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. But...here 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?