So, it turns out steroids and I aren’t such great mates, after all. After increasingly bad symptoms yesterday, and only 5 hours sleep last night (despite retiring to bed to avoid demons at 6pm), I called a nurse at 5:15am this morning. She advised me to get to a doctor within 4 hours, but the idea of going to an ER as the dregs of Saturday night ebb away didn’t appeal, so I’m waiting until my pharmacy opens and will call them instead.
This whole episode has reminded me of how we go up and down the scale of human needs as required. Yesterday, the delightful suzjones wrote about being a “gunna” which got me thinking about higher-level drives towards self-actualization and the like. Now I’m back down the bottom of that hierarchy of drives, just doing things needed to stay well and out of harm’s way.
I know all will be well, if I just avoid confronting situations and wait for this blasted drug to exit my system. Knowing everything’s going to be OK doesn’t make it feel any better in these moments, though.
All will be well, all will be well, and all manner of things will be well!
NOT FOR ME, IT WOULD SEEM!
Yes, you heard me – the GP inspected my long-sore throat this morning, and decided a course of steroids was the way to go.
I know some people love being on steroids: depending on their age, they’ll bounce about, claiming to feel five/ten/twenty years younger. Me? They just make me feel uber-moody. Think PMS … on steroids! (So to speak.)
Here are the deviltabs:
Have you ever been prescribed steroids? Do you love them or loathe them?
Quite frankly, I’ll happily tolerate a week of moodiness if my sore throat will just GO AWAY and STAY AWAY! (I don’t envy the dearly beloved, though.)
Here’s my list (in no particular order):
- Fight the war on many fronts: Don’t rely on just one thing to alleviate your depression; bring as many weapons as you can to the battle. For example, combine medication with some form of therapy; add exercise to your daily regime and also add make time for relaxation or mindfulness.
- Be aware: Foster the habit of being aware of your mood and thoughts, “in real time”. Notice when your mood is lifting or falling, and try to pinpoint triggers for either type of mood shift. Also listen to your inner voice, and be aware of your self-talk: is it overwhelmingly negative, or positive?
- Reach out: Get yourself an appropriate support group, people you can talk to about your struggle. Choose these people carefully – you want empathetic, compassionate people. I especially appreciate the support of people who don’t always immediately try to solve my problems for me, but listen and validate my experiences.
- Use medication well: If you’re prescribed medication, take the right dose at the right time.
- Focus on things you can control: … and don’t dwell on the rest. Remember, worry is like a rocking chair; it gives you something to do, but doesn’t get you anywhere (thanks to depressedbuthopeful for that quote, which now adorns my fridge).
- Balance your life: So often, I read tales of how an imbalanced life lead to depression – an overemphasis on work, for instance, at the cost of relationships, exercise or relaxation. Online resources such as this one test your knowledge of work-life balance.
- Nurture your ‘self’: I never understood the importance of self-care until mental health became a pressing issue in my life. Self-care is not only a great stress-buster, but affirms your importance – your “right to life”, if you will.
- Control your ‘input’: Are you watching, reading, listening to or engaging in things which are feeding your depression? For example, recently a good friend pointed out to her husband that days when he reported talking to workmates about the deterioration in workplace conditions were days he came home in a lower mood. (I think there’s a wonderful distinction to be made between a vent and a bitch.) Switch your ‘input’ to uplifting, positive messages.
- Minimize alcohol consumption: Yes, I know this is where I differ from some, but I firmly believe that if you’re prone to severe depression and you drink heavily, you’re playing with fire. Alcohol is a known depressant. Personally, I choose not to drink alcohol at all, anymore. This might not be the right choice for everyone, but it was a great choice for me.
- Exercise: An absolute must! Boost those endorphins, get that natural high and benefit your overall health at the same time.
The danger in making a list is what you might accidentally leave off it! Do you agree with my top ten? What would you add, change or delete?
Depressed White Blood Cell
My immune system seems to be down, if you’ll forgive the pun! Seriously, it’s one thing after the other right now – outer ear infection, middle ear infection; and now a sore throat … and my ear’s getting sore again! We all know that being depressed makes being sick worse, and vice versa. This is a roundabout I’d happily get off.
So, this is what I’ve done so far:
- upped my intake of fruit and veg
- taken a multivitamin, just to be sure
- taken a megadose of Vitamin C
- eaten probiotic yoghurt twice a day this week
- eaten garlicked food at lunchtime (sorry, my dear)
- kept up my intake of water
- partaken only of moderate exercise
- had an afternoon nap, and plan to go to bed early tonight.
I’m out of ideas, and I don’t want to get sick yet again. Does anyone have further suggestions which might help? I’d be very grateful. (But don’t be offended if I take a while to reply – I might be catching some healing zzz’s!)