Tuesday, June 30, 2009

More Depression

The doctors spotted it before I did, or perhaps I should say, they correctly guessed that what I was going through was depression before I came to the same conclusion. A couple of months ago I started having physical symptoms: extreme fatigue and sleepiness, very low energy, physical pain, aching all over and extreme sensitivity, for example, to every bump in the road when I was in a car, feeling a jolt in my jaw and in my elbows if the car went over a pebble. The doctors -- more than one, because my primary care physician was on leave, for one thing, and for another because I called after regular clinic hours -- ordered lots of blood tests, which kept coming back negative. Finally, enough tests came back negative that I began to think my condition might be psychosomatic. So I I tried to deal with it with mind over matter: by getting out of bed eight hours after I went to bed, whether I felt rested ot not; by exercising much, much more. And low and behold, the fatigue and and the pain went away. At first I felt silly about the whole thing, like I had put the medical people through a lot of work for no reason. But then I thought how sometimes people's hair will fall out in clumps due to psychological stress, or how they will develop hives. No one says that those people are being silly. So I decided to give myself a break. Not only because I could see the analogy between my condition and conditions like hair loss due to trauma and hives and such, but also because the medical personnel whose time I felt I'd wasted all urged me to give myself a break. I've been very fortunate, some very kind people who are very good at their jobs having been helping me through all of this.

The good news was that I felt better physically when I forced myself to be more active. The bad news was that as I felt better physically, I suddenly felt much worse mentally and emotionally. It seems that the physical symptoms were distracting me from the psychological distress. I've never sensed the mind-body connection so profoundly as I have recently as a result of these strange and, for me, unprecedented experiences.

1 comment:

  1. I love your last paragraph, Steven. Hope you'll feel better.

    Can I ask you something personal? What is your point in announcing in your profile that you've been diagnosed with Asperger's in 2007? Do you think it's a necessary or useful information for reading your posts?

    Best wishes,