Depression Sucks. I know I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again. Depression Sucks. I’ve been wanting to get over these feelings I’ve been having for quite some time now. I’ve upped my dose of Prozac to 40 mg daily from 20 mg daily, but it doesn’t seem to be any better than when I was taking 30 mg. I’ve been really searching for alternatives to taking this medication. I don’t like being on it. I’ve been on it since 2000. That’s four years of not being able to cry.
Of course, the reason I am on it is that the alternative situation is worse: sinking into severe depression. Typically, I just sleep a lot. That’s probably the major symptom for me. And it is related to another symptom: lack of motivation. At my worst, I feel so unmotivated and heavy in my chest that it seems that if I were to stop moving, I’d fall over and just lie on the ground till I expired. Happy thought, no?
But lately, over this last winter, I’ve been noticing other things about my state of mind. And these clue me in to the fact that the medication isn’t really helping, or at least it isn’t bringing me to the level of normal emotional functioning. Currently, I’m suffering from anhedonia—the inability to experience pleasure. Nothing excites me. And nothing looks appealing enough to pursue, either. In fact, I feel like an old person just waiting to die, like I’ve experienced all that life has to offer and that I, at some point, stumbled upon what I was supposed to do in this life, and now there’s nothing left to do or work towards. It’s not that I’ve lost hope. Life does seem like it’s worth living. I’ve just lost vision—there’s nothing to work towards.
It’s this last self-revelation that told me that I might not be normal. It’s hard to know what normal is, even for the healthy, but I can’t imagine that most people are walking around out there just waiting to die. So I must be an anomaly.
Yet, I’m not totally sick. I know this because I can still concentrate enough to read (and apparently write), I get my work done every week (editing research papers), and I manage (most of the time) to drag myself to Swing Dancing three times a week (which is where my friends are). But beyond that, my life is quite empty. I long for some happiness or passion.
Neither my mentor nor my girlfriend understand why I am taking this medication, perhaps because there is no concept of clinical depression in the Chinese mindspace, or perhaps because medicine isn’t something you take forever. I hope that this blog entry will at least help them to see that my depression is real and that (perhaps) the medication is keeping me afloat. I don’t really want to see how far I would sink if I were to stop taking it. But I do long for an alternative. In any case, I need to find something better.