Things have changed since a couple of weeks ago when I posted that life was returning to normal again with my emotional/mental state and I now find myself in a situation that is just as difficult to deal with as my withdrawal from Paxil.
When my withdrawal symptoms finally faded, I felt great. I thought the worst had passed and that I was successfully on the new drugs -- Wellbutrin -- and that life could resume again.
But looking back, it seems that I felt that way just because -- relatively speaking -- things were great. Anything would've felt great after finishing going through what I had just gone through. So in comparison, I thought things were hunky-dorey.
It didn't take too long before I started feeling not-so-great again. But even then, I contributed it to the sudden loss of my Grandpa and a stressful relationship issue that I needed to deal with. Especially in the days preceeding the latter issue, my anxiety levels were quite high but I didn't think it had anything to do with something other than the conversation that was looming.
However, even after all was said and done, things didn't calm down for me emotionally. I had that almost constant ball of anxiety sitting in the pit of my stomach. After I had completed my first month of being on the low dose of Wellbutrin, it was time to up the dose to the higher dose. At first I was reluctant since I didn't want to increase the level of insomnia that I was already often dealing with; a common side effect of this drug. But it soon became clear to me that I had no choice.
Even while making that decision, I struggled with whether it was the right one or not. Here's the thing...I looked on-line to see if Wellbutrin actually helped deal with anxiety or if it was purely to treat depression -- 'cause those are 2 very separate things, which I struggle with both of them. Of course I found conflicting reports on the internet. Some people claimed that Wellbutrin was definitely the cure for their anxiety, while others claim that anxiety was a side effect of taking the drug (when they were taking it strictly for depression purposes).
So now I was left wondering: Am I feeling this anxiety because I'm only on the low dose so it's not really helping it? Or am I feeling this anxiety as a side effect, in which case doubling the dose could potentially double the anxiety?
All I knew was that I was feeling exactly the same as I remember feeling a year and a half ago before I ever started taking any anti-depressant medication. So I figured I would try doubling my dose and see what happened. If the anxiety worsened, or didn't improve, then I knew I would need to try something else. But if the anxiety decreased, then I would know that the drug just needed some time -- and a higher dose -- to start working properly.
So far it is hard to tell what is what, as I have only been on the higher dose for just under a week. I am not experiencing any improvement in the anxiety, but it's hard to judge if it's getting worse or not.
Of course my mind is now telling me that I made a huge mistake in going off of Paxil to begin with. It worked wonders for both my depression & anxiety, the only real negative side effect being the weight gain. And now that I have started a local Biggest Loser competition and have started losing a lot of weight -- it makes me wonder if I had started doing this earlier, maybe I could've combatted the weight gain and remained on Paxil and saved myself from all of this turmoil. Afterall, I knew that my own bad decisions and lack of discipline contributed to the weight gain, and that the blame couldn't only be placed on the Paxil. So now that I have drastically changed my habits...would I have needed to quit the Paxil??
But I can't turn back time; I can only move forward. I have to say that I seriously toy with the idea of going back onto Paxil. And if it weren't for the hell I went through to get off of it the first time, I wouldn't hesitate. But I don't want all that I went through to be for nothing, only to have to eventually go through it again when I will one day be able to (hopefully) function without the help of any medication.
I spoke to a pharmacist this afternoon, and he advised that I give the Wellbutrin another week or two -- but that if it's not doing what I need it to be doing by then, then I would need to seriously consider trying something else. I don't look forward to having to keep switching meds until I find the right one, but it may just be what's in my future.
I'm upset that I am wasting my summer by having to deal with all of this now. But at the same time, it's probably better that I deal with it now than in winter, which is by far the hardest time of the year for me at the best of times.
So now I just leave it in God's hands. I trust that He will guide me to what will be the best things for me. And I can say, if it weren't for my faith, I would be pushed over the edge. In fact, there already is a very thin line between where I am now and going completely insane. I catch myself getting so worked up about all of this at times, where I know it would be so easy to cross that thin line and end up who-knows-where. But when I get to that point, I just pray and pray and pray and God brings me back to the 'safe' side of the line.
So as I continue to fight this seemingly losing battle -- please continue to pray for me. I need it more than you know.
(To read about a battle that I am actually winning...check this out)