My apathy is pissing me off. So I guess that’s an improvement.

Pssst – the Honest Voices linkup for bloggers is back! Get the skinny after the post…

ssris and apathyI keep starting this post. Then I erase what I wrote. I walk away. Sit down and try again. And my brain keeps hijacking me.

I feel foggy and tired and unfocused and unmotivated and just plain old apathetic about most stuff. And that makes it really tough to write.

I think it’s this new antidepressant – Luvox – that I’m on. But I’m pretty sure the last couple of SSRIs did this to me too, just not as severely. It’s hard to remember, really. I have to go back to my notes and my old blog posts about depression to remember.

Zoloft, Celexa, Zoloft again. And there has been Prozac and Viibryd and Lexapro and Luvox. One loses its effectiveness so we try another. Another has bad side effects, so let’s try another. On and on and on.

I’m tired of the SSRI merry-go-round and all the side effects. Trying something new, hoping it’ll work better. And then being disappointed. Again.

Now I’m in this weird, fuzzy place. I don’t feel sad or down or depressed, really. It’s not like I want to crawl into bed and avoid everything. I’m still doing everyday, normal things. Playing with my kids, taking them places, doing work and household tasks, and so on.

I just can’t seem to really care about anything that matters. I have a list of to-dos and some get done. Some don’t. Whatever.

Laundry piles up. Dishes pile up. Emails accumulate. Maybe I’ll get to them. Or maybe I’ll just get lost in Facebook or the TV or a magazine or some random task that suddenly becomes important. Or maybe I’ll take a 45-minute shower and not notice how long I took.

And then suddenly the day is over and I realize I wanted to get two specific things done today, and I didn’t. This would have panicked me in the past. Now I just shrug my shoulders and say, “meh.”

In a way, this sounds like a good thing, right? Not worrying so much, just kind of floating along and doing what I can. But it’s a terrible feeling. I don’t feel enough and it’s a terrible, terrible feeling. I know I’m not alone in this because I spent a lot of time last night Googling “SSRIs and apathy” – and I found out this isn’t totally unusual. But no one seems to know how to solve the problem.

What’s odd is if you saw me out and about, you wouldn’t notice how bizarro I’m feeling. I’m pretty good at hiding it. But I bet my good friends could tell if they spent some time with me, because I’m not following conversations very well. I have a sort of numb, drunken feeling that colors everything I do. I can’t focus. I feel drugged. And I HATE IT.

I need to achieve clarity again. I need to feel like ME again. This apathetic feeling is pissing me off! That’s a good thing, right?

So I’m playing phone tag with my doc. Chugging coffee and hoping it’ll clear my head a little. Or avoiding coffee and drinking green smoothies up the wazoo. Just trying something, ANYTHING, to feel normal. I’m trying to force myself to care enough to take charge of my health. Trying to figure out the key to clarity.

I’m wondering if I need to get off all meds and clear out my system. The last time I did that I did okay for a couple months. And then all the sadness and irritability came storming back, so back on the meds I went.

I don’t know what to do. Sometimes meds make me feel worse and then when I go off them, all is well. Sometimes meds are what make me feel like me again.

Right now I need to find that place between feeling too much and feeling too little. That normal place I used to know. Does it exist for me anymore? I think it does. It’s just really hard to find right now. But I’ll get there. I always believe I’ll get there. I have to, right?

Have you dealt with this weird, fuzzy, apathetic feeling from antidepressants? Did a different SSRI fix it? Or did going off antidepressants fix it? What about alternative therapies? Let’s hear your ideas and experiences. I know I’m not the only one looking for answers. Please comment with your thoughts after the linkup for bloggers below.

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It’s back!

Honest Voices linkup at HonestMom.com NEW

 

Hey bloggers! Welcome to Honest Voices, an every-other-week linkup at Honest Mom. I invite you to link up with a post of yours that you’re really proud of. One that shows off your blog’s voice and what it’s all about. Funny or serious, old or new, it doesn’t matter – just as long as your post is HONEST.

TWO SIMPLE RULES:

1) Visit and comment on the blog that linked right before you and one other blog post of your choice.

2) Promote the linkup at least once, but more is better. Tweet it, Facebook it, Pin it, whatever. Just remember – the more people you get to visit the linkup, the more people will discover you!

Now what are you waiting for? Let’s see your posts!

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photo credit: jenny downing via photopin cc

It’s been five years of battling depression. And I’m really, really Tired.

A few weeks after Grace was born in 2008, I was diagnosed with postpartum depression. And now, five years later, I’m still dealing with its effects.

Five years.

I no longer have a baby, but I’m still dealing with the aftermath of an illness that I thought I would have kicked to the curb by now, set out with the trash alongside Gracie’s stained onesies and chewed-up teethers.

But here I am, still battling it.

Soon I have an appointment with a psychiatrist. He’s supposed to be The Best, the guy who can put all the puzzle pieces together and figure out a solution that will help me feel like me again.

I have so much hope for this appointment. I want him to give me the magical weapon that will end this fight, with me as the victor. I want to hear, If you put together x, y, and z, you will feel better. You will feel like you. You will win.

Because I’m just so tired of fighting.

Now before you get worried, I’m not suicidal or anything like that. I like being here. And though depression is still haunting me, I’m still a big fan of life and living and all that good stuff.

It more that I’m in the grips of Depression’s bastard brother: Tired. And it is really doing a number on me.

You see, when you’re treading water because you’re fighting off Depression and Tired joins in, you’re just plain outnumbered. Tired plants its heavy foot upon your head and pushes you down. And you’re just too damn worn out to fight off Tired because you’ve been battling Depression for so long.

Your meds are probably working enough to keep Depression from pulling you way under. But with Tired in the picture, you’re bobbing just under the surface of feeling alive. And you find yourself in this weird place of not drowning in Depression, but feeling pretty crummy–and being Tired enough to not have an ounce of energy to do anything about it.

To-dos pile up. Deadlines pass. Pants get too tight. You get a little stressed and then shrug. Meh. Whatever.

People who don’t understand depression don’t get why people struggling with it can’t just TRY to do something different. Make a change, they say. Just do it, they say, as if a inspirational sneaker slogan can fix everything.

I want to explain about Tired and how it keeps me from doing things I know could help me. But anyone who hasn’t dealt with depression just can’t understand. Because it doesn’t make sense. It sounds like a lazy excuse.

So I don’t try to explain anymore. I nod in agreement with the helpful advice givers. Of course I can get my butt out of bed early three times a week to work out. And not eat my kids’ candy. And go to bed earlier. Because anyone can get fit and feel better if they just want it enough.

And then I go back to apathetically staring at my to-do list and getting nothing done.

That’s why I have so much riding on this doctor appointment. I need him to find the right meds for me. Meds that will banish both Tired and Depression, and give me back the energy I need to care again.

To want to tackle my to-do list. To want to write those blog posts that are in my head. And yes, to want to exercise and lose weight.

I want to once again feel the thrill of accomplishment. The desire to inspire others. The joy of goofing around with my kids.

I want to remember what it’s like to be energized and alive and not constantly beaten down and … Tired.

I want to feel like me again. Because five years is a long time to feel like someone else.

five years of battling depression

Why I’ve been feeling like a hypocrite about depression

depression and medication fearsThe thing about depression for me is this: I’m always aware that even when I’m feeling good for a while, there will be a time when I will feel terrible again. And I never know when that time will be.

Depression can blindside me and suddenly pull me down into a bad place. Or it can creep slowly and insidiously back into my life.

And I feel like the slow creep has been happening for a few months now. Yet I’ve been largely denying it.

I knew that things were getting dicey because of my shorter temper. Plus I’ve been waking up sad and unmotivated each day. And then there’s the obsessive stuff. Good times.

For weeks I knew that I should probably ask my doc if we should up my antidepressant dosage. I had already moved from 1/2 a dose every other day to 1/2 a dose each day. I needed to move to the full dose each day. It just made sense.

But I resisted.

I told myself that I’d snap out of it eventually. That I was just having a stressful week/few weeks/month/few months.

I ignored the worsening obsessive stuff and my inability to focus. I convinced myself that a higher dose of the SSRI would make me fuzzy or even less focused.

Why? Why did I tell myself these things? I am a big fan of medication to treat depression. I even talked about it on national TV for all to hear.

So why was I okay telling everyone else that meds are great – but so reluctant to increase my own dosage?

I wrestled with this question for days until I came to an uncomfortable answer: Deep down, I felt like increasing my dosage was increasing my dependence on medication. And taking more medicine made me feel weak.

How hypocritical is that? Here I am, telling other women it’s 100% fine to take medication for depression but yet I’m wishing beyond reason that I didn’t have to.

I know logically that depression is a chronic condition that, like many chronic conditions, often needs to be treated with medication. I know this.

But maybe the stigma of depression is still ingrained in me somewhere. Perhaps years of being told that meds are for crazy people sunk in more than I thought.

It’s true. I don’t want to be on medication. I want to be putting nothing in my body, except maybe a daily vitamin. Maybe not even that.

But that’s not my fate. And I need to deal with it.

So I sucked it up and talked to my doc. And we increased my dosage of my SSRI.

And of course – I’m feeling better. I’m still having a hard time focusing and still a little anxious, but the irritability is easing. From past experience, I’m guessing that the other symptoms will ease within a few weeks.

But I’m still working to accept that I am not weak for taking more medication. I’m still trying to convince myself that I didn’t fail by not being able to feel like myself on a lower dosage.

I think I’m truly still mourning the days when I didn’t need SSRIs. Days when happiness came more easily and I didn’t feel a nagging fear about that bastard depression eventually coming for me. I miss those times. I really do.

I am grateful for modern medicine and that I have access to medication that helps me. I know logically that it is actually strong of me to seek help and do what’s necessary to get back my sense of well-being.

But that doesn’t mean it’s always easy to accept.

Do you struggle with the fact that you need medication for depression or another health condition?

 

Honest Voices linkup at HonestMom.com NEW

Hi there, bloggers! Welcome to Honest Voices, an every-other-Tuesday linkup at Honest Mom. I invite you to link up with a post of yours that you’re really proud of. One that shows off your blog’s voice and what it’s all about. Funny or serious, it doesn’t matter – just as long as your post is HONEST.

There are only two simple rules:

1) Visit and comment on at least two other blogs who link up here

2) Promote this linkup at least once. Tweet it, Facebook it, Pin it, whatever. Just remember – the more people you get to visit this linkup, the more people will discover you!

photo credit: p4nc0np4n via photopin cc