Legal Quandary

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Turns Out that Mild Depression is a Lot Like A Panic Attack

Have you ever had days where you felt like you could happily sleep another 14 hours or so? Or failing that, that the best course of action might just be to sit in your closet and down a whole box of Thin Mints?

No? Right. Me neither.

But if you did, hypothetically, what might you do to bring yourself out of it?

Ok - maybe I'm not really as crazy as that, but I have been feeling pretty blue the last couple of days. And I'm good with that. (Aside from the feeling blue part - but what I'm trying to say is that I feel like I'm entitled to some feelings of sadness.) The problem is that "blue" for me translates into "bone weary." Someone once told me that I had an infinite capacity for sleep. Of course - he only knew me during the time I was considering dissolving my first marriage so, again, I was a little down in the dumps. And I just don't have time for that right now.

I also find I don't fall asleep until a couple of hours after I go to bed. This tends to compound the whole sleep deprived thing and (what fun!) makes me anxious. And then I start thinking about how I sounded like an idiot when I got called on, not once, but TWICE today in class. (BTW Professor, for future reference, I tend to look at you when you ask a question to be polite - not because I want to answer your question.) Or how I wonder whether I'll hate all my coworkers when I do finally graduate, since I find at least some of my classmates to be overpriviledged, insufferable, and somewhat pretentious jerks. Clearly, there are exceptions, but I AM truly surprised (though perhaps I shouldn't be) at the number of utter jackasses who come to lawschool. What if I gave up a career I loved in order to work with people I'll hate???

6 cups of coffee this morning also probably didn't help matters.

So, seriously, what would you do? Other than take 2 Paxil and call me in the morning.

Hypothetically speaking, of course.

I don't know when you are supposed to do it, but have you been keeping up with working out? That plus eating 5 small meals a day will help. St. Johns Wort is an option (although I am not too thrilled with it...Commision E reports are favorble but some of the more recent stuff shows questionable benefit.) No, I really reccommend the working out thing! (Maybe I will try it myself one of these days) If you HAVE been working out regularly then just do it more! Just kidding.
Oh yeah, you might want to slowly taper down the coffee a bit, but that might be just too blasphemous?
Um, I got a divorce. Seriously - the last time I felt the depression/panic attack was at the end of my marriage.

Of course, that is not what I am saying YOU should do - but perhaps seeking a way to process all of the crap you've had to go through lately could be a good idea. You know, a little sit down with someone who gets paid to help you sort things out in your mind?

Also, when I had my freak-out some years ago - I was working out daily - and kind of spastically. 3 hours a day at the gym, baby. It was the only time I felt good!!

Man, I looked good.
I agree with working out and taking vitamins (I think St. Johns Wort is a good thing) however, I don't think they do a thing for the immediate feeling of sadness. When I was suffering from depression, I would just do something to divert my attention -- I'd watch a funny movie (it is *amazing* how laughter can cure things), or I'd play a video game, even if I knew that I was *supposed* to be doing something else (on the theory that I wouldn't have been any good at that something else right then, anyway). It usually worked.

Hope you're feeling better!
I generally agree with working out as well - although right now it seems like "just another thing" to add to my schedule. Everyday but Wednesday, I'm responsible for both dropping off and picking up Lil Q, and for getting dinner on the table. Once you add studying in there, getting to the gym just doesn't happen. On Wednesday, I'm at school late for class.

I walk between 2-6 miles a day (depending on the weather and if I walk Lil Q to school), and yes, my mood is usually better on the 6 mile days.

What seems to be working is trying to get 8 hours of sleep at night. Taking Friday night to relax and watch a movie helped too.
Cool. I just read an article that talked about the importance of sleep. Sleep deprivation can, apparently, sneak up on you. If you miss 2 hours a day, but the 4th or 5th day you will be as if you had missed the previous night. So, catching up is important!
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