Posted 7/15/2015 6:48 PM (GMT -7)
This is my very first post to this forum.
I am hoping that someone can relate to my trials and give me much needed and appreciated wisdom.
I realize this is a rather long post so if anyone reads it to the end, God bless them for taking the time to read it. Even if no one reads all of my post, writing it I believe has been good therapy (kinda like writing in a journal) so I guess I could say that I am writing this for myself even if no one else bothers to read it.
Anyway, here is where my latest trial and battle with anxiety and depression begins:
about 3 months ago I decided to try and quit smoking AGAIN. Smoking was making me feel yucky and the labored breathing was starting to alarm me.
I have always had anxiety but rarely ever had any full blown panic attacks until 2 weeks after giving up the cigarettes. I tried to tell myself that it was just a withdrawal symptom but I started having several panic attacks a week afterward and it scared me. In addition, I was having meltdowns where every negative emotion from hate and fear to grief and sadness would overcome me all at once with fits of rage in between crying.
I never experienced any withdrawals beyond a little irritability the other times I tried to quit smoking, so I knew that the way I was feeling had to be caused by more than just a nicotine withdrawal.
The anxiety and depression were crippling me to the point that I was unable to carry out the simplest of tasks.
My life seemed fine, things were looking better as compared to 2014........What was wrong with me?
RE-wind to the latter part of 2014:
In the last 7 months of 2014 some important and (some stressful) events happened in my life.
Lets just say that there was a death, a birth, a marriage, a graduation, a job gained, a job lost, and some other deeply unsettling situations involving children, grandchildren, and other family members. My life was overwhelming me and I think the cigarettes were masking much of what I should have been feeling. I also believe that menopause contributed to my depression and anxiety.
Because I thought my meltdowns might be attributed to hormonal imbalances, I made an appointment with a gynecologist. This doctor gave me samples of estrogen and she suggested lexapro for the anxiety and depression. My sister and friend had positive reviews for lexapro so I hoped it might be a good fit for me as well.
I tried the lexapro for nine weeks building from 10 to 15 to 20 mg. The lexapro didn't help as much as I had hoped with the depression even though it helped a little with the anxiety. It also made me very lethargic and unmotivated which was making me feel down quite often. All I wanted to do was stay in bed and either sleep, or get on my laptop. I didn't feel like cooking, cleaning or going out anywhere. I kept telling myself that things were going to get better to give the med time, but everyday felt like a struggle to get through. The side effects were not pleasant on this drug and they didn't seem to ease up the whole time I was on it. It did seem that my anxiety was worse in the morning and I wouldn't start to feel halfway ok until evening. I did force myself to exercise by taking long walks but other than that I had no interest in anything but hiding myself under the covers where I felt safe until the drug would hopefully start to work. I kept thinking.....I don't have time for this.....I need to start LIVING. I have a new business to run and it may start to suffer because of my lack of attention, focus, energy and motivation. and that is making me even MORE depressed and anxious!
I believe I gave the lexapro more than enough time to work.
I decided with my doctor that Lexapro probably wasn't going to work for me so at first I tapered my dosage down in 5 mg increments. Then I decided that since I had not been on it long, that it may be safe to just quit at 10 mg. The first 3 days of stopping the med, I had more energy and I actually started getting things done. I was starting to feel optimistic and like my life might start to turn around.
about 90 hours after taking that last 10 mg tablet, (which is today almost 4 days later) so many horrible and negative emotions (over the course of a few hours ) came flooding over me and all because of something that was very trivial that I blew WAY out of proportion. I had a meltdown that scared me so bad that I cried myself sick for four more hours. At least on the lexapro I would have just blown it off.
I caved in and took 10mg of Lexapro. I was hoping I wouldn't have to. I feel like it is going to take another month to get off it.
I am leaving for the beach in two days for what should be a fantastic time but I am anxious that I will have another meltdown and ruin everyone's vacation. I almost don't want to go. I guess I will take the lexapro and pray for the best.
When I get back from the beach I will make an appointment to see a psychiatrist. I am going to ask for prozac this time. It worked well for me ten years ago with no side effects. Hopefully I won't have to play the med trials game until I find the right combination of chemicals for my brain.
Thanks for reading (if you made it this far.)
Any encouragement or advice would be appreciated!
PS- On a positive note, I haven't caved in to the nicotine habit I once had. hurray!!