May 272014


Chemical structure of citalopram.

Image via Wikipedia

Have you ever came up with a good title and then had to figure out what to do with it?  Yea, this post is like that.  Of course, it is somewhat based in my reality.

Brain chemicals are to blame here.  Brain chemicals and the balance between all of them.  Some say it is a fight we could never win, but with modern pharmaceuticals, anything is possible.  Years ago I had a problem with depression.  Some time, a few changes and Prozac helped.  Years went by and I was fine.  Then, back in 2010 I started to recognize some of the same symptoms of that depression again.  Long time readers of this blog may have noticed the sharp decline in this fine piece of work over that summer.

That was the summer that my son was born, and hospitalized.  Then my daughter with the kidney transplant was hospitalized at the same time.  Stress seems to be an important factor in depression.  It had been going on before the kids had problems, but those didn’t help.  I was tired all of the time, to the point where I could barely be awake to function even with ingesting enough caffeine to give a camel a heart attack.

I didn’t care about much of anything, I didn’t neglect my kids but I just didn’t care about anything beyond them not sticking a fork in the plug strip. Finally, and I don’t remember the trigger, but I started taking a hard look at what I was doing, where I was going, how I wasn’t getting anything done and I decided that this depression thing may be coming back.

I went to the doctor and answered his questions from the clinically accepted form.  I got like 80% so passing.  I was worried because I didn’t even study.  But wait, that is more like 80% of the questions that say “Yea, you have depression.”  The only ones I missed were about suicide.  I decided I wouldn’t be getting those right.

So I started on Celexa and hoped.  Time passed and things did get better.  My writing started to come back to a good schedule.  Life seemed better.  September came.  That was the “let’s see” point in all of this, my doc had told me to start getting off of the pills.  I did what he told me to do in tapering off but then the next week came.

Horrible mood swings were the first.  Anger, violence followed by wanting to crawl in a small hole and die covered about 35 seconds.  Ups and downs, sitting and staring at nothing then super hyper.  I couldn’t handle it so I went back on the pills.  got leveled out again.  Decided that I better keep taking them through the holidays, that was stressful enough on its own.  So I went through Christmas and into january when I decided to start stepping the pills back very slowly.

I did so, tapering down over weeks instead a week.  It seems to have worked.  I have been off of them completely for about a month now, and everything seems pretty good.  No mood swings that are not a result of sleep deprivation, and those I can recognize.  Today, I am just hanging on, trying to keep all of the balls of my life in the air, and mostly succeeding.  I am almost (clinically at least) normal.

Now onto dealing with pre-teen hormones……

Talk later.


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