What is Causing My Depression and Low Mood?

Over the past 10 days, I’ve bounced in and out of depression. Instead of having a productive day, I’ll get up, eat breakfast, and then be back in bed within 2 hours. When I attempt to sit down at my computer to work, I feel lethargic, uninterested, and drowsy. Sleep feels better.

The trouble is, I can’t always get to sleep. I end up rolling around in my bed feeling anxious or experiencing unsettling thoughts. Luckily I was able to sleep 2 days last week, and was helpful. Unfortunately, I didn’t keep up with my exercise routine and fell off my work schedule.

When I don’t have a productive day, I get anxious I will not regain the focus to bounce back. Obviously we all need time to rest, but I fear “rest days” will turn into a permanent crutch opposed to a brief time to recharge.

What might be causing my depression and low mood?

1. Meds changes. I am coming off Welbutrin. I had been on 300mg XR for 10 years. My doctor and I decided to reduce it to 150mg XR for a month. Celexa 20mg was added for anxiety and to balance any withdrawal effects. Now 20 days into the meds change, my body should be adjusted to the decreased Welbutrin. It has a half-life of 20 hours, so I thought the most adverse withdrawal effects (if any) would have already passed. Perhaps the addition of Celexa and Welbutrin XR decrease are messing up my head?

2. Physical exhaustion. I started exercising to lose weight 13 months ago, and it worked. I actually completed my first distance race (a 5K) in 11 years a couple weeks ago. I’m never really content with being “somewhat” in shape and have been pushing myself to get stronger. I recently added long runs to my regimen. The early summer heat in Florida has taken me off guard. Last week before I fell into a depression, I finished a 6 mile run on a hot evening, and experienced some symptoms of heat exhaustion (nausea, profuse sweating, goosebumps, and chills). 3 hours later I recall feeling completely drained. I was depressed for the next two days. Maybe I’m exercising beyond my capabilities.

3. Anxiety. This has been alive and well inside me for years. No need to rehash it in another blog. After a while, the mind AND body tires of the “fight or flight” sensations anxiety produces, and depression can result.

4. Stressors. I have a few things going on in life that are stressful and have unknown, potentially highly consequential outcomes. I’m anxious about them. On some days I can focus on the rest of my life, but on others these issues consume me. You can only tolerate so much stress before your body shuts down.

5. BPD thinking. Like anxiety, BPD thought patterns are still prevalent, although I do have increased control over them. Battling these thoughts is tiresome. I wish I could have a few days off to truly mentally relax, but that isn’t always possible. Coping with items #1-4 would be much easier without the BPD wildcard, but it is still something I must tolerate.

During my therapy appointment today, it was suggested I should eliminate factors causing my depression by process of elimination, and then retool myself to balance better moving forward.

This is a rational and deliberate approach to addressing my concerns, but my fear is that taking too much time off will ruin my productivity and get me into bad habits.

To be fair, doing the same thing and expecting the depression to disappear on its own is insanity. 🙂

The frustrating thing with depression is that it happens in the first place. Why can’t I just be tired and need an extra hour of rest? Instead, my whole sense of self and entire day come crashing down.

It is a warning sign that something needs to be fixed, or that energy must be reallocated to more important areas of my life. Hopefully with some additional rest from exercise and relief from anxiety symptoms, I will feel better soon.

3 Replies to “What is Causing My Depression and Low Mood?”

  1. Unfortunately I relate all too well to all of this. It seems like any little thing might cause my mood to plummet… when it does it can seem very difficult to climb out of it.

    1. It’s like falling off a cliff without a life rope. Once you’ve finally landed, you don’t know what to do. Depression is a horrible handicap, and people still do not understand it in this modern day and age.

      Rapid cycling and mood changes are also problematic and challenging. No one knows what it’s like unless they’ve felt it themselves.

  2. Wellbutrin is used for people who are quitting smoking. Side effects are; Insomnia, depression, dizziness, concentration difficulties etc. Are you sure your doctor isn’t a fraud?

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