Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Lexapro

Life before Lexapro (antidepressant, 5 mg daily):

Overwhelming
Fraught
Tedious
Empty
Grey
Desperate and exhausting
Increasingly rageful and cynical (perhaps due to all of the above)

Life with Lexapro:

Lighter
Hopeful
Easier
More simple
Things are clearer and brighter
I can hear again and focus my thoughts
It feels like I am breathing different air.

What Lexapro is not doing:

Solving my problems (that part is up to me), and making the negative thoughts go away completely.

We do live in a world with some pretty overwhelming and nasty truths, after all; try drought, poverty, and global warming for starters - you're welcome. But it does make taking it in and not getting overwhelmed and depressed in the face of it much more manageable.

I am grateful to my friend who pushed me to consider and then try the medication.

As for any side effects with Lexapro? Yes. For the first 1-2 weeks I was dizzy, nauseous, and exceeding tired. On the other hand, I'm just so glad not to be feeling the way I was before. It is a relief to feel optimism, even moderately. I had forgotten how to feel this way, didn't know I could. It felt so inaccessible. The person that I used to be, the one who got sad sometimes but was able to bounce back and feel optimism and hope for the future - she seemed to be gone completely.

There are still sad moods, but they are less intense, and over sooner. Feeling less intensely in general is an interesting thing, however. Sometimes I don't even know what to think about, which is a new problem. Before the problem was (at times) not getting overwhelmed by all the thoughts flying around in my mind or trying to feel through the numbness - now the challenge is to think an interesting thought.

I'm reading a lot more. Books, articles. I'm having more trouble writing, just because that urgency to write that I used to feel hasn't been gripping. The intensity is gone, replaced by a more mellow existence, a moderate sense of well-being.

Is that better? I think it's better, compared to how it used to be. But what of the intensity? Can one get the same satisfaction out of life without feeling things so intensely? Without feeling that fire that burned so bright?

My god, I hope so. I can't live the way I was living. I was of no use to my family and friends. At least now I am a useful and contributing member of society (or can more successfully masquerade as one - see, I look more like the rest of you now! I smile! I wear presentable clothes! I blend. Say CHEESE).

We'll see how this goes. It's still early yet, and for all I know my feelings may be due to other factors, such as the placebo effect or the excitement of actively trying something new - will this, too, pass?

This is how it is so far on Lexapro. I am so glad to be feeling better.

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