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February 8, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — katy @ 8:37 am

I think I am depressed.  Just over a year ago, when the doctor found the lumps in my breasts–which turned out to be nothing–she put me on Zoloft.  I was freaking a little as my mom had left for Florida and the radiologist was backed up due to Breast Cancer Awareness month.  My doctor said go on Zoloft for 6 months and it can reset your serotonin something of other and you can be happy till you hit menopause.  (In no way shape or form did she say this–strictly my interpretation).  Around the six month mark I was still unhappy.  She has suggested counseling but I feel like this–meaning autism–is just something I have to live with and accept.  We decided on a 50% increase on the Zoloft.  Somehow it was a 100% increase and I became euphoric.  Honestly, nothing could get me down.  Arguments and annoyances with Kevin–whatever.  House aggravation…uh huh, yea what?  It was all okay. 

For the New Year I resolved to wean myself off of the Zoloft.  What was I thinking?  I mean Granny getting sick was the first thing but Owen’s birthday and the difficult feelings around that…I increased my dosage back up to the full.  But I haven’t gotten back to that euphoric state and I miss it.  I am strongly considering counseling again.  I am sleeping an awful lot.  But I did go to the gym twice this week…and I started on St. Brigid again and am thrilled that it is taking me less than 10 minutes a row.  About 8 or 7 on a purl row. 

Is this too much information to put out there?  Isn’t this supposed to be a knitting blog? 


35 Responses to “”

  1. Carole Says:

    Not too much information at all. I have some personal experience in this area – don’t go off the drugs if you aren’t ready. Those serotonin levels can take longer than expected to get back to normal.

  2. Katy Says:

    IMO, this is not too much for a knitting blog. I am a lurker who has struggled with depression, and who is currently debating going back on Zoloft after 10 years of no meds. As for counseling–I am a therapist myself and so I am often resistant to seeking my own help (LOL), but the times I have done it, it has really helped. No, it won’t change the things you have to deal with, but it may give you a safe place to process your feelings about them and be able to vent w/o fear of judgment. I find that when I work with parents of “special needs” kids, we actually end up doing a lot of grief work, and that sometimes it is very healing.
    Whatever you decide–good luck! And know that you are not alone.

  3. Norma Says:

    In addition to everything else, this is a hard time of year, with all the low light, etc., so it might not be the best time to wean oneself off anything (says she, who can’t stop PIGGING OUT….) I like the counseling idea. I’m sending hugs your way.

  4. Chris Says:

    It’s not too much at all. Life is part of knitting. Just talk to your Doctor and do what’s right for you. Sometimes you just need help and can’t learn to just live with it. And you shouldn’t have to. But drugging yourself to feel better isn’t always the best answer. Take care.

  5. Cara Says:

    Go for the counseling. If nothing else it’s an (almost) hour all about YOU. Nobody else need be talked about. You don’t have to go all the time, but oh my god it’s a luxury I’m not giving up. Sometimes it’s a pain in the ass. Sometimes I have nothing to say. And sometimes it saves me.

    I’m one of those people who believes the drugs can’t work alone. GO DO IT! You deserve it! And just because you know that you need to accept the situation with Owen – doesn’t mean you have to be happy about it – and doesn’t me you don’t need some help.

  6. Vicki Says:

    I think you should go for counseling, too. I resist it, myself; I should go and I don’t. So take that for whatever. I quit smoking with Ann; maybe I should make a pact with you to get the counseling.

    Hugs, Katy. It’s just hard sometimes.

  7. Maryann Says:

    I struggle with depression too, and whenever I decide to mess with my medications (I’m doing just fine! I don’t need this anymore! yeah… right) it always ends up a mess. Also, I want to know how you ended up euphoric?? I want some of that! From my experience, I’ve never been euphoric, but the medicine has just raised my base-line of how I was feeling. There are still lows and highs, they’re just higher than what they used to be. As for counseling, please go do it! If anything, it’s an impartial person to talk to. You may not find the right therapist for you at first, but please keep trying. I went through about 3 or 4 people before I found the right person for me. Sorry about the essay 😉 but I hope you get feeling better soon.

  8. jody Says:

    not too much to put out there. lots of smart women are a part of the knitting blogs — it’s a great resource!

    i don’t have personal experience with this one to be able to give you advice (although it sounds like you’re getting lots of it already!), so i’ll just leave you with a big hug.

  9. margene Says:

    Cara’s observation that an hour dedicated to just YOU might be just the ticket. You can try it and see if you think it is helpful. Trying to deal with anything that makes life different or more difficult than what we expect can be hard alone. Take care of you first and then you can help the others in your life, too.

    BIG HUG, grrlfriend!

  10. Tish Says:

    Definitely try the counseling. If it doesn’t work for you it was one or two hours lost, but if it does help you’ll have gained so much. And depression affects the whole family. My 16 yo son did not adjust to our cross country move well and became very depressed (he is also introverted and has ADD and adjusting to a new High School was very tough). He is now on meds and sees a counselor (we were lucky and found a great one first try) every 2-3 wks. The whole family feels better, and even when he is having a down day he is more hopeful than before b/c he knows he has safeguards in place. Take care of yourself first so that you are better able to care for your family. Sending warm hugs your way.

  11. Jackie Says:

    Katy – I COMPLETELY understand how you feel…really, I do. Look for an email with lots more datail, but know that I’m thinking about you!!

  12. Karola Says:

    Dearest Katy,
    no it’s not too much info!
    actually i’m got thru a similar patch myself.. sadly the zoloft makes me introverted (sp?) so you are lucky.. hopefully tomorrow my dr will finally figure out how to get me out of the full depression that seems to be fighting thru my perky chipper outside persona that i pull out of the hat when i’m with friends, etc… probably why i don’t set up a blog.. it would be too depressing to share with the rest of you gals! so keep the chin up and i wish you lots of love and hugs Karola

  13. sprite Says:

    Counseling can be a good way to have someone be a sounding board for you without feeling like you’re burdening someone else with yet more of your problems (or at least that’s how I’ve tried to look at it when I’ve gone the counseling route). Good luck — and keep us posted. We’re rooting for you!

  14. Susan Says:

    Katy, not TMI. If we all wanted to read about knitting and nothing but knitting, we could buy books. This is a community, and we are here for you!


  15. Nancy Says:

    I think if the medicine isn’t doing it then therapy should be a next step. It’s important to have a safe place to say things you wouldn’t say to the people you love. Holding those things in can really poison you emotionally.

    It’s never too much for the blog, you should realize that by now. We’re all here for you.

  16. Anita Says:

    Please do the counseling. When I was working with teens, we would require that our students who were on meds see a counselor as well. The medication deals with the physical issues so that you can have more productive counseling.

    You do so much for your family and everyone around you. You owe it to yourself (and to them) to have a private space to unravel, unwind, and tink your days and thoughts. OK…I’m going to back off of the yarn metaphor. But take care of you because you’re also taking care of their mom/wife/friend.

    Hugs to you!

  17. Lorette Says:

    Girl, I agree with everybody above: if we wanted to just read about knitting, we’d go read a book. I think that part of the reason that so many women struggle with depression is that we feel that we have to keep up that facade of being perfect and happy. And that’s where counselling can indeed help. You just don’t have to pretend that things are ducky when you’re talking to a paid professional. And the meds can take awhile to kick in after you’ve increased them, by the way. I’m sending positive thoughts your way!

  18. Nancy J Says:

    I understand why you wanted to be off the drug, but sometimes they are necessary. Depression is something that just about all of us had had to battle at some point. Adjusting your dosage is totally different from weaning and you may not want to wean any more until (like said above) the natural seratonin levels are higher. You might also check into the light bulbs that are particularly useful for raising natural light-like levels. I think Phillips makes them or check at your local health food store, too.

  19. ann Says:

    girlfriend —- what row did you decide you were on on St. Brigid?

  20. Emma. Says:

    Sweetheart, firstly I must apologise. I could tell you were depressed and I had intended to write to you.
    You must take care of yourself [says she !] in order to take care of everyone else.
    I send you my love and concern,for what it’s worth. Take good care of yourself and do what feels best for you.


  21. Peeve Says:

    Maybe we should start a Zoloft Knitters webring!


  22. toni Says:

    It seems like any advice I might have has already been given so just know I’m thinking of you.

  23. Collette Says:

    Nope, not too much information. Seems like there are a lot of people who can truly empathize–myself included. I’ve been going to therapy for over 5 years by myself and for just over 2 with Joe. I’ve also been taking Wellbutrin (or something) for that time. To some people it might seem like overkill (we joke that we have a stable of therapists) but it’s saved me. Whatever you need to do to take care of yourself is what you need to do. You can’t take care of others if you don’t have anything left. (I just realized that I echoed Emma almost exactly. Man, she’s smart.) I send love and hugs your way.

  24. Kate Says:

    My PC has had depression for several (10?) years now,and he has been on and off meds in that time. Honestly, when he was w/o insurance and he let a month of meds “slide”- I noticed. He is resistant to therapy (very private person) and his meds have worked wonders,but as a biochemist- I was aware of one thing that involved his meds:
    it takes time for depression meds to build up in your body. You went from “full dose” to “2X dose” without interruption, right? Well, weaning yourself off decreases the amount of the chemicals in your body very rapidly (you need to “replenish” the chemicals everyday –i.e. this is why it’s a daily med)…so, one month off or tapering can cause this. So, yes- look to counseling (it is one hour of the “Katy show” — and you need this time!— for YOU!) but also, speak to the doctor who prescribed the Zoloft about re-starting the program again. There are right and wrong ways to start and end medications— and alot of it has to do with age and metabolism and hormonal things.
    I have to say, I have never met you, but your blog always feels like “real life” to me…you put it out there and get it off your chest. If it makes you feel better… know that there are obviously so many people out here to “listen” while you vent. We all do it… and besides, it IS a knitting blog, but moreover: IT’S YOUR BLOG. Say what you want, we’ll listen.

  25. Orli Says:

    You know Katy when my mom past, I read a little bit about being depressed. One of the things that it said was that when you talk about things it’s a good sign, it helps you cope with them. digest them if you will. it helps you move on or foward.
    I think it’s wonderful that started St. Brigid again and went to gym twice. if you can fit in more gym sessions you might feel even better.
    As for serotonin: I know it’s a happy substance that we can get from complex carbohydrete and simples ones, simple ones have a fast burn so the do more harm than good, whole grain, however, burns slower and gives us food for the brain. Thier is a diet in Israel that is based on this little fact, as it claims when you have good levels of serotonin you don’t feel deprived or hungry. Haven’t you noticed about getting happy or feeling better after eating.
    It’s your blog, you should write what ever you feel comfortable writing about.
    BTW, I finally figured out what you meant about the comments. I guess i’ll have to use an addition commet provider for blogger.

  26. Lillium Says:

    You know I come here to hear about you – where ever you are in your life. I say “Amen” to the suggestions of visiting both your med doc and a counselor. Thanks for being honest and posting. Hug to you.

  27. Diane Says:

    I know exactly how you feel, i am on prozac this time around, i have been so low the last couple of months, I haven’t worked in two months. I have been to counciling, etc. I sleep alot when i get low, i have lost alot of weight, i keep on knitting tho, it is the only normal thing i do. It seems like my knitting is doing more good than anything else. I have also tried the wean myself off of the drugs, it didn’t work and only made me worse, I think it is definately a time to seek help. I also have a autistic child who has mr and is blind, but it is other things in my life that have cause this. I think it would be great to have a group for knitters who are depressed and need moral support of others

  28. Kathy Says:

    Lots of great advice. Hugs and more hugs from me.

  29. Joanne Says:

    Hi Katy, remember me? I’m sorry to hear you’re depressed. You may recall my son battles this too–I got him to see a psychiatrist and he’s tried two different meds, but he doesn’t like the doc, and tried to go off his meds (while I was away on business) and he got really sick. Now he’s back on but the prescription runs out in just over a week, and he’s being really vague about what he intends to do. Basically, the amount of emotional energy it takes to cope with all this has made me kind of drop out of several social circles, and that’s why I’ve been scarce the last few months.

    I can only reinforce what all your other commenters have said. It’s a real disease, it’s horrible to try to cope with it on your own, so get all the help you need from medication and counseling. My son is too private a person and too immature to benefit from counseling yet. And also, it does affect the whole family. Sometimes I think it’s gotten us all-it’s certainly poisoned the family dynamic in many ways.

    I send you prayers and best wishes, you are a heroic woman, please be kind to yourself, and get WELL.

  30. Donna Says:

    Hang in there, Katy! I have long since learnt that when I say “I feel good, I can lower my meds”, I mean “My meds are working exactly the way they should, leave them alone!”
    And it’s not to much info – we care about you and like to hear how you’re getting along.

  31. Charisse Says:

    Hi Cathy.
    What’s going on.
    I hope all is well.
    I did read your post. But I didnt know all this was going on. Just look up and know that tomorrows another day, and there will be better days to come.
    See you soon.
    Love and hugs.

  32. Janet Says:

    I don’t know a lot about the drugs but I say do what ever you think you need to do to feel the best you can. I do know though that whenever I exercise my whole perspective changes, I feel happier, better able to cope, and all around better.

  33. Christy Says:

    Katy, sorry to hear that things are rough.

    In my experience, depression meds are tricky. I’ve been on two different ones (first Paxil, now Lexapro) over the past 3+ years and have never been on the same dose for more than 6 months. I see my psychiatrist about the meds somewhere between every 6 and 12 weeks depending on how stable the dosage is. SSRIs are really tricky in terms of dosage and side effects. Not everything works for every person and sometimes they stop working as well as they once did.

    There are a few things I firmly believe about depression treatment:
    – a family doc or internal med doc is great to get you started but a psychiatrist is the best person to regulate meds (I had a family doc recently tell me that he was shocked at my dosage but realized he wasn’t an expert…I was so glad he knew that)
    – never, never play with your own dosage. Changing your dose without expert knowledge can lead to deeper depression and weird changes in personality. These drugs need to be carefully tapered and increased…thus your euphoria when they had you double the dose
    – counseling never hurts. I have things in my life that are going to be life long. That doesn’t mean I have to just get over it and it doesn’t mean that for you either. Having an impartial, uninvolved person just to vent to and bounce things off of is a wonderful outlet.

    If you want to email or talk about this, I’d be happy to. This is all from my own experience and I’ll be the first to say that I’m no expert. Shoot me an email if you want to talk on the phone and we’ll exchange numbers.

    Hang in there, Katy.

  34. Michelle Says:

    Hi Katy,

    Already so much good advice, but I’ll add my two cents. I am a firm believer in therapy. Meds are great, but for so many people depression can be situational as well as chemical. And though there are things that will be lifelong challenges, therapy can help you to put new tools in place to better face and handle those challenges.

    I hope that you find the balance you need, and that you are able to feel at home and at peace within yourself.

    Thinking of you.

  35. Teresa C Says:

    Katy, I haven’t been by this month, so I missed this post when you wrote it. I have so much to say on the subject of meds, from experience and a lot to say about weaning. I’ll give the highlights. 1. Weaning takes a long time. Longer than a month or a few months. Some doctors (the one I was seeing was a speicalist, a psychopharmacologist) really don’t know this. Mine even didn’t. Hew set me up on a w/d that was too fast and had me feeling very badly. Research, choose a sunny time of year, and be prepared for it. It isn’t fun, but it was worth it for me. 2. Who mentioned excercise? Without it I would have been, and still might be, a goner. If you can set aside one hour for a brisk walk or jog or something, preferably outside no matter the weather (well except the extreme weather), I have heard it is worth more than a dosage of Zoloft. Works for me, big time. 3. Go to counseling. The thing about counseling is they really just listen with out judgement. You don’t have to put a face on things like you do with friends and family. You don’t have to listen to opinions on things like with friends and family. And you don’t have to listen to the person listening to you try to come up with solutions or ideas that you really don’t need to hear, like husbands do. They mean well, but it isn’t what you need. You may find that you only need this a few time total, once a month, once every few months….. Start out strong and be flexible, it doesn’t have to be a life sentence, just something to get you through the now. Which is freaking difficult. The other thing-I assume you belong to a group of parents that have kids with similar issues? That is the best, because you can hear about kids that are better or worse, get hope and be in a safe place to laugh about things that you never would with the other people in your life, as they might not get it.

    So much for a short comment. Let me know if you want to talk more about my withdrawal experience. I am pretty open about it and have been off meds for coming up on four years. Wow, I didn’t realize it had been that long.

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