The usual disclaimer applies here: I am not a physician. I am not recommending any treatment. I am simply sharing my experience – things that have worked (and not worked) for me.
In March a friend told me of a program at the University of Kansas called ‘Theraputic Lifestyle Change (TLC)”. It is a program to deal with depression without drugs. The following link will take you to the TLC web site: http://tlc.ku.edu/.
The elements of the program are:
- Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplements
- Anti-Rumination Strategies
- Light Exposure
- Social Support
- Sleep Hygiene
Most of my life I have practiced all the elements of the program except for the omega-3 fatty acid supplements. That was new to me as being a help with depression. On the TLC web site Dr. Ilardi explains why omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil) help with depression. They have sure helped me.
In January of 2016 I realized the anti-depressant (Lexapro) I had taken for several years was no longer working. So, looking for a solution, I trotted down to my doc and asked for a replacement. She recommend an SNRI. I don’t remember the name. I just remember it was aweful. Aweful.
I took the SNRI for a month. In that month I became paranoid and suicidal. So, I thought – hmm – I don’t like this paranoid, suicidal thing. Looking for another solution, I asked my doc for something else. She recommend another SSRI – Paxil.
I took Paxil for two months. It didn’t help me at all. It was like taking a sugar pill. If Paxil is working for you – yay. It just didn’t do anything for me.
Looking for another solution, I decided to stop taking Paxil. It was then I learned you can’t just stop taking Paxil or any SSRI. You know this first-hand if you have just stopped taking your SSRI.
I learned that one withdraws from Paxil. For me, withdrawal from Paxil took two months. I understand the process of withdrawal from Paxil can take much longer if you have taken it for years. I am grateful it only took two months for me. At the end of the two month withdrawal period I actually felt much better than I had in years. The depression had not magically disappeared. It had just lessened – a lot.
So, what’s next? Next there is more research. Which will yeild more solutions. I will write about one of those solutions in the next post. It’s helped me. Maybe it will help you as well.
Do you sometimes get stuck in depression? I do. Sometimes I get stuck in depression and can only focus on the problem of depression and the problems it causes in my life.
Below is my Line In The Sand.
No more talk about the problem of depression and the problems it causes. Problems with depression will likely rear their ugly heads, but in future posts I will cease to focus on the problems. Future posts will, to the best of my ability, focus on solutions to the problem of depression.
Solutions not problems. I like that a lot.
It’s been over a year since my last post. Had a bit of a depression brown-out. Not a full go-to-bed black-out, mind you. It was just enough to knock-out my ability to write.
If you tend to be depressed, you know what I mean. I was like – write? Why would I do that?
If you’ve had a bit of a brown-out lately and are back from it — welcome back!
Last week I ran across a reference to Amber-Allen Publishing (amberallen.com). Today I went to their web site. Who knew they published “The Four Agreements”? One of my favorite books.
About five years ago I took on the second Agreement – – Don’t take anything personally. It’s definitely one of the most difficult things I have taken on in life. More difficult even than abstaining from ice cream. And that is a tough one.
But I digress. The ego.
On the Amber-Allen site is a blog. Good stuff there. The first post I saw was “The Ego”. From the post I got a much healthier (I believe) view of the ego and its function in our lives. That our ego is there to help us deal with the physical world and we might as well thank that part of us instead of trying to get that part of us to go away.
You can find the entire post (The Ego) at:
May your ego be your amigo.
If you follow this blog at all, you might have noticed (hopefully) that I hadn’t posted in a while – ok, so it was over a year.
Last December I realized my anti-depressant was no longer working. Probably hadn’t worked for a while. Thus no posts for a year.
So, a new year and a new anti-depressant. Yay! And voila I am interested in the world again and posting to this blog. It is amazing what a change in brain chemistry can do for your outlook on life
There are numerous factors that can increase your risk. By maintaining normal cholesterol and blood pressure levels and a healthy weight, you are minimizing three important risk factors that can help support your heart health.
Know your numbers—are you at risk?
Blood Pressure. High blood pressure is sometimes called the “silent killer” because there are often no symptoms associated with it in the early stages. It’s important to have your blood pressure checked regularly.
Cholesterol. High cholesterol is one of the major controllable risk factors for coronary heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. A simple blood test can measure the amount of “good” cholesterol (HDL) or “bad” cholesterol (LDL) in your blood. Current research is focused on the importance of lowering LDL cholesterol.
Weight. Overweight and obesity can both be defined by Body Mass Index or BMI (which is a ratio of weight to height). Being overweight to obese, and in particular carrying your extra weight around your abdomen, adds extra stress on your heart, increases inflammation, and puts you at significantly increased risk of atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease.
What can I do?
Even small changes in lifestyle (e.g. diet, exercise, and appropriate supplementation) can have a big impact. Here are the most important steps you can take: Lose weight if you are not at your ideal weight. Eat more fruits and vegetables. Avoid fast food. Get active. Avoid smoking. Manage stress. Work with your doctor to understand your risk factors.
You have only one heart. Making smart choices now will pay off the rest of your life.