Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Antidepressants, Day 2

Yesterday I started with my antidepressants.
I nearly didn't. After reading the package insert I thought that maybe I wasn't feeling so bad after all, at least not bad enough to take these risks. Side effects include nausea, dizziness, sleeplessness, vision disorders, seizures, etc. Now, I live alone and I was really afraid that something could happen to me and no one would notice and no one would be there to help.
So I sat there with the pills for quite some time, not daring to take one and thought about how ridiculous it is that pills against anxiety would cause you to be afraid of taking them.

I took one, in the end. I told myself that just one couldn't do much bad. And then today I told myself that since so far nothing bad has happened, another wouldn't hurt.
So far, I have only noticed a slight dryness of the mouth and a little nausea - but since I'm often a little nauseous because of my allergy, it's hard to say whether that's really a side effect.

I also decided on a whim that yesterday would be a "No-Obligations-Day". I'd do nothing that I didn't want to. No chores, no grocery shopping, no answering mails from work, no organizing doctor's appointments, no tasks for my training, no going for a walk (if I didn't want to).
In the end I spent most of the day napping. Maybe that was good for my cold, it was the first day in a week that I didn't have a headache.
I lay on the couch, following the ray of sunshine and thinking back to when I would lie on the floor with our late cat, doing just that. When just lying on the floor in the sun with your cat was an acceptable way to spend your time.

I guess these "No-Obligations-Days" might work a little better if you could prepare for them. In the end I still felt a little guilty for not doing some things, even though I told myself that a day later wouldn't make a difference.

I hope I can be a little more productive the next days. I always tend to plan to do lots of things when I'm off work and sick, "at least on the last days when I feel better". There's spring cleaning, job applications, tasks for my online training, tidying up the mess, watching series and writing reviews, reading... And in the end I always feel like failing, because I don't get much of it done.
As always there are two voices in my head. One says "take it easy, the doctor said you should stay home for a reason, if you plan to much you'll just feel bad for not doing it". And the other goes "yeah, but look at this mess, I'm never going to clean it up while at work and now I'm home all day, I should at least be able to spend 2 hours on something, that's not much".

Monday, 13 March 2017

Black Dog barking, Part 2

So today I was at my Doctors again. I spent over two hours in the waiting room.
Actually I was still feeling ill with a cold and wasn't at work today and as such needed another sick certificate.
But of course my doctor talked about the results of the blood test. I guess if I wouldn't have felt ill, I'd have just left it at that test for a while and wouldn't have talked to him about it...

Most of the results are OK, vitamin B12 levels a little low - but no explanation for me feeling depressed.
In the end I walked out with one more week sick leave and a recipe for antidepressants. He said that it's better not to be at work when starting these kind of meds.

I didn't want to be off work for another whole week. The week after this I have a few days off (a short trip to Italy with my parents), so I'll only be at work for three days before leaving again.

On my way home I felt really bad about this. Nearly two weeks away from work and then three weeks to do all the work and then a couple of days off again?
I felt guilty. Unsure.
Then again, the doctor said he'd recommend it, so it's probably for the best. Right?
Then the next worry: I can't cook, I usually have my main meal at the work cantina. How am I going to get through a whole week (and the next weekend)?
When I told my mother, she was worried for yet another reason: if I'm not at work, she's afraid I'll stay inside, talk to no one (which isn't that unlikely) and be more miserable. So I guess I'll try to get out a lot (when my headache gets better).

Saturday, 11 March 2017

A black dog barking in the distance?

About ten years ago, while I was working on my master thesis, I was diagnosed with clinical depression.
It had probably taken a long time until I realized I was ill. That it wasn't normal to walk through the town crying, that it wasn't normal to see a car and think about when I would have to jump to be hit.
I had behaviour therapy and I took meds. But even so I still didn't manage to finish my masters degree.
After a while I ended my therapy, though tapering the meds took a while.

I knew it could always come back.

So since a few months I think it happened.
It's different this time. No suicidal thoughts. Instead I'm afraid. Mainly of something happening to my parents. I'm afraid there'll be a car crash when my father is driving.
What's similar to last time is the compulsive thoughts. I'm thinking about terrible things, in detail - but I don't want to. I imagine terrible wounds my parents would suffer. While on my way to visit my parents I wonder whether my father is having a heart attack at the moment, with my mother trying to save him - instead of looking forward to dinner like normal people.
I also feel a heaviness on me. Sometimes I don't know how I manage to get up and go to work. It seems that when I don't think about it, my body is able to move. I'm wondering at it from the outside, because it doesn't feel like I could go on anymore.

I hate my job. I hate most people there. I hate the work I have to do. I was supposed to be a conceptual designer, but now most of the time I'm a project manager for a project that is unlikely to succeed; and there's not much I can do about it.
I'm doing an online training course to change field. At work nobody knows about it. It's fun and I really want to finish this, I don't want to lose my chance again like last time when I had a depression.
At the same time, I'm applying for jobs in the new field. So far with little luck. The refusal emails come in, one after the other. Last year, I applied for jobs in the UX field, I had six job interviews throughout the year - and I didn't get any of the jobs. I'm pretty sure, I must be doing something terribly wrong.

So while I wasn't feeling well, I was still pulling through. When I see people with anxiety or autism on Twitter or think about my cousin with multiple sclerosis, I feel like I have no right to complain. Maybe I'm just tying to get the easy way out from my current job?
After all, I still enjoy doing certain things like reading or watching movies - which is non-typical with depression.

Even so, last Wednesday I talked to my doctor about it. I explained the symptoms. He agreed that it could very well be a clinical depression. We did a blood test to check my vitamins, etc. Yesterday morning I called to ask about the result. The blood test results came back OK.

What am I supposed to do now?
I have no idea how I'm supposed to fit therapy hours into my schedule (which involves lots of commuting). I really want to finish my training, I want to work in another field. I don't want to have to end it, failing again, because of depression.

My health insurance offers an online monitoring and supervision for people who are depressed. Maybe I'll ask about this.
But in the end, it'll just add more to the things I have to do.

I really don't know what I should do.