Let me start by saying this is mainly going to be for my own recollection, but if you or anyone you know struggles with depression I hope it might help you know that you're not alone!
My first experience with depression began back in 2011...Michael had been laid off for 15 months, I started watching Logan, Michael got his job at the Water District and then I miscarried Kyan. Just typing this out bring emotions flooding back. It was a very difficult time in my life. Through Michael's work I was able to see a therapist 8 times for free. I also went to my doctor and said something has to change. I was not myself...I was mean! I would scream at the kids for simple things. I was angry all the time. I remember one time with the kids they weren't doing something I wanted them to do...you know being kids and I literally screamed and jumping up and down like a two year old having a tantrum! My doctor prescribed one anti-depressant...I can't remember the name...it starts with a D! It worked a bit. It took the edge off of my aggression at least. Things started to get better and calmer.
After a month though I went back to talk to the doctor because the D meds I was on was considered a Class C drug which means it might cause birth defects and we wanted to try for another baby. My doctor put me on Zoloft instead. I was concerned about Zoloft since I had heard mixed reviews such as weight gain and sexual side effects. I definitely did not want to start gaining weight...as if I wasn't depressed enough already!
The Zoloft was working well, but my doctor did not want me to try to get pregnant for 3 months. Now if you know me you know I'm a planner and that meant we couldn't try until October which meant we would have a baby in July and then we would be going to Wyoming in August. I did not want that. I also knew if we didn't get pregnant in October and tried in November or December, I would be all huge and pregnant in Wyoming! So we would have to wait to try again until January or February. But I wanted to have a baby NOW! I remember telling Michael in the bathroom...."We are going against doctors orders and trying in September!" I got pregnant on September 14th!
Since I was pregnant and hormonal my doctor did not want me going off my anti-depressant while I was pregnant. See my depression was classified as situational depression...since all those crazy life things happened at the same time and I wasn't normally like that. The doctor figured that after I had the baby I would stay on the pills until my hormones leveled out and then I could wean myself off the meds.
After Zeke was born I just kept on taking the pills. I was eager to get off them, but I was also afraid of how my body would respond. We decided to wait to wean me off the pills once I started taking birth control pills. You know my feelings on birth control pills if you've read my post here. I'm not looking to get in a debate about my feelings....to each their own! Anyways after Michael had his vasectomy I started taking full blown birth control...before that I was taking the mini pill and we were being careful.
This summer I went back to the doctor and we both decided that I would wean myself off the pills. At first I just lowered myself to half a pill...I did that for about 2 weeks. I didn't feel too bad. Then I completely stopped taking them. About 2 weeks later my life became hell! At least that's the way I saw it. I felt like my life was awful and nothing was good. I was determined to start my day off good and have a good attitude, but then I'd walk out my bedroom door. I was fine when I was away from home...at MOPS and Church. I put on a happy face after all I have it all together. When inside I felt miserable! I was so angry all the time at everything...the driver in front of me, my life, the kids. Oh the kids! They took the brunt of it! I would get so angry at the silliest thing! Just last Thursday Owen was being silly and he wasn't ready on time for the school and I was so angry at him. I was yelling and I ended up making him cry. It breaks my heart to think that the words that came out of my mouth could hurt my baby boy. When we drove to the bus stop I talked to the kids and told them that Mommy was having a hard time and I was going to the doctor to get things figured out. I then asked for forgiveness and my beautiful children so graciously forgave me for acting awful.
That same day I had a doctors appointment to talk about getting back on anti-depressants. My appointment went well and this time around my doctor put me on Welbutrin....well the generic version. On Friday I took my first dose and about 3 hours later I felt really nauseas then I went to start dinner and I felt so dizzy I thought I was going to pass out. I got to thinking it might be the pills. I grabbed that paper that the pharmacists gives you with the side effects on it and I realized I was feeling almost all of them. On top of the first two symptoms I was also feeling jittery, my heart was pounding and I was feeling hopeless. I ended up going upstairs and laying down in bed which if you have kids you know this act turns you into frig and they are the magnets. I told the kids I wasn't feel well and Daddy would finish making dinner when he got home. I just basically felt like I'd been hit by a truck.
After dinner I did start to feel better, but I was afraid to take my next pill. I had no idea if I was going to feel like that every time! I decided to take the next pill since I would be taking it at night so if I did have those symptoms again I would be asleep. Thankfully I never woke up feeling icky. On Saturday morning I was hesitant to take another one, but I gave it a go and I didn't feel horrible....a little jittery.
Then yesterday happened and I get emotional thinking about it. It was a WONDERFUL day. I honestly can't remember the last time I can truly say I had a wonderful day!!
Today is more of the same....my patience is high, I have no desire to yell at my children, I'm not running around like crazy because we're running late. Overall I would say I feel calm! At the same time I can cry!!! This is something I could NOT do on Zoloft. I don't care how sappy of a Hallmark movie it was or how beautiful the bride looked in her wedding dress not a drop was coming out of my eyes. I couldn't not be emotional! I was very flat and to the point. On the other end of the spectrum I didn't really laugh either. I didn't find anything funny. Yesterday I took pleasure in the littlest things and I laughed! There was joy in heart! I did not know how far I had slid down this slippery slope of depression, but now that I'm feeling like myself again I know....I was far down there!
The only side effect that has stuck around so far is the jittery feeling I have. My hands shake a bit more than they do normally....I have a tremor. I'm hoping that after being on the meds for a while that will subside. In a month I go back to my doctor to see how I'm doing. As of right now I would say I'm doing wonderful!
Depression is one of the taboo diseases...you can't take blood and find out, "Oh you have depression!" Some people don't understand and some do. I wish I didn't have to take meds, but I'm so happy they are available to me. I have a disease and it needs to be treated just like diabetes or a thyroid condition. Will I always be on Welbutrin....I hope not! But I want to be the best wife, mom, daughter, sister and friend I can be and if that means I need to take meds...so be it!