Thanks for checking in with support, everyone. Wow, some surprises there, and comfort knowing how many people are still active on LJ.
I’m doing better this morning, due in part, I think, to a midweek doubling of my Effexor dosage. Don’t worry – I cleared it with my doctor first. I had been on the lowest dosage, and it just wasn’t cutting it. This morning was the first time I felt like I had energy and will to do something – where I was actively moving with some kind of momentum, instead of dragging myself along. That’s a small victory, and I’ll take it. Once this next two weeks of anxiety-inducing travel is over, I think I’ll be even better yet.
On the other hand, last night I confirmed, dismally, that Effexor shares the hated side effect with Prozac – namely, I couldn’t have an orgasm. I’m going to try again tonight, alone, and with some intention. I wish I could say this was as much fun as trying to get pregnant, but it totally is NOT. After I gave up last night, I felt pretty fucking awful. Why do I have to trade being less anxious and more motivated during the day with having an orgasm? I’m kind of pissed. Maybe it’s not that big a deal – oh, screw that. It IS a big deal to me. It makes me feel cut off from the human experience. And the cruelest part is that unlike Prozac, Effexor is NOT cutting down my desire to have sex. I know that having sex does not have to equal having an orgasm. I know that there are nice ways to be close that don’t include orgasm. But I *like* having orgasms and I’d rather it be a CHOICE to have sex without orgasm.
I keep thinking about this depression thing. So many people are medicated for depression. I’ve seen estimates at about 20%. I think my perception may be skewed because I have a lot of friends who struggle with it, which may be due to the fact that a lot of my friends have above-average intelligence and/or are creative, traits that have been linked to depression and anxiety in some studies. Still, if so many people have it, is it just part of the human condition? And if so, should I take medication for it, or should I just suck it up and deal? I could compare it to other things we take regular medication for, like diabetes and heart disease… but in many cases, the need for those medications is related to an environmental factor like obesity.
So… I guess I’m talking myself into a corner here, where I face the uncomfortable reality that maybe for some of us depression is a biological fact, a chemical thing, and that it can be influenced by environment, but at the end of the day, it’s chemical and thereby somewhat out of the control of “thinking my way out.” I HATE that. It makes me feel powerless. For years, I’ve thought of it as a terrible thing that other people have to deal with. I have read about it because some people close to me have literally had life/death struggles with it. And I’ve always felt relieved that I didn’t have to fight it… until I did. And do. And hate the utter inability of my brain to just will it away. And I want to find a way to cope with that.
It doesn’t help that the science at this point isn’t clear. Oh sure, you can find great studies for medication. You can also find great studies that suggest that it’s a placebo effect. You can find great studies about schools of therapy, but that, even more than biology, can be a very individual process.
I don’t know what I’m trying to say. I guess I’m sharing my thought process of the past week or so since I last posted. I’m definitely feeling better than I was on the day that I posted. I know the upping of Effexor helped, but I also think that posting here and then reading all your responses helped too. I’ll keep moving my feet forward and hope that the effort to do so continues to lessen. And I’ll keep posting here, and soon, maybe even a post that ISN’T about depression.