Shrink, shrank, shrunk

Well, I had a good talk with the prescribing shrink and she totally agreed with me about the potential downside of the meds. “The truth is, we really don’t know how they work and they may suppress neurotransitters in the brain,” she said. “This would explain why so many people have trouble going off them.”

She asked me what I wanted to do. I said I’d like to see if an increased dosage helped for now, and then start tapering off at the end of the summer. She thought that was a good plan.

She also said something interesting: That maybe writing about things triggered by emotion as I did in the past amplified negative associations and depressed feelings, and that the distance might be more useful. Hmm. I’m going to think about that.

6 thoughts on “Shrink, shrank, shrunk

  1. Hi Susie,
    I’m been reading you for quite some time and I always get concerned about your medical issues when they flare up. For this particular issue, I’d like to suggest a possible long term strategy: mindfulness meditation. Mindfulness meditation (often called vipassana, but a key component of many meditation practices) has long term effects on the brain and autonomous system that can diminish the need for medication. I’m not proposing that you throw away the medication now, but I’m suggesting 20 minutes of meditation a day could have some positive long term effects. There are probably some vipassana groups in your area that could provide instruction and there are also quite a few online resources. I would suggest a group because it helps to have a crew when you’re first starting.

  2. i highly recommend you do not taper off end of summer. august is the month for the most suicides among people who are chemically depressed. wait till october. think back and try and remember if thru the years august was a good month or bad month for your depression. i am pretty sure i read this phenomenom 20 something years ago in Beyond Prozac, but i dont remember exactly. however i know for sure it was an aha moment for me. i always take care with myself during august and chalk my glummy sometimes suicidal thoughts up to this, and remember august ends.

  3. ann marie, I think this is an interesting idea. I know that summer should be a happy time with sunlight and birds and flowers, but I have always felt a lot of stress from the heat and humidity. Its almost like it is too much energy out there. I am feeling right now like somebody has thrown a blanket over me and can barely move. When the fall comes it is a real relief. October is my very best month.

  4. Susie, I have no idea if this has applicability to your situation, but…I have a new endocrinologist and saw her yesterday.

    When she came into the examining room, she complimented my hairstyle, and I said it was actually pulled back so I wouldn’t feel my falling hairs slithering down my face and neck. She said, “That’s why I’m going to prescribe mega doses of Vit D (50K 2x a week) along with 2k dailly. “I guarantee you that your hair will stop falling out as much, you will have more energy, and you will be able to lose weight.”

    Please, may that be true!

    I saw her last year just before I hospitalized for burns, then couldn’t be very ambulatory for a couple months, then had to drop my insurance, and, finally, got set up with Medicare and a supplemental and could make an appointment.

    She had ordered very complete bloodwork tests, including Vit D levels in my body.

    My levels should have been 68, but were instead 27. Now, I drink milk, I eat yoghurt, cheeses, etc. I go out in the sun, albeit covered from the waist down due to the healed burn areas which have to be kept from sunlight for at least another year. But, it’s not enough.

    Have you been tested for Vit D levels? Apparently low levels are becoming endemic and affect more than realized. Which might be a legacy of our ancestors coming out of the savannahs exposed to all that sun?
    the sun?

  5. I take vitamin D with calcium and magnesium every day. No, I haven’t been tested. They don’t do that at the public health clinic without severe symptoms.

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