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Brain trouble

November 3, 2013
Yup. That's about right.

Yup. That’s about right.

Depression: I’ve got it. OCD? Bitch, please. Panic attacks?! Got ’em in spades. And that’s been the story my entire life. Well, at least since I was six years old.

I remember feeling like I had to say a prayer, or a series of words a certain amount of times every night before I went to sleep. If I didn’t complete the series of phrases, I was convinced that my parents would die in their sleep. Cheery, no?

After a few years, many of my OCD symptoms subsided and all was calm until I was about 16. That’s when my anxiety came back as anorexia, and depression. And after I was raped? Yeah. Everything just became more intensified and I went through one of the darkest periods in my life. But after a few months, I brushed the “incidents” (euphemism, anyone?) off, and merely denied there was any sort of problem.

I was able to hold it together until I got to graduate school. But once my then long-term relationship hit the skids (and I was cheated on), all hell broke loose. Luckily, I was surrounded by good friends and helpful family, and I found a really good therapist who I still see.

In the beginning I only did talk therapy. Eventually, I started to go through alternative treatment to help me kick my anorexia in the balls, and to ease my panic attacks.

At first, the treatment really helped me make major changes in my life. And while I still had my issues, I was basically able to hold it together.

Enter 2013. This, my readers, has been a shitfuck of a year. I’ve gone through stressful job changes, rough relationship changes and have experienced enough deception and betrayal from people I truly care about to last me for, like, at least the next five years.

And then, something happened that I never thought would. I went back to that mental place I was in when I was 16 and became seriously depressed. Like, stare at a wall and cry for six hours depressed. And then came the suicidal thoughts. So, I knew it was time I try something else, and I tried psychotropic medications for the first time in my life.

It started with a low-dose Xanax, so I could go through a day without crippling panic attacks. Then I introduced a low-dose Lexapro to the mix. Once I started the Lexapro, things got worse (it was like a a shitacane in my head 24-hours a day). My general practitioner put me on Wellbutrin, a sort-of pick-me-up antidepressant. I felt really good, but unfortunately, I had to stop taking it because apparently, it can make folks who have anorexia have seizures.

Fucking. Laugh. Riot.

After going off of the new meds for a week, I slumped down into that awesome depressive hole again. I finally found a decent psychiatrist who put me on Prozac and Ativan. I honestly felt normal for the first time in 15 years.

But about a month later (two weeks ago) I decided that I wanted to quit the drugs and try supplements and meditation again.

A month into what I’m thinking is probably going to be a, “big ass mistake,” I’m beginning to think that I may need to go back on the medication. I’m incredibly tired, depressed and just generally down. I’m trying so incredibly hard to be normal, but it’s such a struggle. (I know, I know. It could be worse, but depression sucks devil balls, you guys.)

I know there is no shame in taking antidepressants and that I, like many other people, really need them because our brains just don’t work right. But here I am. Being a dick and not taking my meds, and wondering if any of this is ever going to get better.

I’m not going to make it a point to write a lot of posts like this, but I know so many people who go through the struggle of deciding what meds to take and for how long, etc. I’m one of the many and I get how hard it is. Life is hard. My only hope is that life gets a bit easier in the next few months, and that I make the right decision medically. My brain needs a fucking break, y’all.

So, while I think about this heavy shit, let’s all listen to The Bee Gees’ super-sad song (but god damn! It’s catchy…), “Stayin’ Alive.”

Image: Lochers

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. November 3, 2013 8:45 am

    Wow, you have been through a lot. I battle depression and have had to concede that the drugs (one in particular) worked for me and I needed to try them again, after I had been off of them for several years. It really sucks, but going down into that terrible darkness sucked more, for myself. I just can’t manage it without help. I wish you well. I hope they find the physiological answer that makes a cure a real possibility for those of us who must suffer. Pills are like band-aids right now. We need to kill this shit.

    • Abbie Stutzer permalink
      November 3, 2013 3:24 pm

      I really appreciate your comment! And yeah, I think I’m most likely going to go back on the cocktail that worked. I just want to make positively-certain-for-sure that nothing else works before I do. (And that’s because I am a stubborn pain!) And I agree about the meds being a band-aid. Depression and all the other fun-time mental issues are so incredibly common yet we (humans) barely know how to treat the various illnesses. Shit does need to stop.

  2. November 3, 2013 7:17 pm

    That really sucks – I hope things get better for you. I’m sure you’ve discussed this with your doctor, but don’t forget coming off prozac comes with wicked withdrawal symptoms, which might be part of why you’re feeling so crappy. (I’m switching from one med to another at the moment and feel like I’m wearing a steel skullcap of death 24/7. Eurgh.) xx

    • Abbie Stutzer permalink
      November 3, 2013 9:59 pm

      Very true. And I can tell that most of the side effects of quitting have gone (dizzy, sick to stomach, etc.), but I think the thing that gets me most is remembering how I felt before taking everything. It’s just this bizarre-o heavy blanket of yuck that I’m currently under. And I hope you can switch to your new meds soon and they work well! I know that skullcup of death very well.

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