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How It Really Felt to Change My Psychiatric Medication

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As I sit here in front of my laptop with tears streaming down my face, barely able to see the letters on my keyboard, I desperately try to find some sort of purpose to the day.

What do you do when you feel useless, blue, unhappy with your appearance, lifestyle and everything else that hits you hardest on a bad day? I believe the answer is to write. Maybe not eloquently, maybe not structurally but certainly emotionally.

My hope is that by being open about just how emotionally rich a bad day, week or even month can be, it might help others find an honest outlet to cope with the loneliness, pain and struggle.

So this week I weaned off an old medication and started a new cocktail of what I hope to be a successful combination of drugs to help my depression and anxiety symptoms.

Cue the shit storm of confusion, intensity and culmination of withdrawal and side effects.

Don’t get me wrong, I am so thankful to be in a time when we even have such miracle drugs (and when you get a medication that works for you, believe me me it can seem like a miracle), but I am also resentful of the reliance and chaos that is possible when starting something new or making changes to a once seemingly successful regime.

You see, my prior medication proved to work positively in many different ways — enhanced sense of purpose, less emotional roller coasters, reduced anxiety, less pain and more ability to enjoy pleasures of life.

My issues however were the side effects. I experienced weight gain, had less motivation to complete harder tasks and faced a battle to stay awake through the day — a battle I lost frequently as I slept up to 16 hours some days.

So I decided to make a change. I saw my doctor, we decided I would take three weeks to wean off my previous meds so we could start my new regime. The goal was to reduce those unwanted side effects but continue my mental health progression.

Today as I write through my blurry self-pitying tears, I realize (as mentioned earlier) what a shit storm mental health is when you have no medication, no help and no one to understand exactly how you feel but you.

Fortunately I have medication, which I am hopeful will kick in soon with fewer negative side effects then my prior solution. I have help through my wonderful girlfriend and family (I include my close friends in this group of people). And as far as understanding goes, I am sure many of you out there can empathize with at least some of what I have written if not for yourself but I a loved one!

Today has been a bad day for me and I am sure many of you out there have had bad or worse days. I don’t think any two conditions can be alike but this community we call “The Mighty” is called that for a reason. We are strong, even when we have bad days. The fight for more good days needs to carry on.

To the good days!

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Photo via contributor.

Originally published: September 14, 2017
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