Apathy: Slow Descent back into Depression

Just over a month ago, I had my gall bladder surgically removed. I thought my present inertia, low motivation, and low energy were due to a slow recuperation. The slow recuperation included my digestive system shutting down and being kept overnight at the hospital instead of being released the same day. It also included feeling like I was drunk for over a week from the anesthesia. It has been just over a month and I am appalled at how sluggishly I proceed through my days.

This past week, I’ve made more of an effort to get back to “normal.” Although, honestly, I no longer know what normal is for me. It has been difficult to begin and to follow through on that which I want to accomplish. My mood has been: Meh.

An Illustration

My husband is out of town assisting his parents and probably won’t be home on my birthday this Sunday. I had a wee bit of a pity party on Tuesday after he left, then mentally snapped my fingers at myself. So, what shall I do to celebrate my birthday? Have friends over? Hmm, maybe. Sounds like a lot of work, though. And having people over really doesn’t sound enjoyable at the moment. I really don’t feel like doing anything. So, my birthday is a few days away. Meh, whatever.

I told my children that my birthday is coming. They are designing me my dream home in Mine Craft as I write.

“Mom, come see the house we’re making you!”

Meh, whatever.

“Mom, we have a horse for you!”

Meh, whatever.

I do not like this apathetic me.

Brain Disease

Treating brain disease is all by trial and error. The psychiatrist I was working with a year ago thought it might be beneficial to reduce the medicines I was taking for depression. At that time I was on Wellbutrin and Lexipro and was able to reduce them both by half. Working with my current psychiatrist, I was finally able to wean off the Lexipro in early spring. The hope was that 150  mg of Wellbutrin would be enough to treat my depression.

An hour ago I arrived home from a psychiatric appointment. I thought I would be discussing medicine trials for ADHD, but discovered that this experiment with reduced medication for depression has not been a success. The doctor says he has seen a slow drift into low motivation, low energy, and poor follow through for some time. In other words, he has seen me slowly drift back into depression. I have not been fully aware of this drift, but his diagnosis rings true. This past week for the first time I have wondered if my current struggles to be productive have been due to an increase in depression symptoms. It isn’t a thought I spent time considering, so today’s diagnosis did surprise me. Becoming weepy in his office while discussing how I was (or wasn’t!) doing also surprised me.

The Next Experiment

We have decided to increase the dosage of Wellbutrin from 150 mg back to the 300 mg I was on a year ago. When I first went on Wellbutrin, it appeared to cause irrational irritability. So my doctor at that time also prescribed 10 mg of Lexipro, which I no longer take. We shall see how I do on an increase of my current medication. When my husband returns, I get to ask him to watch for rising irritability. Happy *bleep*ing Birthday.

My depression battle has not been Diagnosis > Treatment > Improvement. It’s more like a long march with unforeseen obstacles in our path. Currently I’m in the ravine. Again.

And, yes, I am still trusting God for the big picture.