Today is day 5 of my Wellbutrin (Buproprion) XL/Deplin cocktail. I suppose it’s too soon to notice a difference in my mood, but I am feeling physical side effects. Some of these side effects are fantastic and I hope they never subside. Others are less tolerable.
The good side effects: I have very little appetite. For anything. I don’t feel like eating (even though I can feel physical hunger). I don’t feel like drinking alcohol. I’m not craving sweets. I spent the past two days at my parents’ house, which was filled with sweets, cookies, pies, and candy. I wasn’t interested in any of it. I did eat a few cookies, before Christmas dinner, despite my mother’s warning that I was going to spoil my appetite. How freaking annoying is it for your mother to tell you, at nearly 50, that you’re going to spoil your dinner by eating cookies? I often want to throttle her. She’s such a meddler. (Irritability: a symptom of depression? Or just a normal reaction to my busybody mother?) Anyway, I told her to mind her own business (actually, I think I said, “shut up”), ate a few cookies, and enjoyed them. And that was that. Back to my appetite: As it turns out, I did not spoil my dinner. (So there, annoying mother.) But still, I wasn’t much interested in all the delicious food I’d cooked, either: turkey and stuffing, garlic mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, roasted Brussels sprouts, and some of the best gravy I’ve ever had (for which my nephew gets credit). It tasted good, but just didn’t hold the same allure as it normally does. I didn’t even do any taste-testing while cooking. (And yet, it all turned out great.) I brought a pumpkin pie. Normally I would have cut a piece and taken it home for later. I didn’t touch it and left the entire pie for my niece to take home. Who is this woman? I adore pumpkin pie. One thing I did bring home: the turkey carcass. (I’m still looking for the motivation today to make soup.) So, lack of appetite: a terrific side effect I’ll take. I hope it never wears off.
The bad side effects include constipation (something I’ve never had trouble with, except when caused by medication), a bit of dry mouth, hot flashes, pounding heart, and insomnia. The dry mouth is no big deal. The hot flashes, on the other hand, were reminiscent of the days and months following my hysterectomy. It happened Christmas Eve, and again Christmas day. I was cooking and it was a little warm, but everyone else said they were comfortable. Even the normal people who (unlike my parents) do not enjoy the house being 85 degrees. It’s always an epic battle with my parents, but I had succeeded this year in getting them to turn the thermostat to 71. I had won the battle by arming myself with a strategic Christmas gift for my father: a heated throw. He sat in his chair, the throw covering him from head to toe, with the temperature on the highest setting. Even with the room cooled to 71 degrees, still, I could not cool off. I stood outside from time to time in the 50 degree drizzle. But when I came back in, after a few minutes, I again could feel the sweat dripping down my back. When my family hugged me goodbye, they probably were a little grossed out by my soggy top. I know I was. On my trip home, I didn’t turn the heat on in the car until I’d been driving for nearly two hours. It was 45 degrees out. Finally I cooled off, and there hasn’t been a repeat today.
The pounding heart, especially whilst lying in bed at night, also a problem. Already I struggle with insomnia, so the insomnia worsening is not good. It’s causing me to stay in bed even longer, trying to make up for the hours I lie there awake in the middle of the night. Today, I didn’t get out of bed until almost 11:00 a.m., despite turning the light out at 10:30 last night. Before all this started, I woke up with the sunrise. As I lie awake last night trying to not worry over the pounding of my heart, I felt acutely aware that the new sheets I bought are scratchy and awful. I don’t know if heightened tactile sensation is a side effect, or if the sheets are really that bad. I’m a firm believer that it does pay to invest in a top-notch set of sheets. I’ve decided you just can’t get a good set of sheets at Bed, Bath & Beyond, no matter how much you spend. Good sheets and a good set of knives are two very important items. Oh, a first-rate coffee maker and freshly roasted beans are important, too. Speaking of, I’ve gone back to drinking my coffee black and enjoying it immensely, rather than adding half and half and honey. I wonder if my need for a sugar jolt in the morning was related to my mood issue. In fact, I’d been craving lots of sugar of late. Odd how the brain behaves when it’s out of kilter. But now, coffee, strong and black, thrills my palate. I wonder if there’s been a shift, already.
Was that whole sheets/coffee digression above a symptom of depression? Inability to focus. Lack of concentration. You’re seeing it here, in real time, folks.
Ah, but still I have my sense of humor. That bodes well. Or do I? Maybe I’ve lost it and I can’t tell. Maybe this entire post is gibberish, and I’ve no idea. Then again, many people suspect that genius and insanity are entwined. Edgar Allen Poe wrote:
Men have called me mad, but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence . . . whether much that is glorious–whether all that is profound–does not spring from disease of thought.
Grandiose delusions? Fodder for a future blog, perhaps.
All things considered, it seems like the Deplin may actually being doing its job. The Deplin website explains some possible side effects but they may be a small trade off for feeling better and starting the road to remission. Best of luck!
Thanks, David. I hope you’re right!