Fourth: Change of Scene Brings Hope?

In January 2020, we successfully moved. I picked an apartment that carried the least amount of stressors (2nd floor, easy parking, no lawn care, enough space for us to not drive each other crazy, etc) and had a lot of natural light. For the first few months, we barely had to turn on heat and lights during the day because there was so much natural light. I thought that maybe one of the major contributing factors to my depression was not enough natural sunlight due to my previous living area.

Photo by Raphael Renter on Unsplash

I am pleased to say my depression has gotten much better since the move is over and a lot of the stressors are being handled or have disappeared. I actually want to do the things I love again – but now I am frustrated because I WANT to do things, but I spend all of my energy trying to stay awake. Usually, I do paint by numbers which really helps with my anxiety. Now, I have to worry about falling asleep on the canvas. I usually do some sewing and make a wide variety of things. Now, I worry about accidentally sewing my finger through because I closed my eyes.

Around March 2020 I went to see a psychiatrist. I didn’t feel as though my PCP was taking my concerns seriously, and I wanted to see if I was taking the right meds or if my meds could possibly be the cause of everything. We had a good first meeting, and I felt like he was actually taking my concerns seriously. He took a look at the meds I was taking, decided the meds I was on worked for me, and shouldn’t be adjusted. He was concerned that I might have sleep apnea but since I am extremely familiar with sleep apnea I immediately dismissed it with listing the diagnostic criteria and how I don’t fit. He suggested I start taking Buproprion HCL XL to increase my energy.

The side effects were horrible. For the first month of the med, I had constant headaches along with a mess of other issues. Including but not limited to dizziness, lightheadedness, blood sugar dropping, and leg tremors. I routinely checked in with my psychiatrist, following up with him regarding my fatigue and the side effects. My energy slightly started to come back, so I stuck it out. After the third month of being on the Buproprion, my energy levels dropped again. I was the same level of tired, but with all of the side effects. I called my psychiatrist back, explained that it wasn’t helping at all, and he suggested I stop taking it. 

He was actually surprised and sounded annoyed that it didn’t work and is completely baffled by my brain chemistry and why things aren’t working – which makes me oddly happy because I’m now not the only one frustrated.

Next in May 2020 he prescribed Amphetamine Salts (Adderall) which I take twice a day. I expected an increase in energy, which still has not happened. Thankfully, no side effects have appeared yet and all of my Buproprion side effects have faded.

My psychiatrist keeps suggesting I go to therapy to help. I’m assuming because he eventually wants me off all medications. I keep telling him that the only therapist I would consider going back to was the last one that I saw. However, she is outside of my network and since I am without a job, financially it is not possible.

February 2020 the COVID-19/carona virus started to come to the US, so I spent my time researching the medicine behind it, watching and tracking the spread. My anxiety increased over the first few months because I was worried about the health of my high-risk friends and family. I soon stumbled across this article which gave the idea to start working on masks for my friends, family, and possibly donating them to healthcare workers.

I spent some time working on making masks, made a slight amount of cash because I had a small supply when the states started requiring them. I received an order of 100 for a company and made a decent amount from the sale which helped reduce the financial stress a bit. It gave me a sense of normalcy which I desperately needed at the time but didn’t help for a moment with my fatigue. If anything it made it worse.

Published by Anna Smith

Anna Smith is not my real name, and I am hoping to provide some sources, information, and explanations to others that I struggle to find and understand.

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