August 18, 2009

So I started Prozac...

Some of you may remember this post, where I was writing about failing to cling to God. Failing to trust Him and give Him the time I needed. I just thought I'd share an update now that I'm a bit further down the road...

After I wrote that post, I had several days where I did get quiet with the Lord and meditate on His word. I was neglecting that time and felt like I had to correct that before I pursued any medical intervention. For me, I knew I had to make sure this wasn't a spiritual issue being caused by my neglect. And after several days of getting really good time with my God, that answer was very clear. This was definitely different.

I continued to have the days where I was crying about random things... losing a receipt, Robert wanting to go to bed at 8:00, needing a breathing treatment because I forgot my inhaler one day, having to make bread for an out of town trip, having to pack for an out of town trip, etc. I was also paralyzed by such things as this trip. I LOVE to get together with my family, but preparing for the 4th of July trip took everything in me. Honestly, I wanted to sit on the couch in Robert's lap and not move... for a long time. I couldn't fathom having that much time to talk to people and act happy when I felt flat, having nowhere to hide, having no way to hide without talking about how I was feeling (I just forced myself to talk about it), successfully making the 7 hour drive that I've made a hundred times before, parenting my kids with so much visibility, and so many other things. I knew when I just didn't want to go that something was definitely over the edge wrong.

I had made an appointment with the doctor for that Monday just to talk through some things, but honestly I almost canceled it one day because I had such a good day that day. When the day came, I was glad I had kept it. He said I was definitely describing a mild to moderate depression. He said he didn't doubt that I could pull out of this without medication, but that I would absolutely have to exercise 5 days a week for 30 minutes minimum. (Robert was out of town for several weeks, so I knew this wasn't very feasible then.) He also recommended counseling which I'm sure would be good for me, but there was still the time of setting it all up and actually getting in. He also said that with all we've been through since January, he was quite surprised I didn't fall apart months ago! :)

So I left with a prescription for a small dose of Prozac. It was up to me to decide if I wanted to take it or not.

The next day as I was driving to Maryland crying about nothing, I decided it was time. For my kids sake if for no other reason. I knew I could stop it at any time, but I also knew it would be two weeks before I felt better, so I'd better not waste any more time! I should at least be taking it while I was thinking through it all.


As I think back on that time I have a few thoughts I thought I'd share in case anyone else has ever been there too and is hesitant to get help.

I was afraid that medication would mask my need, my desperation for God.

I thought since there was a reason for my emotional exhaustion it wasn't depression. Like I only needed medication if it was a physical thing, not a legitimate reaction to life events.

As I think back about my behaviors during this time, I noticed there was a long time where I hadn't wanted to return any phone calls and almost always would let a phone call go unanswered so I could return it on a day when I felt like talking. I had many, many days where thinking about writing a blog post was too much. I knew in my head I enjoyed writing, but formulating a post that made sense was overwhelming. A friend pointed out that I stopped taking my camera when we went places, and she was right. I almost never took it out anymore and if I did I had no interest in uploading the pictures to edit.

I also realize now that I've been on the medicine for almost 6 weeks that I had some negative thoughts that I'm very thankful to be relieved of! Honestly, they were probably obsessions and they were exhausting to control! They were fears that were unfounded and that were causing me to behave in certain ways that were unhealthy and unfair to Robert.

I wonder now if this has been going on longer than I noticed, just a little bit at a time. I haven't enjoyed simple pleasures for a long time.


But now, generally, I'm doing soooooooooo much better! I've had virtually no side effects, which is very exciting! There were some side effects I was afraid of but have seen no evidence of them. The generic pill I was prescribed did have corn starch to which I asthmatically reacted pretty badly for a month, but now that I have had it compounded (made from scratch) to be corn free, it's great.

I'm thankful the Lord has allowed me to go through this, but that He allowed it to be a short time by keeping me aware of how I was feeling (because I've seen so many others struggle with depression). It's good to have been there for a lot of reasons, but it's sure good to not be there anymore!


clinton-family said...

Wow, Lis....I am so glad to hear that you are doing better and that you were able to get the help you needed. I am so humbled by YOUR humilty in writing this on your blog for others to see. That takes great strength and it is such evidence of God's grace in your life to be able to share your experience in order to benefit others.

Linda said...

Go Lissa! Go Lissa! (read the reply to ("What a guy" first!)

I was pleased to see you seeming to do so much better in FL, though we didn't talk about it last week. I do recognize the symptoms, as I share many of them. So I've decided to remain on my antidepressant rather than tough it out. I don't like the side effects (especially the "flatness" I feel when I'm on it) but I've noticed that with all of them. So, once again, thanks for sharing your heart so openly and humbly. Once again, thanks for challenging me with your honesty and humility.


Kjirstin C said...

Lissa - thank you so much for your openness and honesty through this experience. I'm sure that many will benefit from it - and you have encouraged me for sure. I'm glad to know you're feeling better - and had a wonderful time with you in Florida last week! Love you :)