Welcome to my Blog

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

My Depression is Lifting

Dear A. B.

Ate a decent dinner and slept well last night--no sweats today. Hopefully, I am nearing the end of the episode. No question, articulating my condition and getting loving and helpful suggestions is speeding the healing process.

What appears to happen is the depression sneaks up on me and I begin to feel unwell, physically and psychologically, until I am forced to recognize something is wrong. Usually, I think I ate something and that is the cause of my distress. Takes a while to realize the source is in my head.

Once I come out of my shell and start asking for help, I am already moving toward the end of the episode.

A consequence of living alone is a bit of self absorption.

Age seems to bring more awareness of feelings, not less. The young have the strength to deny upsets, the older I get I probably don't have the energy, nor the need to cover up.

Talking to my friends at the pool yesterday I found out that several of them sleep poorly and have night sweats almost every night, and they readily accepted the notion of male menopause.

Will keep you posted.._________________

Dear _______

Older people generally wake up several times at night. I wake up at least twice during the night and must use my dumb little exercises to get back to sleep. Last night instead of "1,2,3,4 who are we" for I used another old high school cheer that came to me "baby pink and baby blue (our opponent's colors) I think that's very sweet don't you."

When my husband and I traveled with another couple several years ago I was shocked to find out that, when they woke up in the middle of the night, they used Ambien to get back to sleep. I taught them my dumb exercises and they said they worked for them. But it is hard to insist on using the exercises which sometimes take as much as half an hour to work (though most often less than five minutes)and easier to take a pill so it may be that as soon as they got home they reached for the pills again. Another friend gets up and watches late night TV every night. I have a passion for Dove dark chocolates and I have more trouble sleeping if I eat too many of them before I retire. I long ago gave up coffee.

You can learn to become more aware of downer thinking before it becomes downer feeling, and nip it in the bud before it gets entrenched and then you become aware of it from physical symptoms. I often turn around downer thinking by remembering an old quote of Marcus Aurelias: "I will cling to nothing else save reason alone." I also use the quote for downer feeling if it comes to that.

Young people are busier and have more social interaction that keeps them more in the workaday world. Isolation isn't good because we're a herd animal. We need feedback from others to create present reality. Even if you are physically isolated you can still get a feeling of community if you are engaged in things that are also important to other people, some craft or trade or past time, like gardening, that keeps you somewhat objective, thinking about what you are doing instead of what you are feeling.

It's important to be objective because in being objective you are giving your brain tasks which is the only sure way to activate the neocortex. It may activate by accident, through learned association, but the only sure way to activate the neocortex is to give your brain some small command. The subcortex, being an instinct, activates all on its own. It's only from the neocortex that you can use your five senses to create, with your fellows, present reality. Depression is not present reality, it is a state of alarm, although psychiatry is doing its best to make everyone believe depression is present reality. A. B. Curtiss

No comments: