No Treatment is for Everyone: My Process to Finding My “Cure”
On August 14, 2017, I was diagnosed with mild depression and severe anxiety by a doctor who had never met me before; a doctor who knew nothing about my experiences or about my feeling; a doctor spent just 15 minutes with me. When I first got my diagnoses I was thrilled! It was as though I had proof that I was not crazy. What I was feeling wasn’t my fault, but rather a chemical imbalance in my brain; I felt free. For three weeks I felt on top of the world, happy and healthy. I later to learned that euphoria was “just placebo.” Three months later, I felt nothing – nothing at all. I was not sad or anxious, but I was not happy, I enjoyed nothing, felt nothing, was nothing. On November 16, 2017, I was told by a healthcare provider that I did not have depression or anxiety but was just “stressed.” They told me that the SSRI which I had been taking was like a death sentence, something that I could never get free of. That’s a great thing to tell an anxious person, right? They recommended that I wean myself off taking my SSRI and simply take a mild anti-anxiety medication for the time being. So that is what I did.
Weaning yourself off an SSRI isn’t as simple as it sounds. My doctor told me that dopamine withdrawal (simply quitting an SSRI cold turkey) was worse than heroin withdrawals (sounds fun!). So, we made a plan: seven weeks of various doses of my SSRI, fluctuating between 50 mg to 10mg weekly, and finally, I would be off. On January 4, 2018, I was off of my SSRI and on 5mg of anti-anxiety medication. I felt free, but only free to a point; I was still not happy, I was numb 90% of the time, and I was scared this was how life would be. I called my doctor and was told I needed to wait a bit, to make sure my body “flushed out” the SSRI and my body normalized the anti anxiety medication on its own and they recommended seeing a therapist. So, I waited and waited. I still felt numb. One month later I ran out of anxiety pills; my doctor never refilled my prescription and I have been off them ever since.
I still have anxiety almost every day, I am depressed at least once a week, yet slowly and surely I am feeling myself again. I have had a horrible experience with medication, but at first, pharmaceuticals seemed as my savior. I fully believe that medication can and does help thousands upon thousands of people, and that it honestly can be a lifesaver. I also believe in the importance of finding a medical professional that knows you and listens to you. I believe in talking to others who have experienced or, who are experiencing what you are feeling. I believe in reading the stories or others, and opinions on medications, and I believe in trial and error. There is no one cure for everyone, everyone is different, but there is always something or someone out there that can and will help you through your darkest hours. I am not cured, I am not fixed, but I do feel free because I have found a support system with people who know how it feels to go through what I have experienced, a group that leans on each other, a group who may just be my cure.
The information available on and through the HappyPill.com website is presented in summary form as a supplement to, and NOT a substitute for, the knowledge, skill, and judgment of qualified psychiatrists, psychologists, physicians and health care professionals. The information on HappyPill.com has been obtained from sources believed to be accurate and reliable. However, Happy Pill makes no warranty as to the accuracy, reliability or completeness of this information. Should you have any health, medical or disability questions or concerns, please consult a physician or other health care professional. Information accessed on or through HappyPill.com is neither complete nor exhaustive and does not cover all disabilities, diseases, illnesses and physical conditions or their management or treatment.
Information accessed on and through HappyPill.com is provided “AS IS” and without warranty, express or implied, including, but not limited to, any implied warranty of merchantability or of fitness for a particular purpose.