Anxiety, Depression, and meds … Oh My!
Anxiety, Depression, and meds … Oh My!
I’ve been thinking about this post for a long time. Not sure how to write it or how it’ll go over. But on the off-chance it helps even one person for one minute….here goes…
I have anxiety and depression issues. I take medication so I can function. I see a therapist.
I see this as a weakness. I hate it. I hate every second of it.
I know I’m wrong. It’s not a weakness. It’s not a fault. It’s like taking medicine for cholesterol or blood pressure.
Logically I understand the brain chemistry behind my issue. Emotionally….that’s different. When some people find out you take meds they recommend exercise, talk therapy, a walk in the park, or simply tell you to suck it up.
Ummmm…think I didn’t try all of this for years!?!?!
Because of the job and clearance level I had I never sought help for the postpartum depression I suffered from when my Eldest Spawn was born. 18 months of hell. It should have been one of the happiest times of my life. Instead I spent hours each day crying. Checked on him up to and sometimes more than 20 times a night to make sure he was still breathing. Obsessed over having enough milk for him. Thought about driving my car off the bridge on the way to work and on the way home. I was afraid to seek help….only to find out it’s not an issue if you seek them….only if they come seeking you….(and no, they didn’t.)
Fast forward. I finally started to feel better.
Then I got pregnant again. About a week before Eldest Female Spawn was born I confessed my issues and my terror to my doctor. I couldn’t do 18 months of hell again. He was very nonchalant and said we’ll address it when the baby comes next week. I cried and cried when she was born. Not happy tears. Just tears. And more tears. The doctor at the hospital prescribed some meds for me and told me if I felt “homicidal to call 911.” Okay….really?!
After six weeks it was time for my check up and I was out of the prescribed medicine. I told the doctor I still didn’t feel right. He said “You should be over it by now.” and didn’t refill my prescription. Stopped cold turkey.
Ummmm…the totally wrong thing to do with these types of medicines.
DOWNWARD SPIRAL of EPIC PROPORTIONS.
After about six months I was still a mess. I got into a minor car incident. I bawled – I mean SOBBED UNCONTROLLABLY – for 10 hours straight. Dr. Evil insisted I call a doctor.
I found one who listened. She heard me. She helped me. I started some medications that helped. Slowly. I didn’t feel better over night – or even in a month – but the sun started to peek through into my world again. I started to enjoy my wonderful family. I started to want to be around people and to get out. I loved seeing my babies grow and flourish. The helpful doc moved away ……
Fast forward a year or so. I got pregnant again – total surprise this time. And I miscarried. In the middle of buying this house with two stories. Which doesn’t seem like a big deal until they told me I wasn’t, then was, then wasn’t, then did miscarry over the course of four days. If this child had lived, there was the possibility of major health issues. Was buying a house with three levels a good idea?!
I hit bottom once again. I started seeing someone to talk to. She was not a good therapist for me. She was more concerned about the cracker crumbs my children left in one small corner of her office (which I meticulously picked up) than she was with helping me. She told me I was fine and to get over it.
So once again I tried to just be. And failed.
And got pregnant again!?! This time I had a doctor in a high risk clinic – diabetes for me – all four times so far – lots of insulin shots….. He told me I sounded like I was simply OCD and over medicated. Ummmm….I wasn’t taking any meds. What an idiot.
Baby came. Found a doctor here (new location) who truly listened. She has helped me get on the right meds, the right doses of meds.
Littlest Spawn showed up and I managed the postpartum depression pretty well. I hid it from a lot of people and the few who knew were surprised I’d had any issues the fourth time around……
Fast forward. Dr. Evil getting sick. Dr. Evil getting better. Dr. Evil having no emotional side effects from his illness and near death experiences.
I took care of all that for both of us. I’m still screwed up. And anxious. And nervous. And pissed. And SCARED. ALL THE TIME.
Enter same wonderful doctor. She listened to me. Adjusted meds and helped find the right therapist for me. I hope to reduce or completely stop meds in the upcoming months. But if I can’t…I won’t.
And I’m okay with that. I have to be. I want to love living my life. I understand there are ups and downs. I want those too – you can’t truly be happy until you’ve truly been sad. But the profound sadness I used to live with is not normal. It’s not living. I don’t want to subject those around me to the wild emotions I am capable of when I’m out of control. I don’t want to subject myself to those emotions either. Especially now that I know it’s not a normal thing. I used to wonder what the hell was wrong with me?! Now I know.
So….that’s that. That’s a piece of me I haven’t shared with most people. Some know some of it – few know all of it. Now…it’s out there. Seek help if you need it. There is NO shame in getting help – talk to a friend, loved one, priest, doctor, whatever. Talk to someone – maybe that’s all you’ll need to do if you’re feeling out of control or overwhelmed. But if you’re like me and it was way more than that – it could save your life.
Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-273-8255 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline