Yesterday was rough. The last two weeks have been hard, but I was actually stuck out yesterday for awhile unable to drive home. My boys arrive home day after tomorrow and I’m trying to get things done so we can focus on each other while they’re here. So I went out with a migraine and some damn bug I picked up recently to run errands.
I ended up cat napping in my car after much difficulty at the last store. The pain, the fatigue, the dizziness just kind of overtook me. I called my neurologist while I was sitting there, completely broken down. I wasn’t crying, but I was desperate for some kind of relief from the pain. I knew this is the last kind of call that gets you pain killers that I likely need to knock them out, but that’s just how much pain I was in.
I just got a call that he’s prescribing two things for me, a new medicine to breakthrough the migraine pain when it strikes along with an anti-depressant. This is the third time he’s offered it to me, but I honestly don’t think I’m depressed. My husband and I have discussed it in the past and it doesn’t fit. My “mood” is actually pretty good, all things considered. Being exhausted from pain is not the same as not wanting to go on, in fact I’d say that I’m feeling the opposite. I’m ravenous to feel better so I can get back to daily walks and tri-weekly runs, work, studies and life.
And let’s not ignore the fact that the top side effects of the anti-depressant are dizziness, headaches, drowsiness and weakness along with some of the nastier side effects that I’m trying to end from the last meds. Now that I know what it is, I’ve got a call in to find out if there are known migraine relief benefits to the medication, but all I’m seeing online is depression and social anxiety disorder relief. Hey, I very likely have the latter, but have been managing it much better in recent months. I don’t need this damned list of side effects just for that.
So in the spirit of “It takes a village…” I’m asking my friends, my actual friends that have spent face to face time with me in recent months if you think I’m depressed. Maybe I am and we don’t see it. I don’t see Twitter as a good data source for this, I need real people, friends, to respond.
Tweets are lost to the stream too quickly, so are only a momentary help. I prefer you reply here or you can shoot me an email to VivMuse@gmail.com.
And thanks for taking the time to read my blog. It’s nice to know that I’m not alone, even though I typically feel like I’m shouting into the abyss.
12 replies on “I Broke”
Well, it’s funny you ask sweetie because Marc and I were discussing our concern for you not too long ago. We don’t see you smile as much as you used to. We of course speculated its from all your dealing with and are in awe of how well you’ve handled things. You have had a wonderful attitude and it saddens us that you can’t do all you want to. I guess that’s where we worry because not being able to do all you want may be the very thing that could cause depression. I don’t see you as suicidal or anything so, how your handling emotionally is best determined by you and Chooch since he knows you best. Ultimately, if you’re happy, don’t take the meds but if you think a little anti deppresant would help you deal, it might be worth it. When I got super stressed planning our wedding, Xanax was my best friend. I used it in moderation and only for a short time so I guess what I’m getting at is, it’s okay if you need a little help. You don’t have to be super woman all the time. It’s a tough call but remember, no matter what you decide, you cal always change your mind. We love you babe, thanks for reaching out and if there’s anything we can do, you know we’ll be there. (((Hugs)))
Thanks, babe. I appreciate your honesty, your support and your friendship.
Whether or not the anti-depressant will work for you depends on why he prescribed it. There studies coming out every day about how serotonin controls other things in the body beside mood. It’s very common to treat IBS with anti-depressants because they now know that serotonin controls the action of the intestines. However, as someone who has had major depressive episodes and as well various anxiety and panic disorders, I have read alot about depression. It’s possible that your doctor is concerned about the length of your grieving for your mom and your body internalizing that as symptoms. Depression is a physical illness as well as a mood disorder.
I think his concern was partly due to my desperation when I called as I have had such extreme pain that I’d do just about anything to make it stop. The other part seems to deal with how my neurotransmitters do their job.
I won’t diminish the possibility of grief over my Mom having physical effects. I do feel that I’ve got a better handle on all that, but that may just be in comparison to how I was before. Doesn’t mean it’s “normal” whatever that means. I really appreciate your experience, but am not comfortable putting the medication on here. Check your email, doll 🙂
BTW, I’ve taken just about every anti-depressant on the market. Let me know what he gave you and I’ll let you know what to expect.
I’ve had ptsd for a long time and suffered PPD for a while after EP was born. Depression, like Andrea said, can manifest in other ways than being able to keep a smile on. A large part of it slowly starts taking a toll on your body. I developed sciatica, migraines, and during the last year even had full blown panic attacks and asthma due to the depression and stress from the custody issues.
If your doctor has suggested this before, you should really consider taking it. Remember, side effects may or may not occur. I took prozac for a while and for the first 2 weeks it helped, then I got weird side effects and it did nothing for the depression.
I eventually stopped taking stuff because it seemed ineffective over the long term, but my PTSD is pretty severe on that score and they told me I was looking at 6-7 yrs of medication before the physical damage reversed itself. So who knows? However I agree with Heather and Marc that your long term pain over your mom is not completely free of depression shading.
I do concur that you are handling your medical issues fairly well as you seem upbeat at the get togethers we have been at. However, if you suddenly feel a crash coming on after any emotional expenditure [happy leads to sad in quick turns, sad leads to silliness over almost nothing, etc] you may be experiencing depression. And the longer it goes untreated, the harder it will be to recover.
As you did with your neurology treatments, I would suggest a 1 year trial. Most drugs show effect after 4-6 weeks. If it seems to not be helping, allow yourself to try a different anti-depressant. You need to find the one that works for you, and not all are the same. However, no improvement after 1 year would lend itself to the conclusion that you are probably not in fact struggling with depression.
Thank you for your honesty, I’m touched that you would share so much. Information I’ve gotten this afternoon shows that this type of medication can be helpful with the migraines, which is all I need to know to give it a try. If it helps me with the other stuff, I’m certainly happy to have that side benefit. I’d have to ask Chooch about the mood swings, as I don’t think I’ve had any but am not sure I’d know if I did.
I hope you are doing well without the medication, you certainly have had a stressful time of it.
Just an FYI, both for Viv and Allie, the newer class of anti-depressants, Effexor and Cymbalta, can show improvements within the first week. Yes, it can take longer for full effects, but sometimes it’s nice to have some quick relief. When I was testing the newer drugs, we were able to compress the testing period alot compared to the older drugs like Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil.
Ah, better living through chemistry. Thanks for the info, very much appreciated.
I’d say give it a shot-which it sounds like you’re going to, but here are my thoughts anyway: I’ve been on an antidepressant for just over 5 years and I can honestly say it’s made all the difference in my physical depression symptoms-chemical depression is so much more than emotional-I remember talking to my doctor way back when and saying “I’m HAPPY in general. I have a GREAT life! But I just don’t feel like myself.” I won’t babble on and repeat others thoughts, but every word of Marc & Heather, Andrea, and Allie’s thoughts ring true. Don’t let the stigma of it being an antidepressant get in the way of feeling better end getting back to yourself. *hugs* we all want so much happy and good for you!
Viv I don’t know how much this will help… Being on antidepressants doesn’t make you happier. Sure it helps make it easier to be happier however the real work happens with you. The pill won’t change you unless you start helping change yourself. No one will do it for you.
I was on anti depressants since 4th grade they started me on them and finally took me off them.
Have you had them try you on Prozac?
Best if Luck,
The prescription is actually intended to try and ease migraine symptoms. I’m a pretty happy gal most of the time, other than financial stress from not being able to work. I had some intense sadness after my Mom passed away, and still get really pissed sometimes that she’s gone. I think I have a handle on it now, as much as anyone can after such a devastating loss.
That said, your points are completely valid and I agree wholeheartedly. I know someone that is on medication for depression, but doesn’t seem to be trying anything else to ease the root issues. I worry greatly and hope that the doctor will force therapy of some sort once there is some stability mood-wise.
Thanks so much for the read and the comment!