Life on antidepressants written by: padhia
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DOING HARD TIME ON ANTIDEPRESSANTS…

…is easy to sum up using one word: hell. I gave it a fair chance. I believed in it so wholeheartedly that I lied to myself when I would start to slip. I would have given anything to believe the meds were working, and then invariably I would always find myself alone, curled up in a tight tight knot, secretly facing the truth and praying for death. I think 10.5 years is enough to determine if something is going to work or not. It was like The Emperor’s New Clothes. I was so caught up in believing these people understood what was best for me, believing this was my only hope, believing this would make me better. Once day I realized I had not moved one step towards where I had always believed in my heart I could go, in over a decade.

For now, I will skip the horrible & long part of the story about the dozen or more meds I tried over the years and what I went through to find one or two that sort of worked for short periods of time. I will skip all the side effects, what it was like to finally face that a particular medication wasn’t working, trying new ones and adjusting to all their side effects while waiting to see if they were going to work or not (hating & blaming myself when they didn’t), being prescribed combinations of drugs, higher, higher, and higher dosages, etc.

Somewhere in the middle of all of that, I was prescribed Zoloft and I felt a new lift in the depression. I have to tell you that this “lift” was quite different than I feel now that depression has truly lifted. It was a “too-medicated, something-is-not-quite-right, but-it’s-better, so-I’ll-take-it” kind of lift. This lift was temporary, and in the years that followed, I had to increase my dosage at least 3 times, to the max and then followed the same course with Cybalta.

I lived in constant battle with “secret” ups & downs, was seriously suicidal, had increased anxiety that was so heightened it became unbearable ( guess what- more meds). I always felt “too this or too that”. Too tired, too hyper, too depressed , too anxious, etc. My mind would race, I would constantly obsess over things that were painful. A lot of obsessive behaviors that I had never really exhibited before began popping up, as I just felt the need to have control over something. I began self medicating. I had to drink coffee to wake up and kick start my brain, and then this caused too much anxiety, so I would have to take a Xanax, Ativan or Clonepin. Then I would get too tired again and end up having no choice but to do it all over again. By the end of the day I was fiending for alcohol so badly, simply because my nerves were shot. Of course by bedtime I couldn’t sleep, so I would take Ambien and eventually doze off in time to do it all again the next day. My body was made of concrete, the thought of walking up the stairs overwhelmed me. The terrible constipation over the years led to bad acne. If I didn’t take my meds immediately when I woke up the it was really going to be a bad day. I would have headaches, sometimes migraines, nausea, and brain zaps.

Over the years I lost all desire for companionship and the desire to do anything that was fun. There were many times that I thought about the fact that there was nothing that I could imagine that would have been fun. It was all too much effort and took too much out of me. Life was not about enjoying the ride. It was about getting off of it. I would often find myself crying in pain I couldn’t quite define. I wanted nothing to do with people, my anxiety increased ten-fold if I had to be around them. I enjoyed nothing and felt that this was logical, after all, I suffered from depression. I buried myself in all kinds of counter-productive work so that I could hide from how horrible I felt, and the fact that I didn’t have a clue of what to do about it. It was like a demented carnival ride that went around and around and around. I am happy to be off that ride, because I could no longer live going around in circles knowing the bottom could fall out at any time.

The antidepressants “lifted” me to the point of being functional, but never any better. Over time, I got worse and worse. I couldn’t see this at the time, but now I can clearly see that I had lost the ability to grow and change. I had no ability to evaluate myself. I was stagnant, if not deteriorating. I was dying a slow and painful death. There is absoultely no doubt in my mind that if I had continued on this path, I would not be here right now. I would be dead.

If you don’t like what’s growing in your garden, plant different seeds.

The Balto Bunny Community is a place to Process. Check out this discussion going on right now in the Triumph forum: 100% love (1 posts - last post 2 years, 10 months ago)

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