Weighing Changes

It has been ten days since I have taken any medication for depression or anxiety. I saw the doctor a week ago, and asked him how long it would take for the Wellbutrin to be completely out of my system. For some reason I need to know when it is really gone. He replied that it would take about two weeks. So by the start of next week I will be really living without anything flowing through my brain to keep things in check. By now I am sure that whatever the levels of medication are in my system they have become pretty low and things are going pretty well.

I found this visit to the shrink a little peculiar. After I asked about how long it would take to be completely rid of the drug he launched into this whole speech about how it shouldn’t be considered a failure if I need to go back on the Wellbutrin. He must have said it three or four times over the course of the appointment. He pointed out that depression is an episodic illness and in future years I may have a reoccurrence. At first I just figured he was trying to be sure that if things do slip I will not be afraid to seek some help and get back on the medication, but after the second or third time it started to sound like he was expecting failure. I am sure he is not but this is a sensitive time and I would have liked a little more positive energy from him.

He was curious about how I was feeling off both the Klonopin and at the reduced doses of Wellbutrin. How I feel is of course the best part of this so I have him the list:

–          My Energy levels are higher

–          I Have lost a bunch of weight

–          My Sex drive is through the roof

–          My General Outlook is brighter

Of course if you are going to look at one side of the coin you need to look at the other, and there have been some significant challenges as well. I have written about them here before and they continue to be a challenge. I am still learning to have a wider range of emotions. I never got angry before and I have struggled some to manage it. The truth is that “getting angry” could also fit up on the list of positives. I have learned over the last couple months that by offering an outlet to my feelings the angst becomes much more fleeting. I don’t harbor negative thoughts for hours or days. I let them out and they are gone.

Another change that could be on both sides of the coin is already listed in with the positives and that is the changes in my sex drive. I love having it back, but when I was just chugging along with limited libido frequency was a problem inside my marriage, and now that I am feeling better the problem has been magnified significantly. I had hope that things were getting better, and they did for awhile, but it continues to be a major concern for me.

The last negative is the general increase in day to day anxiousness. The Klonopin and even the higher doses of SSRI’s and Wellbutrin kept a lot of the anxious feelings in check, but they are now back at low levels. Sometimes this anxiousness builds up to the point of causing discomfort for me, but I have been able to manage it thus far. This is the one I need to watch the closest as it could turn for the worst the quickest. It is almost as if once my brain chemicals begin to flow a certain way they always take that path. Right now things are on and even keel, but if I let too much anxiety into my life I am concerned my brain will magnify what I feel out of habit. I am not sure this makes a lot whole lot of sense, but it is a concern for me.

If I were putting marbles on a scale the anxiety would be a Shooter while the others would be your regular sized marbles. Even so with sex and anger basically canceling themselves on both sides I think the scale tips pretty solidly to the positive side of the equation. I have been feeling good. I am happy. Most of all I am hopeful that this may be my new reality for awhile.


7 thoughts on “Weighing Changes

  1. Things sound like they are going great! I didn’t hear any real stress in your post so I’m feeling positive for you.

    I don’t mean to be nosy but you used to have a lot of stomach issues. Are things better? Do you think they were related to a medication? The reason I ask is the clonazepam (Klonopin) is helping me with stomach pain I get from the Bupropion (wellbutrin). When I tried to reduce the clonazepan I got bad stomach cramps and my dr thought the bupropion was the cause.

    ~~~~~Sending out lots of positive vibes~~~~~

    • The truth is there isn’t a lot of stress related to my mental situation, which is good considering there is actually an unbelievable amount of day to day stress in my life these days. I actually forgot to mention that my stomach has been very very good. My stomach trouble is more a function of my stress level. The very first indicator that my mood is slipping or my anxiety levels are too high has always been my stomach. I have returned to the SSRI’s many times just to cure the stomach pain. I am don’t think it has much to do with the Wellbutrin for me, but we are all our own chemistry set so it very well may be a problem for others.

  2. I finally have a chance to read your post…This is really good news! And, I’m glad someone inquired after your GI health…I was wondering. RE: your anxiety…I have two kids with anxiety issues who are both medicated and in therapy. One has autsim w/co-morbid anxiety issues, and the other has generalized anxiety w/ a social anxiety component. I think I’ve mentioned this idea to you before, but it’s worth trying. I use it myself. Both of my kids have learned to externalize their anxiety by personalizing it. In other words, their anxiety is given a name and almost a personality and treated like a separate entity. In this way, it can be dealt with in a much more powerful way w/CBT–(what you think determines what you feel). There are times when anxiety descends upon me in an instant, almost like a foreboding presence, and I’ve named that “Killer Steve”. Naming it changes the interaction because it takes it out of your head and places it next to you, rather than inside of you. Then, you can ask questions like: What does Killer Steve want? Why is Killer Steve here? What is Killer Steve telling me? Do I believe what Killer Steve is telling me? Is Killer Steve telling me the truth? It may seem funny, but this is exactly how to do CBT with a kid, and it works. It’s how you get to the core of your own beliefs about “Killer Steve” or whatever he is be it anxiety, fear, whatever. It’s just a thought….

    I’m glad that you’re doing well.

    • Its funny I had been planning on writing something about managing the anxiety, and even to a degree the depression by changing the way I think. For now at least I am able to feel the anxiety build and make a rational decision in my head that it is a false alarm. Likewise when I feel my mood slipping a little I have been able to force myself to a new better place. I was never able to do that before. I am not sure what has changed, and I don’t know if I will be able to maintain this when things get really bad, but I am still very hopeful. I can see how the CBT method you are talking about can take what I am already doing and make it a little easier, especially for kids. Now I just need to come up with a good witty name….

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