Yep. After 8 or so years of taking various antidepressants, I got tired of the trial and error of it all. I got tired of being told to just “up the dosage” or “add Wellbutrin” or just “give it time.” So after consulting my doctor, he gave me the go-ahead. I was on Prozac and Wellbutrin so he had me just stop Prozac (cause the half life is almost a month, and i hadn’t been taking it more than a few months) and I tapered off the Wellbutrin.
And honestly, the first few weeks felt pretty good! I started researching what I could do to help myself with anxiety naturally.
Then, around day 25, the withdrawals started. Cause that’s how long it took Prozac to leave my body completely.
It has not been fun, to say the least. Migraines. Bloating. Extreme irritability. Extreme agitation. I gained 10 lbs and lost all motivation to exercise. Anxiety and panic attacks like I haven’t had in YEARS. I’ve felt horrible guilt, thinking maybe this was selfish of me; my kids shouldn’t have to see me like this.
At one point while I was bawling on the floor of my closet, I told Mark in my best impression of a toddler who lost her balloon “I want my meds back!”
However! I’m starting to see a light at the end of this confusing tunnel.
I’ve been studying The Diet Cure and The Mood Cure. According to these books, I’ve got some serious chemical deficiencies in my brain, particularly serotonin and endorphin levels. So I’ve been taking lots of amino acids and herbs and things have been steadily improving (with the occasional anxiety attack). I’m also experimenting with cutting out gluten and dairy in hopes that it may help any other imbalances or allergies making things worse go away. I’m also about to visit an endocrinologist to check out my thyroid, adrenals, and sex hormones to see if there are any links to my exhaustion, agitation, miscarriages, weight gain, etc.
This isn’t easy. I miss the days of popping my “happy pill” and going about my merry way.
However, strangely enough, I’m starting to see this challenging period of my life as a blessing.
I’m finding myself feeling the spirit more, because I’m more emotionally sensitive. I feel a lot more, and that includes feeling the spirit.
I’m relying on my Heavenly Father more. I’ve been reminded again and again that I can’t do this without the help of my Savior, and I’m finding myself on my knees asking for His help instead of just handing it all with my “happy pill.”
I’m also learning A LOT about the human body, about health, about food and diet and herbs and different things that can help. The more I learn about my own body and what I can do to help myself, the more I believe this is the right thing for me.
I’m starting to get back into exercising. I’m eating a lot better, working on my music a lot more for therapy, and taking supplements that really do seem to be helping. I’m doing all I can, and relying on Christ to help with the rest.
I’ve had a lot of people reach out with their own stories of anxiety and depression and SSRI use. Please continue to reach out! I love connecting with others who are dealing with similar challenges and as I learn more, I hope to be able to share more information so that others can hopefully heal their own mental illnesses, too (or at least manage them better).
Here’s to being happy without the happy pill! Or at least trying! Ha.