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

The obsessive part of depression really annoys me.

one signI’ve been feeling pretty good lately. After a slow start, spring got into full swing around here. Which means that my annual blog neglect began as I got gloriously dirty in my garden (and that’s not a euphemism).

Gardening is therapeutic for me, and my girls love it too. So we’ve been spending lots of time outside: digging, planting, watering, weeding. It’s been wonderful.

But even when I feel good and things are generally humming along, that haunting feeling is still there in the background. I’m always wondering something, in a place deep inside me that I’d like to ignore but can’t:

When is the depression going to hit me again?

It will. It always comes back. It’s just a matter of time.

And I hate knowing it’s coming. It’s either going to sneak up on me, slowly and insidiously wiggling its way in, almost unnoticed because of its gradual seeping into my consciousness.

Or BAM – it’ll hit me with a force that overwhelms me and makes my mind and soul ache from its blunt force trauma.

I never know how depression is going to show its face to me again.

But I kind of have a feeling it’s oozing its way back into my life now.

I’ve been waking up sad in the morning. My temper has been shorter. And there’s that one nagging symptom of depression that never really goes away for me – and then ramps up when depression comes creeping around again.

It’s the obsessive side of depression.

Not everyone has it, just like not everyone deals with rage. But similar to rage, it’s one of those symptoms people don’t always think about.

In my first bout of depression in college, I was sad and anxious and down – and I also had terrible OCD. I wasn’t a germ-phobe; I was a list maker and a checker.

I couldn’t get through tests because I couldn’t stop checking my work. I was always late because I was checking the lights were off, the stove was off, I had my keys. Over and over and over. I felt like something awful would happen to me or someone I cared about if I didn’t check just one last time.

Today, I understand I was doing this to try to create a sense of control in my life – because my depression was making me feel so out of control.

I’ve haven’t been in that bad of a place with OCD since then. “Checking” is always a part of my life, but in a very average way that lots of harried moms can identify with.

However, the need to check escalates when I’m not feeling good. It’s a warning sign. Lately I can feel the checking obsession coming back. And holy crap, is it annoying me.

I’m checking my lists and my calendar over and over and over, convinced I’m forgetting to do something or that I’m supposed to be somewhere.

I’m easily distracted and have a tough time focusing. I often find myself in a situation where I’m doing too many things at once and none of them are getting done. I’m feeling ramped-up and overwhelmed. And so I keep “checking” to try to get some control over it all.

But unlike when I was in college, I am recognizing what’s going on and taking steps to ease my anxiousness.

It’s hard at this time of year, with so many end-of-school events and activities winding up. But I’m trying to clear my calendar a bit so I’m not rushing from place to place.

I’m saying no to most requests for my time and yes to a very few.

I’m really trying to prioritize my list of to-dos and say to myself, what will *really* happen if I don’t get this done?

I’m trying to get more sleep (with varying degrees of success).

And yes, I’m gardening and doing more yard work because it makes me happy and clears my head.

Will these steps stave off a serious bout of depression? I don’t know. Maybe it’ll only help the annoying checking issue. But at least I’m trying to go at it with a positive mindset.

And whenever that bastard depression makes its presence known, hopefully I’ll be a little more ready than last time.

If you deal with depression, does it come and go for you? Do you try to arm yourself for the next battle in advance, or do you find that really difficult?

photo credit: alles-schlumpf via photopin cc

My 2-word New Year’s Resolution may sound simplistic. But it’s not.

why am i not happy
I’m usually not one for New Year’s resolutions. But this year I’m making one.

It’s going to sound really simple. Kind of odd to some people. But for me, it’s a complex goal that isn’t going to be easy to reach.

I’m going to have to work at it. More than other people. Maybe more than you.

My New Year’s resolution is this: Be Happy.

Being happy used to be so simple years ago. I just simply was happy. Sure, there were bad times, but in general, life was good and I was happy.

Well, in general my life is still good. But am I happy?

I’m not sure that I am. And the fact that I need to think about it isn’t a good sign.

It’s not because anything is wrong. I have a great life. My kids, high-maintenance though they are, are good kids. Hubs is awesome. I have friends and family and all that great stuff. My family is not financially wanting and we have all the material things we need.

So what is it? What’s wrong with me? Why am I not … happy?

For a while now, despite following my own tips for managing depression during the holidays, I’ve been having a hard time getting out of bed in the morning. My kids have been annoying me. I have been irritable and sad and wanting to be left alone.

I just haven’t been feeling like myself.

So one particularly bad morning last month, I popped half an antidepressant. For most people, SSRIs take a while to kick in. Sometimes weeks. For me, not so much. I feel better within hours.

And as expected, after taking that pill I felt better. I felt like me.

Since then, a few times a week I’ve been taking half a pill. And the days I do, I feel – well, happier. Less negative. More able to enjoy life.

I worked for so long to wean myself off SSRIs. And then I was off them for three months.

But maybe that time is over. Maybe I need them again to feel like me. To be happy.

And if that’s the case, so be it.

Because I want to enjoy my kids. Not be annoyed by them.

I want to feel accomplished when I knock off to-dos from my list. Not feel defeated over what I didn’t get done.

I want to appreciate all that I have. Not worry about what I can’t control.

As far as I know, this life is the one chance I get. I don’t want to spend it feeling down, negative, and sad.

I’ll keep working at this being happy thing. I’ll exercise and eat right and do all the things I’ve been doing to try to feel good.

And if my brain needs a little help in the form of antidepressants, I’m not going to beat myself up over it.

My resolution is to be happy. And I’ll take all the help I can get.

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Are you happy? If not, what are you going to do about it?

Do you have any resolutions for the new year?