment I can’t even remember why I stopped taking the meds, but I’m sure I had a good reason. Something about not being able to get excited about anything, I believe…oh the irony.)

Howev! I’m feeling better about the writing thing. I recognize that attempting to write a novel in 30 days when I’m already ridiculously overextended is…well, ridiculous, and sets false expectations in my head, and isn’t actually indicative of my abilities as a writer. Doesn’t that sound rational and right-minded? (It’s a trick.)

In other news, we’ve all been sick with a nasty cold for the past week, which does little to improve my mood. Currently there are things in my lungs, and I do not like to have things in my lungs. As a side note, it is not a good idea to obsessively watch medical dramas while ill. I mention this as a public service to my readers. (Also: it’s never lupus.)

above my means

Zen as I might be about socioeconomic status, there’s still a part of me that gets off on being able to Afford Things. Nice things. Things like my prettypretty BlackBerry Pearl or our multitude of Apple products. That part of me really, really wants to join this snooty athletic club that’s $100 a month and totally, completely impractical. But they totally offer childcare, and the idea of paying someone to watch my kid while I take a yoga class? Compelling. (See, because when I leave him with Not So for no reason except that there’s something I ‘want’ to do, I always feel guilty. Yes yes, I know, therapy would help with these things. But – another reason to feel guilty! You see my dilemma.)

big boy bedI’m starting to feel a little bit like our lives are getting managable, which – hey, there’s a reason I take meds, you know? When just getting out of bed in the morning seems huge and untenable, it’s kind of a big deal to think that things might actually be okay, kind of. It was cleaning the house that did it. We’ve got this great apartment that I love unreasonably (well, except for the permeating smell of Rice Junkies that greets me every morning), but it’s jammed so full of stuff that it might as well be a storage unit. But Not So went all MacGyver on the stuff in Ellison’s room this weekend, so not only is all our old crap hidden successfully in the closet, we finally got to assemble the kid’s toddler bed! And, dude, don’t even get me started on how exciting it is to think that someday in the possibly near future I may be able to sleep through the night again. In any position I want. I can barely contain my potential bliss.

Next step is to get our room whipped into shape. This is a bit more complicated than it sounds, since we’re waiting to be able to afford these cheap-but-cute wardrobes from Ikea so that I can stop keeping my clothes in a big ol’ Rubbermaid storage bin and actually explore the idea of drawers.