I posted a few years back that I’d gone off all my meds, cold turkey. Well that didn’t last and within a few months I was back in treatment and back on meds. But I switched shrinks because I really felt my old shrink was over medicating me. I couldn’t function and the meds were making me more depressed and suicidal. My shrink at the time would nod off during sessions. I wondered if he’d had enough of my daddy issues until another patient (who happens to be my GP – very small world and clearly GP’s aren’t as stable as we’d like them to be) told me he nods off in her sessions too. Time to retire, Good Doctor. Anyways, I found a new shrink after I ended up in an Emergency Room with blood pressure so high they refused to just let me hop on across the road to the Psychiatric Unit. I quite like him. He let’s me smoke weed and doesn’t accuse me of being an addict. He also doesn’t have me on an endless supply of meds (sometimes to my dismay, can I just have a benzo please), and he put me on a mood stabiliser that didn’t turn my skin black.
But the problem with mood stabilisers is they stabilise ALL your moods. Even the happy ones. I didn’t want to engage with the world. They made me lethargic and I couldn’t muster up the energy to get out bed, never-mind socialise. I just preferred to stay at home and enjoy my rosé all by my lonesome. These meds have taken my life from me. I felt like I was existing, not living. I had zero interest in anything. Even music started annoying me. So I decided to go off my mood stabiliser and the difference has been amazing.
For one I started taking my kid to school again. I started cooking again. Most importantly, I can decipher my thoughts and am quite looking forward to my forgotten dreams. I’ve been on a few different types of mood stabilisers and they all had awful side effects. I can deal with medication but not side effects. Pins and needles in my face, hands and feet basically all the time? No thank you Dr Selfish with the Benzo’s.
I’m scared I won’t lie. Because when the depression hits it’s all “Lord, take me now”, but I turned 40 two years ago and realised that I’ve spent my 30’s in bed. I can’t afford another 10 years in bed. I haven’t been able to function on these meds. Right now I feel like going off the mood stabiliser is the best thing for me. I feel able to participate in life again. Only thing is that on the meds I barely gave a second thought to the fact that I wasn’t doing anything with my life. Off the meds I’m all “What the fuck now” after a decade long hiatus off life in general. But at least I’m able to think and feel again. Even my laugh is back to the way it was: loud, hearty and most importantly genuine.