Tuesday, April 23, 2019

On and Off

I passed the decade mark just a few months ago and thought I should post.  I've been doing well, dealing with other non-related health issues (auto-immune).  That has brought it's own depression.

I think I previously mentioned I was not using the device.  I would occasionally charge it and run it for a few hours.  I found that it would ultimately bring some anxiety to the surface (the most common side-effect, I believe).

When I could feel the depression rolling in, I have recharged the device and turned it on until the anxiety build up to where I can feel it's uncomfortableness.  What I have found is that a little anxiety is good, if you want to get things done.  I have felt more productive and when the anxiety actually reaches a point it bothers me - off goes the device and I coast. I coast until I realize how difficult it is to get up in the mornings.  How difficult it is to think and stay focused.  How difficult it is to want to go out in public and mingle with friends.  How difficult it must be living with me.

That last one is a nasty thought for someone heavily depressed.  I am not - I am just pointing out the people who care about us don't notice the backslide either.  You don't just wake up one day and say, Honey, I feel depression is back.  And they don't wake you up one day saying, Honey, your depression seems to be acting up again.  No, it's a slow slide into the bad habits that accumulate and make it that much harder to crawl back to "Normal".

A friend recently asked what I knew about TMS.  Very little actually.  But I found an interesting article that recently came out about TMS that references an even better article about DBS for TRD.

Having ignored my device (denial) for months, I missed the second article (Why a 'Lifesaving' Depression Treatment Didn't Pass Clinical Trials), which points out that the longer the test subjects have the device, the better the odds for some success. (Ridding ourselves of all the bad habits that accumulate takes time!) It also highlights what Dr. Mayberg has been doing with her new funding.

My device is ON, currently, and it is the longest it has been on in years.  The anxiety build up to where it bothers me, seems to be taking a long time.  Did I let myself slide back too far?  Probably.  I am at least aware now, that I have slid backwards.  Is it my brain trying to plunge me back into the darkness or hopefully, more situational, based on my current life events? 

I am one of the lucky ones.  But after reading the TMS articles, I have hope for others.  I'm a little leery of the lack of more testing but I am also glad the FDA is not making it overly cumbersome to get this treatment to people who need it.  And at an affordable price.

Now - more coffee and a shower.  Then off to work.


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