Every night as lay not sleeping (I'm a tried and true insomniac in case you didn't know) ideas swim happily through my mind. Awesome post worthy ideas. But alas the morning arrives and stumble groggily to my feet, fighting to push away sleepiness that feel upon my brain perhaps three or four hours ago if it was a go "good" night and if it was bad night, an hour less prior.
The sleepiness lingers most of the day. When I teach I successfully push it aside only to succumb to it when I have a break. I dare not take naps because if I fall a sleep my body will want SLEEP, the kind that is so rare to warrant remembering the way most people remember special moments of their life: when they meant their spouse, their first time, their wedding night, the birth of a child... because when you don't sleep, the rare moments you do take on special meaning.
The day the follows such an event is always a good day because I have energy. There is a tendency to attribute insomnia to depression. But to me that's a which came first, the chicken or the egg question. I am not depressed when I get sleep, but when I don't get sleep my symptoms mirror depression. I once took a writing class with a writer who took Allegra to treat her depression.
Allegra D happens to be excellent for depression because the side effect of 120 milligrams of decongestant is obviously positive. Of course any shrink-- my bachelors is in psychology so... Anyway, any mind doctor will tell you that taking Allegra for depression is bad. Very, very bad. Never mind the efficacy of anti-depressants is like 50/50 over placebo. If it works what does it matter? I'm sure there's a well reasoned reason behind it, but the one that comes to mind, that taking drugs to feel better is addictive behavior. Or some such. Anyway, that argument can be applied to anti-depressants so...
Of more merit however (I'm sure I've mentioned this before) is that anti-depressants affect the histamine receptors in our brains. So do anti-histamines, aka allergy medicine. In fact allergy symptoms mirror depression; depression symptoms mirror allergy symptoms. That there has been zero research into this. My roommate used to say that we will never cure disease because there is no money in it. The real money is in treatment.
Just as the rare moments of sleep stand out to me, so does a moment of clarity about allergies and depression. I was nineteen and lying in the grass of the cattle farm where I boarded my horse, Hershey. The sky was blue and the breeze soft. A murmur of flies, bees, and the rustle of spring leaves filled the air. I felt cleanly dirty and healthy, the way a day spent on the back of a horse often makes me feel. There was stray in my hair. And I could not get up. I needed to get up, to go back to my dorm room and shower but the lethargy that I often felt had taken over. As it happened, I had some allergy medication given to me by a practicing nurse when I had complained of sinus trouble. Why I took it, I don't know. It was plain old Allegra, no D in the equation.
About thirty minutes later my fatigue vanished and I was myself. Perhaps it is this moment why my instructors confessions have lingered with me. I've long wondered since how much of depression is really allergies? And what of insomnia? Depression? Anxiety? Genetic? Other? I don't know.