So I have made it no secret that I am taking anti-depressants. Dealing with family medical conditions nearly sent me over the edge.

Depression for me takes two forms. First I want to totally disengage from life. If I could stay in bed all day, I would. If Jenn and Ethan were away, I would frequently not get out of bed during the weekends. I managed to work, but just barely.

Second I get irritable. This is what got me to start taking meds. I could deal with the sadness, but the irritability expressed as anger, rage and outright hatred was impacting my relationships. I nearly got fired on several occasions. I would *usually* hide the beast from my family, but everyone else was fair game. I would tailgate when I drove. I would yell at store clerks and rage at coworkers in meetings at work. Patience was non-existent. If I perceived that someone was not *getting it*, I would automatically classify them as stupid and treat them as a human subspecies. I finally got sick of living with myself. Something had to change. So I took the drugs.

I do not know what I was expecting when I started the meds. I think I was expecting to feel euphoric. In reality your mood just evens out. You become almost ambivalent. In less than a year at work, I have gone from riding the edge of insubordination to being the iceman. I have a meeting twice a week with our support analysts. I used to berate the poor people in that meeting. I am sure they walked out feeling stupid or hating me or both. Now in spite of some pretty heinous problems, I actually joke in the meeting.

I was in a minor car accident recently. It was not my fault. A year ago I would have got in a shouting match with the other drivers. Instead I just took down all the info and waited for the cop.

Medically, we are looking at a tough road ahead. And while I feel some anxiety about more invasive procedures, I am by no means consumed with fear.

This all sounds great. Except of late I have noticed a loss of creativity. My blogging volume has plummeted. Nothing in everyday life captures my attention. As far as critical thinking, I think the meds have improved my cognition. But when it comes to being silly or *off the wall*, a staple of my personality, that part of me is largely gone. I was reading about side effects online, when I stumbled on to this quote:

Antidepressants aren\’t addictive, she says, but they do flatten a lot of people. \”You don\’t feel depressed, but you don\’t feel joyful either,\” she says. \”They close the amplitude of emotions, so there are no lows or highs. This is why antidepressants were historically reserved for people undergoing major depression.

In a word���Spockulation. I briefly considered getting off the meds. But I know my depression was out of control. For now getting off the meds is not really an option. I hope that I will eventually tear through this layer of gauze that encases my head. I am not too confident.

For now, I will surrender the joy to abate the sadness.

By Ben Posted in Life

3 comments on “Spockulation

  1. That is one of the hardest things about all the meds that Lee is on. I miss the kid he was. I know there is no choice, and in his case it is unlikely that will ever change, but I miss the brightness and the sense of humor and the fun. The other side was jumping out the window and various other suicide attempts, so there is no question that they can’t go away.

    All in all though, you still have more creativity than your average Joe. And it is great when you blog, I always get something out of it. Sorry about the joy though, that’s a tough one to give up. If it’s any consolation though, I feel like that, and I am not even on the drugs. I guess life has just beaten me down to the point that I am not really upset about much, but I am not really joyful about much. Weird huh?

    I will pray for the joy to come back, even inspite of the meds.

  2. Even for those not on medications, the events of the world around us today are enough to make anyone become numb. “Numb” is that safe haven when manifest rage and joyful insanity are not socially acceptable.

    From what I see, looking around on any given day, 90% of the population is living in “Numb”.

    Whether chemically induced and justified by agreed upon diagnoses or simply the only coping mechanism perceived available, it works for the Government, doesn’t it?

    All the ingredients are there. A (relatively) under-educated, fearful, medicated and/or spiritually Numbed population is the easiest to control, eh? And the easiest to pass an otherwise “questionable” agenda over.

    I know that doesn’t help you individually, Ben. And I don’t, for a minute, mean to deminish your suffering or the scope of what you have to cope with. But I do know, that regardless of the circumstance, many, many people have become “Numb”.

    I fight it every day as well. Now, I’m a nurse so I’m the first one to stay away from Dr.s. But if a psychologist ever got a hold of me, I’m sure they would slap a “Manich/Depressive” label on me in a nanosecond. (ask any of my friends)

    I’ve been to “Numb”. When my brother shot himself, I lived there for quite some time. And again when I hit some very rough road in my marriage. When I considered my brother’s choice of escape. Now, I refuse to go back. I choose to ride the extremes of my emotions. Because, for me, I have to know that what I’m feeling is mine.

    Everyone has to walk their own road, find their own way. I’d be the last person to critisize another’s choice. I only hope you can accept my heartfelt well-wishes for you and your family as you make your way along this rutted road.

    Consider yourself eternally hugged. And remember, you are never alone.


  3. Hey Kevin…I hope someday these little pills won’t be necessary…cause I am sure all this stress will let up any moment.

    Tamara…don’t even get me started on world events…I once had a doctor tell me to never watch the news…his rational was that very little of it impacts you directly and in most cases there is nothing you can do about it…I never took his advise because I always hoped there is something I can do…maybe someday

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