Friday, November 9, 2012
Even with clinical depression, there are bright spots in life. While doing research on the disease and the medication I'm taking, I came across a mood disorder associated with depression. It's called ANHEDONIA. Finding out about this cheered me up a bit because I was sure that I'd become Dexter. Not that I had homicidal thoughts, (Well, not often.) but because of the utter lack of emotion, I thought I might be a benign psychopath.
Dexter Morgan is a sociopath (different from a psychopath - Who knew?) with violent tendencies. He lacks regular human emotions; he "fakes" them by observing social interactions of others. Other than anger, I've been faking emotions for a long time. Lemme tell you, it's exhausting!
I thought that it was the fault of the medication. It is but only partially. My "zombiedom" started long before I was prescribed anti-anxiety and antidepressant medication. I can't pinpoint the time when it started but I know it's been many years. I'm now taking the maximum dose of Effexor, a serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) class. Lack of emotion, particularly pleasure, is one of it's side effects. I haven't been truly, honestly - joyful, happy, content - in forever. Since I did once have the entire range of human emotions, I can pretend to have them with great skill. "Faking It" has taken on a completely new meaning for me. However, I do pay a price. After my "girls weekend", I was so tired I could have slept for days. I never knew acting was such a tiring profession! Johnny Depp must be positively weary! My acting as a complete human being for so long has truly just sucked the energy right out of me, hence, "zombie".
That I have to act during social settings is probably why I avoid as many as I possibly can. I do feel badly that I make excuses for not going somewhere and doing something with people I care for but some days I just don't have the strength to put on make-up, slap on the fake smile and deal with it. Trying to explain this condition to people that don't have this aspect of depression and/or depression itself is difficult if not down right impossible. The bottom line is - I can't give what I don't really have and I can't enjoy what you want to give me.
Regardless of my current mental state, my two personalities - Lizzie and Martha - keep me in a fairly "sane" state. (Yeah, right! I sound totally sane, don't I?) Lizzie helps me act out the sarcastic, witty, fun side and Martha allows me to maintain the work, home, mother (soon to be grandmother - that's another story!) side. The Effexor in this dosage has calmed my brain down enough so that I can actually THINK. This is such an amazing development that I'm very sure I'm going to work through all my shit sometime in the future and I will be able to really FEEL the joy, happiness, sex, fun, laughter, silliness, once again. Lizzie and Martha will merge into "ME" and zombies will just be in the books and movies I'll enjoy.