Monday, April 12, 2010

Madame Queen: Up Close and Personal

Back in September? October? I went to see my doctor because I just wasn't feeling like myself. My patience was *this* thin. I felt angry and hateful all the time. Sometimes my arms felt so heavy that I didn't even want to lift them to do the most menial of tasks. I could barely walk up a flight of stairs without feeling completely overwhelmed. I had a sneaking suspicion that I might be depressed.

See, I've dealt with depression before, so I recognized it's signs. In college it was brought on by a couple of bad relationships and my inability to take care of myself emotionally. This time I think it was a couple of things: 1) Our financial situation and 2) my stress and worry and frustration over Punkin's behavior issues.

All I knew was that I didn't like myself very much, didn't like the mom I was being, so I made an appointment with my MD. He suggested that I try an antidepressant, Lexapro, for a while and see how I felt. Now, I'm not a huge proponent of taking medication and I try to avoid it if possible, but I believe that sometimes your body's chemistry gets out of whack and my MD confirmed that prolonged stress can do that to you.

So, I started taking the Lexapro with the plan that I would see him again in March and if I was feeling better that I would come off the medication.

I've been off the medication for a week now. And slowly but surely I can feel my patience stretching thinner and thinner. All weekend I was like a rubber band about to snap. Mr. Daddy and I bickered at each other all weekend and I just felt MEAN.

And this morning I WAY overreacted to something Punkin was doing and I made her cry. In a bad way. And I hated myself for it.

Surely I can't be reacting to the lack of the medicine in my body already? My doc said it would probably be at least a month before I started to notice anything, if I noticed anything at all. Am I just imagining this? I hope so. I don't want to be this way. I dont' want to be that woman. That mom. I don't want to be snappy and impatient.

Mr. Daddy reminded me this morning that I am in control of my responses. And while I think he's right to a certain degree, some of this feels beyond my control. It's almost like my body and my brain react before I have a chance to tell it to calm down. But I don't WANT to go back on the medication. So I'm going to try to up my exercise. I'm going to practice deep breathing. I'm going to try to walk away from stressful situations when I can (read: PUNKIN!).

Anybody else ever been through this? Any suggestions?


AndreAnna said...

Dude, I'm emaling you.

Robyn said...

I don't feel qualified to give you an opinion, but I think you're awfully brave and strong. You recognize that there's a problem and you're working to fix it. If you feel that it's beyond your control, than it probably is.

I'm wishing you well and hoping you find some answers soon.

adventuresofanurbanhousewife said...

Yes! I've been there. I've been on one form of medication or another for the last eight years. Except for one year when I was just sick of trying to remember to take a pill everyday so I just stopped. Not a good idea. My mother (bless her heart) is convinced that if my stress is lessened then I could stop taking them without any problems, but I know for a fact that it's just not true. I firmly believe that some people just have something in their brain that is wired wrong.

I will say though, that I notice a difference even after missing one day, so if you're noticing something after a week it probably isn't your imagination.

I don't really have any suggestions, but I hope you find a solution soon, and if you need someone who's been there too, you are welcome to drop me an e-mail

dawn said...

Yes, I've been there. I'm there now. My depression also takes the form of anger and impatience...usually over the silliest of things. I tried doing the things you suggest...walking away from a situation, controlling my response, etc. I WAS able to do that for a while, but I got to the point where I couldn't control it any longer. Then I started having thoughts of my family being better off without me. (I never had real thoughts of harming anyone, but mainly the urge to run away got stronger and stronger.) Finally, I called my doctor and he told me that he and my OB had been watching me for over a year waiting for me to get to the point of asking for help. They had both offered to prescribe something when I was muscling (sp?) through it.

I take 20mg of Lexapro. I can tell if I'm late taking it one day. If I skip a day, I can definitely feel the monkey on my back starting to hang on tighter and tighter.

Leandra--taking medicine is not a fault. If the medicine works, then you need it. It doesn't do anything for you, if you don't need it. After much soul-searching, I realized that I was only doing my children a disservice if I knew there was a problem and did nothing about it. Taking my meds is a strength, because I recognize that I had/have a problem and took steps to solve it.

I'm not at all saying that everyone needs meds or that you need meds....just that there should be no shame in taking meds that help you be the healthiest person you can be. No one would fault a diabetic for taking is the same thing.

Big hugs! Send me an email if you need to talk...I'll send you my phone number....or you can look on an old AMC directory if you have one.


M&Co. said...

Regular exercise helps me.

Mir said...

Lexapro has a pretty short half-life. You could absolutely be feeling the lack of it already, and should take this as a sign that you should stay on it. No shame in getting the help you need, you know.

Hope you're feeling better soon.

Kathy said...

Absolutely no shame in getting the help you need meds or no meds. I have been where you are and go back to visit every-once-in-a-while. But, I am not longer scared or ashamed to ask for help or to ask my doctor for the prescription I need.

Leslie said...

Yep, I've been there, too. I've also been off of medication (Zoloft, which I was taking for anxiety and mild depression) for about a week and a half, but I'm thinking of going back on. The insomnia and mood swings make it hard for me to cope in my every day life without medication. Exercise helps me, but not as much as you'd think. Sometimes it just makes me more jittery. Based on the comments here and friends who've talked about this with me, I think this must be a pretty common problem for women these days. What can we do to make things easier? Thanks for sharing this. I'm thinking of you.

Fannie said...

I'll throw in my two cents - I've been on and off and on again Prozac, Zoloft, Lexapro, Cymbalta and finally Wellbutrin which saved my life. You're not alone.

Tim said...

I took Lexapro for over three years: after the birth of my second son and through the pregnancy and birth of my third son. After him, I started to hate the way it made me feel... not remembering things, I felt I had no emotions! Sure I wasn't super-depressed and exceedingly angry, but I didn't feel right. I decided to stop taking it. Bit by bit, down to quarters of the pill since the withdrawal made me nauseous. I think I've been off it for almost a year.

I understand completely what you are feeling. I'm very angry, I say mean things to my kids, I want to be alone, I would like to just go away. There are very few moments where I feel happy. I love my kids, but I feel so apathetic and overwhelmed, it's almost ridiculous (not to mention anxiety creepy back, which is what prompted me to finally say something to my NP).

Sorry to be so long, but thank you for this post and thank God that I happened across you from a different blog. I think I'll look up a doctor and get myself in promptly. No one needs to feel this way! And I'm glad we're all around to let each other know.

~Beth (this is my husband's google account... I'm at eaputzer[at]yahoo[dot]com )

jodifur said...

I have no advice other than I think you should take help where you can, and there is no shame in taking medication when you need it.

Aunt Crazy said...

Wow...just WOW This post touches me deep down inside of me and I've known for awhile now that I should see the doc, I have been avoiding it. My anxiety/depression manifests itself in lack of control in my responses to situations and shows up as an angry mean me. Hell, I re-read my own post from today and it's me screaming at myself! Thank you for being so honest. It helped me today.

Aunt Crazy said...

Wow...just WOW This post touches me deep down inside of me and I've known for awhile now that I should see the doc, I have been avoiding it. My anxiety/depression manifests itself in lack of control in my responses to situations and shows up as an angry mean me. Hell, I re-read my own post from today and it's me screaming at myself! Thank you for being so honest. It helped me today.

Katie said...

I've had post-partum depression, and some depression during the early post-divorce days, but not anything that didn't feel temporary. I'm afraid I don't feel qualified to weigh in, but I can offer you a shoulder to lean on and someone to listen any time you it, day or night. You have about a million girlfriends rooting for you and lending you their strength. Recognizing and voicing your opinion is by far the hardest - and bravest - step. :)

Kristy Dixon said...

Yup. I have been on and off anti-depressants since high school, and I'm back on (and have been for two years now). I take 150mg of Zoloft and 200mg of Wellbutrin (and used to take Valium and Xanax for panic). It doesn't thrill me either, but I am SO much better to myself and to my friends and family when I'm on my meds. I often believe I'll be on them forever - they've saved my life. And I don't say that lightly. Don't blame yourself too much - that guilt will just make you more depressed. Also, may I suggest some yoga? It changed my life! It's so difficult. We're in it with ya! :)