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| p.2 #6 · Depression, Gear, and Recovery |
Adjusting to the proper dose of the RIGHT medication is a tricky business. Many people are hyper-sensitive to medications, but proper clinical diagnosis is all important. Depression can be a stand - alone ailment, although very frequently it is 1/2 of the bipolar coin, the other side being mania. Manic depressives talk themselves into a sense of well-being which can lead to euphoria evidenced by heavy spending and "everything's more than right with the world" existences.
Mania is far better than depression, provided it does not get out of control. The issue is cycling; the up and down of it, and how frequently cycling occurs. There are meds that are easy on the system, but it requires an empirical approach and work to get it right, tolerated and adjusted (titrated).
Sleep is a major factor and a governor in the process. (Dep / bi-polar, etc.) is a bio-chemical imbalance, simply put, and is important to understand what flavor depression yours is even factoring in seasonal affective disorder [SAD] common in your neck of the woods). Self medicating can work in certain individuals, but depending on the type and severity of symptoms, it can be critical to achieve a proper diagnosis. In this regard, finding the right Dr. is all important.
I applaud your pulling yourself up and out of it by the bootstraps, but be cautious in your self-assessments. Rampant spending and spending beyond one's means are signs of the other component of bi-polar disorder. If you find yourself delving in delusions of grandeur (belief in certainty of achieving Ansel Adams-like fame) then perhaps it's time to re-assess.
Don't mean to rain on your parade, it's just that this stuff is potentially dangerous, and insidious. Diagnosing one's self is like a lawyer defending himself: he has a fool for a client.
Best advice? Don't throw out the baby with the bath water. Find a good Dr. you can work with. Many know and understand about the low tolerance to medication, and many advocate the approach you are currently taking, but can add safeguards.
Good luck with it all. Look into "micro-dosing"....
*Note: Hey we all spend big bucks on gear and would all spend more if given the opportunity. We all have dreams, and expectations of success. The reality is that few really achieve the "star- level" positions in fields of art and photography, etc. Just saying, not to denigrate any dream seeking or fulfilling that we may all have under "normal" conditions. This all goes with the territory (bi-polar disorder, etc.) Mental illness is a very real and tenuous condition, and needs to be addressed with care and understanding, and above all, knowledge and experience.