Ways to fix nighttime/weekend blues?
February 21, 2011 4:48 PM   Subscribe

DepressionFilter: I'm on meds and am in talk therapy. However, I tend to fall apart on weekends and at night. What coping strategies might I try in order to help with the downness that comes with nights and weekends? [More info, including potential factors and meds schedule, inside.]

#1: Medication and therapy history:

I've been on meds and going to one-on-one talk therapy for almost 8 months.

My current med slate is: 100mg Lamictal/ + 1000 IU Vitamin D supplement + birth control pill (generic Seasonale) in the morning, with 600mg Seroquel XR + 1mg clonazepam + varying doses of diphenhydramine (I'm currently in the midst of cutting down my daily usage of diphenhydramine on advice of my pdoc and am currently taking 150mg nightly.) at night.
The Lamictal/Seroquel/clonazepam/vitamin D dosages have remained unchanged since early January. I've been on the same birth control pill since around 2003-2004.

Blood tests have shown that my vitamin D supplementing has brought those levels into a 'normal' range. I had Lamictal levels done as well and they were at the bottom range of being effective.

Medications that have been previously tried, but rejected are: Abilify (made me jittery, wasn't helping), Cogentin (in an attempt to deal with the Abilify jitters turned my nearsightedness into far sightedness), Paxil (seemed to help a bit at 40mg, but pdoc said it wasn't doing enough), and Wellbutrin (turned me into a constant sobbing mess). The pdoc has said that SSRIs are likely off the table completely due to my seriously bad reaction to Wellbutrin. The pdoc and shrink are pleased with the effects of the current slate of medication.

Therapy is a mixed bag. I do talk a lot but sometimes I feel like I'm just telling random stories of my life, with intermittent crying spells. The shrink does recommend books and is trying to get me to rethink about situations around my folks (which hasn't much changed from here* except for the fact that pops basically bought a condo for me because with the numbers, buying was cheaper than renting for my situation and I found a part-time job which I love). I think it's helping a tiny bit and the pdoc agrees. I see the shrink one day a week and have just gone to monthly appointments with the pdoc (instead of every 2 weeks).

#2: Diagnos(es) and psych testing

Right now there isn't a solid diagnosis (as far as I've heard) but some flavors of things being tossed around are: major depression (with and without psychotic features), ADD, some flavor of a nonverbal learning disorder, PTSD, dysthymic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety, cyclothymia, and/or possibly bipolar 2.

The frontrunner right now is major depression (which might or might not have psychotic features).

I had psych testing done about a month ago which showed that there really wasn't anything seriously going on there (except for some issues with numbers, but that's been a known factor) and passed me off with a perfectly normal IQ.

#3: Current schedule

My schedule is fairly fixed at the moment. I work part-time Sunday-Thursday. I go to the gym once a week and have a (DVD-led at home) bellydance practice once a week. I volunteer every other Friday. I'm getting between 9-11 hours of sleep per night and am working on eating more fruits and veggies. I'm also in grad school for Master's degree #2, part-time.

#4: Some things I've found to help a bit

I've found that I feel better when I have achieved something or feel competent. Sunshine helps a bit. Exercise helps a bit. Sometimes food helps.

#5: Factors to consider

I have a really hard time in crowds, meeting new people, running into people who are angry with me (which is a problem where I live because I pissed off the condo board president) and general social interaction. I do have a car, but not much money (due to paying for school out of pocket and treatment). There's a park across the street from where I live that looks interesting, but see above about social situations. I do not have any close friends that live nearby and my family is a raging pucker of assholes*. I've read damn near every AskMe about depression/anxiety/therapy/etc and have done some research in PubMed, but haven't come up with anything conclusive.

#5: Possible ideas?
Some potential ideas I have: adding in more exercise (weight lifting, more elliptical, adding dance sessions), eating better (work in progress), getting out more (that social thing is a bitch), increasing Lamictal or taking some in the morning and some at night...

The problem:
As of late, I've been having occasional 'okay' days (I use a mood tracker daily) with the hint of potential 'good' days. However, these tend to only be during the week (Monday-Thursday morning) and sometimes those nights aren't problematic, but 'weekend' nights for me (Thursday night-Sunday night) put me back into the hole (which I refer to as cratering).
The pdoc and shrink both know about this problem, but they said the okay/almost good days are a promising sign (and to me it sounds like they think the rest of the time will fall in line, eventually). I've thought about adding more activities to my schedule, but I'm afraid of overwhelming myself. (I'm a baby steps kind of person.)

The question, if you've made it this far:
What can I try to do to either alleviate this cratering or eliminate it entirely?

(Other advice about dealing with down days while in treatment is welcomed as well.)

Thanks in advance.

* The current plan to deal with the folks is that I'm going to finish my degree (expected to be done by November/early December) and hopefully find a better job (I want one preferably in this area but the shrink says taking one that's waaaaaay far away may be better) in that time so I can fully support myself. (There are some issues that are going to be sticky about this, but that's the general plan for right now.)
posted by sperose to Health & Fitness (24 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
First, I'm glad things are starting to get better. I sometimes have issues with depression on the weekends as well. It's frustrating, because it's supposed to be a happy time, but I think that there can be a weird pressure that makes you feel like if you're not having a great time on the weekend there's something wrong with you, and also for people for whom routines are important, all of that free time can be overwhelming.

You said that feelings of accomplishment help you...could you work on a project during the weekend? I know you don't have much money, but what about building something, or painting something, or even giving yourself a reading assignment and finishing it? Those things can be done at home and are inexpensive, and might help give you some structure (as well as cool decorations in your condo!). I also think your extra exercise idea is a great one, as is eating better (cooking for yourself can be a good project as well).

As you start feeling even better it will be more possible for you to spend time outside and with others, but for now, there are things you can do to help yourself even if you're not there yet.
posted by odayoday at 5:00 PM on February 21, 2011

Given that you seem to do better on days in which you are likely busier, maybe you should try to schedule your weekends in a more structured way. Not necessarily work, but hobbies and social interactions and errands to keep you from getting in a funk. Or exercise, which is good for mood, especially if you do it at least 30 minutes a day every day or as often as your schedule allows.

For times you feel like you absolutely need to talk to somebody when your therapist isn't available, there are a ton of depression or mental health hotlines staffed with great people who can help you through some tough nights.

If you're feeling frustrated with therapy, be aware that there are tons of types of therapy, and maybe the one you're doing isn't the best fit for you. Some people love the talk therapy where you build insight into patterns and problems. Some people prefer a more structured interaction where you focus on building coping skills and behavioral changes you can make to reduce depression, a more cognitive-behavioral approach. Its a personal preference, both are helpful.

I'm a fan of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) personally, which focuses on building skills to help people deal with stress, regulate their emotions, and interact more successfully with others in their lives. Originally developed to work with individuals with borderline personality disorder, its great for a lot of things, including depression, anxiety and PTSD. Given the range of diagnoses you've run through, it sounds like some or all of that could be helpful to you. Here is a workbook you can go through yourself or with a therapist to practice new skills.

One note on home practice is that its hugely important, but also challenging. You probably at times feel so overwhelmed you'd rather avoid things, than sit down and learn or practice a new skill, especially if it doesn't seem to be working for you just yet. But practice is necessary. Just like building a muscle, building coping skills takes practice to get things down right, but if you stick with it the results are real. I'd say try something every day for a few weeks before you decide its worthless. Not everything will work for you, but you have to give it a fair try before giving up. And sometimes you have to push yourself to do things you know are good for you but feel crappy initially. For example, going to social outings often feels like too much work and like it will be a waste of time. But people usually find they enjoy themselves more than they expect. And the more you push yourself the easier it gets.

Since you like to do some of your own research, some skills to google would be "behavioral activation", "distress tolerance", "sleep hygiene" and "cognitive behavioral therapy for depression". These all may give you ideas to try, and have the benefit of being supported by some good research.

Sorry, long answer but I hope some of it helps!
posted by gilsonal at 5:49 PM on February 21, 2011

I wish i knew... The same thing happens to me. I find it important to stay away from beer. Sometimes I do some really hard hard exercise like a long hike so that I am exhausted. Then I take a hot shower and goto sleep. I know it's not an entirely healthy solution but I haven't come up with anything better so far. I think contact with people is good to. Don't be alone for very long.

Sorry I don't have any better ways.
posted by Ignorance at 5:52 PM on February 21, 2011

Sometimes the dread of the cratering can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. That doesn't mean it's not real, it just means that your anxiety about it is making it worse. It sounds like you're doing all the right things and being very proactive about staying healthy. Maybe try using some positive affirmations and mind-over-matter as the weekend approaches. Tell yourself "I am not going to crater this weekend. I will be okay."

You've got a pretty active schedule. Are the weekend down times happening mostly when you're home alone? If so, maybe you can try changing things about your home environment. If the house is too quiet, put some upbeat music on the stereo. Keep a stash of "comfort movies" on hand (e.g. comedies that you've watched enough to know by heart, so they can be background noise even if you're not paying complete attention to them). If darkness is depressing, turn all the lights on in the house, or buy some novelty lights that make you smile. The main idea is to have noise and "activity" going on even if you're busy with something else.

I hope none of this sounds too simplistic; it's worked for me in similar situations.
posted by amyms at 6:09 PM on February 21, 2011

Okay, IANAD. However.

Firstly, it really doesn't matter if your pdoc and your shrink are pleased with your reaction to medication--you're not. They absolutely need to know that.

Secondly, Wellbutrin is NOT an SSRI, it has an entirely novel form of action and mostly acts on dopamine and a little bit on norepinephrine. So... all SSRIs can't be off the table based on your reaction to something that isn't an SSRI, that wouldn't make any sense. And there are more antidepressants than just SSRIs out there--there's SSNRIs, there's MAOIs, there's tricyclics...

Thirdly, you're not on any antidepressants? Are you sure they're not treating you as probable bipolar? You mentioned it in your list of possible diagnoses but said that they primarily consider you depressed and even psychotic depression is treated with antidepressants, along with antipsychotics etc. To treat ANY variety of depression with just mood stabilizers is (as far as I know and again, IANAD) very rare.
posted by saveyoursanity at 6:28 PM on February 21, 2011

#1 Meds. I have PTSD and it manifests with periodic depression/arousal symptoms. It took a while to diagnose and get the meds right. I've been on all of the drugs you are (still use clonazepam to sleep), and found them excessively tranquilizing or sedating. That in turn fed into pretty severe and chronic depression. This is likely not the case with you (you seem fairly content with the meds) but you might want to have a chat with your psych and bat around the notion that one or another of them might be putting you in a situation where you have just enough energy to force yourself through the week, and is then leaving you exhausted and down.

The therapy at the moment needn't be active. Ultimately, you want to be moving forward, but if where you are at is coasting, skirting around the real issues, and using your therapist as a shoulder to cry on, then that's probably fine for now. Either you or your therapist will know when it's time to push things harder.

#2 Push for a firm diagnosis and ask for a written treatment plan. Like anyone else, psychiatrists and therapists work best when they've defined a problem, set a goal, and are working towards it. Often enough when they haven't, they coast.

#3 Five (four?) days work a week, a day volunteering, postgrad study. Step back from that and think about it. You've got quite a lot on your plate. Needing to crash a little on the weekend doesn't sound that strange.

#4 Try to find more things that help. Try to find things you enjoy. Do more of these things. What do you think might be fun for you? Do you think you might be able to find a way to do it?

#5 The one that jumps out at me about this one is that you're socially isolated. Even if it initially sounds like something you'd hate, how about a support group or community drop in centre? Love em or hate em, you need people in your life. They help you define yourself against them - "eg I want to be like that, but I don't want to be like that" - and that's a really important part of dragging yourself back to a point where you feel okay and whole. Ask your therapist for a referral to one.

#5b Why not on all of those. If what you're doing isn't working, try changing something. Changes to your meds probably should be with your psychiatrist's approval..

THE PROBLEM. You're doing stuff during the week that occupies your time, keeps you busy, leaves you feeling vaguely useful and fulfilled. But it's a busy schedule. Then you're getting to the weekend, you're tired, you're isolated, you're not doing much that you enjoy, you crash.

THE QUESTION. I'd suggest trying to find gentle, quiet, enjoyable, small group social activities that you can participate in for short periods of time on the weekends. Think about things that you might like to do and seek out small groups that do them. A bit like volunteering, but solely for the purposes of (limited) socializing and fun.

And as a piece of other advice. Sometimes you just have shit days. Most of us do. Roll with the punches, bend with the wind, take a rest when you need to. If things are really bad, it is okay to set yourself up to spend the day in bed, watch tv or play on your laptop, and not judge yourself for doing so. Be kind to yourself.

Good Luck.
posted by Ahab at 6:31 PM on February 21, 2011 [3 favorites]

I tend to think nighttime is worse because it's a time for winding down. During the day you're winding up to do stuff - you're busy and it's a lot harder to get stuck in your head.

If you have bipolar disorder and you're taking antidepressants but not mood stabilizers, that could be relevant.

Also, what are your caffeine habits? Evenings and weekends tend to coincide with drinking less coffee - a caffeine crash can certainly coincide with a boost in a depressive episode.
posted by J. Wilson at 6:36 PM on February 21, 2011

If you like to read, you could set aside time each night for a really good book, maybe a chapter or two a night. It would be a good habit to sort of mentally prepare you for sleep-time, and if it were a really good book, you'd look forward to finding out what happens the next time you read.

Sunshine is nice. Maybe on weekends you could plan a few things to choose from, depending on mood/weather/etc., like flying a kite if it's windy, watching a movie if it's gross outside, cooking if there's something you'd like to make.

Actually, cooking could be fun especially if you want to eat healthier. Simple ingredients are pretty cheap, and planning meals would give you something constructive to think about or look forward to.
posted by cp311 at 6:53 PM on February 21, 2011

A simple thing to try:
1. Make a list of activities which are either pleasant or make you feel productive.
2. Print out two copies of a weekly calendar that lets you schedule things hour by hour. Plan out every hour. Nothing wrong with planning to watch TV or take a nap - just have an idea when exercise and activities are going to happen. It helps to use different colors for different types of activities.
3. At the end of each day, fill in what you ACTUALLY did and rate it (maybe mood, enjoyment, accomplishment, closeness/connection - so building a model plane might be M4, E4, A8, C0.)
4. Be gentle with yourself. You are not going follow the plan perfectly (or at all). That's OK - just trying, at whatever level of energy you have, is fine. However it turns out is how it turned out that day - Don't use this as a excuse to beat yourself up.

Pleasant and productive can be anything that strikes your fancy. Closeness reflects positive interaction with other people.

Also, Saveyoursanity is NOT a doctor. Psych meds are extremely complicated - trust your doctor or get a new one but don't second guess him/her based on advice from strangers on the Internet.
posted by metahawk at 7:05 PM on February 21, 2011

I've had the same problem alongside anxiety and depression and the scheduling method described in this book, Feeling Good by David Burns, is immensely helpful. I'd add that the CBT methods outlined within are very helpful as well. Good luck feeling better.
posted by supercoollady at 7:44 PM on February 21, 2011

Purely anecdotal, BUT-I have responded well to SSRI's (especially well to Effexor XR) but Wellbutrin puts me through pure hell. My dx is major recurrent depression with anxiety as well as ADHD. I have a fantastic therapist who works closely with my pdoc and they both have stated to me that Wellbutrin can exacerbate underlying anxiety, which eliminates any antidepressant benefit. Wellbutrin can be a wonder drug for some people, but for others (like myself) it can send you sailing right over the edge.

IANAD, etc etc-but I am someone who has experience in trying to find that right combination of meds and DBT and CBT to alleviate my depression.

Please feel free to memail me if you want someone to help keep you company, keep you on task and schedule or just to commiserate with :)
posted by hollygoheavy at 8:17 PM on February 21, 2011

I realize you asked for coping strategies, but can you up the Lamictal? 100-200mg is the usual range, maybe you just need a bit more... *braces for onslaught of dire Stevens-Johnson warnings*
posted by unknowncommand at 8:23 PM on February 21, 2011

Oh, also, maybe give meditation a shot. You can get the talks and handouts from a 6-week mindfulness course here. And for down days during treatment, are there any television series you can start watching? Mad Men or The Wire or Six Feet Under or Twin Peaks or Friday Night Lights or anything else that is looooooooong and plot-driven and that you can watch a few episodes of in the evenings and on the weekends. It can distract you from feeling down, and also help you feel that you are moving forward in some way. It can also help with social interaction: interesting tv is easy to talk about with people, even if you don't have much else in common with them.
posted by unknowncommand at 8:39 PM on February 21, 2011

I would go back to the doc on the meds - having been on the meds you are on, I would be asking to up the lamictal and bring down the seroquel and/or klonopin. You are on a lot of sedating medication. It is no wonder you are sleeping so much. Ahab's theory of you being too tired to cope due to this combo is very compelling. Also look at the timing of your meds - with such high dosages of meds (600 mg Seroquel is a lot), it is important to make sure your "uppers" (lamictal) do not poop out before your "downers" kick in full strength.

Other things to look at:
- exercise, sunshine
- birth control - if you have been symptomatic for the duration of your stay on your birth control, it could be time to get rid of it. Try something non-hormonal (condom) or locally hormonal (Mirena IUD).
- additional supplementation with fish oil, folate, B complex
- consider a pet, they're great at non-threatening social relationships
- yoga or other mindfulness exercises
posted by crazycanuck at 8:46 PM on February 21, 2011

saveyoursanity: "Wellbutrin is NOT an SSRI, it has an entirely novel form of action and mostly acts on dopamine and a little bit on norepinephrine. So... all SSRIs can't be off the table based on your reaction to something that isn't an SSRI, that wouldn't make any sense. And there are more antidepressants than just SSRIs out there--there's SSNRIs, there's MAOIs, there's tricyclics...

Thirdly, you're not on any antidepressants? Are you sure they're not treating you as probable bipolar? You mentioned it in your list of possible diagnoses but said that they primarily consider you depressed and even psychotic depression is treated with antidepressants, along with antipsychotics etc. To treat ANY variety of depression with just mood stabilizers is (as far as I know and again, IANAD) very rare.

Okay okay okay, IANAD IANYD ETC ETC. That said:

Man oh man, saveyoursanity has it here, or has something anyway -- you are on a shitload of mood stabilizers but NO anti-depressants. None. Not one. What? Why? WTF? You're buried in depression and you're not even trying to find your way to medicinal armistice with this son of a bitching illness?

IF the only anti-depressants you have ever tried are welbutrin and paxil, why? And that doc is dead damn wrong on welbutrin being an SSRI, as saveyoursanity pointed out. And even within SSRIs, hey, if you did not react well to one, that does NOT mean you will not react well to other SSRIs. Or another flavor anti-depressant, of which there are many nowadays. Many. There's a huge palette of anti-d meds out there, there is one (more, but let's just stick with one now, for clarity, for brevity) there has to be one that will float your boat.

So this character is giving you mood stabilizers, I can't imagine any reason why other than to knock down any mania you might have had, perhaps you're now stabilized enough to get an anti-d onboard and not float manic if/when you start tossing anti-depressants into your head, mania of course often a danger if you have manic-depression illness (ie bipolar disorder, but manic depression is more apt, if less fashionable), which it seems you are being half-way treated for.

Half-way and half-assed, seems to me, though I am not a doc remember, I'm just another poor slob out here who has suffered at the hands of more than one pdoc that's an incompetent goddamn butcher.

Not that I'm angered. Not me. I'm all peaceful and shit, I'm all meditative, I'm Mr. Om over here.

Always remember that you are at least 50% of the team in that pdoc office -- and I make it more than 50%, I've learned the hard way, and if they don't like it they can lump it -- it's up to you to do background, to not just be a piece of meat sitting on a chair; read up all you can about different meds, side effects and whatever else, be an informed consumer here.

Always, always remember, that when you're home laying in a pile, moaning, this person, this doc, hey, their life goes on same as if you were doing well, they still sit in front of their fireplace, drinking their glass of wine, scratching themselves, whatever. If you don't make yourself heard, and heard clearly, you're just another 'case' another number. Don't be that person. Make your time with this doc count. Make it pay.

A doc isn't but someone with good information (you hope) but mostly he/she is the person with that magic pen and that magic scrip pad. They're working for you, you've hired them, same as you would a plumber -- if you hired a plumber to fix your faucet, and the thing was still spraying water everywhere, wouldn't you fire their ass? I would. Have.
By the way, they get all fussy when you mention that they are working for you, that they're not but a hired hand, same as a cowpuncher or a waitress or whatever; you might want to be just a bit circumspect with this bit of your relationship with them. But don't ever forget it.

At the very least, I hope you'll consider another pdoc. At least a second opinion. Absolutely bring this up pronto in your psycho-therapy, lay your fears out, lay your life out as cleanly and clearly as you have to us, sing out what I call the John Lennon prayer -- "Help me if you can I'm feeling down / And I do appreciate you being 'round / Help me get my feet back on the ground / Won't you please, please help me?"

Good luck.
posted by dancestoblue at 10:22 PM on February 21, 2011 [3 favorites]

I confess I don't know much about the psych meds you're taking, but I did have a terrible experience with birth control pills. If there is a very good reason for you to continue to take it, then by all means do, but the pill is known to cause depression in some women, so if you possibly can it might be worth stopping it for a while, to see what happens.
posted by altolinguistic at 2:54 AM on February 22, 2011

I have one concrete suggestion: apologize to the condo board president--even if you can only do it by letter. Seriously.

Apologies can be good fun to experiment with. There are probably five really good reasons to apologize in this situation and I'm even assumming that you were not in the wrong. Can you guess what they are?

Try it as a low cost zero risk experiment in feeling good. Google "what makes a good apology". Keep it short and sweet...no explaining...just "I think I may have pissed you off the other day when I **** and I owe you an apology."

It's an "experiment in daily living"...there are a number fun experiments you could be engaging in while your team is stuck readingthe DSM and staring at the medicine cabinet. Find a therapist who believes you can have fun trying things out.
posted by vitabellosi at 4:18 AM on February 22, 2011

saveyoursanity and dancestoblue, Lamictal (lamotrigine) is sometimes prescribed as an antidepressant.
posted by unknowncommand at 6:36 AM on February 22, 2011

Yay for good days! :)

For me, exercise and talking to people are key to pulling myself out of the craters, or to not falling in.

It sounds to me like you could walk daily in your local park. Simple as it is, getting into natural spaces for even 5 minutes a day can make a difference.

Definitely apologize to the condo board president, or plan out a strategy of what to say and go knock on his/her door. One of the things about depression is that we often think things are worse than they are. I regularly think I need to hide from someone over something I did/didnt do only to discover it wasnt nearly as significant to the other person. We all make mistakes and the sense of relief that comes from acknowledging it can be immense. Plus, it will be one less stressor for you when you walk out your door.

Talking to friends can also help; if you know there are times that are consistently hard, try to get someone to call you to check in and have little chat just before your emotional bomb is going to blow. Not to talk exclusively about the yucky stuff, but not to ignore it either. Let your friends and family help you in small ways.

Finally, I recommend Brene Brown's TED talk. In 12 minutes she synthesized and made real all the thungs I've been trying to learn over 15 years of therapy and drugs to treat my own depression.
posted by Heart_on_Sleeve at 6:48 AM on February 22, 2011

One of the things about depression is that we often think things are worse than they are. I regularly think I need to hide from someone over something I did/didnt do only to discover it wasnt nearly as significant to the other person.

This x 1 million. My depression is largely under control (meaning: much less of what you call "cratering"), thanks to 150mg/day of Effexor), but this catastrophizing is still very much part of my modus operandi. In fact, I spent most of my last shrink appointment role-playing how I will approach my graduate student adviser to explain to her why I've fallen off the face of the earth and haven't been in touch with her.
posted by virago at 1:05 PM on February 22, 2011

First, thanks for all the answers.

Now, to answer questions and give some clarifications:

I'm concerned about scheduling my weekends too much because while routines are what keeps me going most days (thank fuck for Remember the Milk and Joe's Goals) that if I fall down on the weekend routines that it'll make matters worse. My sleep schedule also tends to get jacked up on the weekends (which may be part of the problem here) because I'm normally a night-person and so I'll wake up around 9-10am (during the work week I'm up at 730) but I'll be up until around 1-2am doing schoolwork (or dicking around online).

I'll check into DBT, but from what I've read on some website (probably recommended somewhere on the green), it didn't really make much sense. Maybe the workbook will be better.

Alcohol isn't common for me (maybe a weekend getting sloshed once or twice a year), luckily. I've drank on my meds before and didn't have any adverse effects.

I do live alone and either have movies/music/tv shows on at pretty much all times. I don't actually have a television that really works, so most of what I watch is online.

Meds: I may have misunderstood the SSRI thing with the pdoc, but I will ask her about it next time I see her (2 weeks). I also plan to ask her about possibly increasing the Lamictal or maybe doing one dose in the morning or one at night. The current Seroquel/clonazepam nighttime combo does precisely dickall for helping me sleep. Seriously, I take it at 6pm and it doesn't make me sleepy or drowsy-drunk in the slightest. (Hence, the diphenhydramine, because otherwise I wouldn't get to sleep until 10pm or later and then I am a cranky bitch in the morning.) The pdoc is also getting told that the diphenhydramine isn't affecting anything (except giving me a wee bit of a buzz and helping me sleep through the night) because she seems to think that it was making the other meds not work. I've done a fair amount of research (oh hai, PubMed at work), so I'm fairly informed on meds and all the bits that go along with them.

10 hours of sleep is average for me, even before meds. I think that's just what I require, although I can function on as little as 3. (Just don't ask me to drive anywhere.)

I attempted to go to a group therapy thing (NAMI Connection) a few times and was so freaked out (the social aspect) that I basically spent the entire time crying in a corner. Then some dude made a really weird pass at me (or so I think and I have a history of abusive relationships, which is why I haven't dated since...2005 or so) and so I decided to stop going.

The depression has been in my life since I was 6-7 years old. Definitely pre-dates the birth control pills, which I've thought about quitting just because I'm asexual and it's a cost I could decrease ($20/3 months worth) but have decided to stick with in order to avoid having periods altogether.

I will definitely check out the meditation thing (which is something that's been on my radar for a while but I tend to fall asleep because I try to do it at night) and that TED talk.

The condo president? He's actually the one in the wrong, and it was my father that mostly pissed him off (legitimately so, the president is a dick) but I'm the one who lives here (pops and I are both on the mortgage and he owns another unit in the same community that he's renting and is getting ready to close on a third here as well). So far, it has only been the president giving me the stank eye if he sees me, but he's sent some really nasty emails to my father. I've dealt with worse stank eyes before (hello, volleyball refereeing from when I was 14-23 or so) but still, I'm worried one of these days the douchebag is going to try and talk to me.

My schedule during the week is: Sunday-Thursday work (2 half days and 3 full days), Tuesday gym after work, Wednesday bellydance practice after work, Thursday after work is grocery shopping/laundry/house cleaning/therapy, every other Friday is volunteering (full day). My grad school stuff is 100% online, but I have set up a very detailed schedule to handle that so I don't get behind and that seems to be working.

Please feel free to add more stuff. I'll see about setting up some scheduling stuff for the weekend and see how things roll then.
posted by sperose at 3:13 PM on February 22, 2011

I knew I'd forget something. As far as caffeine goes, I've never been a big coffee/tea drinker, although it's an occasional thing (maybe once a month, but that's pushing it). Right now I'm down to 3 Cokes a week (M-W in work lunches) but the rest of the time is ginger ale and VitaminWater.
posted by sperose at 4:00 PM on February 22, 2011

The condo president? He's actually the one in the wrong, and it was my father that mostly pissed him off (legitimately so, the president is a dick) but I'm the one who lives here (pops and I are both on the mortgage and he owns another unit in the same community that he's renting and is getting ready to close on a third here as well). So far, it has only been the president giving me the stank eye if he sees me, but he's sent some really nasty emails to my father. I've dealt with worse stank eyes before (hello, volleyball refereeing from when I was 14-23 or so) but still, I'm worried one of these days the douchebag is going to try and talk to me.

This doesn't change my suggestion much. It might change my suggestion from "make an apology" (you did say that you had pissed him off ---so that slip is worth exploring) to "ask what it would take to be on good terms". It is full of possibilities for changing the way you feel, for yourself. And the bonus is that there's no better way to put a dick head in an uncomfortable position than to make it hard to treat you poorly.
posted by vitabellosi at 4:57 PM on February 23, 2011

dancestoblue: You were right. It's time for a new pdoc (or at least a second opinion) because she totes isn't listening to me right now.
posted by sperose at 6:54 AM on March 3, 2011

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