Clouds are parting

Emil_Orlik_Sonnenaufgang_vom_Wendelstein_1917

I’m starting to feel better, and I want to share some of my experiences and things I’m learning about depression. In particular, I want to share a bit of hope related to antidepressants.

I had a hard week, but by the end of it I started to feel the clouds of depression parting. I was laid up one day with cramps and abdominal pains and another day with a migraine. As those symptoms eased, I began to notice my mind felt clearer and more focused than it has in months, I had a little more energy and felt stronger, and I had a little spark of happiness.

Somewhere around May I started to slide into a recurrence of depression. I was stressed and grieving, so it was very hard for me at the time to see depression coming on. I think it was August when I realized I was in trouble.

I’ve been through this before. About 10 years ago I had a bout of serious depression, and I dug myself out of that pit. From that experience, I recognized it as I started to sink back into the quicksand this time around. I also learned I can weather these times in life and find happiness again. I know that it can feel hopeless, but that is a feeling and not a fact. I know that it gets better. I also learned from my past experience that antidepressants can be very helpful for me. I had been on various dosages of Wellbutrin over the past 10 years. They worked for me.

About a year ago I felt fantastic and had been stable for quite a few years. I was also newly married and thinking about trying to get pregnant. I wanted to see how I’d do without the medication, and whether I could do pregnancy without exposing my child to those drugs. Anyway, I went through most of the year feeling good even though we were going through some serious difficulties including the death of my husband’s mother. We had hard times, but I felt good. This changed as my job became more and more stressful. And then as I didn’t get pregnant, as I learned how difficult it would be for me, and realized it was realistically not going to happen for me. This capsized me.

I wish I had gone back to my doctor right away this spring to get back on Wellbutrin. As soon as I met with the specialist and got the tough news, I should have got a prescription. I guess I was thinking I could get through, but I think my brain chemistry is such that stress and loss of that magnitude will sink me. And it did. My depression was very strong the last several months. In August, I started 150 mg daily Wellbutrin. There were a few days where I thought maybe I was starting to feel better, but after 6 weeks I actually felt worse. My dosage then got increased to 300 mg daily.

After 3 weeks, I have started to feel the clouds parting. I caught myself whistling at work and singing at random times. This is my normal, but I haven’t for months. I felt more focused, like cobwebs clearing. I had almost felt filled with concrete and about as intelligent. Now I feel a little more alive and focused. The world had felt closed in around me, but I feel it opening up. I take more enjoyment from experiences.

Depression runs in my family and I expect I’ll manage it my whole life. I hope I won’t have to be on medication forever. I think I’ll have to be vigilant during times of high stress and be quicker to ensure I’m having my depression treated. I shouldn’t wait again until I’m so deep in the pit.

I know that medications may not be for everyone, but I want to share that it has seriously helped me. I was honestly starting to worry about being able to keep working with how terrible I felt. I still feel stressed and sad and worried and heartbroken. The difference is that I feel like I can keep going forward.

Image: Sonnenaufgang vom Weldenstein (Sunrise from Weldenstein) by Emil Orlik, public domain

Content copyright Snowdroplets 2015

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10 responses to “Clouds are parting

  1. Very awesome to hear that you are better! Depression is such an ugly thing to contend with but when you find the right medication for it, it’s a major victory. To your continued happiness, sweetie!

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