Depression update: Wellbutrin

I woke up at 6am last Saturday feeling well rested and ready to rise.

It appeared to be the middle of the night. I woke because I was a little too warm. I thought I was going to turn the heat down and go back to sleep.

Instead, I realized I felt awake and alert and ready to start my day even though it was still quite dark out. I looked at the time and thought, “Oh! Well, I guess I’ll just get up, then.”

It was amazing. Normally I would have felt groggy. I would have laid back down “for just a few minutes,” and would have fallen back asleep for another few hours. This, despite having gone to bed at 10 the night before.

I don’t think I’ve ever woken up earlier than expected on a weekend and gotten up just because, well, why not?

I went into the kitchen and started the coffeemaker. While the coffee brewed, I tackled the pile of unopened mail on the kitchen table.

Undoubtedly, none of this seems like a big deal. I woke up and got out of bed. I got a minor task done while waiting for coffee to brew.

It likely seems very normal.

However, I’m not “normal,” whatever that may mean. I suffer from depression.

That mail on the kitchen table? It’s been sitting there for at least six weeks. Possibly longer.

Sure, it might only take a second to put something away, open a piece of mail, give a counter a quick wipe down. And yet, I’m unable. The very thought causes me to want to cry and crawl into bed. It overwhelms me. So, I continue doing nothing.

And then, quietly, inside my head, I call myself names for having a messy house. Lazy. Slovenly. And so on.

I tell myself to just toughen up and get everything done, to just do better at keeping on top of tasks so they don’t become huge and overwhelming, but I don’t, because the small tasks are just as overwhelming. And then I tell myself I’m weak and pathetic for not being able to conquer doing even just a couple of small tidying-up chores every day. Even just putting something away when I’m done with it, or breaking down a box from Amazon after I’ve emptied it, winds up getting put off until I feel I have the appropriate amount of energy and necessary recovery time.

This has been the case my entire life. I want to get things done and know I’m capable of doing the tasks, and yet I don’t do them.

When I met with my prescriber this week we talked in detail about the inertia that comes with depression. Tasks that might be easy and quick for others are overwhelming to me.

I didn’t tell my prescriber these things about myself. She was casually chatting about the impacts of depression. She wasn’t talking about me, specifically. She didn’t know she was telling me the story of my life. And yet, she absolutely was.

These are some of the traits that cannot be resolved by therapy alone. These are some of the things I hope the medications will help with.

I’ve been on a low dose of Wellbutrin for six weeks. My prescriber and I decided it would be appropriate to increase my dose. Last Friday, I took the larger dose for the first time.

Last Saturday, I woke up at 6am feeling well rested and ready to get up. I tackled a small housekeeping task that had been nagging at me for weeks while the coffee brewed, without noticing what I was doing or thinking much of it.

Is this the impact of the increased Wellbutrin dose? If so, will this impact last?

The alternative is this is some weird fluke and will never happen again, and I’m not a fan of this idea.

All I ask is to not feel constantly exhausted and worn down from basic life activities. I just want to be a normally functioning human being for a while.

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