Friday, August 5, 2011

First week on folic acid

Although it is supposed to take anywhere from a few weeks to four months, I thought I'd weigh in weekly so here's the first installment.

I don't discuss my depression much with my wife because it worries her quite a lot. When she was in her early twenties a boyfriend killed himself and blamed her in his note. She doesn't talk about it much but I'm sure it comes to mind when I bring up my depression. I hate reminding her of such a terrible time. But, I felt I needed to warn her that I was trying a new supplement. Other things that I've tried, most specifically St. John's Wort, initially make all my emotions rawer. It takes a week or two for me to stabilize. I suppose this is because they address the mood directly. Whatever the reason, it's not fun for me and even less fun, I'm sure, to be around me.

"I'm not going to come home one day and find you hanging from the rafters, am I?" she asked.

I told her that's what I'm trying to prevent.

Anyway, the mood shock never came. The up and down swings I was expecting never happened. In fact, I really felt nothing.

Then I noticed two things. First, I'm waking up earlier. Being unable to get out of bed is one of the markers of depression and I've become the king of staying in bed. Some days I don't get out of bed until 9a, one of the dangerous side effects of working at home! But, starting a couple of days after I started FA I've been getting up between 6 and 7, even when I don't get that good of a night's sleep.

Another completely unexpected development has been an increased sex drive. I've never had a problem in this area but for the past week or so I've really not had a problem with it. Odd.

So, that's my folic acid update for week one.

A couple of other things have been going on. Melanie, the blogger who suggest FA to me, and I have been corresponding. She's an interesting person although I think if I knew her in person her enthusiasm would overwhelm me. She blogged about me, focusing on my atheism as much as my depression or this blog. Her emails have come pretty close to witnessing which doesn't really bother me, I just find it a little curious.

I'd never really thought about it but I suppose that there might be a few people out there who would be similarly interested in my atheism and how it does or does not affect my depression. I've been turning a potential blog entry about that over in my head for a few days so look for that.

A couple of other people have also emailed. One is a kid with depression who's headed for college this fall. He wants help and is willing to seek out a pro. But, he's reluctant to tell his mom, which kinda breaks my heart for both him and her. This creates a big obstacle for him since he's on her insurance. I suggested that he look see if there's a Community Counseling Center nearby that might be willing to work with him on payments or he can check with the school nurse when he gets to college.

What a burden to take with you to college, that time when the world is supposed to be bright, shiny and full of possibilities. I really hope he finds a way through. If you want to check out his blog it's here.

Finally, another reader emailed. She is working through depression like the rest of us with the added bonus of a dear friend who actually loved life recently having died. He was healthy, in his early thirties and had a fantastic outlook on life. I didn't know what to offer her except commiseration.

We're a raggedy lot, aren't we?


Ariane said...

As a sufferer of depression, I too have corresponded with Melanie (the blogger who suggested you try the folic acid), and I also share the same faith as Melanie. My belief in God and Jesus Christ has been very instrumental in helping me through my battle with depression and anxiety. I would be interested in knowing what has been most helpful to you as you have struggled with depression. I hope that you will continue to find success in your treatment of depression. Thank you for being willing to share your thoughts and experiences with us.

Melanie said...

ha ha ha...I'm not always so "enthusiastic" but there are a few things I am very passionate about....MTHFR, my faith, and spreading the word that there is HOPE to overcome depression. Just so happens that my blog, and our correspondence, have revolved around those three particular things.

I'm so happy about your first week's success. Waking up, or should I say the lack of ability to get up, (I would feel like my eyes were glued shut and my brain was still sleeping), was one of the first things to disappear as well. Now I just stay in bed because I want to...not because I don't have the ability to get up.

Second...the "drive" you wrote my husbands very most favorite benefits of me taking this supplement. It had been years...I mean, YEARS since I had wanted anything to do with that (and yet we still conceived another child...curious).

I'm so glad your first week went well. I feel even more hopeful that this may be "the thing" you have been looking for.

"good on ya"

Marji said...

I hope my comment isn't too long. I have been experimenting with methylfolate -- for people who can't process folic acid -- for a few months in my battle with insomnia/ brainfog/ fatigue. I thought I'd share a few things I've noticed:

1) If I take folic acid at the same time -- in a B-complex supplement, for example -- it cancels out the effect of the methylfolate, so I take them at least 1.5 hours apart. This might not be an issue for you. 2) I got nowhere until I went up to 8 mg (800 mcg x 10 tablets)/day, and then the brainfog decreased significantly. If you have a problem with high histamine, though, this will be too much for you. 3) Folate works closely with B12, so you might look into that, too.

Good luck to you.

Too Much To Take said...

Hello today I did a search on depression blogs and yours was the first I found. Like Melanie and Ariane I'm a Christian and only just today have realized I am depressed. I am encouraged that there are natural remedies to this terrible thing I'm feeling. Thanks for sharing and I will look into the natural remedies as well as seek counseling to help me feel like my old self. I am very interested to read more here.