Thursday, July 23, 2009

Amateur Pshrink VI: Major Depression


Major Depressive Disorder

Signs & Symptoms

  • Persistent sad, anxious, or "empty" mood
  • Feelings of hopelessness, pessimism
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities that were once enjoyed
  • More about Signs & Symptoms »


I am currently taking Cymbalta as an antidepressant, Zyprexa sedative and antipsychotic, and Zonegran antiseizure medicine. I was taking Seroquil but quit using it. I was also taking Klonopin but quit using it too. It has some unpleasant side effects.

I take Verapamil, quite a large dose, twice daily, because the calcium channel blocker mechanism seems to prevent my basilar type attacks, as well as lowering blood pressure. I also take Plavix which does something to prevent blood clotting as normal.

Without the Seroquil I was only able to sleep for an hour or two per day. Apparently some brain mechanism that regulates my sleeping was damaged in one of my brain stem strokes.

2 comments:

Patricia said...

I can see that you think through all this carefully, reconsider your meds, sort out symptoms with measured thought.

That's impressive, especially with the influence some of these meds exert upon self-awareness and other cognitive functions.

I had a friend who lived in Colorado. Years after returning from his mission in Central America he experienced a sudden emergence of malaria, which had lain dormant in his liver. Back then, the Colorado hospital staff had a difficult time diagnosing malaria, let alone treating it. They gave him a drug that in my otherwise life-loving friend produced severe depression and he felt abandoned and wanted to die. Nobody knew what was going on until his brother, a lab tech, looked up the drug and discovered suicidal thoughts were one of the drug's common side-effects.

Just an example of how difficult it is to sort through what's what when you're under sway of these chemical compounds. So Jim, I admire your skepticism and logical approach.

Jim Cobabe said...

Patricia,

We entertain some bizarre notions underneath the veneer. Many drugs unmask the inhibitory inclinations that would otherwise restrain foolis impulse. Alcohol is certainly among the most commonly abused that I have watched, but there are so many others. They work together in combination in ways that drug testing never anticipated. I have seen this, and experienced it myself, enough to scare me.