No Zoloft! Woo Hoo!

So I finally got off of Zoloft a few weeks or a couple months or so ago. I wish I had posted about the getting off process, but I didn’t. Oh well. I asked my doctor about trying to get off and he suggested tapering over the course of 4 weeks (dropping to 150mg, 100mg, 50mg, 25mg and then stopping) I’ve read many things about how horrible it is to get off of Zoloft, so I decided (though he said it wouldn’t be necessary) to taper even slower. I think I spent about two weeks at each stage but didn’t notice any withdrawal until I was reducing from 50 to 25mg. So I fluctuated at that point. Withdrawals continued as I reduced from 25mg to zero, so there were a few weeks where I wouldn’t take anything for a few days, and then would go back to 50, and 25 the next couple days. How much I took depended on how strong I was feeling the withdrawals. It definitely was not as bad as many people have had it getting off, I strongly recommend tapering, I’ve only ever read bad things about getting off too quickly or all at once. The worst I had was a couple days of migraine type headaches.

So now I’m only on Adderall. I felt like my lack of focus was the major cause of my depression once I tried adderall. It made me feel so much better than Zoloft ever did. Or so I thought. I can’t tell. I wish it was more clear what was doing what. That was part of my purpose of this blog, but I can’t really tell what’s going on, so …i don’t know.

I feel good and am glad to be off the zoloft, but there have definitely been some depressing days. I think it’s easier now though because I can identify those emotions as depression, so while it is unpleasant to the taste, at least I know I’m not at fault and I don’t beat myself up over “being too negative” or “always being sad.” Depression is a tricky thing though. Even with all the good days I’ve had (long strings of them even), one depressive day came make all the doom and gloom seem so real. I remember that it’s not always that way, that this is a temporary state. I remember tactics to get out of it… but sometimes those tactics don’t work, and I don’t know what to do, and all the thoughts that come along with depression start to seem real. I know they are not true though, and those thoughts never help anything or make anything better, so I just do the best I can to put them aside, shove them away, or to clear my mind and think of other things.

Sometimes I just accept that I’m depressed that day, and I just cut myself some slack. I try to stay positive, but I don’t put a lot of pressure on myself to do anything that doesn’t feel right on those days. If I have things that need to get done some day, and I just don’t feel like doing it, then I just don’t, and often I find that I’m not feeling the same the next day. I also find that when I am able to stay on track and stay focused, and work on and do the things I’m supposed to be working on and doing, that it feels very rewarding, and tends to lead toward very satisfying and fulfilling days. I also find that overloading myself, even with things that I want to do, becomes stressful and depressing. So I try (but have not found a balance) to limit the number of things I want to be working on or trying to get done in a day.

So back to the adderall…well I take that (sometimes), but I also just had my third child a few months back, and I also have my wife on maternity leave. So has all this wondrous stuff been the result of a more focused mind and that then because of adderall? Or is it just that I’m at one of those wondrous times in my life? And is the adderall messing with me like I think it is, or am I just stressed, because three little kids and not having a job, and not knowing what to do is stressful? Well, I think it’s all a combination of both. I keep telling my doctor that the adderall makes me very sleepy, but he doesn’t believe me. I don’t just get sleepy, I feel very odd. So finally out of curiosity I decided to look into it myself. Sure enough, if you overdose on adderall, it puts you up for a few short hours, and then you crash hard. The sleepiness can be accompanied by headaches and other symptoms I wasn’t even looking for but could definitely relate to. So I assume now that I’ve been overdosing on adderall, but here’s the catch…I’m only on 20mg, and I don’t take more than prescribed. All drugs seem to do this to me though (ok, not zoloft or novacane). I don’t smoke, haven’t ever, I hope I never, I’ve never had a drink of alcohol, I don’t even drink coffee or tea…so all I can figure out is that my body isn’t accustomed to extra chemicals and responds accordingly. I don’t know if less adderall will even be enough to have an effect on me, but I don’t like when I crash midday and feel like I could sleep all afternoon and evening and into the next morning. I’ve taken 10mg the past two days, but I can’t tell how much difference it makes. And right now, I’m on here posting this, because right now, I feel off. I don’t know how to put it, but I don’t feel up to doing much of anything.

I feel like the drugs have helped me get my life and mood back on track, but now I’m thinking I’ll need a whole diet overhaul before things are really where they should be. Or maybe it’s something else. I don’t know, and that has been frustrating me.