A Note from the Trenches

I mentioned in the last couple of blog posts that I’ve been struggling with a round of depression, but also that I’ve been doing what I need to do to take care of myself.

So far, things are looking really good for me again.

I don’t want to beat a dead horse… But at the same time, I’d like to share something that has really helped me.  I wish someone had suggested this to me sooner, but I think it’s something that tends to slip under the radar.

I’m talking about magnesium deficiency.

Guess what are among the symptoms of magnesium deficiency?

Depression, weakness, poor memory, fatigue, anxiety, insomnia…

Pretty much every symptom that I was attributing to depression can be caused by a magnesium deficiency.  Someone suggested that I try it to help with my sleep issues, so I did some research on the best brand (you can’t always trust just any supplement), and started taking it twice a day.

That was three days ago, and it’s impossible to describe how much better I feel already.

Before I get called out as some sort of a health nut…  Let me just say that normally I don’t trust solutions that involve taking supplements. My experience is that they’re usually very expensive sugar pills that don’t do much except stress your liver and kidneys.

But in this case, the argument was fairly convincing and the short-term consequences of an overdose were within acceptable parameters. And since I’ve struggled to find a solution to these issues my whole life, I decided it couldn’t hurt.

Imagine my surprise when a host of other physical symptoms started to fade…  Symptoms I had attributed to aging, quirks of genetics, or even just a normal consequence of having a human body.  Some of these are things I had even tried to seek medical treatment for, only to have the doctor gaslight me out of their office.

So in the interest of helping anyone who might be in the same situation, I’d like to share some of the physical symptoms that have started going away since I started taking a magnesium supplement:

  • Eye twitches
  • Various muscle twitches (particularly in the legs)
  • An asthma-like tightness in my chest
  • Occasional heart weirdness (random heart racing, or a palpitation that feels like fluttering in my chest)
  • Dizziness (especially after standing up suddenly)
  • General neurological and muscular “weirdness” similar to the way restless leg syndrome is described.
  • Muscles spasms and stiffness in my shoulders and back.

That being said, my deficiency must have been pretty low-level.  It wouldn’t have killed me, but it has definitely been affecting my quality of life, probably for most of my life.

And the thing is, this is not something that doctors routinely check for unless you have really serious heart or kidney symptoms.  In fact, I’m 99% sure they never checked my magnesium levels, even when I was getting checked out for a heart murmur.

But even if they do check your magnesium levels, the test they use frequently comes back with false negatives.  (i.e., the test comes back normal, even though you have a deficiency.)

So if you’ve struggled like I have, and have weird muscular symptoms…  You might want to consider picking up a bottle of a high-quality magnesium supplement (do your research, because they aren’t all created equal).

The worst thing that can happen if you don’t need it? It acts as a laxative, so at least you’ll know.  😛

 

NOTE: I am not a doctor.  Yes, this article reads as ‘medical advice’ but please be aware that I don’t have any kind of degree in either medicine or psychiatry.  I’m just describing my own experiences.  If you are having serious physical symptoms, especially if they involve the heart, please see a doctor! 

And if you’re having a mental health crisis, here are some resources that may be able to guide you toward help:

Texas Mental Health Crisis Hotlines: https://www.dshs.texas.gov/mhsa-crisishotline/

National Alliance on Mental Illness Helpline: http://www.nami.org/Find-Support/NAMI-HelpLine

Support Groups Central (online, real-time support groups): http://www.supportgroupscentral.com/index.cfm

Pushing back Black Magic

Okay, okay.  So this is kind of a “no, duh” sort of thing, since it’s December 23…  But I’m officially pushing back Black Magic to spring 2017.

Things have started looking up for me since my last post.  One very important step that I’ve taken has been to get off of social media.  I know it’s supposed to be important for aspiring authors and everything… but it doesn’t help your career if it contributes to your depression and anxiety the way it does mine.  🙂

So I’ll still check in Facebook now and then, and I’m still checking FB Messenger so that people can message me directly… but please don’t be offended if I miss something you post in your feed, or even on my wall.  I’m just doing what I need to do to take care of myself.

Anyway, I’ve noticed a significant improvement in my motivation and general outlook since removing myself from social media, and I think I’m ready to get back to work on Black Magic.  So I’m resetting my unofficial “goal” for March, and we’ll see what happens.

Happy holidays to everyone, wherever you are!  🙂