Preventing a depression relapse

The winter solstice passed a few days ago and yet barely a sprinkling of rain has been felt here in Adelaide this season. It’s been cold at night, for sure, but the days have been sunny and pleasant. Autumn has dragged out and I think it’s great – Autumn is my favourite season. But this lengthened season has also drawn out my anxiety pertaining a potential relapse.

See, this is my first winter since finding a medication that works for me. I have a strong history of developing severe depressions every single winter for many years now. While I’ve been excited to make it this far through the calendar year without too many symptoms, I fear that true winter has not really begun. What if my prolonged wellness is simply an artefact of the delayed change in seasonal weather?

What’s worse, I’m beginning to develop symptoms of a mild depression. I’m not sleeping much and it’s not restful. I’m morose in the evenings and vivid dreams leave me with an unsettling feeling in the morning. I’m weary before the day even starts and my productivity at work is declining. I’m finding it more difficult to think. Bad choices in my diet habits are creeping in because I’m tired and feel I don’t have the energy to make the right choices right now.

I’ve now made the decision to increase the dose of venlafaxine I’m taking again. It’s still a low dose, but I was definitely doing much better on that dose than I have been weaning off it. Winter is a sensitive time for me, and it’s still only several months since I started started taking venlafaxine anyway. Perhaps I’ve been two ambitious trying to come off of it so soon. In any case, I’ll be staying on this low dose for at least a few months now, and I can use that time to further solidify my new healthier habits.

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