Depressed? Or just an irritable, impatient mom?

Some mornings I wake up and I just really, really want to take a pill.

This morning was one of those mornings.

My eyes opened and I knew, I just knew, I was going to have a bad day.

And on mornings like this morning I wonder why I stopped taking antidepressants in the first place. But I also wonder if I’m just an irritable bitch who needs to get a grip.

Here’s the backstory…

Early in the summer, my depression seemed to lightening. I really wanted to see what JD sans meds was like. So under my doctor’s guidance, I gradually stopped taking antidepressants just over two months ago.

The first weeks completely off the SSRIs were really good. I felt so clear-headed and happy and normal.

But I’ve noticed since then that the lightness that I first felt when going off the antidepressants has been hard to attain again.

Anger, frustration, anxiety, and irritability started creeping back in pretty quickly. It’s been subtle, but it’s been there. I seem not as able to manage run-of-the-mill annoyances and frustrations. I get too irritated, too fast. Worse, some terrible, awful bad days have been occurring here and there, and these days are just truly dreadful.

So as a result I’ve been wondering: Do I still need antidepressants? Would I be better off?

But I’ve also been wondering: Am I looking for the easy way out? Had I actually been on antidepressants for so long that I no longer know how to cope with negative emotions?

I don’t know the answer. Honestly. I’m baffled.

What I do know is that my “bad days” aren’t an average person’s bad day. My bad days mean I am unreasonably irritable. Snapping at the kids. Being a mean person. Super anxious. Unable to concentrate. Not myself.

Those are the days when I want to take a pill. Reach over to my untouched stash of Lexapro and Ativan and take something to make everything better.

I have been fighting that urge. And it’s not because I am anti-SSRIs. Believe me, I am a big fan of antidepressants. Being able to take Zoloft when I had postpartum depression was an amazing thing. It made me feel normal again. It saved me.

But this urge to take a pill to make everything better doesn’t seem good. It doesn’t sit right with me. So I don’t.

Then there’s the underlying anxiety and irritability. I feel it almost all the time. But it’s mild. And honestly, I wonder if I feel that way simply because I’m an impatient, irritable person who needs to learn some coping mechanisms.

That doesn’t sound like me, though. At least, that doesn’t sound like me pre-PPD. Maybe my brain got rewired and that’s who I am now. Oh, that thought makes me shudder.

Because I hate the thought that that bastard, depression, may have changed the core of who I am. Is that possible? God, I hope not.

So here’s what I’m wondering…

If I kept having bad days over and over, that would tell me I might need meds again. But what’s really odd to me is that my bad days aren’t a consistent thing. Not even once a week. So is a bad day once every 10 days or so a reason to get back on the meds?

What about not being able to manage everyday annoyances and irritations? Is that a reason to take antidepressants?

I sure did handle life better on SSRIs. But the idea that maybe I just don’t know how to deal with negative emotions after being medicated for so long … well, that haunts me.

What’s the answer?

I don’t know.

Do you?

photo credit: Martina Rathgens via photopin cc









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