Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Back

I'm back in counseling.

I've felt the anger creeping back into my life over the past few weeks, culminating in a rather explosive and embarrassing outburst that surprised even me. (See last post.) I thought (wished/hoped) I was past a lot of the anger issues. Guess not. (Did you know that experiencing anger/irritability more days than not can be a symptom of depression? Well it can. More common in men, but there you go. Just another way I'm an atypical female.)

Yesterday a licensed marriage and family therapist talked about "Parenting and Depression" at our MOPS group. I already knew everything her talk covered but it was a good wake-up call for me to re-evaluate my own situation. I met with her today for counseling. It was a good session. She concluded that I have had a LOT go on in the short period of a few years. It's true. I hope I'll be able to connect with her. My last counselor was a guy and just that fact held me back in many ways. As it is I'm already very, very reluctant to trust people enough to be vulnerable so there's only so much therapy work I can do with a guy.

The meds I'm on can be bad for anxiety. So I have anti-anxiety meds I can take "as needed." I don't like to need them very often (they can be addictive), so I therefore don't take them very often. Simple.  =)

I recently contacted my doctor to ask about weaning off my meds. I think I would be fine without them now. I often forget to take them until later and later in the morning and sometimes I feel the only thing they do is aggravate my anxiety which is counter-productive. She returned my email and asked me to hold off another month or so because the research says that women have less of an issue with future bouts of postpartum  depression, or just plain old depression if they remain on medication for 6-12 months following the diagnosis. So I'm waiting another month. It's not that much longer in the scheme of things, and I respect the research, even if I feel 5 months is enough in my particular case. What I think is right often isn't and I'm in no way an expert in this field. One more month is fine.

POSSIBLE TMI REGARDING MENSTRUATION (AND THE RELATED HORMONES) FOLLOWS. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

I am not an expert (in any way) but my feeling is that the worst of my depression following each birth was during the time I was breast feeding. This is noteworthy because I don't get my period back until after I have completely weaned my baby. When my cycle returns all the regular monthly fluctuation of hormones gets reset and goes back to normal. I think that has a lot to do with the severity of my depression. I'm certainly not saying that I haven't been depressed outside of my postpartum experiences (because I definitely HAVE) I'm just saying that the postpartum section of time before my period returned have been the worst, darkest times by far. So while I think my periodical hormones (yeah, I'm leaving it) improve my overall condition, it certainly doesn't cure me from depression, necessarily.

END TMI.

So yeah. I'm back in counseling and for now that where I need to be. I think it will do far more for me than meds, at this point. 

4 comments:

  1. Glad to hear you're taking steps toward feeling better. You deserve it, friend.

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  2. That sounds great. I really can't imagine being able to relate/open up that well to a male counselor-- well, not at the level that I would with a woman who has been in my shoes before. I hope it goes well!

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  3. I'm glad you were able to have a good session. I think I would relate better to a woman, too.

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