I’m going to write really candidly about my depression and anxiety here. It’s funny that just a couple of days ago, writing this would have made me burst into tears or fear stern judgment or rejection from friends (or even strangers). Today, I think, “What if this knowledge will help someone?” and “screw the consequences!”
I’ve written a bit before about my supplement regimen and how it’s helped my anxiety and depression (and how I feel about SSRI’s). The difference with then and now is then, I was new to it. I wasn’t SUPER depressed or anything, just generally a bit depressed, so I didn’t notice the changes as much. This time, well, I’ve been very depressed lately. I was in such a dark place that I began to wonder how dangerous my moods were to my overall health (I think my overall digestive health issues are the real reason why I am feeling depressed, but that’s another story). I wondered if I should take myself to the hospital “just to talk to someone”, but always figured, “eh, I’ve got therapy on Friday.” Therapy was feeling futile again, like, why bother, I’m just whining about the same things all the time, I’m not making any progress.
When I first tried supplementing amino acids to handle depression and anxiety, I used 5-HTP at night, and L-Tyrosine in the morning (for depression & anxiety, respectively). I stayed on this combination for at least a few months, and I think weaned off the 5-HTP first, then the Tyrosine a few months after that. I thought I felt pretty good. I thought I felt pretty normal, or as normal and functional as I thought I was capable of being. With this recent deep, dark, depression, I am coming to realize that I was still not 100%. I was functioning, I was making progress, but there were areas that I was still struggling in.
A few days ago, I started supplementing 5-HTP at night and Tyrosine in the morning again. I’m not exaggerating when I say it was an overnight turnaround for me. I went from not wanting physical contact to happily cuddling with the boyfriend, watching a movie. I went from having idle thoughts about death to feeling completely puzzled about how I could think like that. It’s hard to describe this kind of turnaround and how bizarre it feels to clearly remember your dark thoughts afterwards, if you’ve never experienced it. I was having thoughts of harming myself… Wow, that is hard to admit. I wonder sometimes if this is something I want to write about in a public blog, where co-workers and potential employers (someday) might read about it. But it’s not as though my history of self-injury would prevent me from getting a job, and if it somehow did, I’d have a few choice words to say about that (“keep an eye out for my lawsuit”).
Also, (trigger warning) this is an amazing article that really accurately describes the feelings I had years ago when I was actively harming myself. You don’t have to read it, it might be upsetting for some people, but it was a nice reminder to me of how far I’ve come. I don’t remember my most depressed times that well anymore, so it takes articles like that to really remind me of how bad it was. Sometimes, it’s good to know, just for reference.
I want to share some things with the people that read this: that you are not alone, that there are answers out there for you (maybe it’s amino acids, maybe it’s not, but you should read The Mood Cure to see if they might help you), and that I care. If no one else does, I do. It’s a flaw, honestly, because I care a lot what other people think and how they’re doing. I’m super sensitive in general and it makes it hard for me to make decisions or keep a clear head and be analytical. That’s why finding my answers, in supplements, diet, and general nutrition, has been so amazing for me. I actually CAN be analytical about my thoughts and feelings now, and try to figure out if what I’m feeling is “false” (just chemical imbalance) or how I truly feel (an appropriate emotional response).
I’m giving out my crappy old email address because I haven’t yet come up with a permanent name for this blog, so I don’t want to reserve an address for it (and I don’t want to give out my email that I use for primary communication). You can reach me at silly (d0t) little (dot) goth (at) gmail (dot) com (sorry for spelling it out, hope that makes sense to you, just trying to avoid more spam) and I promise I’ll at least respond with a website or book recommendation, if not some love and words of encouragement. I’m not an expert, I only know what I do and how it affects me, but I’m happy to share those experiences in detail with anyone who wants to know. Hence, this blog!
And you know what? This is hard for me. I write this blog, and I express a lot of my most deep dark feelings, and it’s not easy. I have a hard enough time telling people in my everyday life, the people I care about most, or even my therapist, about all this stuff, so please don’t be upset if I didn’t/don’t talk to you about it.