It’s a very odd thing, to realize that you’ve come out of the depression. You start wondering how it happened. What have you done differently? Will it last? The latter being the biggest question of all.
About a week ago, I was diagnosed with strep throat. Not surprising, since E has brought home every cootie available from preschool, but it was pretty bad for a couple days. The doctor prescribed amoxicillin three times a day at a 500mg dose. I began it immediately, and within two days started feeling better physically. Then my period started, so I started to feel bad physically again, but in an entirely new way. I felt exhausted…. but… I felt fine mentally. In fact, I could not drum up the sadness if I tried. I’m not sure how many of you reading this have had to fight depression, but it’s not just a mental burden, it actually feels heavy. You can feel it on your shoulders, in your back, in your chest. It’s overpowering in every way…. it drags every inch of you into the abyss.
….but on amoxicillin, it’s gone. I thought I was crazy. I thought it was some sort of weird coincidence. Then I turned to Google, my long-time friend for finding weird information, and there it was. Not only articles about how doctors were studying why this happens, but there were people just like me asking if anyone else had suddenly felt better, after years of suffering, while they were on a round of antibiotics. And there were people who noticed, and they were all just as shocked, happy, and terrified as I am.
From what I’ve gathered, it turns out that antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs can aid in helping depression because “Infection causes localized and body-wide inflammation. Inflammation generates substances called cytokines that have been shown to change how brain cells communicate. In autoimmune diseases, the body’s defense system attacks healthy tissues rather than threatening invaders. It’s possible that in some cases the wayward immune reaction could target brain cells and other nerve cells throughout the body.”
I guess it’s important to note here that five months ago I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, an auto immune disease. That’s right, for those of you who have been following along with me for the past four years, I now have TWO incurable diseases, PCOS and Hashimoto’s. I’d say I’m special, but apparently I have two of the most common diseases on the planet, so I’d say I’m pretty average, but maybe a little on the unlucky side.
Anyway, back to the topic, my brain appears to be 100% better since starting antibiotics, and I’m terrified of what might happen once my course of treatment is over. Now that I’ve stepped back out into the sunshine of a spotless mind, I am so happy to be here. I’m not yelling, or crying, or desperate to be anywhere but where I am. I don’t want to sleep away the day so that I don’t have to face it. This is what it feels like to be myself, and it’s been a very long time since I’ve felt this way. I’m not sure if a full-time treatment of antibiotics is possible, or even if it’s the best idea in the world since I’ve already got a tolerance for antibiotics due to being on them so often growing up. What would happen if I was really sick and really needed antibiotics to work. Would they, if I was taking them daily?
Honestly though, I wonder whether it’d be better to risk it in the long run. It would have to be better than living with demons inside your head? Right?