Friday, January 24, 2014

     I had a somewhat thought-provoking conversation with the psychiatrist a few days ago, and I felt like going off on some of that. I had to go in because I'd hit the 6 week mark taking sertraline. I went in thinking that either everything was good, it was doing it's job, or it was doing nothing but everything was good anyway and I didn't particularly care to test which it is. Because honestly. I've had my issues, I certainly have stuff I need to address, but to me the past month or so I've been in a healthy patch. Or, at least, a not-ill patch, which isn't really the same thing. I'd crossed over from suffering of acute depression to trying to deal with other things and habits that might tend to invite it back and hold me back in general.
     Well, not as she saw it. She saw my "this is about as good as it gets" as only a partial response. I guess I can't argue the point, I am still tired, I still don't really *want* to do things (is there a word for that? I enjoy things I just don't have will to do them). I'm certainly not free of wanting to stay in bed and a level of self-hate. But this is my happy. If truly this is only partial remission, that implies that I've truly been suffering from depression for years on end with differing severity. This is the kind of state I was in during those periods I had thought of as a break from depression....

     This also implies that if I ever when I truly break free of depression, it will be decidedly different from all those other times. 

     So there's that possible shift in how I frame my experience. She also waved off the possibility that I was getting better from depression for reasons other than the medication because it was too soon. She said that the course of depression was often five years without treatment. Maybe I'm reading this wrong, but to me this implies that long-term depression does in fact abate. It wouldn't take a miracle. Five years is a long time, but a) I've already passed that and b) it isn't a life sentence. And I guess I'm moving in the direction of hope, that just hit me weirdly. If treatment speeds things up, great. I'm certainly not about to ditch it. But to me there's somehow hope in the idea that I don't need it to be better someday. Or maybe it's just me. 

    I also found it interesting that she talked about herbal medication as if it's a blanket statement. And I guess I know I'm supposed to talk to her, but of course western medicine would put itself as the authority. That seems wrong here. The interaction between western/modern/whatever medicines and folk/herbal remedies seems like something that herbalists would have more reason to know than doctors. Besides which, the difference between medicine and flavorant/food is often only context, which adds another layer of weirdness. It makes more sense to me to mention to the herbalist that I'm also taking a certain pill than to ask the psychiatrist about relatively unknown herbs. At least that's how I see it. I'm not going to make any claim that I'm right and you should listen to me. In fact, that might be a bad thing. The only claim I'd make is that the thoughts I present here are my honest thoughts. 


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