July 19, 2010

So it's been a solid seven months since I stopped taking Prozac, and I don't really miss it. Sure, it was nice having even moods, but I felt a little too even...like a Stepford wife or something. What I hated most about the medicine was that it affected my desire for intimacy--as in, made it non-existent. And since sex, in my mind, is one of life's purest joys, I knew my days on the meds were numbered from the beginning.

Joys are necessary for sanity.

But I've wondered a few times since giving up the meds if I should ask a doctor about resuming them, or maybe trying some different ones. I don't think my depression is constant, but when it hits, it can be severe. I'm not lying in bed all day or crying uncontrollably, but I either feel spaced out and unmotivated OR angry and unstable. The angry/unstable episodes are the worst. That's when I think about hurting myself. I'll also catch myself clenching my teeth at minor frustrations both real and imagined. And I want to throw things.

The scary part is, I can still function through all of that. The chaos in my head just plays in the background while I cook, play with my son, and carry on civilized conversations with my husband. My husband can usually tell I'm frustrated, but I don't think he knows how bad it gets sometimes.

So I don't know what to do. To be honest, I don't know how to begin to classify my depression. As I said, I think I tend to function pretty well most of the time, even during a depressive episode. But that's exactly what scares me. It scares me that I can be so calm and gracious on the surface, but feel so disturbed underneath it all. My fear is that someday I'll fail to keep it under control, my anger will burst through the floodgates, and I'll just snap.

The "blah" episodes have me worried, too, in that they can last a while and I accomplish very little. I have no idea how productive I could be if I didn't have these times when I seem to almost totally blank out. During one of these episodes, I can barely carry on a conversation. I'm easily distracted, and concentrating for any length of time is nearly impossible. I forget words and the names of things. I fear tasks that require real effort (i.e., anything above housework), so I procrastinate. Badly. And once I'm in the rut, getting out is hard. I have to make a real, determined effort to become productive again on a level I find acceptable.

However, I don't just want to go back on meds. I believe if I could just understand what goes on in my head sometimes--and why--and how these episodes start, then I could be a little more proactive in dealing with them. The best I do now is to stay active and motivated as much as possible, and try not to dwell on negative thoughts when they start running through my brain.

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