So I’ve been on Prozac for nearly two weeks. The holidays are done. At least Christmas is and we have no plans for New Years Eve. Which is good, after doing a holiday party with cousins and friends on the 21st, then having 21 people over for Christmas Day and then the day after hosting a left over night to eleven people I am spent mentallly.
My husband and his friend were going to Boston for a weekend football trip and I was looking forward to just having us girls home. But plans changed and it was either stay at home with two dogs alone or go and sit in a hotel room in Boston. I chose to get the heck out of the house. I love road trips and I think getting out will get my brain into a relaxed mood. Sitting at home would make me think of all the things that need to be done around the house so a small vacation is what I think I need more before going back to work on the second of January.
But I noticed that coming off the depression has made me a bit slow. I’m foggy feeling and I don’t think the Prozac is doing that. At least it never did before. So I did some research and found out that Scientists have found that depression can in fact damage the brain, and that the hippocampus in particular can actually decrease in size by ten percent after a depressive episode. The hippocampus is responsible for memory and stress functions. It is also part of the limbic system which contains the amygdala.
Together, it is our emotional center. And a loss of memory isn’t just about being forgetful. One scientist explains, “Your whole sense of self depends on continuously understanding who you are in the world – your state of memory is not about just knowing how to do Sudoku or remembering your password – it’s the whole concept we hold of ourselves.”
Interesting right. So this mini vacation is what I need. But what else can I do when I come back. It’s been proven that exercise helps build back the hippocampus and I got a new heavy bag for Christmas.
So when we come back from Boston I am going to have to reconfigure the downstairs room to fit the heavy bag and speed bag. I think would also like to put my yoga mat in there as well. This way I will have my own workout room and a place to meditate. Exercise and meditation are great ways to keep your mind calm. Bipolar is not just about medicine. You need to fix the whole body and mind and spirit. I’ve learned a long time ago that my brain is not friend and meditation helps with that. It’s very hard for me to sit still for meditation; I can only do it for about 5 minute at a clip but I still do it. Or if I have to I listen to meditation music while working or driving. It allows my brain to relax without the harsh pounding of beats and words. Because sometimes that can throw me into a mania phase and that I do not want either.
So this New Year I plan to find a calm and quiet place to meditate at least 5 minutes a day and begin some form of work out. Even if it’s for 15 minutes. You will find your spirit and mind will begin to stay a bit more positive as your build your hippocampus back up.