Posted by: cg00n | June 12, 2008

Depression

I’m feeling a bit down tonight for no readily explicable reason. Perhaps it is because P has been grumpy and upset and I worry about her having too much responsibility. Maybe it has something to do with my rather poor sleep for the past few days: I think I’m getting a bit too much Prozac because I am sleeping even more lightly than usual and having the sort of very vivid and strange dreams that would normally be associated with other kinds of drugs. Partly, I suspect, my foot is to blame: I overworked it a bit yesterday and now it is sore and the patch is showing some signs of stress around the edges. This means I will have to sit around for yet another week or so. It is also possible that the book I am reading right now is having a depressive effect.

The Noonday Demon – An Atlas of Depression by Andrew Solomon is a wonderful book. The author talks at great length about his own history of depression interspersing his narrative with useful facts, quotes from medical professionals and stories told by others who have been seriously depressed. I find myself devouring the material, frequently nodding as I recognize pieces of my own life and occasionally experiencing “ah ha!” moments when some part of my past finally makes sense. For example, discovering that about half the patients with pure anxiety disorders develop major depression within five years, and that at least half of anxiety disorder patients have irritable bowel syndrome as well. I am about 80 pages into this 500 page book (of which the last 100 pages are endnotes, references, bibliography and index) and fully expect many more revelations as I go.

It is with somewhat mixed feelings that I realized, late this afternoon, that I am much more afraid of another serious depression or sustained period of anxiety than I am of melanoma. I guess I’ll just have to get over it.

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Responses

  1. I was listening to an interview with the author of this: http://tinyurl.com/3egrf9 while in exile last week. It sounded readable, useful and upbeat. I’ll probably get myself a copy next time I see one. I don’t know if she addresses melanoma directly though.

    You may be able to listen to the interview yourself here: http://tinyurl.com/3mvsxx

  2. YOu said: “with somewhat mixed feelings that I realized, late this afternoon, that I am much more afraid of another serious depression or sustained period of anxiety than I am of melanoma. I guess I’ll just have to get over it.”

    Sometimes too, although we can be afraid of something that we know…. like a returning bout of depression, that fear can also give us the tools and the strength to deal with the situation better – than if we are blindsided by its approach.

    That way, too, if we focus on worrying about a known concern, it is easier to ignore the big scary unknown things – the different outcomes, and test results and errant nodes.


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