Depression is a bugger at the best of times (although best of times and depression don’t realy fit well in the same sentence). For me though, the worst thing is never really knowing what my mood is going to be. Usually I take this from day to day. There are times when I have to go from hour to hour. Sometimes even this seems like I’m trying to plan too far ahead.
I have been on antidepressants almost constantly since August 2004. In that time, I have been on:
I am currently back on Fluoxetine.
Each of the above have succeeded (or not) in different ways. Almost all have brought the sometimes violent tremors in my right arm under control. All of the above have had their side effects. Some have worked for longer than others before their effectiveness began to dissipate. One of them, Venlafaxine, didn’t agree with me at all and I had to stop taking it almost as soon as I started.
While all of the above have stabilised my mood to a greater or lesser extent, the one thing they have not been able to prevent are my sudden changes of mood that often come on with no notice and no real trigger.
Now, mood changes are “normal”, everyone has them. For me, it’s not the fact that my mood can change rapidly that is the difficulty, it’s the depths to which it can sink when it heads downwards. For the most part, I keep my head above water. I’m not a particularly good swimmer however, so this can take a disproportionate that leaves me worn out. The result is that when I do sink, I sink fast and deep.
It’s fair to say, I never really know what mood I’m going to wake up in and, having woken up, there is no guarantee that I will still be in the same mood by the time I next go to sleep. My mood may have varied several times during the course of a day.
If you encounter me, I’m afraid you just have to take me as you find me. Generally though, if you do encounter me, I will be wearing the same mask that I put on every day as I face the world; the one that whenever I’m asked how I am, will invariable answer, “I’m fine, thank you” regardless of whether I actually am “fine” (it’s possible I may be if you catch me at a good time) or not.
My mood is neither predictable, nor constant. There’s a slight irony in that that makes me pretty much just like everybody else.