Better off dead or living continually on meds?

I’m tempted to go back on Effexor. I miss the weight loss. The side effects sucked but boy, I loved the weight loss. (It actually caused me to be anorexic, which I know is unhealthy but I think I’d rather be 117 lbs—which, in fact, is within my BMI range—than the 155 that I’m approaching.) I’m considering trying gabapentin as well. I’m weighing my options to see which drug will cause the least amount of side effects. I’m still feeling incredibly overwhelmed. So many medications to treat me and there’s so much research for me to do before I settle on one. Gianna has a post up on the number of Americans on pharmaceuticals and Susan is writing on bipolar medication. I’m feeling incredibly overwhelmed. I think of people who have gotten off of medication and seem to be functioning well while I’m here wishing I was dead instead of having to figure out what med is going to keep me living.

Current Mood Rating: 4

13 Comments

  1. etta said,

    May 14, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    Hi Marissa-
    I am so sorry you are feeling overwhelmed. If you read my post from yesterday, you saw I was clearly right there with you!
    I have one thought I wonder if you would consider pondering:
    If it were heart disease instead of depression, and you needed the meds to stay alive, do you think you’d still be struggling with taking them?

  2. Jim said,

    May 14, 2008 at 4:59 pm

    Marissa,
    What does your doctor say about the meds? I’m wondering why you have to do all the research?
    Please try and hang on! We’re with you (even if it’s only virtually).

  3. May 14, 2008 at 5:03 pm

    Dear Marissa,
    I apologize if I’m contributing to your confusion. I don’t mean to imply that anyone should go off medication if it’s helping them.
    As I’ve said many times in my blog, I’m medication-
    resistant so the standard medications don’t work for me. And…the medication made me sicker than the illness.
    But…and this is very important…if you don’t have a problem with medication and if it works for you, I don’t see why you need to get off it.
    Hope that clarifies my position.
    Susan

  4. Lizzie said,

    May 14, 2008 at 5:33 pm

    As someone who has been BLASTED for using medication I may be a little biased. That said, It really comes down to you and your doctor. Most people that know I am on meds know what a tough time I had taking the meds. Last night I had this tear pressing on the eyes revelation-I can sleep at night. Before meds either panic, mania, or depression would keep me awake until all hours. When I would finally get to sleep it would be time to get up again. I began to have stomach problems, high blood pressure, headaches, and an overall feeling as if I had the flu. When I am not on my meds my overall health declines.
    I am not here to tell you what to do but to let you know I really understand. Whatever you choose, may you find peace.

  5. May 14, 2008 at 11:58 pm

    If it were heart disease instead of depression, and you needed the meds to stay alive, do you think you’d still be struggling with taking them?”
    etta – Good point. I wouldn’t. Unless I was suicidal, which since I have that problem, complicates matters. However, I’m much more leery of psych meds that are given based on trial and error rather than meds based on a medical condition that are given as a result of diagnostic tests.
    Jim – thanks for your prayers and support. My doctor offered me all these different alternatives that are known to cause weight gain, somnolence, and hyperglycemia, which could lead to diabetes so I like to arm myself with information before I take medication. But since there are so many options, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Ever since beginning this blog, I’ve learned that I can’t just trust a doc and take my medication blind. I need to know about it before I take it. “To whom much is given, much is required,” right?
    Susan – Actually, I found your post AFTER I’d posted! I’ve seen many people get off of medication after years of being on it and function just fine. I’d like to be one of those people. I’m not sure whether I need to be on meds (placebo, anyone?) or whether I can go without it. Reading about the different ways pharma companies skew clinical trial data has me skeptical. But like I answered etta’s question, I wouldn’t be flipping out about meds if I had cancer or some other physical disease. But this is my brain and without my brain… so goes my body.
    *apologizes for misspellings in advance; I’m tired*

  6. Jennifer said,

    May 15, 2008 at 12:05 am

    One thing has stuck out from reading your blog: You are so brave. I respect your strength to not only put words to your feelings — but to put those words on the Internet for others to read. How many people you must help, just by showing them they aren’t alone. What a gift. I see that you have an entire “blogroll” here — but I wonder if you’ve checked out Mayo Clinic’s new Depression blog at MayoClinic.com. The last few posts have discussed treatment options, and it’s seen a very active comments section. (Disclosure: I do some writing for Mayo Clinic, but haven’t written for this blog.)

  7. May 15, 2008 at 12:18 am

    Thanks for your post, Jennifer. I didn’t know the Mayo Clinic started up the new blog. I’ll certainly add it to my blogroll. And you sure are correct: those comments are interesting.

  8. Mary said,

    May 15, 2008 at 1:47 am

    Hi Marissa: My mood i would say is a 2…I have suffered from depression for over 20 years, been hospitalized 2x and have been on many different meds. I too have have a problem meds. So now they have me on Nardil whichis a very old drug, and has been working good f or the past few years, but now i am stuggling, like before, and it is so hard..But I know without any meds, I would be back in the hospital, I have been fighting this demon and of late it is winning a bit because I am getting back into my old ways of doing self harm.. read my two blogs on depression…all the best..mary

  9. Jazz said,

    May 15, 2008 at 10:37 am

    Marissa–
    Meds do help a lot of people, and maybe you will be one of them. It can’t hurt to try…but I think you’re taking the right approach, doing the research for yourself and going into it with your eyes open. Whatever you decide, I hope you find some relief soon.

  10. Stephany said,

    May 15, 2008 at 3:47 pm

    Ive heard topomax helps with weight loss. my recent reduction of xanax is coinsiding with a severe (the worst EVER in my entire life)depression. the fog alone is suffocating, i share this so you know you are not alone, and if you read some blogs with ppl off meds or tapering they arent always that bright and cheerful sounding either!
    I hate to suggest anything, but I would go back up on the Lamcital that was decreased, that could be the culprit was that reduction.
    In any case, however we can all get through the day on or off meds, is the goal to feel better, or even great!

  11. etta said,

    May 16, 2008 at 12:02 am

    “…rather than meds based on a medical condition that are given as a result of diagnostic tests.”
    (how do you get these quotes in italics?)
    This may seem a bit nit-picky but you ARE being given meds for a biological, medical condition. If you had a brain tumor, it could manifest with every symptom you are currently having–NOT suggesting you have a brain tumor–rather, asking again if that would make it more okay to take meds–NOT saying you should or shouldn’t take meds–but why may it feel more okay to take them for a tumor causing the same symptoms as screwed up brain chemicals are causing?
    Again, just something to ponder…
    I think our own internal stigma complicates our lives sometimes.
    Great discussion, Marissa!
    Glad you are feeling well enough to participate.
    Take care-
    etta

  12. May 16, 2008 at 5:54 am

    I’m currently on a come-down from Lexapro. I decided to come off it myself and have been gradually reducing the dosage for a while now.
    I don’t think there is a right or wrong here but I don’t want to spend my life on meds. I can’t help feeling every decision I make, every feeling I have, is tainted by the meds and just isn’t me.
    And yet, without them, everything is tainted by the depression.
    Which is worse? Which is the real me?
    I don’t know. It does mean I really should change the title of my blog though. I wouldn’t be convinced that weight loss should be all that much of a consideration when talking about whether you should go back on meds or not…

  13. May 16, 2008 at 11:24 pm

    BA,
    Weight GAIN is a serious concern about me going back on meds as it slows me down and makes my depression even worse. (How I look and fit into my clothes is pretty important for me and contributes to my well-being!)
    But I wrestle with many of the questions that you wrestle with as well.


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