Today an experiment begins. Though it’s still summer, I’m going back up an extra 20 MG on the Prozac. The goal: Avoid the deep slide into depression that usually comes just in time for the Christmas season.
Mood music: “She Rides” by Danzig:
I was at 60 MG for the winter and most of the spring, but dialed it back to 40 in May. The reason I’m going back up, though I feel fine, is because August is when the days start to get noticeably shorter.The therapist believes upping the dose now will prevent a repeat of the usual blue moods that hit me when the sunlight becomes more scarce.
It’s interesting that this experiment would begin on Aug. 2. Twenty years ago today, Iraq invaded Kuwait, and all the talk about Saddam Hussein being a new Hitler threw me into a deep, fear-induced depression that August. Back then my OCD always manifested itself in a fear of current events. In fact, it was only about four years ago when that brand of fear eased off.
That summer was actually the closest I came to suicidal thoughts. Ironically, it was Sean Marley — a man who would take his own life six years later — who talked me back to a certain level of sanity.
Most recently, in 2005, I had a long panic streak over the bird flu in Asia, which was predicted to be the next great pandemic, as deadly as the one in 1918-19. I would read every magazine and every website tracking all these world events as if my personal safety depended on it. If a hurricane was spinning in the Atlantic, I would watch with deepening worry as it edged closer to the U.S.
If it goes well, I may actually have a Christmas season I can enjoy, instead of walking around alternating between haze and craze.
The trick, meantime, is to avoid the short-term mood swings that go with a dosage change.