My Struggle With Antidepressants Over the Years
Since my earliest diagnosis of depression, I have had a struggle with antidepressants. In the first two months before my diagnosis of Bipolar One, I went through three different antidepressant medications. It would be the start of what will be a lifelong struggle with antidepressants.
I have a love/hate relationships when it comes to antidepressants.
When things are going good, usually in the first few months of an antidepressant change, I always feel as if this is the one that I can stick with and take in the long run! Then reality starts to hit. In the early years of my diagnosis I cared little about life, and when my antidepressants failed to work, it was my mother and my psychiatrist that made the decisions to change my antidepressants.
Later, when I was more in control of my medication, I started to notice a trend. It seemed that after a few months my antidepressants worked less and less. Within a year I was usually back to the drawing board with my psychiatrist looking for the next antidepressant with the hopes that this would be the time where it really worked. Over the last ten years, I have changed antidepressants what seems like yearly. I honestly can’t give the exact figure because those early years were a blur, but the number is not good.
That is where I sit today. The funny thing about this process is that I never thought that maybe I could try living in this mental illness life without antidepressants. It is a thought that I now face as it was recently brought up by my current psychiatrist. Part of the issue is the ongoing fight with keeping a regular psychiatrist for more than two years. But that is for a different blog post. It’s an intriguing thought because, to be honest, my depression has been okay since the start of the summer months. There is always two sides of my depression with very little middle ground– my depression under control or spiraling out of control.
The other side of the coin is that I still have issues with the seasonal element of my depression (the months November to April.)
At this point, I have two options. Change my antidepressant again between now and October with the hope that it works during the winter months. My other choice is to increase my lithium intake and go without an antidepressant to see if this is the missing piece that will get me through the next winter.
It seems silly that in August this is on my mind, but I can always tell the changes in my depression around October. Usually, I would think to wait until October to make the decision of a switch, but that just is not an option at this point. I start my Master’s degree in October and being the start of my worse depression months it would be all bad to not make the decision this month. I need to be in control, it is who I am.
My focus this summer has been on my social anxiety which is still an issue unresolved. I have to figure out this issue before summers end, or I will once again find myself in the midst of a depression cycle and anxiety battle. This battle over the years with my antidepressants has been a long and annoying if I am honest.
While my depression has been manageable for the most part lately, that always changes. I still struggle some days to wake to get going and be productive. Not to mention my insomnia has reared its ugly head. The last week I have been feeling the sting of light depression that is tittering on entering severe depression– again. I am fighting like always, but I feel like I could start losing the battle. Writing and working has been my way to get through it, and I have found myself turning to playing video games to get through my weeks. It has been okay, but not great.
I am not sure where I will go from here, but I need to figure it out soon. When I make my decsion I will be writing another blog post.
Always Keep Fighting.