Friday, June 01, 2007

Friday Shorts

I’ve had a rash of hits on the search string "Depaquel". Law and Order must have rerun the episode where they mention this fictional drug. Depaquel is not, to my knowledge, a legitimate medication. The writers most likely got the name from Depakote, and Seroquel, both medications used to treat bipolar disorder.

My current hypomania is hanging in there, and that’s a very good thing. SAD (seasonal affective disorder) could kick in at any time. Every summer depression rolls in and stays until fall. SAD normally impacts people in winter, but there is a small population that gets it in summer. It hasn’t always been this way for me, I’m writing a post for BipolarConnect about this. This yearly pattern is how I was eventually diagnosed. Every summer my wife talked me into seeing the doc about my depression. He always prescribed an anti-depressant, as I expected him to do, and after a few months I always got manic. I finally made the doc listen, and told him the antidepressants weren’t working for me the way that we expected them to work, and we needed to consider bipolar disorder. I knew I had it, but he couldn’t see how I could live into my forties without being diagnosed. But anyway, my next pdoc appointment is in early July, I hope the slide doesn’t start before then. I’m going to ask for an antidepressant, I know they can be taken when another bipolar medication is also being taken.

My last post was a music post, Emmylou Harris doing that haunting story "Red Dirt Girl". I hadn’t heard it for years, and when I heard it a few days ago it struck a chord and I shared it. Today I heard it again on A coincidence? Is a higher power trying to give me a message? Maybe I’m just being reminded to buy my tickets to a show she’s doing in my area later this summer…

Speaking of, their program director and on-air personality Laura Ellen died the other day. KPIG is a California radio station, and a long way from the heartland where I was born, raised, and continue to live. But Laura Ellen always took the time to answer my emails, and was genuinely interested in the shows we got in my area, the artists who played, and the quality of the performances. KPIG is one of the most unique radio stations in the world. They are a commercial station, but are independent, and play a wonderful variety of music ranging from hard rock to hayseed. Check them out for a delightful change-of-pace. When you do, remember Laura Ellen for making that musical treasure possible.

An email flash just came in:
I earn my living in the telemarketing industry, many of you know that and choose to be friends anyway. I’m not actually the person who calls, my accent is too Midwest for that. I work in IS, working on the technical side of the business. But we just received instructions to block all calls to Alabama on Monday, Jefferson Davis’ birthday. Evidently it’s a state holiday. Jefferson Davis was the only president the Confederacy had, from 1861 to 1865, during the civil war. He believed that corruption had destroyed the old Union and that the Confederacy had to be pure to survive. Can someone from south of the Mason-Dixon line convince me that this holiday doesn’t have racial overtones?

For those readers not living in the US, I apologize for all the US geographic references in this post.

I could ramble on forever, but that’s enough for today. Everyone have a great weekend, and let’s be careful out there!


Saskia said...

Sorry to hear about your Summer SAD. Check out you will find a growing group of us.

Jon said...

Saskia - thanks for leaving a comment. I have blogrolled your site.

KansasSunflower said...

Maybe you won't get "SAD" this year!! That *is* very interesting, because I, too, tend to get depressed during the colder months.

Also interesting about Alabama...

TeeboPop said...

Wow, I came across this post by accident and I'm so glad I did.

Everyone in my life always told me that there was no such thing as SUMMER SAD. And yet, I knew that I was always happiest and most productive during cloudy, dingy, rainy days.

Unfortunately, I lived in S. Cal. for 30 years - so I was depressed A LOT!

Since moving to the East Coast, not so much. Just during late spring and the summer months.

As for being bipolar, I have suspected for a long time I was. But I am over 50 and, as you guessed, most mental health professionals tell me that if I was truly bipolar it would have been diagnosed years ago. I vehemently disagree.

How many antidepressant drugs are they going to try before they finally get it? I tried to believe in whatever I was swallowing would help. But, alas, so far not so much.

Thanks for this post. I feel so validated!

geosmythe said...

I am with teebo on the late diagosis comment. I was in my fifties when I was diagnosed too, and if I continue with this post, I will probably write a book. I seem to get depressed when it is very hot, so I hve always been confused as to whether it is the heat or what. I do better with great sunshine and crisp, cool weather.

This antidepressant subject is another area I could rant on and on about- but suffice to say- doctors need to get a clue.

Stephany said...

I was dx at age 46. After years of living on xanax, trazedone, and bad reactions to Prozac and even Zyprexa--all given to me back then by a PCP who constantly told me I had anxiety only. I think Summer depression is common, and that having more daylight hours can actually be a negative thing for moods.

Jon said...

KS - Count yourself in the majority with the winter SAD. And I don't think anyone is going to touch the Alabama reference. I am interested, though.

Teebopop - thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! Reverse SAD is very real. I haven't always suffered from it, and I have a theory why I get it now. I'll write about it sometime. As far as diagnosing bipolar disorder, most primary care physicians just don't know much about bipolar disorder. That means, unfortunately, that many like you and I will suffer through meds that will make things worse.

Smythe - I don't know if it's sunshine, heat, situational, or what triggers SAD, but I do know it's real. For the docs, I agree. Our PCP is a great guy, but I wish he'd recommended a psych referral about 2 years earlier...

Stephany - the funny thing is, I love summer. I love the longer days, sitting out on my deck in the evenings, the warmer weather. I just don't understand it.

Thanks all for your comments!

Dream Writer said...

Hey Jon - I, too get depressed in the summer time. That is so weird that you mention this. Each summer, I feel a dip...then by fall...I am real low...winter...I am shot.

As far as Law and Order - it is so frustrating when the Media will have a show about "Mental Illness" of some kind but doesn't "Clarify" its diagnosis.

I watched a movie not too long ago and all it said was "Mom, has a mental illness," " Mom, needs her meds," but never says what she has...the woman/mom goes through things but it never reveals what it is.

I see this all the time. It is so aggravating because of course in movies, TV, and so on they will dramatize the characters actions and it will state "Mental Illness" but never reveals the true diagnosis and then it leaves society thinking we are all NUTS!


Anissa said...

I live in Seattle where our days in the summer don't end until 10-10:30 at night. I finally figured out after 5 years of living here about reverse SAD so I do know that reverse SAD is very real in my life. And, oh, it's worse now since they extended daylight savings time by an additional month! yikes. Now that it is getting darker earlier I feel like I've just had the best piece of chocolate on the planet when the sun goes down. :) Otherwise I feel like I've got road rage constantly by about the May timeframe. I love the sun...but the long days are horrid.