I’m back. So, where have I been?

Well, time just got away from me there. Hi everyone, sorry for the interruption of service there.

What have I been up to? Dealing with chemically-induced depression, mostly. In a nutshell, I was put on a medication to prevent migraines called Topamax, which did a bang-up job of that. Unfortunately, I fell under the sway of a quack doctor who decided that my real problem wasn’t migraines but anxiety (despite my efforts to point out to him that what I was experiencing was a normal reaction to the work situation I was encountering, not an anxiety-based mood disorder). This doctor increased the dosage on my original Topamax prescription repeatedly based on his belief that it had “mood stabilizers” to deal with my “anxiety problems.”  Two weeks ago I hit one of the lowest points of my entire life and realized that the deep, dark depression I’d found myself in was well beyond anything I’ve ever experienced when I started having what the psychiatry industry calls “suicidal ideation.” This is completely out of character for me, and it was severe enough that I realized something was wrong through the haze of self-loathing I was in, and started trying to figure out why things felt so bad for me. I figured out that the only thing that was different for me this year over my normal Autumn depression (which is normally noticeable but not nearly this bad and only lasts about a month or less) was the Topamax.

I pulled out and re-read the side effects on the drug info and found that the Topamax does indeed have severe depression and suicidal thoughts as a side effect for some people. The doc was right – it does seem to have “mood stabilizers” – it stabilized my mood right at the absolute bottom of the scale! I began tapering down my dosage immediately – I started by cutting from 100mg to 50mg that very night and the next day it was like the sun had come out. This week I dropped down to 25mg and I’m not only happy again, but I noticed that not only had I been depressed for several months, but my mental functioning had been impaired as well. I didn’t notice until it was receding that my brain had been in a fog for months.

So that’s where I’ve been. I’m back, and I’ll have another post soon about getting my diet and exercise program back on track, because if there’s one final distressing parting shot Topamax has left me in this whole sordid episode, it’s that being in a wilderness of chemically-induced depression can play havoc with even the best weight management intentions.

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11 Responses to “I’m back. So, where have I been?”

  1. snapshotstacy Says:

    *hugs*
    So glad you figured it out! That’s scary, hon!

    It was wonderful to see you at 12th Night. (Even if we did have to guilt you a bit into being fabulous on Friday night with us. 😉 )

    • Laina Says:

      Ah, but it was totally worth it! I needed the kick in the pants, cause that stupid depression was trying to tell me it wasn’t worth bothering. I figured out the Topamax thing the Monday after 12th Night, so I really don’t know if I enjoyed 12th Night or not. 😦

      • snapshotstacy Says:

        I’m glad you thought it was worth it – we had a GREAT time!
        You looked like you were up & down most of the weekend. Up when you were actively interacting with folks and sort of down when you were just -there-.

      • Laina Says:

        That’s a pretty good appraisal, really. I can put on a good face when I talk to people, but it’s harder to hide when I’m not actively engaged. Also, even in a depression I could tell that was a great party! 🙂

  2. Caron Says:

    Glad you’re back. I’m one of those people who always seem to have the worst side effects from taking medicines. Hope you get better and better each day. 🙂

    • Laina Says:

      One thing this whole migraine-preventative odyssey has confirmed for me (and this isn’t my first try) is that I *too* am one of those people who always seem to have the worst side effects from taking medicines. I ought to just remember that and do my best to avoid them like the plague they seem to be for me! Sadly, some conditions can’t be exercised away… 😦

  3. Tracy Renae Cote Serros Says:

    Glad you’re back!! I’ve missed your posts. I’m so sorry to hear about your depression – that’s really scary!!! – but thank god you figured it out!! I hope you don’t have to keep going to that a-hole doctor. 😦 And I hope things are really looking up for you from here! ❤

  4. spunkysuzi (@spunkysuzi) Says:

    I’m so glad you’re doing better!! I hear you on depression it’s can be so hard to deal with.

  5. overextended Says:

    Sorry you’ve had to deal with that. I was just wondering about you. As I’ve watched my scale creep up a bit, I was going back to my inspirations. Even though we have never met, you remind me that keeping it off is a life choice, not a diet. And reading your posts remind me that we are in it for the long haul. Congratulations on getting your life back.

  6. Yoko Olsgaard Says:

    Oh, my DEAR! I am so sorry this happened to you. I am very happy that you figured it out in time. Very scary! Hang in there, dear, and persevere. I am hoping that you will continue to be my inspiration to lose weight for my son’s wedding in October! Sounds selfish, but actually, I need all the inspiration I can get. Sending you hugs. Lots of them, and “Go Laina!!!!”


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