Thursday, July 13, 2006

The constant battle

Changing anti-depressants isn't an easy thing. You have to monitor yourself. I know my body well, and I know that I usually react quickly to medications. With SSRIs, I can usually feel effects in about a week, and that happened when I started this new generic Celexa prescription a month ago. By now though, I know that the medication just isn't working the way it's supposed to. In short, I'm still symptomatic. I'm tired, confused, haunted by bad memories and dark, disturbing thoughts. These feelings of loneliness, alienation and sadness just won't leave me alone. I'm functioning somewhat better than I would without them. I don't wake up and just want to hide and cry, but it's a white knuckle effort to get through each day. I'm able to sleep some by the sheer discipline of keeping to routine. Last night's surrender to the late night fears was motivated in part by wanting to put a logical frame on the surreal painting of my dream. I'm calling my doctor tomorrow and seeing if we can try something else that my insurance will cover, and the observation game will begin again.

The catchy thing about using anti-depressants as a tool is trusting that your perceptions are accurate. I'm confident that I'm reading my physical and mental symptoms correctly. The insecurity is wondering if they are an appropriate response to a rather sucky overall life situation right now. Without going into details that surpass even my comfort level for public revelation about my personal life, I still can't believe that feeling miserable in bad circumstances is necessary. Approaching problems with a certain seriousness and the desire to solve them is normal. Feeling that there is no solution and giving up is the only response is not. Experiencing pain and sadness is normal. Going extended periods of time feeling primarily woe is not. I have to remind myself of these things. I have to believe that these statements are accurate and true. It is part of the ongoing struggle against chronic depression, and it is part faith in a caring God/dess.

I'm left tonight wanting to explain why I write so frequently about depression when I really can't stand whining about problems. My only answer is the gut feeling that it's important. Depression affects millions of people. It affects millions more with its impact on families, friends, co-workers, and acquaintances. Yet I firmly believe that it's still terribly misunderstood. Depression is more than sadness. It's more than self-pity. Until one has been in its grips, it's almost impossible to understand that it's more than just the blues that are part of everyone's life. It is a manageable disease, and this vigilance about my temperament and my responses to life is comparable to a diabetic checking their blood sugar levels and eating an appropriate menu. I want and will have a rewarding life, and if this is what it takes, I'll make myself equal to the challenge.


Blogger Paula said...


July 13, 2006 10:58 PM  
Blogger Wenda said...

My first thought was "Paula would love this post, too." My second thought was "Amen." I hope your transition to new meds is smooth and effective.

July 14, 2006 2:08 AM  
Blogger IndigoSunMoon said...

Depression baffles so many people. They just don't get it. I too am having problems with the effectiveness of my Celexa. I'm much better taking it than i would be if I didnt, but something just isn't right. Unfortunately without any insurance, Celexa (generic) is about all I can afford these days.
Best of luck to you sweetie.

July 14, 2006 4:00 AM  
Blogger redsneakz said...


Yes, I am also using a generic Celexa. And I, too, am having some problems right now.

Let's compare notes offline, shall we?

July 14, 2006 7:53 AM  
Blogger ChasingMoksha said...

I tried Celexa back in Feb 2000. I hated it. It increased my appetite 100 fold. It was a nightmare, not to mention it did not work. Then the doctor told me "yeah, increased appetite is a common side affect for Celexa." From that, I went to Wellbutin. That was a decent into hell. Wellbutin is (in my opinion) for passive, passive, passive, passive people. If a person has a spark of assertion in his or her personality already, Wellbutin highlights (in my opinion) aggressive tendencies. Tendencies that I never had in my entire life, suicidal yes, homicidal no. Each time I called, the doctor would say that I was not giving it enough time. Then one day around the fourth week, I read, “If you are having homicidal thoughts report to your doctor immediately.” Well duh. It was weird. I had a feeling like if I could hurt something, break something, shoot something, I would feel all better. Then when I demanded the doctor change it because I was having homicidal thoughts, he said, “You are having homicidal thoughts? Oh know we must change right away.” No duh! Stupid idiot! Perhaps doing him in at that moment would have made it all better. Just kidding not really.

In short, I am a prozac kind of girl. 10 mg q daily. Some doctors claim it is not even a dose, but 20 gives me nightmares plus it would make me not care about anything but happiness, which of course would make me useless to anyone or anything in the world but myself. I get a prescription that allow me to do 10mg a day and 20 occasionally to somewhat make a 15mg dose. It seems to work.

July 14, 2006 4:11 PM  
Blogger Shelina said...

I am glad that you are posting openly about depression. I think it takes away the stigma and helps the understanding. Mental Illness is so common but rarely talked about secret, and it is misunderstood so often.

And from your post it is clear how confusing it can be, when you have to decide which of your emotions are okay to have and which ones are going overboard. It leaves you doubting yourself and what you are going through.

I've been there. Hang in there. I hope you've already called the doctor.

July 15, 2006 10:10 AM  
Blogger V said...

A weakness perceived
tiredness, an ache?

No, the thinking starts
present pain is not enough.

Ah! stealthily, the super-ego
searches the files
"We can do worse!"

Guarantors of pain
life experience parades,
sadness prevails.

then you delve deeply
to despair and hatefulness.

the future is moribund
for you, deserving.


July 16, 2006 6:35 AM  
Anonymous postmodernpetah said...

I completely agree with you that it needs to be talked, written, spoken about and treated as a disease. And you are right, it really can't be understood unless experienced, although I wish that no on has to experience it.

July 17, 2006 1:00 AM  
Blogger ckays1967 said...

I wanted to tell you I read this from my feed blitz and also say:



July 17, 2006 11:40 PM  

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