Monday, June 20, 2011

Chapter 1 - My Kryptonite - 2005/2007

I have always been shy, not painfully, but not a social butterfly. I am the one who supports others..greases the wheels as they say. I am not a salesman, but have always done better socially when a little alcohol is involved. I have never felt typical depression symptoms like self worth issues, the blues, hating myself, etc., and definitely never had suicide ideations. Nor do I have any reason to be depressed (situational). I have a great wife, a great son, a great job, and hobbies that I enjoy. Don't get me wrong because I experience life with its ups and down, but still I have never felt the typical depression symptoms. The so called depression gene is present in my family. My father took his life when he was 50 years old. His father also committed suicide. So, I am not in denial of the potential for disaster.

What I do feel is a sort of fatigue. It comes and goes at random times. Sometimes it is an hour, and sometimes it is all day long. The best way I can describe the way I feel is similar to a hangover or jet lag. I call it "my kryptonite" because, not that I'm Superman, but to put it in perspective it is like if I were Superman then I get too close to a piece of kryptonite. My energy is drained, my motivation is lost and I just feel like total crap. The only relief is to go to sleep. Sometimes when I wake up the feeling is gone, sometimes not.

Once I exhausted myself trying to pinpoint if I had some kind of allergy and/or vitamin mineral deficiency I went to my general doctor. He scratched his head, looked at me like I was weird then prescribed Celexa (Citalopram), and told me he thought it was probably depression.

I began to keep a fairly detailed journal titled "How Do I Feel". It contained an analysis of daily life variations including adherence to a good diet (I follow the Zone principles by Dr. Barry Sears), tobacco usage (I dip snuff), alcohol consumption, social activity, stress at work, stress at home, the weather, how regular (poop) I am, sleep and physical activity (I am a pretty religious runner).

Unfortunately, from three years of data, I could not link a particular event to what would make me feel bad. I stayed on Celexa for about 18 months, and knowing what I do today I actually felt pretty good - most of the time. I continued to have "my kryptonite" episodes and probably should have just accepted that.

I must have missed a dose one day because I remember feeling light headed and kind of dizzy and thought this is not good. So I made an appointment with my general doctor to figure out what's up. He recommended that I go see a psychiatrist who could do a better job of tweaking medications.

Hind sight is 20/20, but I think this is the time when things started to go all wrong. Four years later, knowing what I do now I feel completely stupid for complaining about feeling dizzy one day!

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