What, no chocolate?!

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4th March

A week ago I went to see the doctor to see whether I could cut down the medication. I was told that, given my disruptive sleeping patterns and my ongoing tendency to have panic attacks that it would be best to stay on my current level of medication. A bit gutted at that. And then… I made a joke that when I get anxious, my hubby helps to calm me down, but if I get too anxious he just stands well back and throws chocolate at me. The doctor asks if I ate a lot of chocolate… I, er, said that, I er, ate it every now and again. I was then told to avoid chocolate.

Who says that?!

I think that was more upsetting than the tablet thing. Oh well… It’s been a week since I’ve had any (after teasing a friend for giving up chocolate for Lent – Karma!) and I don’t know what I can attribute to the lack of chocolate in my bloodstream, and what are the effects of withdrawal from the medication…

The insomnia itself is starting to wear off, and is now being replaced by the urge to sleep the clock round. For instance, last night I fell asleep before midnight, and I only woke up at 11am.  But I know that tonight I will still probably fall asleep around midnight, rather than stupid o’clock in the morning!

I’m getting lots of headaches and general aches as well, which is less fun.

That’s the thing with depression, you see – happy pills alone won’t work.  If the depression has been set of by a set of circumstances or a specific event, then perhaps fair enough. But, as in my case, where it was due to the situation I was in, then that situation has to change.  I know someone was starting to feel themself go down the depression route simply because they didn’t feel they had any control over their work.  Loss of locus of control is key to triggering an episode in someone who has a natural tendency towards depression. So they have also changed their situation and found a new job where they know they can feel in control.

For me, it had to be changing a lot of what I was doing at the time.

The key to tackling depression is three-fold: medication, exercise and therapy.  I’ve been blessed to work with a superb counsellor from church, who not only got me through the issues I was having in my daily life, but all the underlying issues that had, over the years, created that present situation. Well, if not the situation itself, then it had definitely laid the groundwork for the breakdown!

On their own, pills will just make your current horrible situation a little more bearable.  Like the prescribed equivalent of getting drunk or something. It’s just covering over what’s really going on.

The thing is, even after everything may be changed, dealt with and sorted, the medication has to continue because it’s allowing the brain to continue healing even while enabling you to still be in the real world.  It’s not like a broken leg where everything stops until it’s healed. Perhaps that’s why depressives want to hide away – perhaps it’s their way of giving their minds space to heal. Perhaps it’s an instinctive self-preservation thing. Perhaps that’s why so many basic behaviours go out the window…

Anyone else been told to stay off chocolate? Inquiring minds need to know!

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2 responses »

  1. Love you openness and honesty. I wish everyone was dared and were willing to be as transparent as you regarding their mental illness. You are such an amazing example.

    • Thank you. Sincerely. I always think – if it was a broken leg, people would be happy to talk about it, so what’s the difference? Just a different bit of the body, that’s all. (((hugs)))

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