The title (taken from the song by Sparks) isn’t really relevant to the post, unless you want to see the depression as the other person, but I don’t think I can make the depression leave. I picked the title because titles are difficult and “Depressed Thoughts” is a boring title. Also because I’ve been listening to the song a lot recently, the way I do when I get a song in my head, even though it probably isn’t that great a song, objectively speaking.
I seem to be in a permanent state of mild crisis and stress, with occasional bursts of more extreme crisis. I guess that’s how I’ve been since my mood deteriorated in the summer.
I didn’t get to bed until 3am this morning, due to being up late blogging and feeling agitated. Of course, I got up late this morning and then was slow to get dressed, feeling depressed and lethargic. I made the mistake of going online to look something up after breakfast, which dragged me into the news and feeling more depressed. Western society seems to be centrifuging itself into radicalism, with left and right pushing themselves and each other further to extremes. I find it worrying. Some people I know have become very political as a result, but I’ve gone the other way. I feel fairly disenchanted with most parties and politicians and have largely given up on the political process, preferring to concentrate on personal growth and inter-personal relationships.
The reason I was online was that I was looking for some essays by William Kolbrener, a English literature academic and Orthodox Jew. I have a book of his essays, but it’s at my parents’ house and I was looking for one online about one of his sons, who has Down Syndrome (apparently it is correctly spelt without the possessive). This was because I had a dream last night about having a daughter with Down Syndrome. I’m bad at estimating ages, but she was probably between about five and eight years old. She was beautiful and joyous. It left me feeling strange. I’m not sure I can put it into words. Some of it was happy, but also sad and I’m not sure that I fully understand why on either count. In the dream I loved my daughter and she was happy and loved me, but it left me wondering how I would cope in real life with such a situation, a situation which gets more likely the older I get and the older my dating pool gets (there is also the increased likelihood of having a severely autistic child if I’m really on the spectrum).
More immediately, I’m worried about whether I will get in to work this week. I feel very depressed today and lacking in energy, motivation and concentration. I procrastinated a lot and couldn’t do all of what I wanted to do, having to cancel a Skype call with my rabbi mentor. I worry I will be too depressed to get to work, or to work effectively once I am at work.
My family has suggested to me for a long time that I should get a light box (basically a bright lamp for treating seasonal affective disorder (SAD) that imitates bright summery sunlight). Even though I don’t have SAD, they think it might help, as my depression gets worse in the winter. I did some research online and there doesn’t seem to be any clear evidence that light boxes actually do anything. I feel pretty desperate though and might try, even though I’m usually sceptical of alternative medicines. The other thing I’m thinking about is an alarm clock that imitates sunrise, which might help me wake up more peacefully and alertly than my sudden alarms. If anyone has any experience with either of these, I would be interested to hear it.
I have put on a lot of weight this last year since being on clomipramine. All three of the psychiatric medications I’m on can cause significant weight gain, but clomipramine seems to be the main culprit, as I was doing OK on olanzapine and lithium. The problem is I was even worse this time last year, before I was put on clomipramine (I was not going to work, feeling seriously suicidal and fairly convinced I needed to be hospitalised), so coming off isn’t really an option, even though it seems to be doing a lot less for me than it was in the spring, when I felt I was really getting better (before breaking up brought me down again). I only eat junk food on Shabbat and Yom Tov (Sabbath and festivals) now. But I feel I cut out one of the few things I enjoy with nothing to show for it except that I’m not quite overweight yet. I eat too much convenience food, but I don’t have the time or energy to cook from fresh ingredients often. I’ve definitely gone backwards in terms of cooking and exercising since increasing my work hours, but I just don’t know what I can do about it. I have so many demands on my time and I know that getting seven to eight hours sleep a night is the most important priority, as I simply can’t function at work without it.