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Sunday, March 28, 2010

What is this?

This winter has been a tough one. I'm susceptible to changes in the weather and usually feel something of a seasonal slump, especially since moving to the northern hemisphere, but it's never been quite as bad as it's been this year. I realized this week that this has been going on for about five months. I've had terrible trouble motivating myself to write music, I'm tired all the time, I can sleep at any moment and could easily sleep for more than 12 hours a day (haven't felt this way since I recovered from mono ten years ago), I'm negative about and/or indifferent to things I used to love, and I find hours of my day disappearing with nothing whatsoever accomplished. I feel like I'm losing my mind as well as my brain. It's frightening.

In the past couple of days, I've finally decided to really look at what the hell is going on with me, physically and mentally, rather than just ignoring my odd symptoms and hoping I'll snap out of it. What's happening is not normal for me at all. There's no particular "trigger" I can point to and blame - life is good, except that I feel like crap. The few times I've tried to discuss it with people, they assure me I'm just going through a slump or perhaps aging ("You're nearly 30; you're supposed to have less energy."), and that it's perfectly normal or natural, but it feels endless and extremely out of character. The physical symptoms are similarly very new to me. In the past year or so, my skin has become uncharacteristically dry and parts of my scalp have been taken over by psoriasis. My hair has become brittle and dull, even though I haven't done anything damaging to it and have tried several shampoos and conditioners -- to compare, I bleached my hair white blonde and dyed it blue for two years in my early twenties, and it was in better condition than it's in now. I often wake up with one or both of my eyes feeling puffy and my vision slightly blurred. I get headaches frequently, especially when I do any kind of physical activity. Sometimes I've had deep pain in my thighs which feels like it's coming from my bones. I've always been a bit of a fish, but now I'm constantly cold and always have a heater on in my room, a few inches from my feet, even though Matt complains that my room is stiflingly hot. The only time I'm not cold is when I first wake up in the morning, when for about a minute my heart seems to race and I sweat like crazy.

Anyway, I've picked up a book on depression and I've been reading around online, and all signs seem to point to a possible problem with my thyroid, more specifically, some kind of hypothyroidism. I remember my mother being diagnosed with thyroid problems of some kind years and years ago (at one point, she was convinced she had a thyroid disorder and not bipolar, though I think that's a stretch), but I don't know what ever came of that. I suppose I should try to find a doctor who can test for it effectively, but the literature also seems to suggest that it can be difficult to diagnose, and that normal levels of thyroid hormones can still be present when there is a problem. Still, I'll try.

I just hope that this is actually the problem and that the treatments actually have a noticeable effect, because it's driving me kind of nuts.
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