Depression – 6 Months Later

Every month I wait until I’ve taken the very last blue and white pill before I log into the Walgreen’s website and order my next refill of Cymbalta. There’s no deeply profound psychological reason for this. I’m just painfully cheap. And the longer I can go before I have to shell out another $112 $118 for the monthly prescription, the better.

Tuesday I logged in and noticed I was ordering my last available refill. My original script was for 1 sample bottle and 6 refills.

I’ve been on antidepressant medication for six months now.

Now is the first time I’m supposed to stop and take stock and decide where to go from here. Continuing with the medication will mean another appointment with a doctor. The days of the let’s see how this goes trial run are over.

I can no longer tell myself this is a temporary situation.

I can’t push off the big questions until later.

I can’t continue to make light of the fact that “of course I’m fine, I’m medicated!”

It’s time to face it. Again.

Which begs the question – what is it, exactly? What is this thing inside of me that I’ve been placating with tiny pills for the last six months? And most importantly… is it still there?

It’s painful to think about the darkest day six months ago. The day I left work early because I just couldn’t do it anymore. The day I sobbed on my cell phone to my husband while I drove, begging him to do something, to fix me. The day he finally admitted “I can’t. I don’t know what’s wrong with you, but I know I can’t help you.” The day I gripped my steering wheel with white knuckles and forced myself to think of my kids in a frantic effort to keep my car from slamming into the guard rail. The day I went to bed and pulled the covers up over my head and wished as hard as I could that It Would All Go Away.

The day I wanted to die more than I wanted to live.

It turns my stomach now to read my own words. I can still relive it with the same clarity as if I was standing right back in that moment.

But I have to look at it now. I have to ask… how close am I to that point? Does that desperation still lie just below the surface, waiting for a break in the guards to attack again?

Or have I moved past that?

I wonder if I’ve healed.

I’ve done a lot in the last six months. I’ve learned a lot about myself and the way I react to and interact with the world around me. I’ve developed new tools for coping. I’m not the same scared, angry, helpless girl I was that day.

Of course, I still have my down days. There are mornings when I wake up and dread stepping back on the conveyor belt that is the life of a working mother. There are nights when I wonder how in the hell I can continue on in a marriage that still brings me to my knees in The Bad Times. And the superlative thoughts still spring up on occasion. The “this is forever” and the “never” and the “worst” and the “can’t”.

But even in the midst of those frustrations, I know on some level that it is all temporary. I know there is always light at the end of the tunnel and Good Times around the next corner.

I have not wanted to die, needed to escape, once in the last six months.

Maybe those days are behind me.

But… maybe they aren’t. Maybe I am two weeks of chemical imbalance away from another meltdown. Maybe my newfound clarity is a result of toxicology rather than emotional strength. Maybe at my core, beneath the medication, I am still a girl who is incapable of handling the rigors of every day life on her own.

I’m not ready to take that chance.

While my pride taunts me, challenging me to prove to the world that I can do this now… my fear is stronger. My appreciation for the relief the last six months have given me is too starkly contrasted with the agony I can still too vividly recall.

I can’t go back there. I can’t even attempt to go back there. Not yet.

Maybe in another six months. Maybe in another year. Maybe… never. Maybe I will have to accept the fact that I am one of Those People who is dependent on a drug to live a normal life.

But I don’t have to make that decision now. Not today. Today all I have to do is put one foot in front of the other and do what I need to do to ensure I make it through another six months.

Today all I have to do, is call the doctor.

****************************************************************
Actually, today I also have to co-host the first episode of my new radio show with Avitable. Join us at 9pm EST, 6pm PST for “Clearly, You’re Retarded” – a live radio show on TalkShoe. You can listen to the show at http://www.talkshoe.com/tc/22186

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  1. avitable says:

    You’re still one of the strongest people I know.

  2. Poppy says:

    I wasn’t here for you in December, I was having very dark days myself and we weren’t so friendly back then.

    I am here for you now if you need me to listen or tell you that you’re awesome.

  3. Shania says:

    I’ve been without my meds for 6 months now. I now know that I just can’t do it. I refilled today. Kudos to you for realizing it without putting yourself through the hell of trying to prove something.

  4. Sheila says:

    I understand your thoughts on this completely. Although I’ve only been medicated for a month now, I wonder if I will have to continue using these meds forever to maintain ‘normalcy’.

  5. B.E. Earl says:

    There are a lot of people in my life suffering from depression. Some of the strongest, sweetest, most awe-inspiring people that I know. And yet they have so much to deal with on a daily basis…I often wonder if I could be that strong. If I could be as strong as you.

  6. Y2K Survivor says:

    You know Brittikins, you have become one of my favorite people. And not just because I think one day I will get to see your boobs either… well… not totally. But because you lead by example and never even know it. There are readers reading your post who might one day think, “Holy Fuck! Britt went bonkers and said it felt just like I am feeling now! I need to medicate my ass so I don’t feel like crap!”

    OK maybe that was laying it on a bit thick, and it wasn’t just out of hopes you would be flattered and show me your boobs. Well… not totally. But you do lead by example. You fall down, you suffer, you act like a big loser JUST LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE… but you tell the world, so all the world knows it’s OK to be convinced you are freakin crazy because this too shall pass just like it did for Britt.

    Wow, you ever wonder if you had a purpose in God’s greater scheme of things? And you thought it would be you or your kids but you know it might just be that one person who read your blog one time because they accidentally ended up at Britt.Com when googling “Vagina”? And that person ended up on anti-depressants and years later had a kid who years and years later blew a guy in a public men’s room so well he decided not to detonate the thermo nuclear bomb in his backpack?

    See you make a difference!!

  7. My dad is dependent on a drug to live a life. (f’ed up blood pressure and cholesterol)

    I don’t see it as any different.

    No shame, no wounded pride necessary.

  8. Jay says:

    I don’t know anyone who has been able to stop taking meds after only six months. It just takes time to work through it all and get to that point where you don’t need them anymore. And each person has to work through these thing at his or her own pace.

  9. Fluffycat says:

    Recognition of needing help is a huge sign of personal strength. It’s foolhardy to try to handle such things alone. Whether this means meds, counseling, or whatever, you do what you need to do for yourself.

  10. I have 2 more Cymbalta in the bottle and don’t have the $126 to get it tomorrow.
    I don’t ever want to be a hopeless as I was before I started taking it.
    And I no longer feel like a loser because I do.

    Thanks for this post.

  11. just bob says:

    I’ve taken medication to make me feel normal. I’ve felt that desperation that you described so well from six months ago. It took a lot of courage for me to admit I couldn’t do it without some help. If that meant medication, therapy or both that was what I needed to do.

    See your doctor. If he/she feels it’s appropriate to step down the dosage, it’s worth the try. I experimented with my doctor with this and found a level that worked.

    I’m currently on the flip side of your question. I quit medication and wonder if I should be on it again with the way I feel right now.

  12. NYCWD says:

    You’ve come so far already… why stop now?

    :hug: :hug: :hug:

  13. Karl says:

    Hell, Britt, I wasn’t around for you 6 months ago since I didn’t yet know you, but I can certainly relate. I struggle with depression daily and you know you can always call me to talk whenever you need to.

    In my decades of living with depression, I have learned that I need to connect with people in order to keep me sane. Sometimes that can be by email, but more often it’s by phone. I NEED to get together with friends, whether that’s TequilaCon or BrittCon or my annual visit with Hilly. NEED it. For real.

    I have virtually no friends in my local area and it sucks. I had lots of friends in Dallas. But here? One. And she’s an ex-girlfriend so it’s a little weird.

    And there’s no way I could live on without my meds. I’m on enough pills to choke a horse, between the cholesterol and diabetes and bipolar disorder and depression…

    I’ll be living on those for the rest of my life, I’m sure. And sometimes I have to try new meds when other ones cease doing their job.

  14. that guy says:

    I can only really offer this to you, instead of constantly letting everything that could’ve been get you down, think of what you do have.

  15. Stephanie says:

    I was going to post anonymously, but that’s not how I roll.
    My confession for today: I wish I had the nerve to tell my doctor that I think I need help for my depression.
    Because he doesn’t think I have it. He thinks my life would be better if i was skinnier, and not a diabetic. Well, yeah.
    Thanks for this opportunity for my Post Secret-ish post. :heartbeat:

  16. Stephanie says:

    Oh, and I almost forgot: :hug: for your honesty and sharing your life.

  17. Sarah says:

    Obviously I wasn’t around 6 months ago. But I am always astounded by your honesty.
    I can’t say that I’ve been there..I haven’t. I’ve had dark days before (but then who hasn’t) but I have yet to need meds for it. Who knows how it will change as the years go one and what not.
    But it’s posts like these from you that make me want to jump on a plane and hug you for having balls where many others lack them.
    You are amazing and are constantly showing everyone that it’s okay to have flaws and if I may say so myself, look darn sexy doing it.
    Okay enough mushiness for one comment.

  18. Tasses says:

    I always appreciate your honesty. I hope you won’t mind my asking, but could some of your depression be a result of your living so far from your hometown? I post about this a lot so maybe I’m just being a self-centered dumb ass. Please forgive me. I just have to wonder if missing your support system contributes. It certainly does me.

    And FYI: I had to stay on the meds for a full year, have been off them for seven years, but now think I’m close to needing them again :-0

  19. Special K says:

    :hug: I know.

  20. Special K says:

    For all of you guys with depression and diabetes, that isn’t a coincidence. They go hand in hand as do many health problems. You will have to get something or you will never feel right. :hug:

  21. jester says:

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again…

    Some people are diabetic and require insulin to function. Some people require heart medication to keep them from dying. Some people require little blue pills to save their sex lives. And some people need mood stabilizers to live.

    There is no shame. There should be no embarrassment. You haven’t failed at anything.

    It’s as silly as blaming yourself for your curly hair or blue eyes.

    Stop beating yourself up about it!

  22. Selma says:

    I remember how hard it was for you to write that post dealing with your depression. I think the most important thing is that the medication is working for you. Believe it or not, you are fortunate. The meds don’t work for so many people, including me. I get symptoms when I take them ranging from nausea and vomiting for 6 months to altered states. I almost threw myself under a car when I was put on Prozac. So I deal with sometimes severe depression with therapy and exercise (and believe me, some of those shrinks need more help than I do). Whatever works for you is a good thing. I agree with all your other readers, particularly Jester – there is no shame in it at all. Life is hard work. Sometimes we need a hand. Only the strong people can admit that. XXOOXX

  23. Iron Fist says:

    Maybe you’re a badass.

  24. Rachel says:

    Nobody is perfect. Be proud that you reached out to get help. Personally coming from a family in which depression runs rampant and seeing the results of using street drugs vs. prescribed medications does….I’m glad you did the right thing.

    This is just another thing that is part of your charm Britt…..you’re human like the rest of us :heartbeat: :heartbeat:

  25. Greeneyezz says:

    Britt,

    Without knowing much about you or your past experiences, I am going to assume you are knowledgable on how the three main chemicals in your brain work. Seratonin, Dopamine, and Norepinephrine. (I call those our ‘feel-good’ chemicals.) When they are ‘out of whack’, we feel it. It’s a chemical imbalance, no different than, say, Diabetes, which is also a chemical imbalance (insulin, Sugars, etc).
    Unfortunately, there sometimes is still a stigma attached to this kind of Chemical imbalance (Depression), and people think they are ‘not normal’.
    Though Mental Health has certainly come out of the Dark Ages, since times of ‘blood letting’, I think we still have much more to go.

    Doing what I do, I’ve talked with so many people about very similar quetions/thoughts/concerns as you are sharing here. And while I consider medication a Wonderful ‘tool’, it is just that….
    a tool. It is not a be all or end all for depression, by itself. That’s in regards to your very last sentence.
    You’ve gleamed parts of it already when you mentioned a few of your superlative thoughts and have learned coping skills (which I hope you are consistently using!). :)

    So, there’s a chemical component *and* a learned behavior and thought process component as well. And all three need to be taken into account when addressing this.
    If you’ve benefited from the anti-depressant, then by all means, continue with it. Continue to use that as a tool, combined with learning healthier ways to cope with your thoughts/feelings/behaviors. *Only* popping a pill to make one feel (or not feel) a certain way, can also be counter-productive, because one never learns other ways to cope.
    Particularly given, we are human and are Made to Feel. (I added that last sentence for anyone who somehow thinks we shouldn’t feel sadness at times.) {Key Word: at times}

    Anyway, Good luck to you. :)

    ~ZZ

  26. Kimberly says:

    Hang in there sweetie. It’s called survival – and I think you’re doing a damn fine job.
    xo

  27. Dawn says:

    There’s nothing profound or original that I can add that hasn’t been said in the previous comments.

    I’ll just say that you continue to amaze me.

  28. pgoodness says:

    i started my “happy pills” about 6 months after my first son was born. stayed on for awhile (a year?) and then went off until I had second son. That was almost 3 years ago (GASP! Man, time flies!). My OB refills it for me – the original PPD is good enough for him.
    Every once in awhile I don’t take them for a few days, and then other times I take an extra half – for me it just takes the edge off – off of that feeling of HOLY SHIT I CAN’T TAKE ANYTHING ANYMORE! I can’t say as I’ve been where you were 6 mos ago, but I can say who cares what gets you through the day?! I used to think, ok, let’s get off this now and figure it out, but really? It works, why screw with it. And besides, with kids, who has time for all that introspection and self-care! (hehe)

  29. Robin says:

    I would see your doctor. A few months ago, I thought I was strong enough to do the same thing and stop cold turkey….turns out I wasn’t. Some people need to take anti-rejection drugs to survive…some of us need a happy pill. I would rather take the happy pill. :)

    If you ever want to compare stories, I am here for ya…I am sure we could talk for hours! :)

  30. Miss Britt says:

    avitable: well would you look at that. Nice comment.

    Thanks. :blush:

    Poppy: awww, thanks babe. I’m not like all down on myself or anything. I’m just not ready to try it alone – ya know?

    Shania: you went 6 months? Wow. I hate that it was obviously hard for you. I’m glad you’ve decided to go back.

    Sheila: yeah, it’s hard not to think about that – even when you’re relieved.

    B.E. Earl: Speechless. Humbled. Thank you.

    Y2K Survivor: :lol: God you crack me up. Every time.

    Sarcastic Mom: yeah, I know. Difference is there is no blood work to tell you if it’s IN YOUR HEAD or just.. ya know… in your head.

    THAT would be awesome.

    Jay: and it always takes me longer to figure things out. I think I’m a slow learner.

    Fluffycat: heh, I don’t know if the first time I went to the doctor came from any sort of personal strength. Survival instinct maybe. Now it’s just acceptance more than anything. But thank you. :-)

    Little Miss Sunshine State: I emailed you, but wanted to say it here.

    Call your doctor and ask for samples to get you by. Lord knows they have enough of them.

    just bob: I’m alredy on a pretty low dosage. And it IS working – I know that. Thank God.

    NYCWD: excellent point. :hug:

    Karl: yeah, I’ve seen the weekly pill box. ;-)

    Connecting with people REALLY helps. As does having a healthy balance of things to look forward to and down time.

    that guy: hey! That’s actually one of the things I’ve learned!

    I mean – I obviously KNEW it… but learning to APPLY it was totally different.

    Stephanie: :heartbeat:

    See a new doctor.

    Sarah: :blush: thank you.

    Tasses: the Move played a big factor in it. Huge it.

    And I don’t have the same type of support system now, but I am developing one.

    But yes, I absolutely think going through all of that was a major trigger.

    Special K: so I should stick to my diet then? I have never heard of the diabetes depression connection.

    jester: OK! OK! :heartbeat:

    Selma: I need to excercise.

    Ahem. Sorry. Not the point. I had to take the meds at night because I was reallly tired if I took them during the day. I’m glad that you’ve found some way of dealing with it too, even if it does require more vigilence, etc.

    Iron Fist: heh. Maybe.

    Rachel: oh dude, I’m all kinds of human.

    Greeneyezz: yes, I am familiar with how it all works. Like I mentioned earlier – it would be awesome if there was a test. Some kind of medical validation – ya know?

    Kimberly: thanks babe. One step at a time, right?

    Dawn: I still appreciate the comment. Thank you. Really.

    pgoodness: I admit, there is a big part of me that feels like “fuck, I don’t have time to figure out another way!” LOL

    Robin: oh no. No cold turkey. No, no, no. That would be very, very bad. For everyone. LOL

  31. Kate says:

    I love your gift for putting everything you are thinking and feeling into words.
    You spoke everything I have thought, felt, or said.

    I was on depression medication – because I had gotten to a point where I was afraid I would take my own life.

    I have since found out I had hormonal issues – I’ve gotten off the medication – and am on new meds for the hormones – and feeling much better.

    But I know that place you came from.. and good for you for not even taking the risk that you could go back.

    Kate

  32. I wish I was medicated, but there is only enough money to buy all of the necessary, life giving meds for my children(diabetesx2). I just have to keep on, andtake joy where I can find it…..like on friday when I get to meet Brendan Fraiser!! :lmao:

  33. Finn says:

    I am one of Those People. Depression came to live with me for no apparent reason other than some genetic predisposition for it. And I know should I wean myself off the meds I’ll be back where I started. I would rather pop a pill every day for the next 60 years than feel the way I did.

    I think you’ll know if and when it’s time to stop the meds. In the meantime, you know where to find me if you need someone who KNOWS. :hug:

  34. Trishk says:

    I don’t find taking anti-depressants any different that taking any other medication to improve your quality of life.

    I’m on altenolol to regulate not only my blood pressure my to keep my heartbeat regular. I’m not quite ready for a pacemaker yet, so I use the meds. Once they stop working, it may be time for the machinery. Imagine that…walking around with machinery in your chest? I think I would prefer meds.

  35. Lisa says:

    I’m also one of Those People who have learned to live with depression and do you want to know something? I just learned recently that it has made me rock solid strong. Depression gives you two choices in life. You either choose to crawl in a bawl to die or you choose to fight like hell in order to survive. By fighting like hell to survive you only become stronger and stronger.

    And you know what they say…only the strong survive.

  36. Lisa says:

    That was ball…you choose to crawl in a ball. DOH!

  37. misi says:

    I admire your transparency and I have nothing to say that hasn’t already been said.
    Depression IS a medical cond. like any other. Period. Take the pills and be grateful you have them!http://miss-britt.com/wp-includes/images/smilies/rock.gif
    :rock:

  38. John says:

    Peace is really what all of us want, every single one. Bless you, Miss Britt.

  39. Know whatcha mean. I went through a very hard time with serious medical issues and I did, truly, want to die. Then the doctor put me on some super strength anti-anxiety meds which, rather than make me feel better, just made me feel numb. And feeling numb was almost worse because I was still sad, but I just -physically- could not cry. I was so scared of going off the med thinking it would be worse than before, but it wasn’t. I just needed time to cope.

    If you do go off the med and you feel as bad as before, find a therapist or someone unbiased to talk it through because honestly, you have to work through the problems sometimes… they don’t always just go away.

    {{Good Vibes}}

  40. i’m thankful that you are stong enough to admit the need for meds is not a weakness.
    :heartbeat:

  41. AmyD says:

    My Rx says the same thing (no refills) and at least twice a year she just reauthorizes without a visit. I only have to go in once a year. Call in the refill and see if the office okays it.

    You know – since you are so cheap and all. :wink:

    I think the same things all the time. And, I worry that if I finally make the move to go off, what the first week or so will be like. :heartbeat:

  42. Tori says:

    I haven’t read any comments, so I’m probably repeating previous ones… but I’ve tried time and time again to “quit”… thinking I was “normal”… each and every single time it takes a crash/bam/burn for me to realize taking that half a pill every night is what KEEPS me normal… I can’t say I’ve learned my lesson yet…

  43. J.O. says:

    My doc put me on them shortly after my mom died. I went the opposite way that you did. I was mouthy and cocky and looking for a fight. He told me he was going to put me on them before I got my ass kicked. (His words)
    I took them for awhile and when I felt ok I quit. I realized later just in time to hit the brakes before hitting the back of the truck in front of me that I wasn’t ok without them.
    If there is any doubt in your mind about being able to handle things without them, that’s a good enough reason to keep taking them.

  44. Nat says:

    We all have crosses to bear when it comes to health, some big, some small — and if we could all pop a pill and be better wouldn’t we?

    Hang in there kiddo. You are on the right path.

  45. Wow, do I ever hear you. I just had my dosage cut in half, and don’t get any refills on it.

    I don’t know if once I’m done the daily anxiety attacks and passive suicidality will return.

    One day at a time right? It’s such a cliche, but it’s accurate.

  46. Charlene says:

    miss britt~~
    i have been mostly on (a few times off) antidepressants since 2 years after my first husband died~~i was at the dr yesterday and was
    thinking of going off of them~~then mom wakes me up (i was still watching movie, zoomby styLe) when mom came in and tells me dad has to go to hospital~~now i am taking him 100 miles to heart hospital~~cingestive heart and kidney failure~~ i am glad i have my drugs~~keeps me from going totally (more?) insane

    PLAWYK

  47. Miss Britt says:

    Kate: thank you, I find myself more and more appreciative of that “gift” as well.

    I hate that anyone else has ever been in That Place. I’m glad you’re not anymore.

    blondefabulous: I worry about that. My pills are over $100 a month WITH insurance. Fortunately, I’m in a situation where I can just adjust my spending, not buy something else, etc. and it’s not too much of a straing. WTF do people do who can’t afford it????

    Finn: I have that same genetic predisposition. You’d think that would make it easier for me to accept, wouldn’t it?

    Trishk: oh jeez. Yeah. I’d rather have the pill than the machinery.

    Lisa: that is DEFINITELY true. As much as I don’t want to go back there – I’m almost not sorry it happened. Because I had to choose to take care of myself. It’s good to know I can do that when I have to.

    misi: I am grateful. Good point.

    John: thank you. And I think that’s true. (The peace part, that is.)

    Undomestic Diva: I’ve heard about that – people not being able to cry. I assure you… I have cried PLENTY in the last 6 months. That’s a relief actually because I was worried about that.

    hello haha narf: did I admit that?? Where?? I mean.. er.. YEAH! Good for me! :hearbeat:

    AmyD: I’ll be a lifer with you. :heartbeat: And that’s a good point about the doc.

    Tori: yeah, can’t risk the crash and burn. Can’t do it. Thanks for the cautionary tale reminding me!

    J.O.: LOL, OK, seriously appreciate your comment, but I am dying here because *I* am pretty sure I am mouthy and cocky ON the meds. LOL

    Nat: excellent point, again. And yeah, I am really grateful not only that I have the pills, but that I was lucky enough to find the right one on the first try.

    Princess of the Universe: good luck with that. :heartbeat:

    Charlene: PLAWYK – what’s that??

  48. I’m telling you right now….don’t let go of those lovely little pills….use ‘em while you can!

    My PCP wouldn’t refill my prescription (which was originally given to me by my OB for postpartum) bc he said I should be over that “postpartum” [Um, hello! I've been effed up for a while now] and so I’m fighting with the insurance company, trying to find a doctor who can see me so that I can get my ‘sanity in a bottle’ back.

  49. AmyD says:

    @Sheila – I hate to be the shit who says something like this. But, I have to tell you I’m fed up with women having a problem and it being attributed to something female oriented (ie. postpartum, etc.)Not that postpartum depression isn’t real. I’ve dealt with it too!

    I’m just saying that I have to think that if you were a guy with the same issues they’d probably be more apt to help you. That bugs the living hell out of me.

    (not male bashing, just saying…)

  50. Greeneyezz says:

    Re: Post-Partrum Depression:

    some info that may be helpful:

    http://www.hopeline.com/1-1/wittenberg/default.asp

    http://postpartum.net/

    ~ZZ

  51. J.O. says:

    Oh, I’m still mouthy. But, now things tend to ask for clearance a little more often before they fly out of my mouth. I am now able to shut the fuck up when faced with someone about to kick my ass.

  52. I don’t have a thyroid, so I take thyroid medicine. I feel no shame in that. You need this medicine right now and there is no shame in that either. If your body is lacking something that it can’t produce either for the moment or long term, why would you feel shame in replacing it with medicine?

    I think it takes more guts to take the medicine and admit that you need help than it does to deny it. You are one strong woman. I don’t even know you in real life and I know that for certain.

  53. turnbaby says:

    Whenever I am asked by clients if it will look bad that they got help for depression I always say this….

    It is far better to realize you have a problem and ask for help than to stay in denial of a problem that could severely affect you, your children and your ability to care for them.

    What is ‘normal’ anyway sugar?

    Smooch

  54. turnbaby says:

    Oh and I ‘pimped’ the radio show!

  55. Nobody™ says:

    Please do call the doctor. You can’t just stop taking Cymbalta, even if you decide you are ready to stop, that’s something that needs to be done under supervision of your doctor. I was thinking of stopping mine, but the doc said I needed to be weaned off of it slowly.

  56. Greeneyezz says:

    @Nobody *and Everyone else who is on anti-depressants, Nobody’s advice is by far the best one yet. I had been thinking of adding that, considering how many comments I read about people thinking on going off medication.

    Many Anti-depressants need to be *built up* in your system….*AND* Weaned off them slowly.
    If not, you can cause your body to go into shock as well as really screw up your emotional state even more!
    Please wean your self off of them with a Doctor’s guidance.

    ~ZZ

  57. Much love to you through this potentially difficult time. Keep talking to those you trust, and you’ll be fine.
    Also, what a powerful post! xo

  58. Sybil Law says:

    I think it’s awfully brave and smart to realize you even still need them
    Either way, you rock!
    And i am WAY impatient for the show tonight!!! :rock:

  59. Summer says:

    Brit, I’ve been there at the bottom same as you. That was 14 years ago. I came to the conclusion that I CANNOT go back to that place. I don’t care if I have to take my Zoloft the rest of my life. I never want to go through that again. Don’t dispair about staying on the meds. It’s not a weakness in you but a medical condition. It takes a strong woman to put it all out here like you do. I didn’t tell anyone for years except my husband.Best of luck with this. I’m pulling for you!

  60. @ AmyD : I feel that way too….I could never get a PCP to give me anything….when I went even more bonkers after I had my daughter, my OB gave me the good stuff but wanted me to get it from my PCP after the first two prescriptions ran out so that I could follow up with him for extended care. I don’t think he realized that my doctor would tell me to suck it up.

    I’m looking for a real doctor who actually gives a shit.

    For now, I deal. And cry a lot. And put on my happy face and do my best to just….well, deal.

  61. Evil Genius says:

    Medicated or not, you are the one best judge of your emotional well-being. The very fact that you question whether you’re ready to go it without the meds tells me you’re not. Don’t rush it. Gather all the strenght you can and be patient.

    Trust me, it does get better. And you’ve got a shit ton of support. (((Hugs)))

  62. I wait until the last minute to renew my Paxil every month too. I don’t know why. I KNOW I need my meds. I’ve tried being off them, it can’t work that way. I can’t work that way.

    I hope your bad days are few and far between.

    This was one powerful post and I’m sure one that will hit home for many.

  63. N. Francesca says:

    Britt. You can fucking do it. You can do it without meds. I know the ultimate feeling of desperation and insecurity of what-if I can’t make it without the meds and I fall back deep down into the rabbits hole.

    I did it on my own. I am a human with serious faults and I fell deep into my own core enough to think I didn’t have it in me to regain strength on my own.

    I went cold turkey on Prozac, Wellbutrin, Adderall, Ambien and Valium. I did it because I HAD TO prove it to myself that I was stronger that all those drugs I’d been sentencing myself to in a life I didn’t want to live anymore.

    I read your words and you write your heart out woman.

    Your strength shines through in your writing. I can see it. I know it’s there, within you.

    xo,

    Nic

  64. suze says:

    I’ve struggled with the dragon for years. And I can tell you under no uncertain terms, the meds helped save my life. But so has the therapy, and the self-reflection, and the work I’ve done with myself to recognize my patterns of thought and behaviour that precipitate a depressive episode. Pills alone don’t do it. But they help. And there’s nothing wrong with that. It sounds like you’re on the right path and if it’s only for another 6 months or for years, that’s okay.

  65. Kimmad says:

    Hey Miss Britt…
    I only discovered your blog recently, but love your honest reflections.

    I’ve been in your shoes with the depression thing…many times. I’ve been on several different meds, including Cymbalta for 3 years(which I loved). I can honestly say…I actually HATE myself off the meds, and will NEVER go back to being off them. And I’m ok with that. Because even ON meds…I struggle. So don’t feel bad about needing them. You’ll be able to figure out if and when you don’t anymore.
    :peace:

  66. Miss Britt says:

    Sheila (Charm School Reject): oh God. I can’t even imagine dealing with that. I reallly hope you find someone to listen to you soon.

    Greeneyezz: thanks!

    J.O.: well that’s good. I would hate to hear you got your ass kicked. ;-)

    radioactivegirltori: I know, I know, you’re right. You’re all right.

    turnbaby: I don’t know what “normal” is. I’m just pretty sure it doesn’t apply to me.

    AND THANKS FOR THE PIMP BABY!

    Nobody™: that’s an excellent point. It can’t be safe to just jump off those kinds of meds cold turkey.

    And I’m not even ready to wean yet – so I will DEFINITELY be calling.

    Karen Sugarpants: thanks baby.

    Sybil Law: LOL, you crack me up. Such a sweetie you are.

    Summer: well, I don’t know if I tell anyone out of strength. More as like a warning. Like “oooh, she’s crazy, don’t fuck with her. Just let her have the last slice.”

    You should try that!

    Sheila: :hearbeat:

    Evil Genius: thank you. The support has actually really helped me in getting to this point. A lot.

    Mrs. Schmitty: so I’m not the only crazy procrastinator then? Whew!

    N. Francesca: I know people who’ve needed to do that. To prove something to themselves.

    I’m not there yet. I just need to get the most I can out of my life right now, and at this moment that includes a lot of things that are more important to me than proving that to myself.

    suze: I think you’re right. I think pills can give you the stable footing so that you can actually TAKE those other steps.

    Kimmad: welcome! And thanks for your input. It’s nice to know that a lot of people are in the same place.

  67. jennifer says:

    It takes a tremendous amount of courage and grace and strength to choose to help yourself.

  68. K8spade says:

    I think your readers have made the best point. There are more people out there suffering from — and living with — depression than you realize.

    Depression is most often caused by a chemical imbalance that means the brain doesn’t use seratonin properly. That’s me! Woo hoo! I need the damn pills, much as it kills me. When I try to go off them, even when I’m feeling great, I always end up back in That Place. Fucking sucks. Some days I hate myself for not being “normal”. But I’ve come to realize this is “normal” for me. And a lot of other people, too.

    When you have doubts, just remember what it felt like before you took the meds. Don’t go back there, whatever it takes.

  69. gemini says:

    I think that it takes more courage to admit that you need help then to avoid it.

    I don’t think that the definition in the Dictionary for the word “Normal” is wrong… I think that the word/feeling doesn’t exist. It is just a myth…

    stay strong…

    ok back to lurking… :peace:

  70. Musing says:

    I’ve been leaning on my blue pill ever since my marriage fell apart. That was five years ago.

    Your emotional health is just as important as your physical. Keep making those calls as long as you need to.

  71. Bec says:

    ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHTEEN DOLLARS? Holy crap! (That’s not helpful, Bec, you idiot.)
    Yeah, go and see a doctor, and then see how you feel. Bollocks to what they suggest – it’s all about what you feel (Hear that doctor of mine? It’s about what I want!)
    There is no shame in needing a little help in this crazy world. And you have worldwide shoulders to lean on should you need them.

  72. Dory says:

    You have so many darn comments, I didn’t read them all, so I’m sorry if I’m just lamely echoing someone else!

    I’m on Wellbutrin, and me and my doctor together decided that after many trials of going off meds, that I was clinically depressed and may have to be on antidepressants for the rest of my life.

    There’s really no clear cut formula. MEDICATED does not equal WEAK and NOT MEDICATED does not equal STRONG. If you and your doctor wean you off and Scary Feelings happen, you call a good friend to get you through it and get an appointment with your doctor ASAP to re-evaluate. Get that good friend on speed dial if they’re not already.

    Even medicated, I have my shitty days. But at least I have them. Much better than the alternative.

    I’d like to think that, for myself, MEDICATED equals ALIVE AND OK WITH THAT. Ya dig?

  73. Gina says:

    @ Karl – I have “friends” locally, but the number of people who will be there for me when I am in a state of anxiety or depression? One or two MAX. The rest run away. My best friend/ex-gf walked the fuck out of my life last time. I think she may have hurt me more than anyone else in my life.

    @ Britt – Sorry I am replying so late… I definitely know how bad it can be and think it’s great that you have the strength to write about your struggle, take the meds, and call the doctor (sometimes that takes more energy and strength than anyone can know). Here if you need anything.

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