Current Conditions: Dysthymia (Depression), ADHD Inattentive, Asperger’s, hormone imbalances and hyper-active liver function (Will explain relevance)
Past Conditions: Season Affective Disorder, Major Depression (18 months) aka “Double Depression”
Current REGULAR* Medications: 60mg Lexapro (Anti-depressant), 40mg Dexamphetamine (ADHD), Levlin (The Pill)
Dysthymia, for me, is a condition from birth. I do not remember a time when my frame of mind or thought patterns changed, nor can I recall a lack of anxiety and over-sensitivity. My earliest memories (At 2 years of age) are tinged with a hue of anxious depression. But it is difficult, I imagine, for anyone to think that a toddler is depressed when her 4 year old sister is the image of perky happiness. The biggest hurdle I’ve found in having this type of depression is that I literally never experienced a healthy frame of mind until the age of 22. Being able to remember a time before the depression is a saving-grace I wish I had.
ADHD for me was only diagnosed late because my other untreated issues overshadowed its’ symptoms. Being on medication for this has increased my focus and productivity so much so that it has actually aided my depression by giving me something to be continuously proud of.
Asperger’s is best described by Autism Spectrum Australia (.org.au) as “…a lifelong developmental disability that affects, among other things, the way an individual relates to his or her environment and their interaction with other people.” Funnily enough, Asperger’s is now no longer used as a diagnosis, and has been replaced by a spectrum indicator of Autism. The main identifiers,( which are in children, as adaption happens naturally by adulthood) are social awkwardness, difficulty making friends, recognizing social cues and body language, and clumsiness! Some other signs that I personally have are obsessive interests in limited areas (TV, movies, rocks, stamps etc), advanced language (‘Little professors’ they are called) and monotonous speech.
Hormone Imbalance refers to my period mostly. Every month my medication was made ineffective by my suicidal mood-swings. The hormone type found in the implants that allow you to speak your cycle actually make this issue worse (As does pregnancy). I am on Levlin (The pill often given to 15 year old’s) and I skip the sugar pills and have only one period a year (in private with a week of annual leave)
Hyper-active liver activity is something I only found out a few weeks ago. Every year I’d have to have my anti-depressants increased as I seemed to build a tolerance. After a liver test, the 60mg of Lexapro I take daily (3 x maximum tabs) should have shown a trace of 0.15% but I only had 0.01%. This suggested that the chemicals would increase but not absorb/release properly.
I am currently trialing mood-stabilizers to help regulate the release of these chemicals and prevent another tolerance build-up.
Seasonal Affective Disorder happened to me in November of 2007 when I went to Fort Nelson in British Columbia, Canada. Coming from Perth, Australia and stopping through in NYC on the way made the 9:30am-3:30pm light cycle a shock to my system. This was my first experience in circumstantial depression that didn’t seem to make sense to me at the time. I did not treat this condition, simply left Canada (Blame Canada!)
Major Depression/ Double Depression I am sorry to say dear readers, this topic requires it’s own long entry and I will enjoy sharing it with you shortly!
*Trial medications and anything not agreed upon yet doesn’t count!