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Monday, May 3, 2010

Morning Depression

Dear A. B.

For the last several weeks I have been experiencing morning depression .. not as devastating as you describe, but painful none the less.

I have been waking at 4 and staying in bed until 5 which is the usual time for me to get up. During that 4-5 time I have psychosomatic symptoms.. it could be an arm .. or my chest ... accompanied with not so much sad but world weary feelings, hot flashes and shakiness.

Flashes I have had before.. male menopause.. at nearly 70 years old.. not bad.. but uncomfortable none the less.

Then I walk the dog.We take a long walk by 7 and then when we get back home the symptoms return until about 11 or 12 noon.

When I feel this way I eat very little, which is a great way to lose a few pounds.. Afternoons I have been going to the community pool and I am OK from then on. I have social contact..

My analysis is that I am still recovering from my relationship ending. I put everything into it but she turned out not able to handle it. The disappointment must be deep. Someone pointed out that I was lonely and that has some truth to it. ( I have no regrets about the break-up,. but have lingering dreams of what could have been).

Joined a dating site for a month.. plenty of action, few suitable to actually meet .. all quality folks but nothing so far. I have a few dates lined up for this week.

The same depression occurred last year and I will check but I think it happened several times around this time of year. I thought it was physiological each time but the doc. said I was healthy as a horse, as they say.

This will end soon if history is any guide. Meanwhile I use some of your techniques .. which helps a lot.

I like living alone.. just need a love in my life, which I hope to find. ________

Dear _______

Morning depression is no fun. I still use my "Yes, we have no bananas" for that, as well as a new one, "1,2,3,4 who are we for" an old high school cheer. Just dumb stuff, but enough to thoughtjam the downer thoughts so they don't get "airspace."

Your hot flashes and shakiness can be the result of stress chemicals. Hot flashes, weakness, weariness at the core, and shakiness, sweating and twitching at the extremeties are the body's natural reaction to stress chemicals. The stress chemicals can be produced when downer thoughts cross the line and become strong enough to trigger the fight or flight response that produces the stress chemical in your brain.

The other thing that I often think when I wake with morning depression is that I am in the company of millions of others who are also suffering at that time and I must be strong for us all. If I can rise up out of it maybe, somehow, it will help everybody else, and my love and compassion for the others who suffer along with me starts leading me out of my self-focus into a more objective reality.

The other thing I think about is that depression is not reality, it is just a thought. And I can change the thought by thinking another thought. A. B.


Anonymous said...

hi - I've had a problem with my anxiety and depression being severe in the morning and I feel better as the day progresses . . . but it's usually 1 pm before I'm 'normal' and I can stay up and work until 2 a.m. and feel fine - but this sleep schedule does not work well with real life.

A. .B. Curtiss said...

It seems that maybe you just need to move yourself along a little faster in your recovery process so that you don't take so long to get from morning depression to a better place. One thing that helps is to catch the downer thoughts or downer feelings right away and thoughtjam with a dumb little exercise. Don't put up with it for even as long as a minute. Don't delay in jumping right to it. Don't meander out of it. Push yourself out of it. Thoughtjam with an exercise and right away force yourself to get started on morning chores, or work, and refuse to think about what you are feeling. Only think about what you are doing. Anytime the feeling or thoughts escalate, hit them again with some thoughtjamming exercises and then turn back to your work again. A. B Curtiss