For quite some time, I did really well. I took my Cymbalta regularly and lost weight, I didn’t need the anxiety medications, and things were going great. Then for some reason, I forgot the Cymbalta. I felt awful, dizzy, foggy-headed. I couldn’t figure out why. I kept forgetting to take the medicine. I suffered terrible withdrawal symptoms before I finally figured out what was going on. It really didn’t take that long… maybe a week or two, but it felt like a lifetime.
I started the Cymbalta again, at the dose I was taking a couple of weeks prior. It proved to be too much. The symptoms were similar to the withdrawal symptoms. I couldn’t take that high of a dose, so I made an appointment with my doctor. He was a new doctor for me, not the original prescriber. When I asked him to re-start my prescription with a gradually increasing dose, he would not do it. He wanted me to start taking St. John’s Wort, and would not budge on the issue.
St. John’s Wort… may be a wonderful option for some people, however it never did work for me. I had tried it in the past, and it didn’t work then. I was hesitant about trying it again. But I did after he assured me that there were options available for the St. John’s Wort that would not require me to take a dose multiple times a day. I have yet to find these options. Most available OTC forms of this herbal supplement recommend taking the supplement three times a day. I quickly gave up on this, and decided that I was feeling okay. I could never remember to take capsules three times daily. I was always missing a dose, or two doses. If I was feeling okay then maybe I didn’t even need it.
All went well for almost two years. Well, looking back, maybe almost a year, and then the symptoms started creeping back up on me. Slowly, I was sinking back into the place that I had worked so hard to get out of. It’s back… full fledged attack on my happiness and my functioning. Little hope surrounding me, seeing all the negatives and not the good, drained of energy, snapping at my dear little family…. I am, yet again, nearly at the bottom and clawing my way up the sides of this dark pit.
I am trying different things this time around. Hopefully I can get out of this place without the medications. I am not opposed to them, but I think there has to be a better way than being dependent on a chemical alter my body’s function.
- Exercise – this is probably the hardest one for me, so I will be starting out slowly and working my way up
- Counseling – I found a wonderful person who I am comfortable with (have never had this in a counselor before)
- Alternative therapies, such as acupuncture, massage, etc.
- Searching for myself, finding things that make me happy
- Looking for a positive (at least one, but hopefully many) each day
- Journaling (frequently, but maybe not daily) and Blogging! (When I can, which seems to be less often these days)
Of course, this isn’t set in concrete or even discussed with a professional, but with my bi-weekly counseling I feel safe in this decision.
Still looking for other things to help me through… but want to find something that can become a good positive habit that will last a lifetime, and that I don’t have to worry about missing a dose, withdrawing from, or paying for every month.
So far, the meditation is free, the exercise is free, finding positives in my day is free… I will keep going to the counseling sessions as long as I can afford to. This has been a tremendous help already. I’m not sure how often the alternative therapies will be a viable option for me, but maybe it will even be a treat occasionally.
What are your experiences with overcoming depression? Have you found any alternatives to prescription medications? Homeopathic remedies, alternative therapies, meditations, etc.?