Wednesday, May 2, 2018

When The Meds That Heal Your Body Make You Lose Your Mind

Apparently today is Maternal Mental Health Day. I don't know what good posting a gif about it on Facebook does for anyone, it doesn't help me. It probably doesn't help your pregnant or postpartum neighbor either who really just wants someone to listen to her without belittling her feelings.

I was on three antidepressants when I got pregnant. Why three? I don't know, I only felt like one of them ever helped. One of the others was also supposed to help migraines, so that was the reason for that one. When I got pregnant my doctor had me stop those (two could be stopped cold turkey, one had to be tapered) and switch to a different one. My anxiety got so bad on the new one that I wanted to peel my skin off. I didn't take it for a day or two and the anxiety was better, so I just stopped taking all of them. Yes, I know you're not supposed to do that but I'm also not supposed to want to peel my skin off and feel like I'm being hit in the chest every few minutes. Then I wanted to stick my head in an oven, if I had a gas oven.

Those feelings eventually got better though. Then I got sick and I got angry and hopeless. Before getting any meds to help my Crohn's, I had to get tests that were like torture and the paper pushers had to decide if getting me better was in their best interest ($). Meanwhile everyone else gets to tell me how everything I'm doing is wrong and how everything I'm going to do is wrong and while they've never been me they know how I should be.

Then I finally get medicine that makes my body function more like a normal healthy body. Not exactly, but closer than it was. Unfortunately, one of the many side effects is depression. Now they're talking about causing depression in the average person, so what does that mean for someone who already has clinical depression and isn't on any meds for it? They give not normally depressed people anti-depressants when they take this drug. So now I'm having an internal debate about restarting those anti-depressants that put my anxiety through the roof. They can take 2 weeks or more to work though, and will they make it worse?

People like to tell me that I'm okay, that it will be okay, that my feelings are okay. This doesn't help. Ignoring the problem doesn't make it go away. I know I'm not crazy even though I feel like I'm going crazy sometimes. Something in my mind is not working correctly but it doesn't make me an idiot, I know something is wrong. I'm angry and I'm sad and I'm afraid. I don't want to feel this way, I don't want to think this way. Telling me it's okay doesn't help me.

Then there's also the people who have the idea that once I have the baby everything will automagically get better. No, just because pregnancy triggered a Crohn's flare doesn't mean that it goes away when I'm not pregnant anymore. There's no good analogy for this, but if an anvil falls on my car the car doesn't pop back into shape when the anvil is taken off. Plus, do these people know/remember what it's like to take care of a baby? It's definitely easier when they are still inside the womb. Having four kids to take care of is not going to make things easier, just hard in different ways.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Reese, I follow you on Twitter, and sometimes I like to follow up on some my followers (you matter) that I have not heard from in some time, which led me to your post here.
    Thank you for sharing so honestly. I can't imagine how hard this has been for you.
    My wife and I have 4 children ourselves, who are now all grown. I was the one who struggled with anxiety disorder over the years, as I had a hard time keeping a job to support the family. I know the feeling when people tell me "It will be okay". I just wanted to share with you how I appreciated your honesty. It is important to get those feelings out. Just like running a race is a step at a time, you can do this.


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