The past few weeks have been very hard because of depression and anxiety. After having gotten used to exercising from 90 to 130 minutes per day, I now am back to struggling to get in 10 minutes a day. A few nights ago, I figured my exercise streak was over, but then around 9pm forced myself to get up and do some of my physical therapy exercises. It's going to be another day like that today.
It is also quite a struggle to write coherently, but there are two things I want to say in today's blog. First of all, I am beginning to suspect that a pain medication I was recently put on may be the culprit behind what I'm experiencing. The doctor who prescribed it says it's highly unlikely, but all I know is that it certainly fits the timeframe from when I started feeling not up to par. If you are interested, you might like to look at an article I found from Harvard Health Publishing entitled "Depression: Common medication side effect?" The upshot seems to be that the more medications you take with a possible side effect of depression, the more likely you are to actually suffer from it. I am taking 4 of the medications listed in the article. This last pain medication may have been enough to put me over the edge.
However, I do have a past history with anxiety and depression and have been struggling to overcome them without medication--and felt I was succeeding until the last few weeks. Whether or not the pain medication has been the culprit in the present case, there are two books I have wanted to start reading, and I wonder if any of you would like to study them with me.
The background on these books: it may have been more than a year ago when I heard a podcast on anxiety from the Catholic Medical Association. (Their show is called "Doctor, Doctor," and you can find it on SoundCloud or at redeemerradio.com
) In the episode I listened to, Dr. Kevin Majeres, a psychiatrist practicing in Cambridge, MA who also teaches at Harvard Medical School, discussed anxiety: what it is, what causes it, what makes it worse, and what makes it better. I liked what he had to say so much that I found all his other podcasts and listened to those as well, and I have listed them all at the bottom of this post.
It has been a while since I listened to the episodes, so I really ought listen again, but somewhere in them, the two books were mentioned: "The Happiness Trap" and "The Mindfulness & Acceptance Workbook for Anxiety." Dr. Majeres says that he likes his patients to work on them--especially the Mindfulness and Acceptance book--when they are NOT on antidepressants, so they can be more in touch with what they are actually feeling. I ordered these books but have not started reading them--even though I believe that they could help me very much.
So with all that preamble, I'd like to know if anyone would like to get these books (perhaps from your local library?) and start working on them with me. Don't know if we would need to create a team or could just discuss on our Spark Pages. I'd really love to have someone out there helping me to read at least 10 minutes a day to get on the road to better mental health.
I'm afraid that's all my brain could muster for today. Hope it all made sense, and that you will let me know if you are interested!
Here are podcasts from Doctor, Doctor that I found very helpful:
Doctor, Doctor – #82 – Anxiety and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Doctor, Doctor – #91 – Anxiety and Flow: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Exercise and Brain Function
Doctor, Doctor – #102 – Anxiety, Mindfulness, and the Science of Prayer
Doctor, Doctor – #140 – Anxiety is Prayer Waiting to Happen: How We Can Turn to God in Times of Need
Doctor, Doctor – #59 – Catholic Guide to Depression