Thursday, December 12, 2013

So let's talk anti-depressants.....

I am going to lay it all out there, what this has felt like, what changes I see, what questions I have.....God forbid any family who wants to hire me ever finds this blog! lol

So I am officially off my anti-depressant. Its gone, not a crumb is left in my system so I am flying solo right now. What I am finding is that:
  1. I am not depressed.
  2. I am very emotional
  3. I am scattered
  4. I am forgetful (I always am but its worse....too busy, early onset Alzheimers (all dementia caregivers worry if they are next lol,) menopause, no Prozac?) Take your pick!
  5. I am irritated
Depression is everywhere in my family...generationally. My girl as you know deals with some very deep debilitating depression. Molly has had bouts off and on and recently told me after she makes some other changes in her life, she will probably need to go back on an anti-depressant.

So some of the things that I think about are:

  1. Is all of this emotion just stuff that was held inside and now it gets to come out? Am I purging myself of some of the sorrow that I have hung onto in the name of "letting go?" 
  2. Same with the anger...."someone" left the broom downstairs after sweeping out the dog kennel, so I had to go look for it. I was so irritated and thought awful things like, "Idiot" and "Why are we still married?" (Oops! dead give away) But thats a little extreme! LOL he had just cleaned out the dog kennel for me AND was out snowboarding for the day with little one. I love this man. But at that moment....again, have I always had these feelings but they were masked by that little 20mg of anti-depressant? 
  3. What's real? All of my grace, mercy and compassion seemed to have left me last week. I wondered if working my program has really changed my heart, or again, was it all just masked by my medication? And now the real bitch was coming out! 
  4. This thought has really churned around in my head....what message am I sending my girls? I have always encouraged them to get help if they get hit with a depression. Especially my girl. "Go, take the meds, *we* have a chemical imbalance....its ok to take something that brings it all back together for you." And it is! Totally 100% ok! But for some reason I want to try this. So am I sending the message that really, there is something, just the tiniest bit not ok with needing to be on medication.
  5. Do I really *just* have a little glitch in my brain chemistry and that medication stabilizes it and when I am on my med that is the *real* me? 
I was talking it over with Molly and she said, "I think we just feel *everything* A LOT in our family and its too much! We need some support." That sounds almost humorous, but its really true! 

My dr. knows what I am doing and I told her I just want to know that if I decide that I still need it, I can email you and you will send down a prescription for me. "Yes. Watch the negative thoughts. If they get too be too invasive, call me!" I feel like I am ice skating for the first time....I scoot out away from the rail, and test the ice, see how it goes...but I know the rail is right behind me and I can grab onto it at any minute if I need to.

So the jury is still out...I am trying this. Will some of the negatives calm down and go away? Or do I have more work to do to learn how to "let go" on a deeper level? Or do I just enjoy life more when I am on my meds?

So please...feel free to share your experiences with me. Your insights.
Bless us all as we continue to put one foot in front of the other each day in whatever ways we need to.



mary christine said...

Sending you an e-mail....

mary christine said...

Sending you an e-mail....

mary christine said...

Sending you an e-mail....

notmyboy said...

I saw a big expose on antidepressants awhile ago. The people in the know were saying they are nothing more than placebo except in the most extreme cases...less than %5 or something like that. I think this was on 60 Minutes last year. So who knows if what you are feeling is you off meds you thought were helping you, or you off meds that really were helping you?
I am anti medication. I don't care how depressed I might feel, I'd rather deal with me than a masked version of me. I hate drugs, most especially mind altering drugs.

I hope things even out for you soon. I can imagine you aren't much fun to live with right now. lol

pamsby said...

I too was on anti-depressants for several years. Once I dealt with my issues with a therapist, I felt ready to get off the pills that I felt made me an emotional zombie. It took me several months before I "back to normal" (whatever that is). My emotions very everywhere, but they did level out. Also, my hormone imbalance with pre-menopause coming on strong seemed to enhance everything. So I went to my OBGYN and got on a very low dose patch. Thing are fairly stable now, but I do have that occasional week (lost menstal cycle week) that I get more emotional than others.
I think you might be thinking too much! Give it some time. As long as you are not getting depressed, I think everything will even out in time.
I enjoy reading you blog & Happy Holiday!

SoberMomWrites said...

Hmmmm....lots to think about here.

I can only speak to me. I go through the exact same thing when I try to go off of my meds.

For me - life is just too short to feel that way AT ALL. I also think that the depressions masks the real me and that the medication releases me.

But that's just me.

As to the impression you're giving your girls. I'll relate what the hubs said to me one of the many times I was insisting on trying to get off the meds..."If I were to stop my heart medications what would you do?" "I'd kick your ass!" I said.

He replied, "Why is this any different?"

I had no response.

Now I just feel blessed that the medication exists and that I can be what I consider to be my authentic self all day every day and that I don't have to TRY so hard to be normal. It's just too hard for me and I don't want to waste one precious moment of this life God has given me.

Especially since I let booze suck so much of it out already.

Keep me posted on your progress. This stuff fascinates me! And I love that you have a good therapist/doctor - that is SO important.

Great post!!! I wish it were easier for everyone to speak so freely about this stuff. Thank you for doing that.


Anonymous said...

Hi. I'm one of your Canadian blog readers. I used to be on the antidepressant, Effexor. When I was first diagnosed with depression, I really had trouble admitting/believing that I first was depressed and second, that I couldn't overcome it on my own. (I have atype A personality and always think that if I work extra hard I can overcome any obstacle. I'm 'wonder woman'. The person at work and in my family that is looked up to and seen as having all her ducks in a row etc,) Looking back now I can see that I was probably depressed for years before I was actually diagnosed! Possibly even experienced Post party depression for several years....but again...I had to maintain my wonderful Wonder Woman/can cope with anything mom role. I remember having several dr visits with my doctor, going through "are you depressed" checklists and scoring 8 or 9 out of 10 every time. I kept refusing to admit I was depressed (I didn't want to be mentally ill because of the stigma I believed went along with the label.) I also wouldn't even entertain the idea of going on antidepressants! I hate any type of meds. Finally during one appointment where I was crying and trying to figure out why I was feeling so awful my dr said to me, "If you we're diagnosed as a diabetic, would you deny yourself the drugs that would help you to feel better?" It was that question that helped me to make the decision to start taking an antidepressant. Why do we often treat a mental illness that often has a chemical imbalance at its root differently than a physical condition? I was on antidepressants for 4 years and did manage to get off of them( a process that wasn't easy to do because I had physical withdrawal symptoms.) I am lucky that right now I am coping mentally. What I learned was that it is okay to take what you need to maintain your mental or physical health. Life is too short to feel unwell.
I truly enjoy your blogs nod often send my prayers to your daughter and your family.
Shelley in SK

Anonymous said...

I had the "medicine is bad and means I'm weak" thoughts my whole life. There was no way I was going to take anti-depressants....until I had such a bad depression that I couldn't get out of bed to go to work.I finally went on the meds and the difference was almost immediate. The immediate difference helped me see it for what i now believe it to be--just a low dose of a chemical in my brain. It helped me to see that it wasn't anything I did or thought or a weakness that caused the depression-(although I can work on my thoughts too). Still a part of me hates being on them but I can look at it as necessary and be thankful to have them.

Mrs. Dubose said...

I will share some of my thoughts on anti-depressants. I am actually a psychologist, too so I might have some bias. I was put on an AD for a bladder disease and was very ill-informed about the side effects. I did not taper off of it and I had the worst rebound depression ever so I thought I had developed a depression so I went back on them, even though I was never clinically depressed. Years later I did successfully taper off of them but it took a long time to bounce back (about six months.) So, that's the background and these are my thoughts:

If they work and you have little to no side effects, why not? But with that in mind, AD are used to "numb" feelings so when you initially get off of them, you will have heightened emotions that should level off over the next year. A few months of being off of them is not a good time to measure your "baseline" depression. Also, if you are having a very bad wave in the first few months, you can sometimes take the tiniest pinch of an AD, or a breakthough pill, to relieve those withdrawal symptoms. I think that therapy is key to dealing with depression because it is usually your brain's way of telling you something is not right. Talk therapy has proven to be pretty effective. It is imperative to have your Vitamin D level checked as research has uncovered low levels with people who describe themselves as depressed and their symptoms improve as their Vit D levels go up. Fish oil is another thing to consider, and it should be good quality.

It is so complicated and really is a decision for each individual to make with his/her own doctor. I find that there is no medication in the world that will medicate away a stressful life situation as we both have found ourselves in and when life levels out I feel a lot better.

Whichever way you go, many blessings to you! xo