Tuesday, October 27, 2009

SAD vs Scary

Everyone knows that Halloween is my favorite holiday. I LOVE all the spooky, scary stuff, and the costumes and decorations and haunted houses and events and everything. It is awesome. AWESOME.

Most of you also know that I struggle with Seasonal Affective Disorder. Every year at about the end of September I start really showing it. I get very tired, prone to major depressive episodes, and just generally lacking in energy and drive. I can't get enough sleep, I have a constant craving for carbs, whether I'm actually hungry or not. It's not pleasant.

So the two things battle each other each year. In an ideal (for me) world, I would do up the decorations at my house at the beginning of October, do the jack-o-lantern carving with the kids, maybe throw a party or two. And of course, there would be The Big Night, which would just be joyous and exciting.

Instead, what usually happens is that I keep intending to get out all the decorations, plan to get them set up, but maybe the week before I might actually do something (this year the big activity was slapping some new window clings of bloody hands on the sliding glass door. (that link isn't to a picture of mine....but I have the same kind, and she's got a better view out the window.) I do the costume thing, yes. This year Kira will be a dead prom queen. I'll do the trick-or-treating, but I'm tired the whole time, and I'm just going through the motions.

My psychiatric nurse had been talking to me about increasing my Wellbutrin to combat the Seasonal Affective. We even scheduled a meeting for September to look at doing it then, getting ahead of it. And what ended up happening was that she decided that I seemed to be doing okay right then and we'd get together again in December and take a look. Of course, we met on September 18th. My SAD doesn't get going until Octoberish. Of COURSE I was still doing okay. We were supposed to be trying to get AHEAD OF IT.

Naturally I didn't advocate for myself and insist on doing it, or even meeting sooner than December, when I'll be in full grip. And sure enough, last week I had a blaster of a depressive episode, one of the worst I've had recently. Can't help but wonder if I had doubled up on my Wellbutrin, if I could have avoided that hell.

You'd think the doctors would figure out that my depression is pretty powerful. I'm on THREE DIFFERENT ANTIDEPRESSANTS, plus an antianxiety that's take-as-needed. Hello? There's a problem.

Anyway. Halloween is Saturday. Carnival is Friday. Kira's costume is not completed, and all I had to do for it this year is get her a prom dress from Goodwill (did that, but it needs to be taken in to fit) and make a sash. Then blood that stuff up.

We're doing the Haunted Pirate Ship again this year. I'm pretty excited about that, but at the same time I'm pushing off getting my ass up to the third floor and bringing down the boxes. The thought is just so exhausting. But I'll get it done, and I'll have an EXCELLENT time Halloween night being scary.

Just don't expect much until then. mk


The Beast Mom said...

You know yourself well.

I think most healthcare these days is self-advocated. Or you just get the minimum response. I won't bother pontificating on the why's and should's of the medical system today. I'm just sad it's affecting you like this.

I do hope your Halloween week is enjoyable in spite of the downturn. I know you like Halloween so much. :)


markira said...

C, thanks. I've just switched over to a new therapist who is going to be working with me on DBT, a specialized treatment for people with borderline personality disorder. One of the aspects is self-advocacy. He said that within a year I will have mastered several new skills, which is amazing to me after all the years I've spent in therapy. Fingers crossed!