various and sundry

[+] Eugene at Paradoxy linked this personality test thingy, whereupon I found out that I am a Reserved Inventor. w00t.

[+] According to my pencilling professor, I need to work on my drawing skills. According to my painting professor, Professor #1's out of his mind and I need to show him the stuff I did for painting class. Who should I believe, I wonder?

Frankly it probably has a lot to do with the way the projects for each class worked. For the pencilling class it was all pencil and ink work with pretty straightforward project mandates. Do this, this way, in two weeks. With the painting projects I felt like I had more creative agency; I was working with paint and color and mixed media and all sorts of new and interesting things, and my technical skill wasn't as important as my ability to get the story across. I enjoyed the projects more because I was more interested in them, and thus, they tended not to suck as much as the boilerplate just-meet-the-critera-dammit stuff I turned in for pencilling.

[+] Spring quarter classes start tomorrow. Oddly, this is the second quarter I've been at AIUA that I've had all female teachers. Given that I'm majoring in a department with only one female teacher, it's sort of impressive.

[+] I have made a promise to myself that I will NOT crush madly on one of my classmates. I mostly expect to break this within two weeks, maximum, because it's sort of a stupid promise to make anyway. After all, if I had any control in the matter it wouldn't be a problem in the first place.

[+] I talked about my meds with my shrink at my last appointment, and told him about a growing suspicion I had that they were flattening my creative drive.

Lexapro (and SSRIs in general) have a really short half-life; it doesn't remain in your system for more than about twenty-six hours or so. I'd noticed before that if I accidentally missed a dose, I would crash into a sobby depressed puddle approximately a day and a half later.

I'd also noticed over the past quarter that I did my best work after about one a.m. through about eight in the morning. I pulled seven allnighters because I couldn't get the work done any other time, and then just slept during the day between classes. If I tried working during the day, I just couldn't find the motivation to get the creative work done. This is relevant because I also take my pill at night, usually before I sleep, so I don't have to deal with it making me nauseous. So in other words, one a.m. was just about when the Lexapro was beginning to fade from my system.

Based on just my knowledge of my own mental states, I'd figured that Lexapro does, in fact, cushion my depressive lows, but on the flip side it also damps my natural highs. It had an overall numbing effect, which was probably helpful during that initial re-coming-out shit with my parents but isn't quite so beneficial in the long run.

My guess, then, is that the Lexapro was interfering with all the complex motivations and emotions that go into my creative state. I need to be able to feel my own emotions to be able to work effectively.

So the compromise now is that I'm on a half dose of the Lexapro for a trial run, to see if the effect is ameliorated, and if it seems to be lingering on, perhaps a switch to yet another antidepressant. I'd thought about Wellbutrin, since I know a couple of creative-type friends that have had decent experiences with it, but since I also have a particular insomniac disorder and one of bupropion's main side effects is insomnia, that might have to be defaulted. The doctor suggested Effexor or Cymbalta as possible replacements; I still need to do my research on those.

So far, on just a few day's lowered dose, I've noticed a greater variation in my moods. Granted, it's not necessarily the best time to measure the effect since I'm also on my period at the moment, so chemicals are swirling about madly at any rate. I have been drawing more lately, and feeling more creative, but I think it's too early to tell whether it's wishful thinking or not.

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thus saith Liadan at 12:47 AM


Blogger Jay saith at 3/27/2006 4:29 AM...  

I was on quite large doses of Effexor, and wasn't a fan of it -- if I missed a dose I was left dizzy and incredibly tired. It also seemed to have more side effects than benefits. But hey, I'm not normal, so it might work completely different for you -- if you even try it.

Good luck just the same, know we're out here rooting for you.

Blogger Brucker saith at 4/26/2006 8:47 PM...  

Wellbutrin and Effexor really screwed me up, but Lexapro seems to be doing pretty well for me. I have noticed that missing a dose of any of the meds I've been on causes a whole slew of nasty effects in about a day and a half later.

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