It sucks, but it’s OK.

So. recently I did something that I didn’t tell anyone about… And last night I realised WHY I didn’t tell anyone about it: Because people would have told me not to do it, and I hate that. Being told not to do things. My theory is that some things you just have to learn for yourself, and if people disagree, well then dig in your heels, and get stubborn, because: see above.

I’m pretty sure my doctor doesn’t agree…But then, she seems to very rarely agree with me when I get to thinking up schemes.

So. Listen up kids, while I tell you all about something that you really shouldn’t try at home. Mostly because the consequences are sucky.

First I’d like to start by saying: I hate that I have to take medication in order to be able to function on a day-to-day basis. I hate it. I loathe that I can’t just be happy without daily medication.

It feels like I have this split, right down my center, and one half is logical, and knows that antidepressants don’t make me any more, or any less than who I am, they simply clear out the crap that hides it all. The other half… the other half is a bit more… emotional about the whole thing, and a lot less tolerant of what it perceives as a failure.

So anyway, a couple of months ago, I start noticing that actually? Life feels good more than it feels bad. I start to wonder about when I can come off medication. Despite knowing that coming off the kind of SSRI I’m on is a LONG SLOW highly thought-out process done with the support of a medical professional, I started to reduce my level.

Or.. More accurately, I got sloppy about when I was taking my meds. I justified it by telling myself that they’re a pretty forgiving medication, so really if I skip one day, it wasn’t going to make a huge difference. Except I wasn’t just skipping one day. I was skipping a couple in a row. Or more than half in a week.

So I wasn’t exactly being smart (or realistic) about it. Then last night I got home and sat there feeling AWFUL. Like. Terrible. Awful, terrible, bad. And I couldn’t figure out why. I mean, yes, this is a busy, scary, stressy time for me, but I was doing so well! Only yeah, not so much. I’m tired, I’m stressy, I’m anxious. I was doing well because of the meds. When I’m not on my full dosage then I’m not doing well.

Long story short, When I figured out that I didn’t want to tell people what I was doing because I knew exactly what they’d say… Well then I realised that I wasn’t ready. I still need my meds. And that sucks. But it’s ok.

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6 thoughts on “It sucks, but it’s OK.

  1. I’m not (yet) on medication myself, so I may have no place weighing in here. But if they make you feel better, why do you want to go off of them? Are there side effects? Or is it the stigma? I really hope you know that it is totally okay to be on medication. No one should have to live each day feeling awful, and if meds help, bless their little pilly hearts.

    My sister is a nurse for a geriatric psychiatrist, so I’ve had many a chat with her about medication. It’s actually really, really common to do what you did. It makes sense that it would be tempting, once your feeling better, to stop the meds. But I guess you learned the suckass hard way what can happen. I hope you’re back to feeling well soon. You deserve to feel happy!

  2. I get this. I was on antidepressants for five and a half years. In my case, I never really felt “good”. I just felt a little less like crap. But like you, I hated HAVING to take pills everyday just to function.

    Finally, I decided not to do it any more. (I’m not suggesting this for you, just telling you my story.) When I made that decision though, like you said, I knew I had to do it gradually. I tapered off the meds over the course of about five months, and because I was doing it so gradually, I didn’t feel any ill effects…

    Maybe you’re ready to get off the meds, and maybe you’re not, but definitely (as you already know) doing it the way you did is not the way. the abrupt change can really screw with your system and have a worse effect. Worse yet, with some meds, if you do this, you can develop a resistance to their effects and then they won’t help anymore.

    Definitely talk to your doctor if you want to stop taking them. Also, if you don’t already have a therapist, you should try to find one. (I know this is easier said then done when your contract is about to run out and you don’t know what your next job is going to be yet.) For me, working on the emotional causes of my depression, went a long way toward making life without meds possible.

    Much to my dismay, I still “have” clinical depression, and sometimes its worse than others, but I don’t feel like I’m in a place that would be improved with pills that come with their own problems. I’ve also been on anti-anxiety pills for a little over a year now. Those i don’t mind nearly so much, although we’re right back at that “needing a pill to function” thing. :-\

    I hope you get back to where you were soon!

  3. If your depression is internal instead of environmental, i.e., chemical imbalance vs job stress, grief, bad luck, then you might check into supplements. Vitamin D defiency can cause depression, and the trace amounts in multi vits aren’t going to cut it. You need about 5000mgs of D3 (not D2) a day. Google natural depression remedies and start those while still taking your meds so they have a chance to work before you attempt to go off for good.
    If it’s environmental, I think therapy is a good choice.

    Whichever it is, I wish you well.

  4. Oh honey, I FEEL YOUR PAIN. I just started my meds about a year ago and although I noticed a definite improvement (as in I no longer wanted to drive the car off a cliff) I noticed that I was barely functional in another way. No energy. As I explained to my doctor, I now had the DESIRE to do things but no damn ENERGY to do them. But overall I felt like the good outweighed the bad.
    Then a few weeks ago, when we lost power with the freak snowstorm and I was so into keeping the kids calm, I forgot to take my meds for 3 days in a row. And couldn’t figure out why I was feeling more agitated, more annoyed, more edgy, more DEPRESSED. Then it hit me – the MEDS!
    So now I’m back on, but for some reason, I don’t feel quite the same ease of mind as I felt before. I don’t know if it’s that they need time to kick in again or what. I also tried skipping a few days, not because I wanted to stop TOTALLY but because I wanted to see if I could exist normally or not. The answer is decidedly NOT.
    Do I want to be on this shit forever? No way. Not sure what the answer is. I second the idea of talking to your doctor. I also remembered that I have anemia, which I have never really been treated for, and that also contributes to low energy, so I’m trying to see if treating that will help. Talk to your doc, add supplements if you have to, but bottom line, do NOT FEEL LIKE A FAILURE FOR NEEDING MEDS. You are doing what you need to do to function and there is nothing wrong with that.
    Stay tuned, honey. We’ll all get through this somehow…

  5. Hey all, You guys are awesome!

    Re the environmental vs internal question… My depression was mostly a reaction to some shitty traumatic and emotionally exhausting stuff. So I had a lot of counselling to help deal with that.

    Mostly at the moment I think it’s a reaction to stressiness… I’ve had lots of blood testing more recently to rule out general health issues, and vitamin deficiencies ect. So… Like they say, sometimes you just feel sad for no real reason!

  6. Thing is (and you know this), depression is an illness. Just like I have to take meds for my epilepsy and sometimes wonder if I can’t just stop taking them because I’m doing so well…both you and I know that we can’t. The meds help us be okay.

    (((hugs))) You tried it and now you know better.

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