As anyone with a “mood disorder” knows far too well, medications can be difficult. I think even most doctors will agree that it’s a lot of trial and error – and when you’re talking about your mental health, “error” is not what you want. I started on Prozac when I was 20, almost 17 years ago. Since then, I’ve had a series of medications regiments that worked somewhat – I was so used to being depressed, that I didn’t realize I had only gone from severely depressed to mildly depressed – for the next 14 years. Finally, after a pretty major breakdown which involved an emergency room visit and an outpatient program, I got put on a medication which actually brought me up to not being depressed – a whole new level for me.
After 3 1/2 years of being pretty stable, my doctor and I decided it was time to address the fact that one of the medications might be giving me some anxiety. I tapered this medication down very,very slowly, and was fine, mood-wise, so I even allowed myself to think for a minute that maybe one day I could be medication-free! (probably not going to happen). Although I was not depressed, I started having more trouble sleeping, so we decided to re-introduce that one slowly. Frustrating, but it made sense.
Well, even though I’m on THE EXACT SAME COMBINATION as I was a year ago, it’s not working well. I’m anxious and I’m crying easily and feeling sad and lonely. I suppose some of it could be external but it coincides perfectly with putting that one medication back in. It’s known to have anxiety as a side effect, so that makes sense, except that was on it before! And I suppose the depression could have followed from the anxiety. Or my body chemistry could have changed. I don’t know but it is frustrating and discouraging. And I am really not wanting to do trial and error again.
This also freaks me out because even one day of anxiety/depression can catapult me right back into what it feels like to be in the pit of despair, not able to get out of bed and not able to see any hope in anything. I’m not even close to that but these little pills might be all that’s standing between me and that situation and that is truly terrifying.