How to start exercise and other daily routines when super fatigued, sleepy, spacey, sad, but otherwise "healthy"?
posted by ArgyleMarionette to health & fitness (33 answers total) 50 users marked this as a favorite
I've combed through a lot of prior threads, but didn't seem to find ones that addressed people who knew they were otherwise "normal", but if I missed one, my apologies!
I'm trying to deal with crushing fatigue, spaciness and brain fog, and a very full physical revealed that I'm very normal and otherwise healthy: diabetes, lupus, Lyme, thyroid, vitamins... all bloodwork, blood pressure, pulse, lymph nodes = ok. So, yes Virginia, it's probably the depression.
I've been dealing with depression pretty consistently since post-high school/college, to varying extents. I've tried tons of meds, most fizzle out (I started lithium about half a year ago, also on WellB XL and Ritalin now) and have been in lots of therapy. I've made it through somehow, and was able to do things like finish my Ph.D. and obtain/work a few competitive jobs and fellowships, but never was particularly proficient or productive, and my job output (quantity and quality) is questionable. And now, recently, it's all that and thensome and has been even more severe at times. Over the last few months I've also developed crushingly bad fatigue (I'm always baseline sleepy, but now I get so tired it actually hurts/it can make me cry) and a binge eating habit, along with rapid weight gain (18 lbs in ~2 or 2.5 months). I'm also super spacey at work, scattered attention, can't put thoughts together, feel like it's hard to articulate my thoughts sometimes... even putting together and typing out this question is hard and taking me a VERY long time. The severity comes and goes, but I'm not getting any work done (and the type of work i'm doing now isn't very demanding although the work environment is tense/difficult in a interpersonal interaction sense. intimidating boss very hard to talk to, for instance. it may be a toxic environment too. but I needed/need work for insurance to address the depression) and it's scaring me because I'm a new employee (6 months), almost out of sick leave (slowly accruing more though), and have all sorts of other random "normal" appointments to worry about (dentist! eye exam!), on top of two talk therapy/week and one med management visit/month and I am SO overwhelmed.
So, I am trying very hard to address the basics:
1) eating healthy and cooking for myself (following the Weight Watchers programme, for instance), which not only requires self-control to rein in the bingeing, but also planning and cleaning the kitchen, and I don't do these well. My home is a disaster, though I can keep it tolerable for short amounts of time, like when someone is over. Other than that -- chaos.
2) I am also trying to exercise, but it's hard because I'm so tired. A few strategies I've been working in though include a walking break at work, or walking part way home after work. I'm also bad at routines and planning, so this makes going to a gym or yoga class really hard for me. And, because I used to be athletic in the past, the fact that I'm heavier and everything hurts/exhausts me makes me really sad, and I'm actually getting depressed while I exercise sometimes.
Sorry this is so disjointed. In case I haven't made my question clear, I'm looking for strategies/tips to overcome crushing fatigue and depression and DO the things that should help make me feel better, such as exercise, finishing tasks at work, keeping my place clean, etc. I welcome advice suited for a person who has NO routine whatsoever (i.e., I don't brush my teeth and wash my face in a consistent order every day, and never had. [and sometimes it's hard to do either!]).
Other possibly related information: early 30s female, BMI of 31, former smoker, no current smoking (one or two slips this year), some drinking (6-8/ week max). I may have a problem with immersing myself in crappy tv, internet and games (even at work), and vegging on the couch to get away from my problems. Lots of suicidal ideation, some planning, no attempts or hospitalization. Had a sleep study done ~4 years ago, hypersomniac but not narcoleptic, no apnea. Have tried or am already currently taking meds (see above) that should be helping with that anyway. Located in the USA, large city.
I should also add that I am appreciative of my good health, and trying to view it as an exciting positive. I just hoped it was going to come back with an "easy" fix (ta-da! you just needed more Vitamin D!) for the fatigue and memory problems. (oh, and yes, I take a multivitamin, and fish oil, and B and D supplements). I also have awesome friends and a supportive boyfriend, and cool (sometimes) extended family I sometimes see too, so I am thankful for that and try to stay positive about that (helps make me feel worthwhile), but I also don't like leaning on people for help so much. I really feel like I am exhausting everybody, so now I'm trying to address this with therapy mostly.
Thanks, and again, sorry for the rambling. I don't want to threadsit but happy to field questions here or via MeMail.