15 July 2009
After about two solid weeks of the lower dose of anti-depressants, I'm ready to declare the experiment a failure. I'm overwhelmed, super-tired, and not particularly cheerful.
But this isn't supposed to be easy, and getting ON the meds was tough, too. They take about 6 weeks to work their way into your system, although I don't understand the whys of that, since you take them every damn day. So the "I'll show you" side of my personality wants to stick with it partly in the belief that it will get better and partly to prove to myself that I can. Lowering the dose is never going to be easier than in the summer; trying this in the depths of winter would be catastrophic. I can picture that resulting in getting back to the point where losing my car keys is major meltdown time.
If I give up on it now, therefore, I won't try again until next summer.
I keep saying that I'm OK with the fact that I might need the meds for the rest of my life, but maybe I'm not OK with that. Because I don't think it is all right to need the maximum daily dosage for the rest of my life, really. What would happen to me if I was living in the times before these drugs were so readily available? Would I have been one of those people that friends and family would natter to pull myself up by my own bootstraps? Or would I have been one of the millions that suffered in silence, quietly choosing a handful of sleeping pills over the stigma of admitting that I had a mental illness? Thank goodness for the modern age, and for the meds.
Stepping down the dose is at the suggestion of my doctor, although we did not discuss the ramifications of it. He told me to step it down by 150 mg, which means that I take one 300 mg pill a day instead of one 300 mg and one 150 mg daily. I didn't expect it to be difficult. I didn't expect it to be such a roller-coaster. If nothing worthwhile is easy, though, I don't know why I thought this would be simple.
I should, in the interest of science, give it the same 6 weeks I gave the meds to start working. Give my body that time to adjust to alteration (again) of my brain's chemistry. But I'm sticking with the adage of "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," and going back to the 450 mg dosage. The negative effects of lowering the amount that I take each day is not worth it to me right now.
One of my personality traits that I really don't like is that I'm indecisive. It is good to be able to look at a problem from many sides, to be able to see all the benefits of a particular decision, but not good to waffle between two or three options. I'm not fence-sitting on this one, and I'm going to try to stop fence-sitting in the rest of my life, too. June 1, 2010 seems like a good date to me to try again.