Going Back On Antidepressants?

(For the past couple of days, I have been under the spell of a virus infection which is currently on a rampage in my neck of the woods – sneezing, coughing, sinus pains, yadda yadda yadda. Not that I really dare complaining; having suffered through a real influenza two years ago, I know how bad it can get and how far away I am from that still.)

For a little while now I have considered going back on antidepressants. Taking citalopram was a mixed blessing, which I have written about in one of my first blog posts and in the Pre-Treatment Diary, and for a long time I was adamant to not go back on medication. However, my perspective on it has changed since: To begin with, I believe I was too depressed in 2010 that antidepressants alone could have “cured” me – even on medication, I still was severely depressed. After two years of psychotherapy, I can feel and tell apart varying degrees of depression, even within the same category of “severe”, “moderate” or “light” depression, but was not attuned enough for doing so two years ago. I can also tell where citalopram worked for me and where it did not, and it undeniably helped with the panic attacks, even if it could not eradicate the depression enough to make a difference.
Maybe a different brand or class of antidepressants will work better than the citalopram did.

The reason why I am even considering going back on antidepressants is that I feel myself slipping – very slowly, but it is happening – into another episode of depression. My energy levels are getting lower; concentration lapses; the cognitive deficits are becoming worse; insomnia. I just want to curl up on the sofa, hide from the world. (And none of that has anything to do with the cold; it has been going on for a much longer time than this.)
What worries me is an unpredictable sadness flooding me out of nowhere, making me tear up from one minute to the next. It is so difficult to explain to other people… sometimes, it is as if I am in a bubble, and inside it time goes by much slower than for everyone else. I am too slow, too lethargic to keep up with the rest of the world….

Due to my husband’s integration class finally starting and me being unable to fall asleep, he has gone to bed earlier than me all week long: I would just stay in the living room and join him a couple of hours later, so that I would lie awake only one or two hours in bed instead of four of five. Sitting around at night all by myself has somehow emotionally transported me back to the times of my deepest depression, and I always had a pattern where my mood would tank over the course of the evening. The sadness increases with every hour, and I feel more and more lonely until I fall asleep. It is like being the only person in a vast, empty land, with nothing to distract or occupy the mind, where only bitterness and desolation thrive. Everyone around me is asleep.
I went to bed at two o’ clock in the morning, hoping I would be able to sleep. Instead, I found myself falling into sadness again – so badly that it cost all my self-control and restraint to not wake up my husband. I knew it was silly; after all, I was lying right next to the person I had married, no reason to feel lonely. And yet, there was this strange sensation of being completely isolated from everyone else in the world.

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4 thoughts on “Going Back On Antidepressants?

  1. KL

    Very likely that another medication or class of medication could be helpful! Not advocating medication per se, just that there definitely could be something that works better then citalopram did. For myself, none of the SSRIs worked, but some other classes did. Anyway, something to think about – which it sounds like you already are.

    1. Yeah, back then citalopram made sense because of the panic attacks, but I think now a different class might be called for. I am not a huge fan of medication either, but I think I am at a point where I need some help from “outside” to support me.

  2. I really hate that feeling of being alone when you are right next to a loved one. Depression (and bipolar) seems to be such a private, isolated hell, that when in the depths I am certain that no one can understand what I am going through. … If you do go on medication, I hope it works for you. I know I would not survive very well without the drugs.

    1. Thank you! And I agree – communicating depression, putting into words what exactly is going on becomes so difficult, that even if you try, you never really come close to the truth. And that isolates you even more.

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