Wednesday, May 19, 2010

"It's the most unhappy people who most fear change."- Mignon McLaughlin

This week I am going to shy away from the topic of exercise and talk about something a little more personal. Some people would see this topic as controversial. Some people may find it as a way to finally find peace and others may think that the only way to find peace is to change the way you are doing things in your life....Anti-depressants!

In January I noticed that I was changing, and not in a good way. I was always tired and moody and just didn't feel right. I didn't want to get out of bed and when I did get out of bed I would just lay on the couch all day. I didn't want to go anywhere and I didn't really feel like doing anything. Hell, I didn't even want to shower because it meant I had to get out of the shower and get dressed and blow dry my hair. I've had my share of ups and downs and times I didn't want to do anything but exercising always seemed to be my way of "self medicating". Before January I was able to get on the tred-mill and run and feel so much better after-wards. I was at the point that I was stuck in this vicious cycle of knowing that I needed to go to the gym to feel better but I lacked the motivation and energy to get there. I didn't know what was wrong with me. Then it all started to set in. I was becoming sadder and paranoid and just all around crazy. I would always worry and I wasn't sleeping. When I did sleep I would have crazy night-mares and wake up in half dreams. An example of what I call a half dream is where I wake up and I think I am seeing something on the bed, like a huge spider, and I jump out of bed and I can have a complete conversation with my husband but I am still dreaming. I've had these dreams in the past but they were starting to become a lot more frequent. So, one day I decided that I needed to get some help. I made an appointment with my doctor.

Now, getting medicated help isn't as easy as all the jokes make it out to be. I felt like I had to go through hoops and over hurdles to get help. Because I live in what is considered the "north region" for Tri Care, I am FORCED to see a military doctor no matter what, unless I am dieing, and then I can go to the emergency room. Well, if anyone has ever been to a military clinic it takes at-least a week to be seen and then they ask you to get there 15 minutes before your appointment time only to have you wait an hour after your appointment time. You can see the fun I had having a 2 year old, stress, and anxiety and having to wait over an hour to be seen. This was only half my battle though.

So, I get into the doctor and she is asking me all these questions... "do you think of suicide, how's your sleep, how do you feel, how many times a day do you feel sad, on a scale of 1-10, do you handle stress well, how do you sleep, do you have a problem with people and groups, blah blah". After about an hour of convincing her that I actually needed help and wasn't a junkie looking for crazy pills she decided to help me. Well, she first put me on Effexor and holy cow that messed me up. I was able to feel happy but I was always sick and sleepy. So, I basically became a very happy, bulimic, couch potato. Again, I went back and waited my hour and went through the song and dance of convincing her that it wasn't working and why and she gave me a prescription for Zoloft. Jackpot! Now, we did have a problem with giving me the right dose but finally go it right. Too much made me feel loopy and high and too little just wasn't enough. So now, I am a lot happier. I handle stress a lot better and I am seeing things in a more normal perspective. I feel like a normal person. I'm doing a lot more with my son and I can keep up with him. I try to take him to the park at-least 2xs a week and I am always wanting to go out and do something. I try to work out twice a day now and I always have enough energy that I could probably do it 3xs a day if I really wanted to. My sleeping has become better but I still need help sometimes and on those nights I use Lunesta.

The only problem I have ran into using Anti-depressants is the weight loss. I am not losing as much weight as I was before I was put on it. I average about a pound a week. I started doing some reading on Zoloft and side effects and if it causes weight gain, and it does in some people. Actually, most anti-depressants have either a weight gain or a weight loss side effect. Well, I haven't gained any weight, its just hard to lose weight. But, I'm not giving up. I am still going to work out like I have been and I am going to keep eating relatively healthy. I figure if I am only losing a pound a week it's better than gaining a pound a week, and I am very very happy now. So, to me its worth it!