Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Depression

How to claw back from depression? The kind where you can do absolutely nothing even though you need to. This bout seems to be caused by the looming job cuts at university (I won't be lecturing any more), and finally cutting ties with the rest of my abusive family. I can manage short bursts of routine non-thinking things like cleaning and washing, but not for long. Even work is starting to be neglected. Study hasn't been looked at in ages. Anti-depressants are not an easy option as I've been found to be allergic or badly reactive to three different types, need to be very careful of my kidneys, try to not trigger more migraines, or increase pain levels, or worsen insomnia.

Speaking of which, insomnia has worsened over the past few weeks, enough that I keep waking up every 20 or so minutes, and can't sleep for more than 5 hours. Valerian, homeopathic remedies, meditation, deep relaxation, yoga and various other things work for a bit, but at the moment, everything has stopped working.

Attempting to distract from the depression by starting a patchwork quilt, working on the garden, knitting, trying to get organised and stuck into a routine also hasn't done a thing. The routine never really starts.

I was lent a book recently: "Authentic Happiness" by Martin Seligman, but found it didn't really explain anything radically new. I seem to have read enough self-help books and website, and been through enough psychotherapy to have covered most of the ideas in this book. It does not, however, deal with people who are depressed and dealing with chronic pain - it notes in one sentence that people who are in such ongoing pain will always suffer spiralling depression - I don't agree with the 'always' blanket. My results of all of the little quizzes/ratings in the book were fairly extreme, except for the quiz about vengeance (for the abuse I suffered), which was at least something positive.

I experienced this when doing the workplace THRIVE workshops (a sequence of 8 seminar/discussions about various topics: motivation, scheduling, anger, sleep, etc). Absolutely nothing was new to me, and in fact only scratched the basics, but it was interesting seeing the other people there be amazed at the concepts I thought were basic common sense and/or knowledge.

So... how to find motivation to do stuff? Especially honours.... still desperately searching, but running out of options. I need a very long holiday from work, study and me.

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