I was first medicated when I was 16. My mother thought I was depressed and had our family doctor prescribe me happy pills. So my first happy pills were Paxil. I had a not so great response to the medication, well this I suppose is subjective, but for me I believe it was not a good reaction. This isn’t to say they didn’t work, they did, too well in fact.
The Paxil within a week or so had me happy and bubbly like a cheerleader or valley girl. This is not my normal personality and my friends were concerned. Nothing made me angry, and I laughed about everything. I thought it was fun for a bit, until it got worse. Now being happy doesn’t sound bad, but when it comes with an inability to focus and your grades start slipping this is bad. Also, I couldn’t eat. I would be starving, take two bites out of something and then felt so full I thought I would be sick. I lost a lot of weight from being on this medication.
My friends convinced me to stop taking the pills and I went back to normal, and pretended for a little while that I was still on them. I never regained my appetite and lost a total of 30lbs in six months. I swore off pills as a fix and decided then I wouldn’t take that route again. However, I did, and that has been a long road.
At 21 I went to my doctor for anxiety problems and he gave me a low dose of Ativan, only ten pills. It took me a year to go through this medication, and when I needed to go back to refill it was because my dog, Ballad, decided she was having an anxious day and ate my last pill, bottle included. Now when I went back, there was no record of the other doctor, who had since moved away, giving me this prescription. However, despite the fact that the nurse practitioner had decided I was a drug seeker she gave me a new prescription of Klonopin. This worked well enough and I stayed on this medication for several years. That is not to say that the doctors did not try me one several other medications first. I was on Buspar, which made me violently ill, and Lexipro, which also made me violently ill. So my doctor was stuck giving me small doses of the Klonopin. Then I got pregnant and I couldn’t take medication.
After the birth of my son, and the rise of my post-partum depression I want back seeking something to help me out. The doctors didn’t want to prescribe anything to me at this point and I went to a psychiatrist, who started me on Klonopin and Wellbutrin, they didn’t help. I was still anxious and depressed. We then switched to Xanax and Prozac, this had less results then the previous combination. Finally we settled on Time-released Xanax and Paxil, I figured it made me happy before so it should again. I was very wrong. The Xanax worked alright, but the Paxil made me super crazy and I lost it. I was so out of it one night that I had drank a few beers, got in a fight with my boyfriend and decided I wanted it all to stop, so I ate all my Xanax.
I didn’t want to die, I just wanted to feel normal again and I figured in my insane mind that if I overdosed that everyone would realize how bad off I was. After my 72 hours of observation I was sent home. I didn’t feel like myself. I felt drugged out and confused. I refused again to go back on medication and for the next year and a half I lived happily enough pill free.
I moved to San Diego and back again to Jacksonville in that year. My sanity was shot again from the return to Florida and I had to go back on medication. My new psychiatrist put me on Respidol, bad idea, all it did was make my heart race. Then I was back on Klonopin. This would have worked, but the company making the generic at the time, wasn’t outing any medication in the pills, so I went crazy again.
Over the next year I went through Valium, Klonopin, Ativan, and back again. I was also supplementing these with daily doses of other medications some of which I can’t even remember the names of. Then my doctor retired. I went back again to my old psychiatrist, new rounds of attempts to figure out what pills fix me.
We tried Xanax again since the valium was making me depressed, and then Klonopin, and then back to Ativan which is what I’m currently on. I had mention previously in another post that I had been prescribed a new anti-depressant, I couldn’t tell you how this one works because it is way too expensive to purchase. The recently released generic is $250.00, which is too bad because I have heard such good things about it. Perhaps when I get some health insurance I will have the opportunity to try it out and end the lingering depression I get from my other medication.
Until then I will leave you with this. Finding the right medication is as difficult if not more so than finding the right doctor. It is trial and error. Don’t give up. Just because one combination doesn’t work for you doesn’t mean another wont. My best advice is to remember that the pills are supposed to help and sometimes they don’t work after a little while, but there are always more out there.
I’m not promoting medication as the best choice for everyone, but for me it was, and still is. I have every intention of getting of my meds for good one day, but for now I will live with them, and try to take it one day at a time.