Monday, October 11, 2010


I have been on Zoloft since Ellie's birth in May of 2006 and my subsequent free-fall back into post-partum anxiety and depression - the same mess I experienced after Jefferson's birth in January 2001. (Can you see why I don't want more kids? I and my marriage can't take all of that again!)

Recently I decided to wean myself off of it. Why? I'm not 100% sure. I'm absolutely in favor of people who struggle with anxiety and depression seeking help, in whatever form they need it in - counseling, medications, whatever. Because living with anxiety and depression is no way to live. And I'm in no way ashamed to admit I struggle with those two things or to admit that I take meds for it.

Still, I've been wondering what I would be like without it. After all, I was on Serzone for a few years after Jefferson came along, but chose to go off when we wanted to get pregnant again. I didn't notice a huge difference. My mom said she did. So who knows? But I don't think the effect was as apparent as in the first few months of post-baby panic.

Today marks day 5 of being completely off it, after having weaned down to a half a dose for the past month or so. I haven't had any major withdrawal symptoms, as far as I know. I am cranky and irritable, but that's in part because I either have a cold or allergies right now. But I don't feel as if I'm any bitchier than I was when I was on it. I guess I should ask around. I do feel as though I've been too short-tempered with my kids, but, ahem, I've felt that way for months - so is that the lack of medication, or is that parenting?

Anyway, it's not that I'm not willing to take it. But I want to see if I can boost my own serotonin production through exercising. And in 2 weeks, once I think the Zoloft is mostly gone, I'm going to try 5-HTP, which supposedly helps create more serotonin (rather than just blocking the serotonin from being reabsorbed as quickly, as the SSRI's do), and see where it leads.

Am I nuts? Maybe. I just hope I have the perspective, or others around me do, to figure out if this is a good move, or a bad move. What I do know is that I don't have the high anxiety levels or immense feelings of worry/sadness/fear/hopelessness/anxiety that I had in the 6 months after my babies came along. That's something, right?

But seriously, am I nuts?

1 comment:

  1. funny you should post this today .. since i'm finally filling an rx for cymbalta that i have had since january of last year ...

    i've struggled and bucked and fought the urge to take those little frickin' pills for so long .. so i totally get your desire to NOT take them.

    but you know what? i had a chat with a dear friend a long time ago, and it's stuck with me. i said, "i don't want to take that stuff. it's just a crutch. i want to be FINE without any meds!" his reply? "if you need a crutch to get around, what the hell is wrong with using one?"

    hmm .. so i think to myself .. do i NEED this crutch? can i make it without it? shouldn't i be able to just buck up a little bit harder? shouldn't i just focus on all the happy things and 'get over it'?!? (damn i hate it when people say that one .. but i admit, i think it about MYSELF ...) yes, there are many little voices (not literally, thank God) trying to talk me out of swallowing that first pill 'it's expensive' 'it has side effects' 'it might make your belly hurt' 'what if you get hooked' ... blah blah blah ...

    on the other hand .. there is a reason why my dr (and yeah, me .. if i admit it) think i might need this damn stuff. i'm anxious. i'm irritable. i'm depressed. i'm sore EVERYWHERE, and it's supposed to help with this fibromyalgia garbage that i've been diagnosed with.

    so .. in NO WAY am i talking you out of giving up the zoloft .. in fact, if you're ready to ride without those training wheels .. then go for it! and if you need someone to just say "uh oh .. need a bandaid and a hug? you'll get it soon .. just keep working on it" if you fall down a few times .. let me know.