Saturday, July 6, 2013

A Case of the Blahs

A couple of weeks ago, my mom, dad and I were eating lunch together and my mom asked me,

"Why are you sad?"

Her mere question made me cry.  She said "See?  The tears are just right there."  More tears.  I told her the truth, that I don't know why I feel sad, I just do.  I couldn't pinpoint any particular life circumstance that was triggering sadness.  I thought it was just a phase, so I was trying to ride it out.  But when your compassionate, caring, perceptive mom calls you out on something like this, it's hard to ignore it.

I told her I just feel blah.  I don't want to get out of my bed in the morning.  Every morning.  All I want to do is sleep.  I measure tasks (and whether I will do them or not) based on how much energy I think it will take to accomplish it.  Most things require more energy than I have, so I leave many things undone:  dishes, laundry, etc.  Only the essentials get done every day--feeding, diapering, watching the kids.  These things, too, require more energy than I have, but they are non-negotiable things so...  However, me showering?  That's negotiable.  <erasing personal hygiene off the to-do list>

If you've ever taken a "Are you depressed?" quiz, one of the questions for sure will ask if you are experiencing less joy or enjoyment out of life.  That's me.  If you know me IRL, I'm a fairly happy-go-lucky type person.  But lately, not so much.  My blah-ness is getting in the way of my joy-ness.

After a heart felt discussion with my parents, I agreed to call my doctor.  As it was a weekend, I had a few days before I could make that phone call.  During that time, I touched base with a couple close friends that know me well.  They agreed with my mom that there has been a change in the overall "me" in the past few months.  

The weekend passed quickly and Monday arrived.  I could call my doctor on a Monday.  I didn't.  Tuesday came.  I had a pivotal conversation with a friend that helped encourage me to make the phone call.  An appointment was made for the next day.

I went in to the appointment knowing that they very well may recommend I start on some kind of antidepressant.  I was very anti-medication at first.  I don't know why.  I don't have any problem with other people taking antidepressants when needed.  I don't judge them for it.  But I was judging ME pretty harshly for possibly needing assistance from a medication like that.  The appointment went really well.  Of course I cried a couple of times (duh, feeling sad = plenty-o-tears-at-the-ready).  The nurse practitioner was so helpful in asking questions, assessing the situation and helping me develop a plan.  I re-took a postpartum depression questionnaire.  At my six week postpartum visit, I scored a 6 (out of what, I don't know).  This time I scored a 16.  Apparently, unlike most tests, a high score is NOT desirable.  Whoopsies.  Our plan looks like this:

Step #1:  Begin taking Zoloft.
Step #2:  Re-evaluate at an appointment in 4-6 weeks.
Step #3:  Change my birth control pill.

Step three may prove to be significant.  Since I stopped breastfeeding Reese at six months, I switched from the low-dose, safe to use while breastfeeding bcp, to generic Yaz (gianvi).  The nurse practitioner said the number one complaint women have about Yaz is depression-like symptoms.  Interesting.  (Why not switch my birth control pill first and see if that helps?  Because of my concerning score on that test she gave me.)

I'm about a week+ into taking Zoloft.  I can tell a slight improvement in how I feel day to day.  I feel hopeful about our plan.  I'm still awaiting more energy, but I need to give it some time, I guess.  So far the Zoloft has made me slightly nauseous.  Nothing like pregnancy, mind you, but enough to kill my appetite.  Not eating...I'm sure that doesn't help with my internal energy crisis (as opposed to the global one).  On a positive note, it is easy to lose weight if you don't eat, just in case you were wondering...


Can I just say how HARD this post was to write??  I have read tons and tons of blogs of women in similar situations.  I took for granted (until writing this) how hard it must have been for all those women to share what they did.  It's hard to write about something challenging WHILE you are going through it.  This isn't resolved.  I don't have all the answers.  I'm not "better" yet.  That's hard to admit...