My Happy Pills

Tuesday, July 31, 2007 12 Comments A+ a-

I made a bad decision…

First some history. About six months post-partum with Devyn, Jon realized that I was sleeping constantly, to the point that I wasn’t even getting out of bed on my days off. He informed me that I needed to see the doctor. I’ll be honest, I really didn’t think I needed to go. After all, I wasn’t having suicidal thoughts; I wasn’t thinking ill thoughts towards Devyn or Jon. I was just tired! I was a new mama, surely that was explanation enough for my exhaustion, right?! But to appease my husband, I made the appointment and saw the doctor. She listened to Jon’s concerns and then asked me a few questions. Sure enough, I was diagnosed with post-partum depression and put on anti-depressants. It was the lowest dosage possible, I was still able to breastfeed Devyn, and I was off them by the time she turned a year old.

This time around, my doctor put me on the same medication, the same dosage at my two-week post-partum check-up. “This is purely for precautionary reasons Jenn,” she told me. “I’m sure you’ll be off them soon.” And oh, what a difference they made. There were no overwhelming thoughts, I had energy, I just felt good. And then I got cocky.

A couple of weeks ago, I was patting myself on the back for all I was getting accomplished. My attitude was good, Jon knew he was loved and respected, I had the new “mommy-of-two” thing down pat, we had a great routine, my quiet times were going well, etc. You name it, I had conquered it! I thought to myself, “Jenn, you’re doing well, you don’t need those anti-depressants anymore.” So I started weaning myself off the pills; I started taking one every other day until I took my last pill last Thursday or Friday.

It was a BIG mistake! Almost instantly I was picking fights with Jon, I was getting overwhelmed easily, my sleepiness returned, and my anxiety level rose, threatening to overtake me. This was not a good idea so close to closing on our house and needing to pack up our belongings. Yesterday I realized that I was premature in this decision and had my prescription filled, much to my chagrin. I realize that I shouldn’t feel weak or incompetent for needing to take anti-depressants, but I can’t help it. I was fine with taking them post-partum with Devyn, and I was even ok with taking them thus far after having Hudson, but for some reason this is a huge pride-swallowing issue for me right now. Then again, this could be the depression talking too. Ask me again in four to five days, I should be feeling normal by then.

I’m a coffee drinking, book reading, laundry procrastinating, husband and children loving, mess of a woman who believes that chips and salsa can fix anything. We have chickens running around the backyard, a mountain of dishes in the sink, and on any given morning, I have at least 10 school forms that need my signature or initials. It’s a crazy life {I prefer to call it controlled chaos}, but its ours.

12 comments

Write comments
Amy
AUTHOR
1:52 PM delete

Jenn, You're not weak...you are a strong woman for being able to be straight with people and say that you need help. Very strong. I've told you before, but I think that God has you right where he wants you (and all the rest of us)--NEEDING HIM. Keep crying out for that nourishment of the pure spiritual milk.

Love you so much, Jenn. Your honesty is refreshing and humbling. love, Amy

Reply
avatar
shoeaddict
AUTHOR
2:12 PM delete

I think it's very wonderful of you to talk about this. There is no shame in it. You should be the best you can for your children. And for you.
I've been on anti-depressants for years. Right now I'm trying to get off of an anti-anxiety pill so I can get pregnant, eventually. But, I want to be at my best for my children. I want them. But, I am scared.
Good luck! And never, ever get off your medication with out your doctor's supervision. That could be very dangerous.

Reply
avatar
Rachel
AUTHOR
3:49 PM delete

Take care of yourself. Do what you need to do. It does not make you weak to take advantage of the help that is to be had. Even if it did...His strength is made perfect in our weakness. :)

~~Rachel
www.nothinggold.net

Reply
avatar
3:55 PM delete

WOW, thanks for your honesty. That's why we all love you so much, because you just tell it like it is! :)
I had a similare situation when we lived in Alaska and I didn't see the sun for months on end. I, too, tried to go off the pills prematurely, and suffered as a result. I think you are smart to go back on them, and well, I hope you are feeling back to normal (whatever that is) soon!!
Blessings,
Joy

Reply
avatar
Wendy
AUTHOR
6:06 PM delete

I agree w/Joy. I love how you are honest, yet always share w/grace and love.

I hope you feel back to normal soon and find what is best for you.

Reply
avatar
Elise
AUTHOR
10:01 PM delete

Grace and peace to you, friend. I'm so thankful for the medicine that is helping you!

Reply
avatar
6:40 AM delete

I stumbled across your blog and I can really relate to this entry. I had PPD with my son and it was such a struggle for me. I lived in denial for a while and tried to deal with it on my own. Eventually, it just got too overwhelming (the feelings of sadness) that I started some medication. They really helped!

I, too, stopped taking them after a while and had a hard time coming off of them. I think I made it worse. Now, I am back on medication and am feeling so much better.

Reply
avatar
Paula
AUTHOR
7:52 AM delete

Thank you for sharing something that many consider weak, yet is something very strong to admit. You'll feel good soon.

Reply
avatar
Amanda
AUTHOR
12:54 PM delete

I think I need to be on them myself. As soon as insurance kicks in, I will probably do it. Husband has new job and insurance should kick in by next month. Don't be ashamed or embarrased, most of us need them! :)

Reply
avatar
Christina
AUTHOR
1:15 PM delete

Huge ((HUGS)).....taking those pills is not a sign of weakness it's stronger for a person to admit they need something then to say they don't.

Reply
avatar
Overwhelmed!
AUTHOR
3:53 PM delete

Oh Jenn, never feel weak or incompetent for needing to take anti-depressants.

I have a couple of loved ones that are on anti-depressants and I view it as a medical condition (if you broke your leg you'd seek medical attention, right?) and not something to be ashamed of.

You hang in there and bravo for having the courage to post about this. I'm sure others sharing this experience will draw comfort from knowing they are not alone.

Reply
avatar
The Artist
AUTHOR
8:05 PM delete

Hang in there my friend. It'll all be okay - and soon!

Reply
avatar