As the reader knows, I’ve had a persistent bout of winter depression. Not the “I’m sad and want to hurt myself” type, but the ho-hum, grumpy old man variety.
This afternoon I visited the nurse who manages my Prozac intake and walked out with a new drug: Wellbutrin.
I’ll be taking it in addition to the 60 MG of Prozac I’ve been taking for a few years now. The Prozac increases the amount of serotonin, a natural substance in the brain that helps maintain mental balance. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter, a substance that helps transmit messages from one nerve cell to another. In other words, it keeps traffic in the brain moving normally.
It has served me well, but this winter the blue moods have been tougher to shake. Enter the Wellbutrin, a drug used to treat major depression and seasonal affective disorder. It’s also used to help people quit smoking because it squashes cravings.
While the Prozac raises Serotonin levels, Wellbutrin shores up another neurotransmitter called Dopamine.
If this all sounds confusing, think of the brain as a car engine. To run properly, the engine needs the right amount of fluids, including brake fluid, transmission fluid and oil. Run low on any one of these and you got problems.
I just started taking the Wellbutrin this afternoon. I’ll let you know how it goes.