Memory Loss & the Absence of Feeling
- I would say emotionally, but my (SNRI) antidepressants have killed my ability feel ANYTHING, stone dead! So that’s a thing! ? Bah! Who needs pesky feelings and emotions anyway!? ?Memory
Short-term memory loss issues have been a problem and major concern for the last few months, being particularly stressful as far as completing my HISTORY degree!! Thus contributing to my decision to take a break from uni. Memory is kind of a big deal when you’re studying THE PAST, and taking exams! ?
But when you reach a point where you’re forgetting the names of friends you see on a daily basis and your thoughts mid-sentence, let alone why you walked into rooms or what you just read by the time you reach the end of the paragraph… Well, I don’t particularly want to go into how scared I was for a while there, but I think I have found the main culprit and the situation is definitely improving.
I was told that memory issues could simply be part of depression, but reducing my medication has proven the drastic memory loss to be a side effect of the drug, and that this medication is causing me more harm than good! I am in the process of very slowly quitting, as this particular medication is known for nasty withdrawal and brain f**kery, so it’s going to take time and further discussions with the doctor.
I’d like to point out that different drugs affect people in different ways. Just because I had a bad reaction, doesn’t mean it’s bad for everyone. I’m not going to name which one I’m on because I’ve heard that it is a helpful medication for many others and I don’t want to put anyone off. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t suit me.
Health (Or Lack Thereof)
I’ve been ill lately. Symptoms include: Exhaustion, shortness of breath, screwed up sleep, depression, high blood pressure, ringing in my ears, sore tongue, paler than normal, feeling like death, as well as the whole short-term memory f**k thing.
A blood test found I have a folate deficiency/anaemia (again!) On top of the vitamin D deficiency I’m already prescribed pills for. Woo! More pills! ? Energy and oxygenated red blood cells AWOL, please return to sender. I’m physically screwed without them! ?
I do try to eat a balanced diet vitamin-wise, but I am overweight and don’t exercise regularly. Guilty as charged! I’m trying to make improvements and healthier life choices, but I guess years of abuse makes it difficult for a body to work at optimum nutrient processing efficiency. I know I’ve got a lot of grovelling and making up to do before my body and I work well together as a team.
Depression and the Dangers of Being Numb
I didn’t realise at first, I thought I was just tired, bored or lacking motivation. My medication has left me so emotionally numb, that I have not been recognising negative thoughts and behaviours as harmful, because I have not been FEELING negative or painful emotions. Nothing emotionally telling me to stop or recognise a problem. It actually took a concerned loved one pointing out that I am a textbook case of major depression for me to realise.
Just because I don’t FEEL sad, doesn’t mean it is acceptable to ignore all the other red flags, deny I am in trouble or stop taking care of myself. I guess my medication is suppressing my emotions in an attempt to help, antidepressants are supposed to stop you FEELING depressed after all. It’s just that other types have never stopped me feeling ANYTHING AT ALL! Masking the warning signs will not prevent a bomb going off, you need some sign. Being incapable of functioning, yet not feeling miserable is confusing. Telling people I’m fine, telling myself I’m fine, but realising:
- I haven’t left the house in 3 weeks
- I’ve been living in pj’s
- My room is a mess
- I look and feel ill
- I’ve been avoiding social contact
- The shower has become a necessary punishment, rather than pleasant experience
- Getting sick and nutrient deprived through lack of “self care”
- I avoid the mirror
- I’ve become obsessed with the fact I’m the size of a hippo and the fear I’ll never be anything but a mess
- I duck, dodge and dive compliments and have been feeding my own self loathing
- Being overwhelmed by the sole desire to just sleep forever…
Well it seems rather odd not to have noticed a problem when you think about it! Some of the clues have been rather glaring when I talk to family. I believe the medication to have played a massive part in all my recent problems, and hope it is something that can be resolved soon. Human beings need feelings, emotions, reason, drive, and ambition to function! I need them to get me out of bed, otherwise what’s the point? It’s strange to realise that feeling numb to everything can actually be extremely harmful. That if I don’t feel, I don’t care! If I feel nothing, I have no driving force, no rhyme or reason. If I do nothing and let the depression swallow me, what does it matter? I don’t FEEL anything, so I DON’T CARE!!
I know I’ll be back and stronger than ever soon, I always come back fighting! But right now even leaving my bed is mentally and physically exhausting. It could be my health, brain or both. But I’m not currently able to just get up and moving, and I feel incredibly guilty and ashamed about it.
- I need to work on my internal health and mind before I can get active.
- To concentrate on repairing the damage and moving forward.
- I need a daily routine.
- I want to get back into the habit of writing again if I’m going back to uni. Especially considering I have a sieve for a brain. Writing this has been cathartic.
- I will continue to read patronising “self care” fad books in the pursuit of a magical answer to all of life’s woes. You never know, it could happen. Plus I have a blog idea…
- Organise a plan of action.
- Focus on diet and exercise safely, without setting myself up to fail.
- Get in contact with the appropriate people to get a medication change and make sure I have a support system in place before I return to university.
- Try to see friends more.