Have you missed me? Have you EVEN noticed I’ve not been blogging? Well, I’ve been mishuga, fermisht and verklempt.
In my never-ending quest to feel better . . .
The short version: Went to an endocrinologist because I thought some of my exhaustion might be due to an adrenal problem. They took a quart of my hard-earned blood and I peed in an “orange juice container” for 24 hours to be told my adrenals are fine but I have Hashimoto’s disease.
Whaaaaaaaat??? I’ve never been to Japan and don’t even speak Japanese. Seems my immune system is eating my thyroid all up. Put me on thyroid medication and said I should have about 20% more energy. With my continual state of exhaustion 20% sounded good.
Three months later . . . maybe 10% more energy. So endo doc suggested I take Topomax, a tried and true medication, that will put my brain into deep sleep (my brain stays in REM sleep and I don’t get restorative sleep – that’s the main reason I’m so exhausted all the time). I researched it and checked it out with my fibro doctor who said it was worth a try.
NOT ONLY DIDN’T THE MEDICATION PUT ME INTO deep sleep it didn’t even put me into REM sleep!!!!! I was up for 3 nights and 3 days. Couldn’t even nap. My brain thought it was a stimulant. I couldn’t think straight, walk straight or talk straight. I’m just barely beginning to feel normally exhausted.
I told my fibro doc what happened on the medication. She gave me a new diagnosis: WEIRD.
Bob Blobfish sez: “. . . She didn’t have to get THAT diagnosis from a doctor, just ask ANYONE who knows her . . .”
I think my brain is suffering: Impaired Wit, Cerebral shrinkage, Eating binges, Hallucinations, Risky decisions, Anger, Lost memories, False memories, Head-in-the-clouds, slurred speech are some of the impacts from diminished or non-restorative sleep.
However, I won’t tell you which of those my brain is suffering from. You’ll have to read my blog posts to figure it out.
I can’t read this chart. The print is too small so click here for a larger image: What Sleep Deprivation Does to Your Brain.
How sleep impacts the brain
I wonder if diminished sleep and diminished eyesight are related . . . .
Judy's visual journal entry
My favorite antidote for anxiety was the topic of yesterday’s post. Today I want to briefly address depression since anxiety and depression often go hand in hand.
Acute, situational depression is the brain’s way of helping us not blow our lid or slit our throats. When we’re depressed we don’t have the highs or the lows – everything is “flat”. It’s when the depression lasts longer than the situation warrants and becomes chronic that something needs to be done.
To add insult to injury, clients I see with depression and anxiety experience trouble with sleep: Falling asleep ; Staying asleep; Never getting restorative rest.
This is important!
Research findings suggest that there is a neurochemical link between depression, anxiety, and stress. This has nothing to do with psychology or character or any psychiatric disorder. This is about disturbances in neurochemical functioning in the brain. You’re not crazy, not psychological damaged or fragile. Your neurochemistry is out of wack if you are depressed and/or anxious.
Many of the symptoms of anxiety disorders and depression overlap quite a bit. Depression can lead to anxiety and conversely, anxiety can lead to depression. So we’re talking about a very tight relationship here in terms of diagnosis.
When I was first licensed in 1986 anxiety was treated with different medication than depression. Today many, if not most, people with anxiety are treated and respond very well to anti-depressant medication.
ABC News Photo Illustration
NOW THE GOOD NEWS!
Research has shown that the best ways of breaking the depressive cycle are: 1. EXERCISE, 2. COGNITIVE BEHAVIORAL THERAPY, 3. MEDICATION
IN THAT ORDER!
The good news is you can do the first two on your own, no Rx and the only side effects are feeling better.
- Now sneaking in my Haiku for today: Prompt – “hidden”
Hidden depths, silent despair