Thursday, September 6, 2012

Boo Freaking Hoo

When you have time on your hands, you do strange things. Like think for a long time about strange sayings and then research their etymology.

Since this post is about depression, I thought I'd look up the phrase "the blues," as in "I have the blues."   According to the Oxford English Dictionary--which is a magical thing for a geek like me--having "the blues" became an expression circa 1741, when the Early Modern actor David Garrick wrote a letter that said, "I am far from being quite well, tho not troubled with ye Blews as I have been." After Garrick's letter there are numerous instances of the phrase being used, though it is largely unclear about why, exactly, Garrick and others chose blue, or any color for that matter, to describe feeling depressed. The closest thing to an explanation that I could find for this is that the second ring in archery is blue--i.e. shooting outside the best or center ring makes one "in the blues," and thus a total loser!!

At any rate, let's just say that I've definitely been shooting out of the center ring lately. I hesitate to call what I experience as depression, largely because I have been around some severely depressed people. I mean, people who need electro-shock therapy in order to continue living their lives. In light of this experience, I count myself very lucky.

However, I do have a family history of depression and anxiety, and first-hand experience of that history. I've hesitated to be honest about this here because the source of my current blues is related to something that I am loathe to share with anyone except a very few number of people. goes!

About two years ago I began taking Prozac as a treatment for anorexia and anxiety. (I don't think this is a stated use for Prozac, but studies have shown that it is effective as an "off label" use of the drug.) About two weeks ago I began tapering off (and have since totally stopped taking) that medication and have consequently found myself sluggishly making my way through my usual day-to-day activities. Sigh. I've been sleeping more, eating more, and feeling bad much, much more. I've been irritable and not much fun to be around; this is made more difficult by the fact that David and I just got married and I feel horrible that he literally has to plead with me to go for a walk because he knows it will make me feel better.

Coming off an SSRI can cause a host of symptoms, including irritability, anxiety, and depression. In my case it also caused a number of day-long headaches--woo hoo! Ultimately, I know that I will feel better, and probably fairly soon. And, despite the fact that I was very, very, very much against taking medication in the first place, I am still glad that I did so for the time that I did. It gave me a chance to think clearly and calmly about food and my weight for the first time.

I'm not sure why, exactly, I'm sharing all of this, unless it's because I forgot to take pictures of my eats the last two days and thus have no pictures and no decent post for you all. Ha. Cough. Ha.

*But seriously, why not share how you feel when you feel like crap? I mean, what does it feel like to be you when you're "blue" or incredibly anxious?


  1. I have depression & take Prozac for it. I tried to wean myself off it once, because I was feeling better and thought that I WAS better, but alas, it was not so. My doc says that I might have to keep taking them forever - which sucks, but I would rather do that than feel so down. I make it a point to talk about my depression & treatments for it, because it still has a bit of stigma attached to it. I don't know why people won't talk about it more, maybe because there isn't really a solution? Plus, if you tell someone who loves you that you would prefer to be dead at that particular point in time, it freaks them out a bit :-/

    1. It's a sucky trade-off, isn't it--either being on the meds forever or feeling like crap forever. Sigh. Maybe people also don't talk about it because you're right: there isn't really a solution and thus it just seems pointless or masochistic to hash it all out. But thank you for sharing your situation here! It helps to know that other peeps are working through similar issues! P.S. I keep clicking on TimTam to see if you have a blog, but get nowhere. Do you have a blog?

    2. I have a top-secrety-secret type of blog that is for my beady little eyes only, I'm afraid - I think my long-winded comments on your blog are as close to a public blog as I am likely to get ;-)

    3. Fair enough. I'll just have to write more good shit so you feel compelled to be long-winded in my comments section:-)

  2. My Mom is on something for anxiety (I think it was triggered by YEARS of my Dad's health issues) and she tried to go off it twice. I have to say she was not the nicest to be around. I'm no doctor, but maybe a slower withdrawal from the meds would help. Sounds logical to me and my English Literature degree anyway. As a disclaimer, I am not suggesting you follow my advice. The Tums folks got mad at me on Twitter once when I casually suggested someone "pop 'em like candy". People have no sense of humor anymore. Alright, baby must like you because he is squeaking again as I type this. I'll be back later, mmmmm k? Oh and I gave you a quick shout out on my blog today. I apologized for not liking kale since you do. Okay, now I really have to run. The boy sounds like a squeaky dog toy this morning.

  3. Why do they make Tums with all those Starburst-y flavors if they don't want you to eat them like candy? WTF? Personally I prefer to eat cough drops, myself.
    And thanks for the blog shout out!! I think my readership today increased to, like, four:-)