Today in My History
SLEEPING AWAY DEPRESSION
17 June 2020
I think it was after my father died in 1987 that I first saw a therapist, who put me on an anti-depressant. I went on and off the medication over the years and the last time I saw a (new) therapist, she suggested I just stay on it indefinitely, which was fine with my primary care physician.
So I've been taking it on and off for about 30 years, though for a long time I really felt that I didn't need it. But did I? What would happen if I stopped taking it? I never felt depressed and never felt I was going through anything that would make me depressed, but I just kept taking the medication. Nobody ever asked about it, nobody ever suggested I might like to stop, and the prescription was re-fillable, so I kept refilling it.
Awhile ago I got kind of lazy with my medications. I kept forgetting to take them. Several times a week, when I went to get my pills for the day I discovered I had forgotten to take them the previous two days.
Anyway, since I had no sense of needing an anti-depressant, I decided I could stop taking it, so I did. It's been about 3 months now that I have not taken it and my doctor, at that "wonderful" Facetime annual exam I had, said she would stop the refillable prescription.
And it's all fine. I don't feel any different than I did when I was taking it daily.
But something happened yesterday. I don't know what. It was like my head became a piņata being hit and stirring up every emotional feeling I've had for years. I don't know why. But my emotions were, as the psychiatrists day, "labile," In other words, everything brought me to tears. Thinking about sad things, reading memories of Ziaja from the Lamplighters on their Yahoo group, friends, deaths of all sorts of people, fear of the coronavirus, things on the news ... and happy emotional things like commercials, comments made by people on TV, etc. It was crazy. Just sitting there with tears in my eyes and the feeling I just wanted to cry for no specific reason. It might have been seeing this picture of Ziaja and wife Jean.
I finally decided, at 8 p.m., that I would take a "pre-sleep nap." Some of this crazy feeling might have had something to do with my lack of sleep, though I have been sleeping better this week than usual (maybe 6 hours of sleep was too many for me?).
Anyway, I went to the couch and fell asleep almost instantly. As I knew I would, I was wide awake at 11. I've been watching the marathon Downton Abbey on PBS and so watched the next two episodes and when they finished I was feeling sleepy enough that I went back to the couch. It was sometime between 11 and midnight, the time I normally go to sleep anyway, so I was able to get back to sleep all right.
I woke up at 3:15, again my normal waking time. I watched an hour of Morning Joe and when I saw it was almost 5, I decided I'd try going back to the couch again. I fell asleep and slept until 7:30.
I don't have a clue how many hours of sleep I had, but when I was finally all awake this morning I realized that all of that depression I was feeling yesterday was gone. The news was just the news, not something that was bringing me to tears. Memories were either pushed way back or were just memories, not things that brought me to tears. And life is back to normal.
The nice thing about it is that "sleep" is a "medication" that is always refillable without any note from a doctor. (Cheaper too!)
PHOTO OF THE DAY
My pizzas are much better since I
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This is entry #7391