dimethoxyphenethylamine-dopamine-image-chemistry

The Transformation 15: Chemistry

Context

With respect to the previous post, titled Clockwork Bomb, not much has changed in my daily experiences. However, since then a few events took place that ultimately led to my current idea to seek medical treatment. This marks a switch from my focus on the analysis of my personality to chemical/ biological causes to find explanations for my sadness.

In the following chapters, I report first on the latest events and second on the idea to check myself for chemical roots of my depression.

The Latest

Fast declining moments of happiness

In the midst of January I joined a new band and played at their January gig. Everything was fine – on that evening and the day after. Indeed, my good mood swapped over to the next day – a phenomenon I discovered a second time only a few days later.

But afterwards, it started to shrink, day by day. I begin to think of these experiences as anaesthesias against sadness that, however, work less with each injection. Usually, this is a typical effect of addictions, and perhaps that’s the best description for it. Having said that, “drug” might be the better word, on the other hand I suppose that it could be replaced easily once I received attention and appreciation otherwise.

In my post Findings, written back in October, I mentioned that even with my good times with friends (to be precise: in my talks with them) my feelings don’t last beyond the time together. It seems like that I’m able to please myself with certain activities during their execution, but the void awaits right around the corner.

No home

I suspect further to don’t call any place my home and I have new evidence for it. About two years ago, I sensed a strong malaise every time I went from Cologne to Stuttgart the closer I came to the latter. The opposite effect holds true, too: the closer I reached towards Cologne, the more I felt some sort of belonging.

In these days, the magic seems gone. I became indifferent to the cities I stay and I can’t repatriate. A striking experience just popped up recently: in the past, I often drove with my car under the bridge that connects the main building of the University of Cologne with other faculty buildings. I can’t remember any time in which I wasn’t pleased in at least some manner, independent from good or bad days. It was like a symbol for the progress I made that enlightened my heart.

Until now.

On Monday I became more and more depressed over time. Around noon I experienced the nadir of the day and wanted to cry. During this time, I drove with my car under the aforementioned bridge and felt no change. My well-being was still dominated by my negative thoughts and there wasn’t even a tiny glimpse of positivity which was usually triggered before.

No mental resources for the little things

I fucked up at least two things that wouldn’t have taken more than one minute to execute, but I simply forgot, and that caused troubles.

First, I missed my birthday greeting to a close person although I marked the date in my calendar. I got to know that said person was deeply disappointed of me. While I apologized, both the person and I knew that it can’t undo my deed. While I know why I forgot to care about it, I’m pissed about myself to not take any precautions to avoid it. And it reminds me of a former event with another then-close person that lead to much dispute.

Second, I missed to register myself for the exam which took place on Tuesday. On Friday evening before, I talked to a fellow student about the exam and I got reminded of the mandatory registration. I checked out my chances to find a way to participate anyway, but these were rather low. Afterwards, I decided to apply for the second date of the exam which will take place in April. 

While the former issue doesn’t sound problematic, I noticed that my psyche is influenced strongly by this event. During January, I sensed a latent bad conscience due to the lack of time I spent to prepare myself for it. At the same time, I looked forward to the day once I finished the test and I could remove this brick in my head. Now, it will remain there until April, and in the current background I assume it gives me a headache this time for real.

Solution: Medical Treatment?

The header already suggests the new direction I eventually may head: to try out anti-depressants.

Reasons

With respect to my lay analysis, I suggest to run low on either dopamine or serotonin. Low levels of these neurotransmitters can cause several mental troubles, including depression.

My new focus is based on my assumption that not my personal issues, but something else brings me to my knees. The conclusion of my analysis from the last months is that my shortcoming shouldn’t play a role in my daily life – at least if they’re not triggered in some manner. And I didn’t realize any potential triggers that could have caused my resentment these days.

On the other hand, there exist many deficits that can cause depression. To name a few:

  • My diet might be unbalanced or unhealthy
  • Perhaps I should work out more
  • Maybe I don’t get enough sleep (although I think that’s not the case)
  • I have troubles to chill and calm down (this could be true)

I assume to have improved all of these aspects, only the last point is an area still needing major improvement. Other things that I didn’t think of can be a major driver, too.

Especially in the last year I tried out several things, but more in a trial and error than in a systematic way. For now, I want an immediate solution for the symptoms, which could be the low levels of the aforementioned neurotransmitters.

The next steps

I want to contact my private therapist as soon as possible to talk about this new direction I think of. Apart from that, I still want to find out what causes my depression – and if depression is even the right term for it. Because, at the end, despite all my efforts of the previous year to confront myself and my personal progress in many fields, e. g. on the social and career dimension, I’m more sad then I’ve been a year ago. I can’t find any plausible explanation.

Sources

Featured Image – Dopamine 3D Ball, by Jynto [CC0], from Wikimedia Commons

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