Monday, May 21, 2018
Such Is Life
I've suffered with depression for my entire adult life. I've been on prozac/fluoxetine for the past 25 years, on a very low dose. I had about three really good years, after the drug took six months to kick in, back in the mid-1990s.
The truth is, my life has always been an emotional roller coaster (if you've followed this blog for the last several years, you'll know why), exacerbated in the last 20 years, I now see, by the fact that that antidepressant wasn't really working for me, or stopped being totally effective, years ago.
I started taking it when I lived in San Francisco and had Kaiser insurance. Since then, I've self-managed the medication, because I didn't have insurance (until Medicare) and couldn't afford psychiatric care (for medication management). Also, being the self-reliant, "I can do it myself" type, it honestly never occurred to me, since I've been on Medicare, that I could seek a doctor's help with the depression.
There's also this thing when you're chronically depressed, that even if/when you have periods of emotional equilibrium, when those times end, you don't realize you're depressed again. You think it's just who you are, to feel so bad inside.
Back in December of last year, I had the inkling to increase my dosage of prozac to 40mg/day from 20mg. So January through March of this year, I felt really great, better than I'd ever felt. Then I had a depressive crash in late March/early April, that I still haven't recovered from. It was only last week, when my closest friend suggested maybe my medication wasn't working, that I had the big AHA moment. It had just never crossed my mind previously.
Now I can see just how much time in the past 25 years (not to mention the preceding 20+ years) I spent in depressive periods, regardless of taking medication. And I can see how many of my physical symptoms of the last few years are likely related either to the medication no longer working, or the depression itself, or both. Shit.
I have an appointment with the MD at my clinic this Wednesday. I can't do it alone anymore. I need help managing the depression. I also have no illusions that I'll ever stop needing ADs.