I’m feeling pretty good right now. My anger was definitely a side effect of Wellbutrin and — thankfully — it significantly lessened by lowering the dose. One week ago I went from 150 mg to 100 mg and it made all the difference.
I went to therapy today; I was much calmer, sort of humbled and like a dog with their tail between their legs. I even felt a tad stupid for not knowing that my anger was a symptom of the meds. Lynn agreed that the drug changed me. She said Wellbutrin is known for elevating a mood and for some it can be too much. She offered kind words and told me it was good I kept the appointment when I felt so angry and anxious. Neither Lynn nor I mentioned that I said therapy wasn’t working at our last visit. I was so much calmer today that it didn’t seem as important as figuring out how to best manage my medication.
I know some of you out there in the land of blog-reading will think I chickened out with regard to leaving Lynn. But, the honest-to-God truth is I no longer have the same anger and sense of disconnectedness that I had only one week ago. I perceive Lynn so much differently than I did. The anger was symptomatic of medication gone wrong. It is the irony of depression, that its insidiousness gets under our skin and distorts everything. My thoughts, my actions, my behaviors, my perceptions, my interpretations, my imagination. Everything.
I feel like the relationship with Lynn has become stronger because I did express myself. It’s scary for me to expose my negative thoughts because as a survivor I’ve learned to mask my pain and keep it hidden. No one outside of my immediate family has ever seen me that pissed-off. Now I see her as a person who I can trust more than ever before. She witnessed me at my worst and, nevertheless, agrees to continue helping me. This is big for me. She is still willing to help me figure out my medications. And now, she knows what she’s dealing with. That is progress.
Lynn described my depression and anxiety like a recipe for a meal. If we put in the right ingredients the meal will be excellent. We talked about my issues with hypersensitivity to medications and how I frequently have the opposite reaction than what is typical. I reminded her that I said as much on my first visit with her but I guess she had to see it herself. She definitely saw me fighting mad.
Lynn asked how my family reacts when I am in such an angry state of mind. I thought to myself Wow, we are really going to talk about this. I’d rather just forget about it and move on. Denial, dissociation, disown it.
I talked about how the relationship with my husband is not great due to my need to be alone when I’m angry. Lynn asked if I would want my husband to comfort me and I answered He knows when I feel that way I will push him away. We talked at length about the relationship. I didn’t say this but here’s how I feel… I’ve been married for 23 years and I’ve come to realize that no matter who I’m with I’d still be stuck with myself. The person I’d most like to lose is me with the mental illness.☺
I began Celexa — 10 mg — on Monday morning and I feel a lifting of my depression. It’s been 6 days and nothing seems traumatic or shameful or worrisome. What a relief!
The Celexa came with its own side effects. First, I suffered through extreme bouts of heartburn all day and night and a daily headache for the last 4 days. In addition, the past 2 nights I’ve been waking up wired. Two nights ago, I was wide awake from 1-4 and when I closed my eyes I felt like I was in a luge going 90 mph. Last night, I took a Clonazepam in the evening (because they make me extremely tired) and I managed to sleep from 11-5 before waking up. That was better so I am going to take the Clonazepam again tonight.
Lynn suggested I should try taking the Celexa at night. Perhaps, I will be able to sleep through the night and have the awake-period during the day. Unfortunately, tomorrow is Sunday and if I try that and I’m awake all night, that’s a rough way to return to work from vacation. Lynn said I should take it in the morning all week and try taking it next Friday night. If my sleep doesn’t improve this week, I will give that a try. She also thought the combo of Wellbutrin and Celexa in my stomach could be causing my heartburn so if I switched the Celexa to the night it may be better. However, I think that side effect is already improving. Just in case, I sleep with a box of saltine crackers next to me.
Lynnasked about my drinking (of course) but I wasn’t as defensive. Perhaps, a bit evasive because I don’t want to make promises I can’t keep. But, I told her I think the Wellbutrin/alcohol mix has not been good to me. It could be the cause of my recent hellish migraines and/or sinus infections. I believe that enough to be reluctant to drink on Wellbutrin. So, that’s a good thing. We’ll see how long I can stand strong on that – no guarantees but I currently have little desire to drink.
One thing I like about Lynn is she offers alternatives at each visit. This gives me a ray of hope, like she hasn’t run out of ideas on how to help me. (Anyone who has been depressed knows that our minds can quickly give up hope that there is any help for us.) Her next plan is to lower the Wellbutrin and increase the Celexa, to 30 mg. (Not all at once, she assured me, when I gasped at the idea.) I am convinced that SSRI’s help keep my depression at bay. However, the side effects have always made me juggle dosages (by splitting the pills) or by completely switching SSRI’s. Linda told me “You’ve been messing around with antidepressants for many years. We are going to find the perfect combination.”
She gave me hope and, right now, that’s what I need. ♥