Wednesday, February 2, 2011

I'm Sad and Have A Broken Head

This is about brain injury and depression. I'm seeing quite a few posts on this. I'll talk about it as a psychologist who had a stroke, which is a completely different view. I'll use the word "stroke" as this is where the research is done, but this may have to do with funding. Other brain injuries have feelings, too, and are probably the same.

There are some things you can do for mild depression that don't require medication. You can get plenty of exercise. Get a good, balanced diet. (This isn't under or over-eating. The foods you eat should vary across the food groups. Get all of your nutrition/vitamins. Watch out for empty calories such as candy-which gives a sugar high-we never hear what comes after, but it's the opposite. Get plenty of sun light. (I think it is at least 15 min a day.)
Sometimes depression is more than mild. Thoughts of suicide is more. For this I recommend medication. Take that medication as prescribed and be strict about the schedule. (Same time every day.) Don't have your doctor just prescribe-usually 2 people are involved, a psychologist and your physician. You may not be seeing the psychologist, but your doctor is consulting with this person. Don't ever just stop taking these pills; usually you have to be weaned. It's okay to stop if you are switching meds and something different is taking it's place. The doctor will let you know if the one you are on requires special weaning.
Now here's the big kicker- stroke has been linked to depression. I'm thinking the area in the brain that naturally releases the necessary chemicals for anxiety and depression doesn't anymore. So, just as other things come back after stroke, this ability may come back also. In the meantime take medication. There's no telling when and if this comes all the way back. How do you feel? You will have to pay attention to this and get feedback from those around you. If "you're a bitch", you may  not be ready. Weaning is where the psych really comes in. It may be decided that you still need meds, but at a lower dose. Don't be discouraged if the weaning process is stopped. Your natural abilities didn't come all the way back. So what?! You had a brain injury and there are other ways you can now take care of this.

I'm not recommending to take or not take. You have to weigh the benefits and risks. Everyone is different. I personally was on, but now am not. It was started when I came out of a coma. I didn't stop it right away, though. I let it do its job, as I had other issues to deal with.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Angela, I Always enjoy and learn from your postings!