When the Meds Stop Working

There is no worse feeling for me than when my meds stop working.  It is a great wake-up call that my depression is alive and well and ready to take me over if I let my guard down.  Right now, I am in the process of transitioning my medication.  I’ve been on Effexor for years and hate it.  It’s been okay but if I forget to take it one day, the side effects can be brutal.  Also, after doing the genome testing, we discovered that it isn’t the most effective medicine for me anyway.  No wonder I kept having to up the dose every six to nine months.  The genome testing revealed that Wellbutrin is supposed to be the best fit for my body.  That’s what I’m transitioning to, but the process has been longer than I anticipated and I’m ready to feel better!

There is much debate in the medical community as to what causes major depression.  While the tv ads would have you believe that it is the shortage of serotonin in the brain, there are really no medical studies to prove this.  There is no doubt that the antidepressants that raise serotonin levels help, but it doesn’t mean necessarily that serotonin is the cause.  Scientists conclude that other factors, including physiological, psychological and social, could be to blame.  This is why I try very hard to take care of myself especially when the depression hits.  Getting enough sleep, eating a proper diet, moving my body however bad it hurts just to make sure I’m doing all I can to take care of me.

I also see a therapist once a week – every week.  Whether I’m having an episode or not, having her to talk to is a wonderful stress reliever.  She helps me stay sane.  I can vent, yell, cry or just be quiet with her – no judgments.  She encourages me to develop plans of what I can do to get me through the bad times and celebrates the good days with me.  I would be totally lost without her!  Medication only goes so far anyway – having someone in your corner that you can always count on to help you through makes all the difference in the world.  Friends and family are great supporters, but a therapist knows the right things to say and how to get you at least looking in the right direction.  It’s what they get paid for, right?

Fighting the day to day battle is exhausting.  Trying to stay positive.  Using self-talk all day long to keep myself moving and somewhat motivated when all I really want to do is cry myself to sleep and stay asleep for days.  I’m going on week two of this feeling now.  Every day feels the same regardless of what I do.  My thinking gets muddled and unclear.  It’s like running through molasses.

Most days there are therapies for Ry that can keep me distracted, but today is the one day in the week that there is nothing.  Waking up to a day where there is zero that must be done is terrifying.  Sure – there is plenty to do – housework, errands, etc. – but nothing that absolutely must be done.  Everyone has clean clothes to wear even though there are clothes to be folded and dirty clothes in the hampers.  There is food in the cabinets even though I have no motivation to cook.  Besides – take out it so much easier.  I could be cleaning out my closet and getting out my winter clothes.  I could be decluttering the dining room that has become a catch-all area over the past few weeks.  But the drive is just not there.  I do move though – I do as much as I can even if it’s only one thing on the list like unloading the dishwasher.  Any little accomplishment is huge on the awful days like today.  

The thoughts are probably the most tiring… they are unnerving.  Thoughts of worthlessness. Thoughts of all the bad things that can happen to family and friends.  Not wanting to let the kids go anywhere for fear of car wrecks or kidnapping.  All completely unfounded, and I need to keep reminding myself that depression is a liar.  It tells me that I’m not good enough – that the world thinks I’m useless.  I am constantly having to counter every bad thought with a thought of gratitude or something else positive.  It’s a vicious cycle.  Bad thoughts, positive self-talk, fatigue, no motivation, more bad thoughts, etc.  

The absolute worst part is that there is no reason for my depression.  It comes out of the blue at even the best of times.  That is probably the hardest thing for those who don’t deal with major depression to understand.  There doesn’t have to be a reason.  There doesn’t have to be a stressor.  It just comes.  Paix and Eric still ask, “What happened?” when the black hole trips me up, as if there must be a purpose for it even though they know better.   

All in all, this week pretty much sucks, but I will survive.  I’m a fighter.  Meds will be fixed soon and life will go on.  In the meantime though, I might get really good at solitaire or just staring at the ceiling.


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