Coming Undone

Posted 2009.08.06 11.30 in Life On Drugs, Pointless Blather

I had a dream last night about coming completely undone. I seem to be in an ever-increasing state of general befuddlement, punctuated by moments of extreme focus.

Like, when I’m on a task, I can really focus in on it and get at it, whether it’s work or fun or whatever. But in between tasks, half the time I’m clueless. I forget where I’m going, what I’m supposed to be doing, I can’t even remember for more than an hour things like what day is it, what month is it, what season is it? At times I have to concentrate to remember left and right. I make lists all the time, and then if I forget the list or I forget to look at the list then stuff doesn’t get done.

Like there’s so much going into my brain, it’s full, it’s on overload. To quote Homer Simpson, “Remember that time I took a home winemaking course, then forgot how to drive?” well ok it’s not quite like that. 🙂

Anyhow, so my dream, it was like that only much worse. Like I couldn’t go to the store to get milk without getting lost – not that I didn’t know my way home, but that I couldn’t remember that I needed to go home. Like you get to the store, then what? Why am I here? And where am I supposed to go next? If someone was there telling me what to do, I could do it fine. Simple stuff or complicated stuff – like tell me to build a laser or code some software, it wasn’t that I couldn’t do stuff, it’s just that I couldn’t remember what needed doing. That was the dream, it’s not that bad in real life.

Remember James Stewart’s character in Harvey? There was a guy who was pleasantly, happily, frequently befuddled. Though his charming discombobulation had a tragic origin, it seemed like his day to day life was pretty relaxing. Although that character was somewhat wealthy, and I think you do need to be at the very least somewhat wealthy, and better still to be filthy rich, if you’re going to spend your days being charmingly befuddled.

Anyhow, I wonder though if it’s the stress, the depression, the anti-depressant drugs, or what. Or all of the above. That’s got me partially undone now, and worried about completely unravelling later. I can’t afford to fall apart, not unless my lotto investment comes through for me!

Actually maybe it is the cryptospam. I’m feeling a bit heebie-jeebie-ish lately, and I remember that was one of the sideffects.

Confused, befuddled, discombobulated, nuts.

2 Comments

  1. Steve says:

    Hi there, again, I’ve been reading your blog because of your technical content and always been impressed with your writing. Keep it up!

    A lot of what you write, particularly with regards depression and your general mental state, could apply to me or my wife. (You actually share a lot of the same attributes as my wife – the serial hobbiest aspect, intensity at tasks, etc.)

    Anyway, I’ve been suffering from depression the last few years and a few months ago I started seeing a counselor and psychiatrist. I was surprised by the psych. who told me that while my depression score on the DSM was high, my ADHD score was much higher. I’d never considered that before – but while I can acheive intense focus on programming tasks, other aspects of life would leave me befuddled and somewhat unable to cope. I’d be one of those people that if you talked to me in the hallway, I’d likely just sort of mumble and try to avoid contact.

    I ended up with prozac for the depression, which seemed to help, and then he proscribed dextroamphetamine for the ADHD, which surprised me. Here in the states, its a controlled substance, which means I need to get it refilled each month. I’m up to taking 25mg per day.

    Its been amazing. WIthing 20 minutes of taking it, I’m able to not only focus on the task at hand, but I’m able to switch between tasks more rapidly, something where before if I were interrupted while working or needed to deal with a difficult real life issue, I couldn’t just switch gears and get things done.

    I’m taking the tablet form several times a day – there’s also a longer lasting form, which I haven’t been anxious to try because the other version has worked so well.

    I am afraid of becoming dependant on it, but occasionally take “vacation days” where I don’t take it all, and I haven’t had any ill effects.

    Of course, the stock answer with any of this is that if you’re having reactions to any medication, discuss it with your doctor, but thats kind of a pat answer. I know whats helped me, even though I never really realized it was a problem before!

    Cheers, and keep up the good work,
    steve

  2. Stephanie says:

    Steve, thanks very much for writing. I’ve joked about having ADHD but never actually considered it; your situation is very interesting.
    My next meeting with the psychiatrist is towards the end of this month and I’ll definately be talking to him about the state I’ve been in lately and see what he says. Unfortunately the way they work things here, the psychiatrists aren’t much into actually talking/councilling, they just want to know enough so as to decide what prescription to write. The psychologists aren’t allowed to do prescriptions, so they’re the ones to see for the talking/councilling — but I can’t get the health care to pay for both, and I can’t afford to pay it myself. 🙁
    Ah well. Thanks again for the comments and I’m happy you enjoy my writing.

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