So I am experiencing more moments of depression, anger, and anxiety than in the months when I was on Risperdal and Zoloft.
One of the more annoying tendencies for folks experiencing these feelings, is to go meta with them — in other words, to have feelings about having feelings: to be alarmed by, depressed by, anxious about, angry about, the depression, anger, and anxiety. I especially don’t appreciate this in myself. I.e., I’m depressed; oh no, now I’m anxious because I’m depressed; oh no, being anxious about being depressed makes me mad, etc.
I think one reason why Mark and I are so sensitive about my moods, so reactive to them, is that my horrible PPD experiences are still fresh in our minds, and we are afraid of returning to such dark days.
I plan to print out some diary cards and start tracking my moods again for a while. I also intend to recommit to exercise, socializing, Bible and prayer, exercising the skills I’ve learned in therapy and DBT group, and whatever else I can think of to manage symptoms. I also have Joe’s phone number and am ready to schedule a session with him if I think it would be helpful. And I think I am going to take a break from reading my friends’ blogs, particularly those friends who have suffered much; I guess the lingo is to say that it might be triggering.
I also wish I could identify and resolve all of the things that lead to the depression, anxiety, and anger. I heartily disagree with the behaviorists for saying that the mind and heart, the subconscious, are irrelevant and the only thing that matters is changing behavior. On the other hand, I am aware that sometimes my feelings come first, and then I hunt for reasons. Since the reasons have always existed, they don’t explain why I am feeling X at a particular moment and not at another. So, I am thinking I will try to be open to reflection and analysis when it seems helpful, but to also take a practical approach to “managing symptoms.”
Reasons (just for fun):
- Weather / lack of sunlight
- Lack of exercise
- Apparently, lack of drugs; but I’m not going back if I can help it
- Disappointments / unfulfilled desires in several relationships
- Insecurity, loneliness, navigating new social environment
- Frustration at the apparent impossibility of resolving or even talking about certain things with the relevant people
- My own failures and inabilities and negative impacts on others
- Feeling abandoned (by people and by God) to bear all the weight of taking care of myself, without sufficient resources, clarity, wisdom, feedback, etc.
- Current stresses like the cat’s illness and Amy’s rash
- There’s probably more but that’s what comes to mind immediately.