I’m afraid to come off my anti-depression meds.
There. I said it.
If you’ve been reading my blog for the past few months, you may remember that I was diagnosed with post-partum depression and began taking anti-depressants as a result. And I’ve felt good for the most part. The meds really seem to do the trick. Yeah, I still have my down days, and I still get sad and feel normal emotions, but they are just that: Normal.
About a month ago, I went through a period like a lot of people probably go through when they are on anti-depressants; I thought I was over it and that I could just skip a few days here and there until I was ready to come off the medication completely.
That led to me sitting in my car at a gas station on the phone with Bobby crying and confessing that I had stopped taking the medicine, apologizing for being so terrible and moody and promising that I wouldn’t stop taking them again. I knew I had spent the days prior fussing at him, getting angry over the smallest thing and generally being little miss sunshine.
Since then I’ve been more consistent with taking them, and I feel … better. More balanced. Better than I felt before I even got pregnant.
Whoa. Hold the phone there.
Here is where I have begun to feel a little concern. I find myself thinking that I do feel less off-balance emotionally than I’ve ever felt. Things don’t bother me the same way. In some ways I feel more logical. And I don’t want to give it up.
I’ve always sort of suspected that I’d battled depression in the past, but it was the pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps kind of fight. I’d never really given any thought to seeking treatment for it. I think at least part of that was because I knew my mother would frown upon it — even though I’m fairly certain now that she has had her own battle with depression for years.
The other thing that scares me is the anxious thoughts that creep in sometimes even now. I will start thinking about something terrible happening to Noah or Bobby or me, completely out of nowhere with no real foundation. I’m able to shrug the thoughts off and go about my business. But what if I wasn’t on anti-depressants?
One of the worst parts of my post-partum depression was the anxiety: being afraid to leave the house because I was afraid Bobby would be mad at me or lose his temper with the baby; being afraid to go in public with the baby in case I couldn’t get him to stop crying; being so terrified I wouldn’t wake up when Noah cried that I couldn’t sleep at all. If you’ve never had that type of gut-wrenching fear overcome you day in and day out, count yourself lucky.
I don’t want to have to go through that again. But I’m worried to continue using something that I could probably get through life without. I feel like I should want to stop using the anti-depressants, and right now, I really don’t want to stop using them.
My last refill on the medicine was this month, so I will have to have a discussion with my doctor about this regardless. She mentioned at my last appointment that she wanted me to stay on them for at least six months, which would mean beginning the transition off them at the end of October, but she also said I should consider continuing them through the holiday season since it’ll be the first Thanksgiving and Christmas without my dad.
I hope I can voice all these things to her. I’ve never had an easy time talking about this kind of thing.