To track my overall mood each day, I use the excellent Pixels app by Teo Vogel, available on the Google Play store. I find it’s helpful in identifying patterns and triggers with my mental health and depression.
- NOTE 1: Tiredness is a big component of low mood for me. During periods where I manage my energy levels better (via sleep, diet and exercise), my mood often seems to improve.
- NOTE 2: When I have sugar binges, it tends to have a severe negative effect on my mood for around 24-48 hours. It feels almost like an alcohol hangover.
- In June and early July, my depression seemed to be getting worse. I was getting more low days and the severity of the low moods was increasing. My doctor agreed to increase my dose of SSRI anti-depressant medication.
- By the end of July and early August, I seemed to be experiencing an improvement in depression symptoms.
- On 13th Aug, I took a huge dose of DXM.
- During the 14th and 15th, I alternated between feeling really good, to feeling really low. Overall, the DXM experience so far had been very positive. But I felt very guilty about my drug use and on the 15th I confessed to my wife and decided I needed to get help for my drug problems.
- From the 16th Aug onwards, I experienced almost 3 weeks of continuous good or very good moods. This is rare for me. However, my sleep was severely disrupted. The subsequent tiredness was almost the only subjectively negative component of the experience.
- During this time, the psychosis symptoms peaked around 18th-22nd Aug and then gradually tapered off over the following 2 weeks.
- On 23rd Aug, I underwent an in-depth mental health assessment and received a provisional diagnosis of drug-induced psychosis. I wasn’t upset by the diagnosis and felt it was largely a semantic distinction for describing my experiences.
- By 31st Aug, I felt that I was more or less back to my usual self, though I still retained some useful “super powers”.
- The lower mood on 5th and 6th Sept were caused almost entirely by a sugar binge and its hangover after-effects.
- During 10th-12th Sept, I was feeling quite down mainly due to some very upsetting problems with certain friends. But on top of that, I had been excessively consuming sugar on the evenings of the 9th and 10th. These sugar binges lowered my mood on subsequent days due to the sugar hangovers.
- Today, 17th Sept, I feel very low / depressed and just want to go back to bed. It’s worth noting I had a big sugar binge last night.
My fear is that my depression will return. I’m worried my SSRI meds will gradually become less effective – this has been the case repeatedly over the years I’ve been taking them.
Clearly, I can reduce the risk of depression by carefully managing my diet, sleep and exercise. Unfortunately, when my mood starts to dip, I find it really hard to maintain these good practices.
I’m feeling sad that I’m unlikely to experience a 3 week mood high again for a long time… unless I use drugs… which I’m trying not to do.