Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Don't drive angry (150.6)

One of my favorite movies is Groundhog Day.  Remember the scene when Phil is driving with the groundhog on his lap, telling him "don't drive angry."   I love that scene.  It makes me laugh every time I see it.

I haven't been laughing lately, though. I have been angry.  Irrationally angry and irritable. Angry at little things and big things.  Angry almost all of the time. 

I may be anxious and depressed frequently, but consistent anger has not been an issue for me in the past.

After 3 or 4 days of this, I finally decided to research wellbutrin and anger.  Turns out anger has been a side affect for many people.  I'm not alone in feeling this way.

Wellbutrin has never caused this problem for me before.  I'm rather in a quandary.  I won't take an SSRI because of the proven (both scientifically and by my personal experience) weight gain side effect.  Wellbutrin is the only anti depressant that doesn't cause weight gain. 

I've been researching other treatments for depression.  It's the usual blah blah blah.  Get more sleep.  Exercise regularly.  Do yoga.  Meditate.  Eliminate stress.  Eat right.

Nothing new. I know all this already.

What I did find that was new is the relationship between inflammation and depression.  There's a lot of mumbo jumbo science behind the link between the two.  The take away is to reduce inflammation and you could possibly reduce your depression.

You reduce inflammation by not eating foods that cause inflammation--which just happen to be all the crap foods I shouldn't eat anyway.  Processed foods, wheat, milk, sugar. 

I haven't completely eliminated any of those.  My diet is much cleaner that it was last year, but I still eat processed foods every day.  I'm not clean "enough."

So there are all these healthy things I need to do, which I know will help.  It's more difficult to do, though, when I'm depressed, anxious, walking through mud, & angry all the time. There's the rub.

I'm not walking through mud today, or yesterday, but I still have the pent up anger feeling.  I haven't decided if I should wait it out--have only been back on it for seven days--or stop it again.  The anger and anxiety is very upsetting.

I obviously shouldn't make that decision on my own. I know I need to go see my nurse practitioner who prescribes my meds. But honestly, I don't know what she can do. I've researched all the meds and nothing looks like it is the right fit. There are even studies now that suggest anti depressants work no better than placebos. I'm not sure I believe that, because I have been helped by them in the past. Presently, however, they aren't completely helping, and may be making things worse.


Jill said...

Are you certain this anger/irritability isn't due to PMS or ovulating or anything with your cycle? I only ask because when irrational anger is a big PMS symptom for me. I know to check the calendar when I feel my hands tightening around my husband's throat.:) Just something to think about.

Laura N said...

that's a good question, Jill. It feels different from my usual PMS. I'm often sluggish and irritable, but don't have this intense angry vibrating feeling.

I am supposed to start this weekend. PMS for me doesn't usu show up until 3 or 4 days before, which would be about now, and this started this past weekend. but maybe it's getting worse. who knows? I hate stupid unpredictable hormones.

I feel a little better after writing about it. I talked to my sponsor this morning and another OA member last night. It was bad last night. And I just wanted to eat my way through it (didn't but had a strong urge to).

Here's what happened last night:
I was planning to go running while kids were in acting classes. I go during Luke's class from 4-5. I have to leave work at 3:30 to pick up the kids. I went into Mark's office around 3:23 (yes, I'm anal with time) to tell him I was leaving. I was planning to change into my running clothes quickly then leave.

He asked if I'd foam roller his hamstrings. We've been doing this regularly and it is helping his back a lot. I hate his back pain and I want to help when I can. I asked why he didn't ask me sooner--he just didn't have time, he said. I didn't tell him I needed the time to change so I could go running. Instead I worked on his legs. And I was resentful and irritated. And felt like a martyr.

Could I have said no? Yes, but then I'd probably have upset him and I'd feel guilty. Tuesday is his long night--he has a men's group meeting after work--and he doesn't get home until 9. He'd have been in more pain if I hadn't done this for him.

I let those stupid 10 minutes derail me and take the wind out of my sails. I could have changed at the acting studio. I have done that many times. Instead I let my anger bog me down and I made the choice to sit on the couch and listen to a book (playaways from the library rock) instead of running.

Then I was mad at myself.

Then I wanted to eat the whole world. Like I said, I called an OA member and she talked me down. I gave Luke a bath, then I sat outside on the deck and listened to my book some more. 30 minutes of fresh air and setting sun helped. I took my sleep med at 8 so I was in bed at 9:30. Didn't eat through it, so that's a victory at least.

My therapy appt is next week. I need it.

Vickie said...

What (other) stretches or exercises or positional things does he do for his back all during the day?

Laura N said...

He has PT exercises he's supposed to do. He's hit or miss with them. He's not a proactive person.

He does have a good office chair, which has made a huge difference since he started using it late last year. And he sits on a foam donut everywhere he goes. Even took it with us to Colorado and he used it on the plane and in the car (lifesaver for him).

I have told him many times that his diet will affect his back pain. Inflammation from salty foods is bad for his back pain. He doesn't really believe me. and maybe I'm wrong. But I notice cause & effect, and I have seen his back pain go from ok to worse after he's eaten a big salty fast food meal. He's cleaned up his diet a lot in the past year, but he still has binges of crap food several times a month. Nothing I can manage or control. I've let it go.

What I'm doing after Tuesday's issue is going to him proactively, with plenty of time, and asking if he wants me to work on his legs. I also told him this morning we should work them 3 times a day--2x's at work and 1x at night. We'll see if he will comply.

Vickie said...

Very good idea (3times a day).

It is hard for me to understand choosing to have back pain, because the pain is TERRIBLE. I do what I have to do to have -0- pain every day.