In recent weeks, I’ve noticed a clear pattern to my energy levels. I make it through the working week, but on Saturdays I find myself too exhausted to function and spend most of the day in bed feeling rubbish. By Sunday I feel a lot better, but losing half of my weekend every week is preventing me from fitting in activities I enjoy and means housework and gardening get neglected. We’re talking about the kind of extreme fatigue that makes even getting myself a cup of tea difficult – not something I could or should push through. It’s no way to live.
So it was with excitement that this Saturday I tweeted:
Guess what? It’s a Saturday & I feel normal! as opposed to too exhausted to function as I have been for past few weeks
I went on to have a great weekend. I met up with an old schoolfriend, got on top of the housework, mowed the lawn (despite being terrified of the lawnmower ), took advantage of the Heritage Open Days to visit a castle and a cathedral, then sang at the first evensong of the new term and went out to the pub afterwards. Unfortunately, I woke up (or rather didn’t wake up…) on Monday morning to find the exhaustion had just shifted by 48 hours. My work deadlines were such that I could afford to take most of the day off – it just means getting a bit behind with my uni marking, which is virtually normal for academics – and if I only crash every nine days instead of every seven that’s progress, but still… I am beyond frustrated.
I saw my psychiatrist on Monday afternoon and we’re going to try reducing the mirtazapine to 45 mg to see whether this helps with the exhaustion. It’s hard to be certain whether it’s a symptom of depression itself or a side effect, so a lower dose could make things worse rather than better, but I feel it’s worth a try (and may also stop me wanting to eat everything in sight). I am getting some other symptoms of depression, but these are very transitory, and my psychiatrist reckons they’re a job for Group Therapist rather than meds. I was pleasantly surprised that my choice of psychoanalytic therapy seems to have gone up in her estimation since she found out that Group Therapist is doing it – he seems to be very well regarded, even among professionals who would normally recommend CBT. My GP Dr Right also thinks he’s lovely* and I’ve trusted her opinion ever since she told me she “couldn’t bloody stand” a particularly blinkered, arrogant and unhelpful psychiatrist.
Fingers crossed that the dose reduction makes a difference (so far, I haven’t experienced any withdrawal symptoms) and that I’m feeling a lot more energised soon!
* Personally, I think Group Therapist is bloody annoying, but that’s usually because he’s being right about something I’d rather not acknowledge, and only occasionally because he’s resorted to an embarrassing psychoanalytic cliché.