Change Reflection

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It’s been two months.  Two full months since the final taper dose of my anxiety/depression medication.  It doesn’t feel like that long, and I still feel like I’m learning to live, or should I say, cope with out them.  For 2 months, I have experienced dramatic changes to my emotional and mental state of being.   It’s been awhile since I have written anything about the changes I have been experiencing.  Once the main discontinuation syndrome symptoms wore off, it was hard for me to determine what was happening.  Here’s a short list of what I have experienced.

  • I feel more intensely — both bad and good emotions.
  • I cry easier than before.
  • I get overwhelmed, and I’ve had many moments of severe anxiety.
  • I’ve felt pure joy a couple of times, and for no real reason
  • I’ve had increased PMS symptoms
  • About 20lbs of weight loss
  • I’ve experienced a few set backs with my eating disorder
  • My face has been oiler than usual
  • I’ve had vivid and intense dreams
  • I’ve seen a decrease in my physical strength
  • I’ve had a lot of headaches
  • I was drinking too much (but recently stopped)
  • I now have an increased sex drive
  • Darker circles under my eyes
  • Forgetfullness
  • I ruminate all the time

I have also noticed I am more in-tune with my anxiety.  My medication took away most of the physical side-effects of anxiety, but my anxious thoughts were still there.  Because I didn’t have the physical que’s I didn’t always focus on dealing with the thoughts that were causing the anxiety.  Now, I have no choice.  When my heart is racing, and I’m crying uncontrollably, I need to take action right away.  Luckily, I have great co-workers, who are aware of what I’m going through.  They don’t freak out when I’m having a spell; instead, they sympathize and help me breathe.  A few of them are good at asking me what I need to do to feel better.  The last 2 episodes I’ve had at work only lasted an hour, so this is a big improvement.  All-in-all, I think I’m doing pretty good, and I’m optimistic I can continue on without my medication.

It wasn’t easy for me to quit taking my medication.  For the longest time, I felt I absolutely needed them, and I think I did at some point.  I may still need them; only time will tell.  Please note that I am not an advocate for medication discontinuation.  Every person is different, and his or her mental health illness’s require different types of treatment.  I have worked with my doctor during this trial, and I have a psychologist lined up to work on cognative behaviour therapy.  If I wasn’t so sensitive to the medication side-effects, I probably would still be on them.  But I am sensitive to them, and I’m not sure if they are worth the trade off.

Be well my friends.

 

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