Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Happy. Yes. Really.

Anyone who has read this blog before knows that I've been struggling with depression and anxiety for DECADES. I've been to countless head shrinkers. I've tried just about every medication in the book. I've had ridiculous amounts of therapy. And fairly recently, I tried working with an herbalist to see if I could find something... ANYTHING... to make me feel normal. But, that didn't work either. *insert four letter word of your choice HERE*

Truth be told, I'd pretty much given up. Over 20 years of trying to feel better will do that to a girl. There just comes a point when you have to accept that this is the way your life is going to be and learn to live with it.

Or do you?

I went to my family doctor a couple of months ago about my asthma and migraines. Both had been really bad all spring, and I needed to come up with some solutions.

The asthma was easy enough to take care of. A prescription for some Singulair. Done and done.

My migraines? Not so easy to figure out. They hit me hard once a month. When I explained this to my doctor, telling her that I was pretty certain that they were due to hormone issues, she wanted to dig deeper. She asked more about my mental health history. I told her everything. I explained that I thought I was not, in fact, depressed or had biopolar, but instead had PMDD... premenstrual dysphoric disorder. It's basically like PMS to the extreme. And holy shit... she agreed completely.

So, how to you treat PMDD? You take about a half dose of an SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor). In this case, she gave me Celexa.

I tried it. The side effects were tough for me to take... even with just a half dose. Constant headaches, nausea, dizziness. YUCK. Put that in with some massive PMS/PMDD symtoms, and I was one miserable girl. Dammit, Janet.

But, I've taken these kinds of meds before, and I know that the side effects almost always go away eventually. Despite a completely terrible 2 weeks, I kept taking it. Something told me that I just needed to hang in there just a little bit longer. So, I did.

Fast forward two full months later. I feel better than I can ever remember. Yes. Really. I have good days and bad days, just like everyone else. I'm far from numb. But, I'm happy most of the time. My reactions to things are... dare I say... appropriate. Nothing seems like the end of the world anymore.

Even better: in the last month, I've had mild headaches here and there, but I haven't had any migraines. Yes. That's right. NO MIGRAINES.

Holy crap. I'm afraid I'm going to jinx myself, but is this what "normal" feels like? If so, SIGN ME UP.


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