A few weeks ago I started to feel…not myself. I noticed I was feeling depressed and simple things, like taking a shower or focusing on work seemed extremely difficult. Getting out of bed became harder and harder and I was having a hard time doing the things I normally do to feel better like exercise. I realized my old nemesis, depression, was beginning to rear its ugly head so I did what I often put off doing for too long; I called my doctor.
I was hesitant to call my doctor because I’ve been on the same meds for several years. I can’t even remember exactly how many years because it feels like it’s been forever. I didn’t need to change my meds once during pregnancy for 9 months after, so the thought of changing them now made me uneasy.
Changing meds sucks. Not only do the changes not always work, but you’re often stuck with awful and sometimes strange side effects. I think the weirdest one I’ve experienced was it always felt like something was vibrating (thanks, Wellbutrin). This time is was horrible headaches and nausea. It was like being pregnant all over again but this time I didn’t know if there was an end in sight. Sometimes side effects don’t go away and you have to determine if they’re worth the benefits of the drug. It’s not fair when you have to choose between mental and physical health.
But I knew I needed something to change or I was headed for a depression and I just can’t let that happen right now. Not with work, household responsibilities, and especially (and most importantly) mom duty. I found being around my son so difficult because all I wanted to do was cry and cry. He definitely knew something was up too. He may only be 9 months but he is very observant and I knew I needed to make a change for him, for us. Thankfully my amazing husband stepped up and took on a lot of the baby responsibilities so I could take the time I needed to try and pull myself together. I will say that working from home has been helpful for me because after pretending to be ok in a meeting, I needed the privacy and comfort of home to decompress and sometimes fall apart and then could pick up the pieces and keep going.
Luckily for me, it appears that the side effects of my most recent med change were temporary as I haven’t experienced them over the last couple of days. I’m starting to feel like me again. I definitely still have some anxiety looming over my head, but with the state of the world today who doesn’t? And thanks to medication, I can take the edge off if even just for a moment.
Changing meds is scary because you don’t always know if it’s going to work. Even if it’s just adjusting your meds and not going to a new one, like I did, there’s still a chance it won’t work and you’ll be back to square one. Which is truly one of the most defeating and lonely feelings I’ve ever experienced. But thankfully the increase in dose of one of my meds (I take three, one for anxiety and two for bipolar) seems to have done the trick and I’m back on the Peloton and enjoying my little man.
If you’re taking meds, or you’re thinking about taking meds, and they’re not working, reaching out to your doctor. They’re there to help you and if they’re not doing their job, it’s time to figure out why. There is never a need to suffer in silence.