About a month ago, I started titrating off one of my psych meds (with my doctors approval, FYI). Because I’ve been stable for quite a while, the cons of a side effect outweighed the benefits and need of the medication.
I had wanted to get off this medication for quite some time. It’s strong and particularly notorious for side effects. Plus, as much as I advocate for reducing mental illness stigma, that doesn’t mean I don’t still struggle with internalized stigma. If I’m honest, I would love to get off all of my medications. I would love to not need psychotropic medication, potentially for the rest of my life.
It turns out I do need them though. As the days went on and the drug left my body, my mood and energy levels plummeted. It took me longer to get out of bed and out of the house. My productivity went from high to low. I sometimes spent hours just doing nothing.
Yet, I had been on basically the lowest dose of this medication. Could such a small amount really have made such a big difference, or am I just weak and lazy? I know, these thoughts are not helpful, but that doesn’t stop me from thinking them.
I talked to my doctor yesterday, and we decided that as long as I stayed on my other med, adding the second one back in was up to me. I’m going to meet with a psychiatrist too to talk about other potential options. My primary doctor and I both don’t want things to get worse, but we also wanted to be realistic that at that moment I couldn’t agree to go back on the med I had stopped.
It’s a tough decision. It’s one I wrestled with before starting any medication and while on the medication, and I will likely continue to wrestle with this internal struggle in the future. I don’t like feeling badly, and I don’t like being dependent on these meds. I also know that the longer I am off it the worse, I will continue to feel.
This morning I took both meds again.
It’s in my body once more, on its way to my brain.
Now we wait.