I have a CD playing that is supposed to induce an Alpha brainwave state. Haven’t tried it before, but my husband is fond of sending me tidbits of research about such things, and when I recognized it in the store, I thought maybe it was worth a try. I will admit that I do feel kind of…altered. The alpha state is supposed to be one of relaxation, calm, and receptiveness to information and making connections. Like when one is just about to fall asleep, but hasn’t yet. Could be placebo, but I feel kind of weird. Not better, per say. I decided this was a good time to try it out because I was feeling kind of down and stressed. I don’t feel any happier, but I guess that wasn’t really their claim. I do feel less invested in what’s around me, and less concerned about the effects of my actions. …Which sounds like it’s maybe not a positive, but might be. Can’t make any promises about what I’m typing here today, though. Seems to be coming through me without any kind of stop-over in Conscious Brain Land.
In general, I’m feeling a lot better than I used to on the whole, when it comes to mood-related things (though in truth, I’m not sure I can attribute any of that to formal treatment I’ve received rather than to self-knowledge, time, and breaks away from stress). I’ve noticed that in the last while, much of what I write here gets filed in the “real life” category. That partly the sign of a life turned more outward. Partly the sign that I now have a sense of the people who are listening here as individuals rather than a faceless internet void, and part of me doesn’t always want to admit to the harder times. Harder times are no fun. But I still get a ton of hits from people looking for others who will understand what it is like to deal with depression. So I guess glossing over any negative thoughts is sort of a disservice to them.
Today is still far from a bad day on the scale of what once would have defined that. But I would not call it a good day either. It is a day in which I feel uncertain about my future in career, or health, or the many things that intertwine them. I’m good with a goal. I work well towards things. I am pretty good at making them happen. I am not good with decisions. And less good when the situation doesn’t provide good possibilities for making one.
I started taking DHEA supplements a couple of months ago, in an attempt to raise some of what my body wasn’t producing on its own. At the same time, I was started on some herbal things to boost my body’s natural production. My DHEA levels were low. Really low. Very, very, abnormally low. And that could potentially explain a lot of the problems I’ve been having. The naturopath world likes the term “adrenal fatigue” or “adrenal exhaustion.” …Conventional medicine on the whole, from what I’ve read, thinks that’s a bunch of b.s. But whatever its title or cause, there was a measurable problem there, so I went with what options I had to try to make it better.
And I do feel better in a lot of areas. Just not all the way better, or better across the board. But it’s time to come off of the DHEA now. Screwing with this stuff in the longer term is agreed upon by both sides as a bad idea. So now I sort of wait and see if my body will keep up on its own.
Thing is, this is sort of the end of what had once seemed like an unnecessarily long list of treatment options laid out before me. I’ve done the antidepressants. Lots of them. And then some. I’ve done the mindfulness meditation. I’ve done the CBT. I’ve done the SAMe. I’ve done the hormone balancing. …And I don’t feel like I could return to work tomorrow (or the next day. Or the day after that). And I’m not sure where to go from here, or what I’m supposed to add next. I want to do something. I refuse to give up. But I don’t know what that something is yet, and that’s a difficult feeling.
Maybe intense exercise, I guess. Although I think that means I may have to wait until some of my other physical issues are out of the way. Or I will buy a light box, though they’re expensive, and what I have doesn’t seem to fit entirely with Seasonal Affective Disorder. I guess in the mean time I’ll keep reading up on other things. Maybe something will inspire me.
I’m lost on those other health things too, but that’s another essay all together.
I have yet another doctor’s appointment tomorrow. I have it in my mind to try to convince her to get someone in conventional medicine looking into my stomach issues. Nobody has yet. And they aren’t subtle. And are getting progressively worse. I often go in with that type of resolve, though, and then find it difficult when they try to divert me, or brush me in different directions, or shoot me down. And I always build myself up like this for the next time, with determination and resolve that this time is going to be different. That this time I am going to make them understand. Just like last time. Except that last time didn’t really work out so well.
(to be honest, I can’t even tell anymore whether what I’m dealing with now is actually the symptoms of depression… The limiting factors seem much more like something to do with the other health stuff. I know that I did have those symptoms. But I don’t know that that’s where everyone’s efforts would be best used now.)
So I am fine. I will be fine. I will find answers. And were I not under the influence of Alpha Brainwave CD Intoxication, I’m sure I would be trying more carefully to convey how I have perspective on things, and how I’m still taking positive steps. But right this moment, I think sometimes people are entitled to just feel crappy for a minute or two. …Or maybe twenty, if they’re typing.
And conclusion on these particular Alpha Brainwave-Inducing CD’s: much more effective than anticipated on first trial in terms of producing an altered state (they do have research to back them up, but I’m always open-mindedly skeptical with this kind of thing), though not necessarily the tranquil-fluffy-white-clouds-and-bunnies state I was hoping for. But worth another try at some point.
Just maybe not some point where I’m around sharp objects.