I just realised that I’m scared. I thought that that it was just normal anxiety, but the root of it is fear; the fear of taking away my safety net.
Today I started to gradually lower my dosage of the antidepressant medication that I have been taking for the past 2 years. It is the only medication that has worked; I have only taken 2 types. This transition will take 3 weeks: 1 week to gradually wean off the current meds to no meds, and 2 weeks to gradually get to my estimated new dosage of the new meds.
I have been feeling really anxious for the past month. I have been very busy with work, commitments to a men’s workshop that is now over, and also lots of assessments due for the end of term for the course that I’m studying. I had a lot on my plate (I study full time), and my psychiatrist and I have been planning this change since 2 months ago. But I submitted my last assessment this morning and I’m still feeling really anxious. My jaw is constantly clenched, the point in the middle of my brow tense. I think my tongue has been clenched too; it is now. My body feels weak and my appetite has disappeared over the last couple weeks. I hardly eat and sleep is scattered and poor.
Cognitively I am okay with changing my meds. I made the decision because I was frustrated with the side effects of the current meds that I’m on. The new meds belong to a different family of antidepressants, so I expect the side effects to be different. I don’t know if it will be better, but I don’t know until I try. Side effects affect each person differently. But I couldn’t keep going on the same meds wanting a different result. I think that I was even optimistic and hopeful about the new meds. But now I’m just scared.
I knew that this change was coming up well in advance. We had planned it so that I would make the change during my college break between terms. I have 2 weeks off study. It can get a bit emotionally rough during transitions. I have organised my mum to give me a call everyday during this period to check up on how I am going (I should remind her tonight). It is likely that my mood and anxiety will be all over the shop. I hope that it won’t be that bad, but I’m preparing for the worst. But I don’t know if that perspective is even good for me, cause I’m worrying about it a lot. I can feel my negative thinking coming back, especially in the mornings.
I don’t think I have ever been comfortable with change, or have liked tackling change head on. I’m an analyser and over-thinker, not a do-er. The current safety net that I am taking away is so familiar. I think that it has kept my head above water, when I would have liked to have drowned. I know that I will be putting another safety net in place, but antidepressants aren’t an exact science. It is the unknown that I am scared of. Scared of what my maladaptive brain will feel, think and make me do.
Fuck, for the past hour, I’ve been paralysed on the couch, staring at my screen with only my fingers moving. I gotta get moving. Do little bits of housework that will take my mind off things a little. I have to prepare for leaving home for a couple days for a funeral and for work. I think that I’m also avoiding thinking about the funeral. I haven’t fully mourned yet, and I think it may rush up on me. I’ll be with family, so they will be able to support me, and I them.
I need to trust myself, trust my psychiatrist, trust my support network to hold me up. Trust …