Well, I decided to get back on antidepressants, even though it’s been something like ten years since I last needed them. One of the benefits of this not being my first experience with depression is that I can recognize the symptoms for what they are, and I can (slightly) more easily suck up my pride and ask for help when I need it. When symptoms were interfering with work and personal life, I had to take action. I Listened to my experience and my body, and took the needed Leap.
One of the benefits of working with a bunch of nurses is that I can get a prescription fairly quickly, and get things turned around sooner rather than later. I still have an appointment to meet with someone, but I didn’t have to wait for it to start the meds. I’m not sure I’m going to pursue counselling. I feel like I have things well in hand, I can weather the storm and know myself, I just eventually hit a wall where my perseverance runs out and my brain chemistry needs help.
Another kinda cool side note is that since the last time I was on it, Paxil/Paroxetine has gone generic. That means a month’s supply is under $5. Which is nice, and significantly cheaper than the supplement I was using as a stopgap. Score!
I am not the young thing I was the last time I took an SSRI, I’m feeling side effects now when I recall none in the past. Nausea, intestinal distress, that spacey feeling I usually associate with Benadryl (and is why I never take it), dry mouth, the works. I know that most side effects abate with continued use, but I was worried for a while. The spacey feeling is unpleasant, and interferes with functioning as I’d like to, but it’s finally started to easy off. Now dry mouth is the last one hanging on. I can live with it if needed, though I hope it goes away too.
During my shamanic apprenticeship, my mentor shared a story of a client of hers who was undergoing chemotherapy as part of her cancer treatment. Chemo is known for its severe side effects, essentially because it’s poison that kills cancer cells faster (hopefully) than it kills healthy cells. The client used shamanic journeying to work with the chemotherapy, treating the chemical as a sentient entity. They talked, struck bargains, formed a partnership. And her side effects were quite mild, all things considered.
Animism says that all things are imbued with Spirit. This is easy to accept when we talk of the natural world, but can boggle the mind when you start talking about man-made molecules. But if you really think about it, why not? If I talk to my car, and name it, why not a medicine? If folks work with plant-based entheogens, is the leap to antidepressants really that big? I say not at all. So I am not just taking this pill, I am building a relationship with a chemical, leveraging all my knowledge, and using all the tools available to me.
When I have my appointment, it will be interesting to talk with someone about where to go from here. On the one hand, it’s a vast improvement from where I was. On the other, I still feel lower energy and prone to repetitive thoughts than I’d like. The question is, do I stick it out a while longer and see what comes, or try another tack? We shall see what comes!