Depression often lies to us, tricking us into going off our much-needed medications.
This is her story:
I wanted to see how I could be without the Prozac. So did my therapist. I had been on it for about 7 years – the same 20 mg dosage the whole time. My therapist openly disapproved of the medication. So I self-weaned off. I felt great for the first few weeks. Then the depression set in. It was mild at first. Just moodiness and more yelling. Then it would lift and life would be great. The cycles went like that for a while. Then there was The Week From Hell.
I ignored my husband completely. I did the bare-bones necessities to get through the day. I did not want to see friends or family. I didn’t want to do anything. I cried all the time, about nothing. I was never like this before. I wanted to eat salmon (which I am severally allergic to) so my throat would close and I would die. Nothing brought me joy. Nothing.
I didn’t talk about this with anyone. When I mentioned suicide to my therapist, he didn’t even blink or comment. This threw me into a greater depression. You know you are doomed when even your therapist doesn’t care.
My husband cried and said he wanted me to talk to him. I told him it didn’t help to talk. I needed medication. So I made an appointment with a psychiatrist (my previous Prozac came from my OB/GYN as medication to handle PMS). It took weeks to get in.
Even though I had been battling depression for years, this was the first time I ever saw a psychiatrist. She was very nice and knowledgeable. She went through all the background questions. When she asked about family history, I laughed and asked how much time we had. She nodded in understanding.
Her diagnosis was that I had mild depression that could go into a severe depressive state if I didn’t medicate myself. She said that since the Prozac did work for me without any side effects that she was putting me back on it, going from 10 mg up to 30 mg gradually.
Today I am at the 20 mg dosage. I feel pretty good. However, my darkest swings are 1-2 weeks before my period, which is still a while away. I am worried that the Prozac won’t be enough anymore. The psychiatrist said there are other similar medications I could take if Prozac didn’t do the job.
I am also worried that I am putting my trust too much into a pill. Why can’t I just be happy? I look at the people around me who smile and laugh and have it all, and want to be like them. But I am just not a happy person. Never have been, and probably never will be.
So I say, Hello Prozac my old friend…. I’ve come to take you again.