Altering DepressionPosted: February 26, 2015
I’ve been paying attention to my mental and physical moods lately and I’ve noticed some trends I thought I would share. I’ve written a few posts here and there mentioning depression. In general I have felt better since making the decision to quit my job, and the week-plus since actually separating from it have been good. With exceptions.
Depression is there, but I’ve noticed some three clear factors.
Tea is better than coffee (for me). Two months in a row we ran out of coffee and I didn’t want to spend the money until the budget refreshed. Both months I felt great. It was a surprisingly clear demarcation. If you’re not aware, the ‘caffeine’ in tea isn’t caffeine, but rather a caffeine-analog. (This is also true of chocolate, which has yet another different caffeine-analog). I’m guessing I uptake tea differently, in such a way that my moods stay much more stable. There are soothing compounds even in the “strongest” tea that probably also have an effect.
Overeating is terrible for my mood. In my case, it’s overeating carbs (and what other food group is possible to overeat, I mean, have you ever tried to overeat fruit, veggies, or even meat?). Some carbs are critical for me, but if they escape the rough parameters put in place by the food ziggurat I go into total sad-sack mode until my body cleans up roughly 24 hours later. Again, much like the coffee–>tea transition, the demarcation between good diet and bad diet days are really clear now that I am paying attention.
Finding the right dose. I’m on a half-dose of my SSRI now, and mental clarity is definitely up, even on “down” days. In the past, this has emboldened me to do a full taper, but I think I’m going to be wiser and stick at this level for a few months and observe before deciding to go further. Since needing to be on medication, I’ve never stayed completely off for more than about a year.
Since I’ve talked about my depression before, I thought I would share the progress. My overall wellness is definitely up this year so far, between these observations about depression, my weighlifting regimen, and the psychological burden-lifting of freeing mental space devoted to wage slavery to completely focus on stewardship and parenting.