I'm reading a book right now that discusses the medical arguments between psychologists and psychiatrists over whether or not depression is an illness of the brain or the mind.
Some argue that it's something you treat with medication, making it a brain illness while some argue that it's something you treat in the mind via therapy or behavior modification.
I've always been fascinated with the mind-brain connection even before all of this happened. I almost feel like my own little experiment right now.
The day I started taking medication, I almost felt a calm rush over me. I'm not a scientist, but I'm not gullible either. The chemicals in the medicine didn't work that quickly which has led me to contemplate the idea that my mind feels more at ease knowing I'm doing something about an illness in my body.
Physically, I don't think I've had many side effects. Yesterday I wasn't able to concentrate for a while but that time also coincided with the period in the afternoon where my husband was at an important appointment regarding one of the kids. I've also noticed times where my heart seems to beat louder (or faster) and my hands shake, but then again, they've always done that. Because any 'side effects' could just be coincidences, it's hard to tell if this medication is coursing through my veins.
What I do know, though, is that I feel like "the cloud' is starting to lift.
What's interesting about the cloud lifting is that something that would normally make me sadder -- the fact that Chicago got socked with don't-go-out-in-it snow this weekend -- has had very little effect on my mood.
The doctor said this medicine would probably take a few weeks to kick in, but I'm starting to wonder if my mind is kicking my brain's ass. Or is it just coincidence?
This weekend has also been one with no kids, no plans and nothing really pressing except a few blog posts I need to write. My job is fairly solid and my husband is feeling nearly as content as a clam. Basically, my stressors aren't as...stressful.
Despite the snow on the ground, this weekend has been, in a word, nice.
So I continue to wonder: has my mind has managed to find some peace and contentment and boost my mood or is the medicine I'm taking helping my brain help me readjust?
It's a fascinating question and an interesting experiment to conduct.