Friday, September 10, 2010

Doctor Number Six

So, the latest sleep doctor is recommending I find a psychiatrist to try some anti-depressant meds. Even though I don't feel depressed (actually, I've been feeling more content with life lately than I have in a long time), I have a history of depression, and there may still be enough of a chemical imbalance there to disrupt my "sleep architecture".

Not crazy about that idea. I've been on anti-depressants before. I remember my psychiatrist describing the whole process -- sometimes these meds work, sometimes others do, we don't know exactly how or why they work in each different person, so we just play around until we find an effective treatment. It made me think of something my friend Vickie said once: "You know, doctors used to drill holes in people's heads. Sometimes it worked; sometimes it didn't. They never knew why it did or didn't work, so they just kept drilling holes in people's heads." As much as I believe that there are really people who have a chemical imbalance that needs to be corrected with anti-depressant meds, I'm not comfortable with the idea of their playing around with my brain chemistry to see if that's the problem.

I've always wondered, too, how people survived in past centuries before such medications existed. I'm sure many people were just depressed all the time. But I have a hypothesis. I think they were better able to handle a dysthymic state of mind because they didn't have such high expectations of life. They weren't conditioned by society to believe that they should constantly feel fulfilled and joyful and peppy and all. Life is hard, and they knew and accepted that. They probably appreciated the happy times all the more because they saw them as a blessing when they came, rather than feeling cursed when they were absent.

All to say . . . I'm not sure what to do about this recommendation from my latest sleep doctor. A couple other friends have recommended their favorite alternative medicine man. If they have an answer for me, I think I'd prefer that to more meds. On the other hand, their answers may not be as easy as more meds -- and part of being sleep-deprived is being lazy. And I don't want to spend a lot of time and money pursuing possible remedies that are just wacky. *SIGH* What to do . . what to do . .


Rudy said...

I here you, Friend. I tried that last year for a while, or was it the year before? I don't know but what I do know is that it didn't really do what it was supposed to do and it made other things not work right, like my ability to think things through and it made me angry, and lethargic at the same time. I ended up going cold turkey, which I did get yelled at for, for good reason, it took months to recover from the buzzing between my ears and the sensitivity of my teeth and other weird things. My new philosophy about medicating is that I'll just let my problems roll. The side affects are so much worse than the actual problem. As far as sleep goes, I do take an occasional sleep aid, like Benedryl or Tylenol pm but I've learned what my body can handle when taking those minor drugs. I feel for you. Hang in there. A glass of wine or beer helps me get too sleep too. They say one or two a day won't hurt, in fact they may actually help a body. . .

Rudy said...

I meant hear, not here:)