Friday, July 16, 2010

Depression gone, anxiety front and center.

I have so much to catch up on in this blog, it's been a busy couple of months.  But I wanted to update on my mental health since that's been kind of at the forefront of things lately and as of the last time I wrote back in May.

I finally got to in and see my new Psychiatrist the beginning of June.  After telling him my history and my symptoms he diagnosed me with Generalized Anxiety disorder and chronic depression.  He prescribed 40 mg/day of Prozac ( a med that's helped me before) and I made an appointment for 6 weeks later.

The Prozac immediately took the depression away.  I know people say it's suppose to take time with that drug but for me it's always been very fast acting, maybe I'm extra sensitive to it.  For a couple of weeks I felt downright euphoric, the world was a great place and despite losing my job and being forced to drop out of school (i'll go into that more in the next post) I was able to function and carry on with my day and even feel great about it.  I made a new friend who has been a great resource to me in finding out who I want to be and I was able to feel my self esteem creeping up.

Then I started having panic attacks again.  And my OCD kicked up to a degree that had my scraping my floors with a spatula in an effort to get every tiny speck of anything off of them.  I didn't want to get out of bed and face the day, not because of depression but because of the anxiety that was starting to become at a level I had rarely seen before.  

So I was counting down the days until my next visit with the shrink and it finally came yesterday.  I told him everything that was going on and he nodded that it didn't surprise him.  He explained that Prozac helps depression at low doses and anxiety at high doses, but you can't jump into a high dose, we have to work up.  He also speculated that although the anxiety is my main problem the depression was serving as kind of a buffer for it, actually helping to keep it in check or at a lower level.  So in starting the Prozac we got rid of the depression which allowed the anxiety/OCD to completely take over uninhibited. 

So he prescribed me a benzodiazepine called Klonopin to keep the anxiety in check while we slowly climb the dose of Prozac to a level that it will do that itself.  

Now taking Benzo's is scary.  Klonopin is one of the strongest and longest lasting of them.  I am medicated with them around the clock, taking pills 12 hours apart.  I am taking a very low dose of 1mg per day with the option to go up to 2mg per day if I feel I need it.  The problem is, Benzo's are EXTREMELY addictive and withdrawal has been likened to the withdrawal experienced by heroin users.  It can kill you.  These things terrify me but so does living with this anxiety. I can't do it anymore.

So far it's nice.  When I first take it I feel kind of loopy and after an hour that fades away to this completely and totally relaxed state.  Not a worry in the world.  My restless leg syndrome is gone for the first time in my life and my mind and body feel at peace.  I'm quite certain this is why these drugs are abused the way they are.  I did notice that when it gets close to time to take my next pill I get agitated, even a bit angry.  But within minutes of taking that pill I start to feel much better.  

Is it a crutch? probably.  But it's nice, for the first time in my life not to be so high strung.  So anxious, so worried, so debilitated.  It's nice to just be.  It's nice to finally admit to myself wholeheartedly that I have a problem that can be fixed, and allow my doctor to fix it.  It's nice to not have to be in control and be ok with that.



The Henrys said...

I'm glad that Nate's dental procedure went well and that he finally got the fluids he needed!

It is hard to admit that we mothers sometimes need help from medications. However, how it makes us feel is what is most important, and if we feel better with the meds, then we need to take them. I have been on anti-depressants for years and will never stop. I put it off for years, but am so thankful that I finally did it.

Just a smalltown girl said...

I think as moms we just feel like we have to be strong all the time and there's such a determinationto be this perfect parent, perfect person. I'm starting to realize that having anxiety/depression disorders does not mean I'm weak, it's a part of who I am. If I had pneumonia I would gladly take an antibiotic to get better, so why fight this? Thanks for your support!