11.12.2012

If You're Crazy And You Know It Shake Your Meds


Who, me? Crazy? I wish I could blame my meds, but no, just like a third of the population, I have a chemical imbalance that needs assistance to function properly. My story starts about eleven years ago. I've had eleven years to accurately explain how I felt, and why I decided to go on medication, and the best way I can describe it is to say that my brain felt like it consisted of clouds. Brain fog, I like to call it. I remember sitting in a chinese restaurant with my mom and just feeling completely out of it. We were having a conversation at the table, but it was like an out of body experience. I was there, but I wasn't. It was that brain in the clouds thing again, and it was starting to happen more and more frequently. 

It wasn't only the brain fog that was hindering me. There were true moments of anxiety also. For example, there were times I would be driving down the highway and would suddenly feel like I was going to pass out at the wheel, and I would have to pull over as fast as possible. There were times at night when I was trying to fall asleep and my heart would be pounding so hard and I just felt so...uneasy. So weird. So not right

So not right is a pretty good way to put it.

Now let me tell you, before all this started to happen? I was so against illegal legal drugs. I did not want to take any kind of "mood altering" medication. I thought it was for weak people who just couldn't deal with life. How wrong I was. After the first week or two of taking an anti-anxiety? Huge difference. The brain in the clouds thing disappeared. The feeling like I was going to pass out while driving thing disappeared. I could sleep at night without freaking out. I was little more, shall we say...normal. More right.

I continued taking my anti-anxiety meds until I became pregnant with Gunner. I quit cold turkey and honestly didn't have any side effects. I'm not sure if it had to do with the influx of hormones and other things going on in my body from being pregnant, but I didn't have that let-down from getting off the medication. After Gunner was born, I went back on the meds off and on, and by off and on, I mean I wasn't very disciplined in taking them properly. I missed a day here, a few days there, etc. From what I can recall, my anxiety was minimal during that period. Two years later I got pregnant again with Colt, went off them completely (I didn't trust taking any drugs during pregnancy) and all was well.

Not exactly sure when it started up again, but a few months after Colt was born, the anxiety kicked back into high gear, so back to the doc I went and got back on my trusty ol' pills. It's been two years since then, and I can't imagine I will ever go off them again. My doctor told me that most people who start taking them for extended periods of time usually never get back off them. Which is totally ok with me, considering I am a total basketcase without.

There have been a few times I went off them for a couple days, not on purpose per say, but I just didn't refill my prescription in time and a few days lapsed and let me tell you, by day three? The effects were OMG whoa. I felt out of it times ten. When I stood up/sat down too fast, it felt like I was coming down from a rollercoaster, the whole stomach dropping thing and all. It was horrible. There is a reason the doctors say not to stop abruptly, and it's a good one.

There was an instance about a month ago. My insurance suddenly changed policies on me at the last minute, and with doctor scheduling conflicts, I went four whole days without my meds. It. was. brutal. I'm not a crier, and by day four? I was crying over everything. My mom called me and when I saw her number on caller ID, I couldn't answer because I knew she would nonchalantly ask me how I was doing, as she does every day. The lump in my throat was so huge that I knew I would bust into tears the second I answered. My husband came home and asked what was wrong. I could barely get the words out because of the crying. I was watching TV and cried over a Pantene commercial. You know that part at the end where they say "you're worth it?" Yeah, ugly tears pursued. It was insane to me. I was so incredibly over the top emotional that if I wasn't a hard-core believer in the power of *crazy meds before, I was now. For life.

Side note: my sister made a little comment about how when I was off my meds for those four days, I was actually capable of feeling real human emotions. That maybe the pills had pushed all my emotions and feelings into oblivion and once off them, they were able to come out and I wasn't a non-caring cold-hearted b*#ch. My response? I'd rather be an emotionless wench than a wacko sympathetic freak who cries over shampoo commercials. End side note.

As for side effects? There is a whole list of things that could potentially go berserk, but for me, I don't really experience any side effects. Besides being sane. And the fact that drinking on my meds makes me get buzzed twice as fast. Which is a good thing if you ask me. 

And there you have it. My experience with the crazies. If you have any other questions, leave them here and I will answer in the comments.

What about you? Any good/bad/life-changing/shampoo-commerical-crying experiences with the magic pills? Please share! We can all be crazy together.

shake shake shake!


*I don't really think they are crazy meds, nor are people who take them crazy. It's something totally 
uncontrollable and a legit imbalance in the brain. I just like to make light of things.

120 comments:

  1. Just started following your blog today and this is the very first post I've read. Great post! Love hearing your experience with the meds and being on and off them. I've been on an anti-anxiety/depression tablet for about a year and a half now and do wonder how I'd go if I ever considered stopping. Also is great to see people talking about these things publicly, breaking down the stigma :)

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  2. I've been taking my anxiety meds on and off for about a year now. I haven't in a while and I feel the anxiety creeping in.

    Loved the post, love the blog, love you

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  3. completely agree. however, i had to stop taking them because i genuinely didn't care about anything anymore and it was affecting everything with school and work. however, i am now highly considering going back on them after the past couple of months.

    glad i'm not the only one who was "afraid" of being "that person" who has to take pills.

    loved this post! xo

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    1. Have you considered a lower dose?
      That might help you keep your balance of not suffering from symptoms, yet still feeling emotions.

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  4. Nice to see a post that is so real. I also am on medication. Actually my anxiety is so horrible I was put on TWO medications. I stopped taking the daily because it knocked me out cold. All I did was sleep. So I am dealing.
    Thanks for putting your story out there.

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  5. I am on anxiety meds too...well I was. I stopped a couple weeks ago to see if I could handle it. HAH. I am twice as anxious as before. I over analyze everything and have an appt next week to be put back on them.

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  6. I've been taking them for about 4 months now and I feel so much better! Thanks for sharing!

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  7. I know you are into naturopathy so have you tried anything natural instead of meds?

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    1. I haven't, just because when this all started, I didn't know much about naturopathy at all and the pills I am on have helped SO greatly I don't want to try anything else. Other than that, natural all the way! :)

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  8. I have anxiety sometimes so I take Nerve Tonic. Its all natural and just as good as xanax in my opinion.

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    1. gonna have to look into that!

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    2. I love your honesty here! I haven't really talked about this with anyone except my family and closest friends, but this topic is one that hits so close to home! Do you mind me asking which meds you are on? the dr and I tested about 5 and none of them "worked" until the one I am on now. Effexor ( which we had to mess with dosage so much to find the appropriate amount) and Xanax. I never ever had anxiety until after having my babies, But i thank God for these meds, because they have literally saved me!

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  9. After having a baby and then losing my brother just months later, I was an emotional wreck! aka Basketcase! After a year of an emotional battle I got on pills too. I took them and I felt normal again. That was four years ago. Since then I have not taken them only because I lost my insurance and the doctor I was seeing retired. So now, I am back at square one. I know I need to get back on these meds bc I know I am getting really bad and I have felt it get worse the last two weeks. Hubby would agree! I need my meds! haha I'm glad to know I'm not alone in this situation. At first I felt like it was just me and that my mind was making me feel this way. It is, and it's the devil! lol {I know this will make sense to you}

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  10. After dealing with depression and anxiety for FAR too long, I finally went on medication in 2005. It was like a whole new world. I'm normally a pretty emotional person, but I was actually able to realistic about my emotions. It was amazing. Until I went on vacation and forgot to bring them. By day 3-4, I was literally thinking of ways to kill myself. Knowing how completely out of whack I was, I cut the vacation short and hopped back on the med train. It scared me. A couple years later, I finally got the balls to try going off them. I lowered my dosage at pre-set intervals and then was done with it. It's hard sometimes because I can tell when I am acting nuts. But I've learned to work through it. Not to say that I would never go on meds again. I totally would if it got too bad. But for right now... it is manageable. Who knows what next year would bring. Thanks for sharing! Not a lot of people are open about it! And sorry for the longest comment EVER!

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  11. i keep telling my mom that maybe i should be put on anxiety meds... i question this about two times a day... which is two times too many, if you ask me.. and after reading this post, i think i may just bite the bullet and go to the doctor.. which in itself gives me anxiety. maybe i can find a xanax laying around the house..

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  12. I've literally been off and on them since I was in the 4th grade. My last 'bout with them was around this time last year. I was separated from my husband and was afraid of going into the holidays alone. I honestly never even noticed a difference while on them until I was driving home one day and the song "Where Are You, Christmas?" came on the radio and all I could think was "Why am I not crying right now!?! This song always makes me cry!". Ha!! My depression is partially seasonally induced which means it is probably time for me to give the ol' doc a call. Great post! I really appreciate your honesty and candor.

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  13. We have far more in common than I thought.

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  14. Did I miss what brand you are on? My husband has tried several and nothing seems to be working. Can you give a suggestion on what works for you?

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    1. I took Lexapro FOREVER. It was the only thing that worked for me. Even the generic of lexapro didn't work, it made me MORE jittery and anxious. Only recently did my stupid insurance company say they wouldn't cover Lexapro so I was put on a generic for Zoloft and at first I was SO apprehensive and was throwing a hissy fit and did NOT want to try something new but I did and have to say, I love it just as much as Lexapro. And for $90 less a month? I guess it'll do.

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    2. I take celexa and it really works for me.

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  15. After I had my daughter I went in to ppd and let me tell you it SUCKED BIG TIME. I didn't realize it for weeks and when I finally did I was crying all day every day and the 1st week on the depression/anxiety meds was brutal. Talk about the worst week of my entire life, yeah that was it. I was on the meds for 6 months and then was able to wean off. Now being pregnant with baby #2, I started having those same feelings for the 1st couple months I was pregnant but thankfully I worked through them and didn't have to go on anything as I like you, don't trust taking meds like that while pregnant. I may or may not have to go back on them once the baby comes, we will have to see. I do know that anxiety and depression is truly not something I would wish on my worst enemy as it is real and although I only dealt with it for a short period of time it was enough for me. So, anybody who deals with it on a day to day basis I feel for you, it's not easy!

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  17. Raven, I continue to love your blog and your honesty, you are literally the first thing I open at work every morning (that's right, pay for that, The Man!). I have a Xanax prescription because sometimes my fits of anxiety make me feel like I am literally dying...so I completely understand the power of medicine when prescribed accurately. Thanks for sharing.

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  18. PPD ended with hospitalization for me. I was one of those, "we are an over medicated society" and "people who take meds are weak" kind of person before that. Medication literally saved my life. And the one time I tried to get off of them I was suicidal. If I ever do decide to get off the meds I will do it gradually and under doctors supervision. Thanks for posting Raven.

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  19. I will never, ever go off my meds again!!! I HAVE to have them to function normally. I am just not myself if I don't have them. To me it is still disappointing that I have to have medication in my brain for it to be okay, but that is just how it is; like how some diabetics have no choice but to inject insulin. Sometimes I am scared I will get even crazier and that I will never be able to get off the medication. But I do hope one day I can get past this on my own. There are so many people like you and I who have this same situation. It helps to know we are not alone.

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  20. I feel you girl! I went on Celexa and was not warned of the effects of going off meds. I was vomiting and falling over after 1 day! I am off them now and not completely sane haha, but am dealing with my anxiety or trying to the natural way. I used to think ppl were crazy too for trying the pills, but once you are on them its a whole other world. Courage to you!

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  21. My saying is, "If you're happy and you know it share your meds!" I take crazy pills, I call them crazy pills, and I am PROUD! I get exactly like you when I tried going off of them, and I'll take them as long as I can! Anxiety/Depression (called Dysthymia) runs in my family, so my sister, dad, grandma and aunt all take meds. It is glorious and I wouldn't have it any other way! And BTW, you're not supposed to take them while prego...they can cause birth defects. Cheers to crazy pills!

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  22. First, Thank you for your honesty and for putting it out there. So many people are ashamed or don't understand and I really really believe that when people like you, who we all love and laugh with, talk about it, then more people will get help if they need it or understand their sis/mom/friend that takes them. I've been in a 9 year situation with anxiety/depression. I was hospitalized because I didn't believe anxiety was real until I had tunnel vision, numbness in my limbs, heart racing, etc. Convinced I was having a stroke or heart attack I ended up in the hospital. I went off cold turkey for my pregnancy - like you, no side effects. I have tried natural remedies, meditation, yoga, exercise, diet....Now,I just understand I have to take my medicine. Probably for life. But now I can actually LIVE life. So it's something I have accepted and feel comfortable with.

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  23. I totally take cray cray pills! I used to be so against it until I just had Miss P and my world got royally fucked by that bitch post partum... damn her! Anyways... I literally always thought I would NEVER result in taking a pill to help me out for my moods. Well when I was crying over spilled milk (literally) and would literally stop mid-sentence because I couldn't remember what I was talking about... I made the leap and I couldn't be happier with my decision! BEST.THANG.EVER. Now I am back to my SASSY ASS self!

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  24. i used to have depression/anxiety/panic attacks- my chest literally felt like it was in a vice along with having terrible migraine headaches (i'm talking like i missed an entire month of school due to a headache.. yeah, bad) so i took meds but was of the opinion i didn't really need them...

    then one day, one day when i decided to take charge of my life, move out of the dump i lived in, end the terribly awful relationship i was in... it all stopped. the anxiety went away (so did the 60+ pounds i gained)...

    so i guess i am living proof it can and will get better..? i don't know, but i know if you are anxious, i definitely feel for you. and hope, one day, you can wake up and it be gone (:

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  25. This post couldn't have had better timing. I used to take an anti-depressant when I was in high school. But it's been years since. And lately, I'm like one of those people in the tv commercials. I'm always tired, my favorite foods don't taste good anymore, my hobbies aren't fun.. Last night I was thinking about making a doctor appointment. I think I will! Thank you so much!

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  26. I LOVE THIS POST. THANK YOU!!! One of my exes called me 'a crazy ass pill popper.' I wanted to tell him...do you know how much worse it could get if I wasn't poppin pills? I've struggled with being on and of meds for anxiety and ADD for years. Like many I feel like taking the meds is an admission of weakness, or crazy. Seriously...thank you for this post.

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  27. I didn't start having to take anxiety meds and Xanax until about 7 months after I had my baby. I just couldn't deal anymore and thought it was best to be a crazy mom on meds to control shit than to be a helicopter mom who couldn't deal with people being around their child. Pregnancy, what a bitch. I'm not addicted to Snickers Candy Bars and pizza and crazy people pills.

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  28. So glad you posted about this topic. I was put on anxiety medication my Sophomore year of High School and have been on them since, I graduated college a year ago. Anxiety Medication changed my world for the better. The first medication they put me on made me so sleepy and I fell asleep everywhere, standing up, driving ect. but I knew they helped me enjoy life so I just changed to a different medicine. The only down side to them for me is if I forget to take it I have horrible side effects, awful headaches,dizziness and nausea.

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  29. i love stories like this. I am totally comfortable taking my happy blue pill, which is prozac. This pill was LIFE CHANGING for me. I was so anxious all the time. I never wanted to leave the house. I missed out on friend's weddings since I didn't want to travel. To sum it up... I wasn't ME anymore when I let the anxiety take over my life. I will go off the happy blue pill when I want to get pregnant...but more than likely I will go on it after. Thanks for sharing your story since I know a lot of girls are going through the same ordeal.

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  30. I so support your perspective on taking your pills but yet living holistically.Years of research on these medications can turn out good results and medicines that help people function. I'm on mediciation for hypothyroidism and have been for a few years. I still remember how much better I felt after I started them. Cheers to you!

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  31. I need drugs, badly, the legal kind that is. I'm overly OCD and my anxiety is through the roof. There are times where I just sit and cry because I cannot handle things happening in that moment. The "fog" sets in a time or two a week as well where I have no clue what's going on and cannot focus, usually after bouts of stress. I am not on meds, however, because I am unsure how to get them. How do you find a doctor, where do you go, what do you do, what do you say? I'm afraid of having my mind "altered" but at the same time, the OCD and anxiety are out of control.

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    1. Any regular family doctor can prescribe them. Just make an appointment and tell them your symptoms. They hear it every day. And as for the drugs "altering" your brain, having a mental issue like depression or anxiety is ALREADY altering your brain and the meds will just even it out :)

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  32. Thanks for sharing! I'm glad that you were able to find something that worked for you to make you feel "normal." :) I guess my brain balance is good since I've never been on meds - not to say I shouldn't be..haha! But I can't imagine how scary that could be to just not feel like yourself.

    I am currently getting my master's in clinical counseling and I love learning about why people's brains work so strangely sometimes. And I hope to one day provided counseling/therapy to crazies - happy pills and all :)

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  33. I love seeing woman discuss mental illness. I have suffered from depression, anxiety and insomnia for years before getting help and you hit the feeling to a tee! I have been so lucky through changes in my diet, that I have just weaned off my last medication, but believe me, my xanax still travels everywhere with me just in case!

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  34. I love your honesty and how you are so open about a topic a lot of people are scared to talk about!~Brett

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  35. Oh Raven, I could talk to you for hours about this but instead I am just going to say THANK YOU.

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  36. I am glad I am not getting any backlash for the *sidenote as I was just giving you a hard time! geez make me sound like the evil sister. =)

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  37. I love the image you used for this post! haha I also love how open you are about this topic, there a lot of people out there who can relate to this. I can't imagine how scary that would be to deal with... the whole driving down the freeway thing, I am happy you have found something that helps you feel like your normal self!

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  38. I am medicated. Actually sitting in the parking lot of Walgreens and about to go in and fill my Rx. Because I, like you, wait until I am out (for two days) before realizing how it affects me. Which also coincided with day 2 of my period. Awesome. So yeah. I get it. I am also in therapy, which I am a huge advocate for. I think you should write more about this stuff. It needs to be talked about more. I touched on it a bit with my blog...but you're able to reach more people and I truly think you should take advantage of that. And I think it's important that mental illness isn't seen as such a taboo subject.

    And this isn't a condescending question, because I struggle with it too. I like my cocktails. Do you feel like you are limiting your medications ability to help you by drinking? I can always tell when I've drank too much. The next day my anxiety is out of control. It's like I counteract the meds. Or are you on something that you can drink with and not have issues? I am limited in what I can take. I am trying to get pregnant and I want to be on something that I can slowly go off of in my first trimester. I've done the cold turkey thing and it sent me over the edge. Eeesh.

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    1. GREAT question. I will absolutely admit that I think my drinking DOES in fact limit my meds ability to help. YES, I do. Maybe not when I drink a little, but when I drink a lot? Absolutely. Which kind of makes me want to smack myself over the head because I know how much I need the medication and here I am purposefully hindering it. There have been a few times when I drank WAY too much and would wake up in the middle of the night panicked and feeling like I was going to have a heart attack right then and there. And I'm all, wait, but don't I take meds to stop this from happening? Yes Raven, yes you do, but then you go and mess with it all by overdrinking. I also have found that I forgot things MUCH more often when I drink while on my anti-anxiety (like the not remembering the morning after) I guess I just figure it's LESS worse if I drink ON my meds than if I drink OFF them. Kind of like the lesser of two evils. Maybe one day I will grow up and mature and not act like a college kid on spring break.....we can only hope, right? ;)

      I do know that there are certain medications that drinking on them REALLY messes with the results and others that are not as severe. I am an a generic Zoloft (took Lexapro for years, my favorite) and it seems to be working with the alcohol just fine...that is, as fine as it CAN help with alcohol consumption :)

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    2. Oh yeeeeah!! Zoloft here too. 100mg of the generic good stuff, Sertraline. I honestly think drinking in moderation is fine. It's only the times when I am going balls to walls that I have issues with anxiety the next day. And that only happens every weekend...soooo....just kidding. Not nearly as often as it used to because homegirl here can't throw back like she used to.

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    3. good to know, I enjoy my daily (or two) cocktail to give it up for the sake of sanity :)

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    4. I was on sertaline, too. And it did WONDERS for me on the inside and for my marriage. Van was starting to have a rough time handling my anxiety...which I think is normal. I was getting to be quite the handful. And then Van quit his job to go to seminary, so we lost our insurance. With insurance, my sertraline was $7 and now....it's like $98. So I haven't taken it since I last got my scrip filled. I knew I wouldn't be refilling it again, so... what's the point? Might as well hold onto it for when I KNOW something big and bad is a'brewin'.

      Have either or both of y'all done anything "alternative" for anxiety? Not like smokin' anything...been there, done that and it's out of the question for me. But other stuff.

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    5. oh my god, i thought it was just my old age that was making me not be able to remember a single damn thing the next morning after drinking!!! it's the meds! holy shit. it totally is! you are brilliant. i mean, it's bad. like, if i even have one glass of wine i wake up the next day feeling ok, but not being able to remember talking to people ont he phone, what i had for dinner, how i got into bed etc....and i sure know that one little glass didn;t get me drunk enough to black out! and like you, if i dring WAY too much (which tends to happen from time to time...ahem!) i am an anxious disaster the next day AND i don;t remember anything, which makes the anxiety worse. a few weeks ago, i went out with a girlfriend and apparently i fell down some stairs....that makes me sound like i total boozer, but whatever. anyway, i called her the next day all "why does my neck hurt??" and she was like "um. because you fell down a flight of stairs.". meds. wow.....scary. crap.

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  39. Thank you so much for posting this!! I struggle with anxiety and have been on and off pills too, and they really do help!

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  40. As I was reading this, I felt like I was reading my own story.
    Thank you for being so honest and real and open.
    And...oh yea, AMEN.
    Just found your blog and I love it. So much.
    xoxo,
    Sierra
    Oh, Just Living the Dream

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  41. i am on the meds too, my friend, and like you, i am pretty sure i will never be/don't want to ever be off them. when i think back at how bad things were getting before i finally got help, it really freaks me out. i get what your sister says about not feeling human emotion because sometimes i wonder if i AM feeling anymore but then i have a small episode and realize i am just not feeling things with a side order of FRIGGIN CRAZY anymore. they've got me on lexapro, buspar and the occasional xanax....crazy meds times three and loving it. you're in good company.

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  42. More power to you for sharing your story! So many people don't understand that mental health conditions are just as real as any medical problem like high blood pressure or anything else. I'm glad the meds are helping you feel "normal." Thanks for sharing!

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  43. I've never read your blog but I'm so glad this is the first post I've ever read! I am struggling with the same issues and have been considering going to a doctor to hopefully get some help. Thank you for sharing your story and for making me feel like I'm not the only crazy out there!

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  44. Awesome post, woman. I've shared my tales dealing with depression and severe anxiety on my blog, too :) I didn't want to go on pills for a long time and the doctor's told me I just needed to breathe... Um, really? Just like that? They finally decided I might need a little more aid than just a counselor and breathing and put me on some meds. Some days I think I could get off them completely but then I remember it's gonna be a while before I can come off them completely :(

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  45. I love how honest you are! I have been on celexa for anxiety and depression and it is a fairly low dose so I still have my full range of emotions, but my lows arent as LOW. I would have a full blown panic attack if I had too many bags of groceries in my hands and couldnt get the front door open, and over silly things like that. My husband [then bf] used to tell me I sounded like I was running a marathon in my sleep, I could not relax even when asleep. I would wake up panicked and crying for no reason. I have had a chronic low grade depression since childhood stemming from a LOT of family sh*t that I won't get into here. Props to those that take them! I am considering going off because the hubs and I are planning to have a baby soonISH and I don't trust being on meds while pregnant. My doc is working with me on weaning off the celexa, one time I went off cold turkey because I forgot to refill my rx on time, and I was downright MANIC. They don't kid when they say not to quit cold turkey. Thanks for sharing your story Raven, and making me feel comfortable enough to share mine :)

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  46. I totally get it! I have been on and off of anxiety medicine since I was 13. I am now 28. When I first started it I was so against it, but finally after many experiences I realized I needed to be on the medication. I can't tell you how many times in my life my mother has asked if if I took my medicine today?! Worlds most annoying question. Thanks so much for telling your story. Glad to know I am not the only crazy person out there;)

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  47. I seriously love you Raven for being so honest. In March, after coming home from an overly anxious trip to LA & Vegas with my husband and friends, I experienced my first real anxiety breakdown and wasn't able to work or function properly. I know exactly what you mean by the brainfog, it was making me feel even more crazy and that anxiety quickly spiraled into depression. The only things that worked for me were anti-anxiety medication (Klonopin) and seeing a Psychologist to talk about all my crazy anxiety ridden thoughts. I left each of those sessions crying but feeling so much better. After a few months, the fog was starting to clear and I was finally feeling like myself again, where I could actually see our friends again, and then I got pregnant in August...so I went off the meds cold turkey. Luckily, I haven't experienced any effects from that, and the fog is still gone, but I now know that it's okay for me to go back on them after if I have to. I no longer judge people for being on their crazy meds and having to talk to someone to sort out all their thoughts. Good for you for sharing so much!

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  48. My experience is really similar. I've gone off, got back on, got off, got back on...I'm on now and think I'm staying on. I was like you. I wasn't going to be "one of those people." I watched my mom deal with depression and get to the point where she was so drugged up on prescription meds that it scared the crap out of me. I know now that was a result of her being over-prescribed the WRONG things, but whatever. I'm on them. It's always the same if I try to go off. Can't sleep, can't concentrate, super irritable, legit feel like I want to strangle anyone who pisses me off. Oh and sad over completely random things. I don't think the medication makes me incapable of feeling real emotions...just more that I experience more NORMAL emotions as opposed to the effing crazy kind.

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    1. last sentence, story of my life :)

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  49. I LOVE YOUR BLOG! SO MUCH, i wish i did have to comment anonymously but i dont have a account not to! youre so funny and your kids are adorable! youre truly an inspiration because youre so comfortable with yourself and honest in every single blog post! i love it!! keep up the great work!

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    1. Thank you anonymous! You can email me anytime :)

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  50. At 16 I was diagnosed with clinical depression. I had nothing in my life to be depressed about. I was living most high school girls' dream. Good grades, active, head cheerleader and homecoming queen and dammit I was hot! My skin had cleared up due to very recently completing a.round of Accutane. This was in 2001, before a lot of literature damning the side effects were known.
    Something changed like the switch of a light. I struggled to get out of bed to go to school and then as soon as my school obligations were done I would go right back to bed. Wouldn't eat, snapped at everyone for anything. Began suffering debilitating panic attacks. Depression is something that runs in my family, but I did not know that as my parents manage it so well. Thankfully they recognized the symptoms.

    I remember driving home from school one day and just thinking to myself, "What if I drive into the ditch? What would happen? Maybe I would die. So what? Would that be so bad?"

    Some angel was watching over me. I was diagnosed (come to find out, inaccurately) with depression and placed on a low dose of Zoloft. The difference it made was...idk how to explain it, except that I got my life back. I got my happiness and my sparkle and my confidence. I regained my feistiness and wit. I wasn't sleeping 14 hours nightly but the normal 7.

    I was a lifeguard for several summers. One day I had a terrible panic attack. The noises of kids playing sounded like the piercing screams of terror, of drowning. I lost it. Come to realize, I had missed 3 days of my Zoloft. I learned then how critical it is for me to be responsible and consistent.

    Sorry, this is getting lengthy, I guess I've never opened up about it and I'm kind of erupting.

    Over the last ten years I have had my dosage adjuste 3 timesd, always up unfortunately. I always know when I need it adjusted, because the panic attacks will start again, I'll imagine death and dying in a not-quite-suicidal but still too morbid way. The panic attacks are the most terrifying. Feeling like you are physically going to die and knowing you are just making it worse is, honestly horrifying.

    Postpartum depression hit me hard but in a weird way, having this disease blessed me with an acute awareness of what to watch for postpartum.

    I have since been rediagnosed as having anxiety disorder.

    The last two days have been tortuous because my pharmacy forgot to call my dr for refills and he won't do it until he sees me. I'm just trying to talk myself down and stay calm and keep control. Oh, and my 18 month old daughter has RSV (thanks daycare!) so I have the added stress of missing a full week of work to trends to my sweet sick baby. And my husband is Out of town for work. When it rains, it pours right?

    I'm the poster girl for "will be on meds her whole life." And I'm okay with that. I'm the most me on my meds, and I feel every human emotion, good bad and the ugly. But I cannot manage them without. And I'm okay. I'm not ashamed.

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    1. I should add that since then, studies have linked Accutane with anxiety, depression and even suicide.

      I also have OCD and an impulse control Disorder that causes me to obsess and pick at skin imperfections, hence the Accutane. Fun stuff!

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    2. OK this is SO interesting because I too was on Accutane in my teens! And I know now, that back then they didn't know all the ramifications and long term effects it would have, but now this totally makes sense. I mean, is that stuff even on the market anymore? Maybe that has something to do with my anxiety now, I mean, we may never know but it would make total sense if it had at least a little part to do with it. So thanks for sharing that as I would have never put two and two together.

      And Sophie I too have honestly thought to myself before, "I could just drive over this bridge right now, it would be so easy to do." I am also on Zoloft now as I just switched over from Lexapro and as hesitant as I was to switch (stupid insurance reasons) Zoloft has done wonders for me! I was off the Lexapro for four days, and it was hell. My brain was buzzing and I'm not sure you can accurately describe the feeling unless you have been there. I am with you on being responsible and consistent when taking these meds. The VERY first morning after I took the Zoloft I felt almost completely back to normal. Which made me realize that like you, I will most likely be on medication for the rest of my life and you know what? GOOD! I'm happy because I found something that "fixed" me.

      I too know exactly what you mean with the panic attacks. When it happens to me, I try to tell myself to just calm down because I KNOW what it happening and I KNOW I'm not actually dying but when panic attacks start, it just doesn't work that way. And all I can do is pray and hope for it to get over fast.

      And are you SURE your doctor won't give you something in the meantime? This exact same thing happened to me and when I finally got in to see my doctor, he told me next time this happens, to call him immediately and he will at least try to find something for me to take in the few days where the pharmacy has lapsed in getting the meds to me. I would definitely call and explain to him your feelings of being off it because there is a good chance they can give you something temporary to help until you get your regular medicine.

      Thanks again for your comment, trust me, you are not alone as SO MANY people feel the exact same way :)

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    3. i was on accutane too!
      there really might be something to that....
      and i, too, have had those "what if i just drove into a ditch?" thoughts or "what if i just kept driving, far away where nobody knew me and changed my name and never told anybody where i was"....etc.... you're not alone.

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    4. I'm mind blown right now, I also was on accutane, and never experienced depression or anxiety until after...
      I wonder if it really could be connected??

      SO GLAD YOU WROTE THIS POST RAVEN!!!
      Just another reason I think of you as my possible sister from another mister, and as one of the MOST HONEST bloggers on the internet. you. are. awesome.

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    5. Sorry, I'm late, but I'm here!!! I want to chime in: being that I'm almost finished with my BS in Psychology and have struggled with not only mental illnesses, disorders tough and wrong diagnoses but also addiction. Toughy, I know, Complex, fo sho!

      Anyhow, I am 30 and when I was in 1st grade I remember them wanting to tell my mother who is still an elementary school teacher, I was ADD, but she refused to believe and did not get me diagnosed properly and difficultly until after many hard yrs of school, once getting to 8th grade, with ADD.

      It wrecked my social and home life. My older sister picked on me, I was always asked if I talked out or anything and it made me always LASH out at the fact I had to be placed on meds. I started seeing a counselor, gosh, when I was in 5th grade? Upper middle class military family...but my father was emotion less and always oversees. i don't know, I could ramble on forevvv.

      I was even placed in patient for 3 months at the age of 16 across the state of FL where we live. Talk about made to feel crazy. Anyways - about the accutane, my regular pediatrician Dr wanted to put me on that but had to get an OK from my psych because I had a history of depression. He was given strict orders to NOT give me accutane and I know this was a few yrs before 2000. I've seen so many legal question asking commercials on Accutane (here in fL), glad I never was on it, I'm already REALLY nutso, obviously ;) Anyway, my Pediatrician, Thank God, said he couldn't because it was well known that if anyone had any type of depression history, it could easily send them into a DEEP depression and have suicidal thoughts.

      Skip to age 26 or 27?? I was finally diagnosed with Bi-Polar....why not? It's the most popular thing lately to be diagnosed with (according to all studies) other than anxiety. Well, I was put on Lithium (after trying Celexa, Lexapro, and a couple others to no avail) and THAT was the shiz. I guess. My husband and mother said so. I guess because unlike my pain meds, I didn't "FEEL" any effects, I don't believe they're doing anything. Also, it's important that women know that when they're pregnant, most all symptoms of any chemical imbalance or mental disorder will and can subside throughout pregnancy. Mine most definitely did. I wouldn't dare take anything whilst bearing my babies.

      Well, my youngest is almost 2 (In Feb 2013) and I haven't been on anything except my pain meds since her birth. I like to tell myself my pain meds also help my mood :) They do! They also cause extreme withdrawal if stopped abruptly or not taken for a day or so, REAL bad!

      Here lately though, I swear it's Xanax I need..I feel more panicky, more anxious and I never had this before. But, I also have NO health insurance right now, but school helps (educating myself and disgnosing myself is always great, lmao!)

      Thanks Raven for another excellent post and I'm sure Honey Boo Boo's niece would give it 3 crazy ass thumbs up!!!

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    6. Jesus CHRIST that was long, sorry :\

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  51. Yeah girl, Lexapro and Lorazapam all the way. We're not crazy. I honestly think everyone deals with some of the stuff we do at some point - we're just strong enough (read: awesome enough) that we don't need to hide it and aren't afraid to get some help.

    Love you. Duh.

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  52. My motto is "if it makes you feel better why the hell not..."

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  53. Girl, I love your honesty when it comes to difficult topics. I still remember vivid details of the night my mom had a panic attack and thought she was going to die. I couldn't have been maybe 8 years old? My dad was working out of town and she didn't want me to call 911 so I called a friend of hers all while sobbing I thought my mom was going to die. I think she got on anxiety medication for a while... not sure if she still deals with it today... she doesn't like talking about anything tough, which is why I'm thankful people share their stories on blogs. I think more people should talk about these things and be more open. It helps us all understand a little better.

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  54. Great post and even greater to see so many other people comment positively. People might think I am crazy for taking meds, I say batshit crazy is me without them! Cheers!

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  55. anxiety is awful. i guess we're both crazy! :)

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  56. By the way, Raven, I found your blog thru my old sorostitute sisters blog, The Daily Tay. I love your blog. Longtime creep, haha.

    Anyways, hope this isn't TMI.(don't judge me Taylor) but does anyone on antidepressants/anti anxiety meds suffer from seriously low sex drive? When I do miss doses, I'm like the horniest hateful basket case. Like, thinking about it constantly. When I don't, so most of the time, I have no interest in it whatsoever. Of course I enjoy"it" once we get started but the idea of"it" is repulsive.

    My husband is stuck with either: a horny, hateful, panicky, completely nuts sex addict; or a stable, loving, kind and happy girl who has lots of"headaches."

    Anyone have this dilemma? Better yet,.anyone stumble across a solution?

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    1. Haha yes, a solution would be great for me too!! I have totally found that being on Zoloft decreased my sexy drive. It hasn't decreased my husbands however so even when I don't want it at times, I go with it and like you said, in the midst of it, I'm always glad I did. Other than that, I'm no help in this department!

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  57. I stopped my meds cold turkey once and got so so so sick!!! Don't do it!! I am glad people have the same problems!

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  58. So I have a question for you! I take anxiety meds, like half of the world and I get buzzed so easy! But if you drink too much do you get real panicky? I am still trying to find my limit on how much I can have and not freak out!

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    1. I answered this question in detail above. I would type it all again but it was a long answer :) if you just scroll up a bit, you will see my answer about drinking and medicating.

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    2. I have been on Zoloft and Paxil and they were both horrible on my sex life...not to mention the weight gain! Ugh! But I have been on Celexa for almost a year and those symptoms are so much better! I've also taken Lexapro before and the Celexa is the closest I've found to it. At least that's what works for me.

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    3. Oops meant to reply to the above comment! ;)

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    4. I have SO experienced the effects of Zoloft on my sex life. It sucks but like I keep saying, I try not to deny my husband and once I'm in the middle of it, I am happy I decided to go for it ha!

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    5. Of course a glass of wine or 3 never hurts! ;)

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  59. Great post and great discussion. Love the idea of breaking down any stigmas regarding mental health issues. I'm glad to see thought given to alcohol use and psychiatric medication, as that combo could be difficult and counter productive at least, deadly at most. But how about therapy? Research shows that people do best when using a combo of AND therapy and there are some great CBT methods to address anxiety (and depression).

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    1. I absolutely agree Teresa, with anti-anxiety/depression drugs, I think therapy should most definitely go along with it. I for one KNOW therapy helps, as I have been a fan for a long long time.

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  60. I definitely know what you mean. I started having severe anxiety attacks probably 6 years ago. I didn't know what was happening, but I would have serious chest pains. It felt like I had to burp usually and I would just kind of ignore it. But eventually it got so bad that my dad thought I was legit having a heart attack. It was never anxiety over things that were happening right then, it was things underlying that were stressing me out without me knowing it. My doctor prescribed me some tranquilizers to use when I reached the point where I couldn't function, and it became really easy to manage once I finally knew what was wrong.
    Then, after my dad passed away, I went to see my doctor again. I was having those same feelings that you mentioned with the foggy head. I would find that i really didn't remember much of anything from my days. I also just did NOT feel capable of getting out of bed. It wasn't necessarily a complete depression where I couldn't function, but it was like trying to run through water. So I was put on a very low dosage of an antidepressant. I immediately started feeling so much clearer in my head, significantly less cranky and short tempered, and in general more with it.

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  61. Raven, You totally rock. Somehow I found your blog and I stalk you daily from afar. You are fresh air baby! Thanks for the honesty about your life and what you go through. Although I don't have any issues at this oint, that's not to say that my very fucked up childhood won't come back to haunt me someday. I am glad you are brave. Thanks for sharing. BTW, I would love to know about your slightly inappropriate engagement story. I'll tell you mine, if you tell me yours! Lisa in NJ... my email is: lisamccarrin@yahoo.com so email me then delete this so the world doesn't email me cuz ya know - I'm sooo interesting...ha ha ha

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  62. RAVEN! i love your honesty. Seriously do. This is so interesting to me, and honestly I feel like I might have some sort of anxiety when it comes to flying. I'm just one ball of emotions and on edge and want to freak out! But have been so scared to take any type of meds!! What do you think!?!

    if you have cried over the pantene commercial, cannot imagine what would have happened if the Sarah McClaughin animal abuse commercial came on. AH that gets me EVERY SINGLE TIME!!

    love you raven pants!! keep on keeping because you are AMAZING. Love all the positivity stemming from the comments and people's stories and such. you are amaze my love

    xoxox

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  63. I am a nurse and I always encourage medication for people who have these issues. No, I don't believe there is a pill for everything, and when it comes to the common colds and such, I think people over-medicate! However, when someone is suffering from something that hinders their life, medication is definitely acceptable. With all the preaching I do to others, I was neglecting myself. For 5 years since my sweet grandfather passed away, I have had serious anxiety and depression. On the outside I was fine, but when I was home, my husband would tell me time and time again that I needed to get help. I would have panic attacks and then I would be at my lowest points and just want to stay inside, away from everyone. I finally, about 8 weeks ago, began taking a medication and as funny as it seems, once medicated, I feel like my normal self again. I want to get out and I have changed back into the funny and outgoing, social person I was before. No, I don't think if you are stressed about something, should you jump into a medication bottle, but if everything else is failing, and you can't live a normal day to day life, medication is the answer for you! It was for me!

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  64. The first time I ever took anything for a chemical imbalance was after my daughter was born and I couldn't ignore what was going on with me anymore. I was the same way....I thought I could get through it on my own and it would make me a weak mother and person in general if I had to rely on something to keep my from having "moments"...It ended up being diagnosed as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder because her birth was pretty terrible for me. So ff to three years later, I am on the first medicine that actually worked for me. Finding the right one is the most annoying and trying battle I think, but when you do its like you are actually a living, breathing human being again. At least thats how I felt. I don't think I will ever stop the meds. I am too scared of who I would be without them...my bad days on prozac are terrible and I am okay with never knowing what I am like without it. I actually have a drafted post about this...maybe it would be a good time to grow a pair. as always raven, you are amazing. :) thanks for sharing.

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  65. I have been on anti-anxiety/depression meds for years. Thanks for being so honest. I struggle daily with panic attacks or the threat of them. It's good to know I'm not alone :)

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  66. The crying thing! Oh LORD! I can relate!!! I've been off my meds for about 1.5 years, it took literally almost a year to stop crying at the drop of a hat! Brutal! I hate emotions! ;)

    Great post Raven, God bless you and your wonderful way of taking something that makes people feel "abnormal" and making it completely normal and light!! True fashion of this little 'ole blog, which is why I love it!

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  67. I think it is SO great that you are talking about this. So many people are ashamed of the medicines they have to take to make it from day to day that this was SUCH a refreshing post for me to read.

    Looking forward to reading more!

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  68. THANK YOU FOR POSTING THIS.
    Seriously.
    I have been having anxiety for the past few months like BAD.
    at first I had no idea what was going on... and it was a bad episode where I woke up and was going through an attack right away, and everything made me nauseous and I was having weird deja vu that made me nauseous until it actually physically made me sick. I hit up Web MD (the tell all, obviously) and other than telling me I was basically dying it also said I may have acute anxiety disorder. ding ding ding! I should've known.
    I hadn't had an episode as bad as that one but almost every day I have a moment where I feel like I can't breathe and or am having a little heart attack... and most of the time it's at work. I have one of the LEAST stressful jobs in AMERICA- like really, it's ranked #4- I'm a hygienist, but I know it usually hits when you are calm. I've been fighting going in to see if I can be put on xanax or something because I didn't want to end up being dependent on anything, but TODAY I had a really bad episode where I got really hot (also while working) that I thought I'd have to step away and put my head between my knees. haha! My patient would've LOVED that. Crazy girl can't even scrape teeth without freaking out! ;) Since I know what it is, I can usually talk myself through it and just keep taking deep breathes but I still feel... uneasy and "off."
    Definitely going to look into getting on something low-dose to see if it can help (:

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  69. Raven-
    I'm so glad you decided to open up about this and share it with everyone. I think I've struggled with depression since high school. After a few anxiety attacks, my doctor put me on Paxil. While I still sometimes cry over nothing, am irritable and cranky, and think about things, without the meds, I would deal with this daily. It's something I'm definitely ashamed of, don't want anyone to know, and would love to not have to depend on these pills to get through the day. But, it's so much worse when I don't take them.

    So often, I have prayed to God to not let me wake up, because people just should not feel the way I do. Maybe I need a stronger dose? But I'm embarrassed to talk about it. People that don't know think I'm a bitch or rude, but what they don't know is that this depression really does change who you are. I don't want to be "that girl", but depression makes you feel totally different.

    I'm still not ready to share this with the world. Hell, I'm just now able to admit to myself that I HAVE DEPRESSION. SOMETHING IS WRONG.

    Thanks again, Raven. It's good to know that I'm not alone in this.

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    1. Paxil may not be the right drug for you. Facing depression does not mean something is wrong with you, so try not to feel that way. I guarantee you there are tons more people who struggle with it and don't share it (other than with their doctors). I felt "ashamed," in the past. I took a Biopsychology class though and it completely made sense. Some cases of depression are situational - someone experiences a deep loss, etc. Often therapy helps. Others (me, probably you) experience chemical depression - your body isn't producing enough serotonin, etc. I have to take medicine - therapy alone does not help me. Please don't be so hard on yourself. You are so not alone!
      (Raven - sorry! I really wanted to respond to Anonymous. I hope they come back and read this.)

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  70. I love that Jill responded and I agree. If Paxil isn't working, I would go back to my doctor and try something else. Because trust me, I have been there and it's NOT FUN. I have tried a few different meds and finally found one that works (zoloft). It's nothing to be ashamed about, depression is NOTHING to be ashamed about as it is completely out of your control. That is why God MADE doctors and medication, to help the things that are just "off." I hope you see in these comments that you are definitely not alone!!

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    1. I did come back and read, and thank you both so much. I really appreciate your comments.

      I did switch to Lexapro (I think) a few years ago and it definitely did not work, so I went back on Paxil. I've been on it at least 8 years. Do you think it could quit working?

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  71. I was on Accutane too. I also now take generic Prozac, but still have anxiety and pick my fingers/skin. I have to "hurt" myself to feel "okay." Should I up the dose? I will ask the doctor next time. Thank you for talking about this. SICK OF THE STIGMA!! I am going to a funeral TODAY of a friend who killed himself. He took himself off his meds b/c he "was better" and his friends told him to....

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  72. I cry at EVERYTHING since Will is gone. I don't want to go on meds (unless I have to), but I am thinking it might happen down the road. I want to try that Nerve Tonic, the one chick mentioned!

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  73. I am on adderall XR right now because without it I cannot focus on ANYthing. I'm not talking "ohhh I get distracted" I'm talking like "expense rep...what?icecream?what's that sound?the new accountant is hot...ort" kind of thing. However I am also the worst hypochondriac in the world. To the point where I have months consuming despair thinking I have any kind of disease I can find that matches any of my symptoms that I kind of make up probably. I thought I had Lou Gehrigs. LOU GEHRIGS. Nobody gets that, especially 23 year old girls. Long story short, i think i need more meds.

    -alex

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  74. Great post. I can totally relate to the out of body experience and feelkinf like you were up in the clouds. I feel like that a lot and only recently realized it was anxiety. During both pregnancies my anxiety wasn't bad but after each kid was born I'd start to have full blown panic attacks out of nowhere. My son is now a month old and they've been getting really bad. I am not taking anything for anxiety because my one dr chalked it up to hormones but at my next appt I plan on bringing it up. Thank you for Sharing

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  75. I haven't been in the blog world for a couple weeks and I have been totally out of it. (thanks a lot kid who broke my computer) Anyway, that's why I'm not commenting until now.

    Thank you for sharing this! I was super against any kind of medication. Didn't think you needed it, if you've got an issue, get your shit together and figure it out. Go to a therapist, anything. Just don't start depending on medication.

    Then I married my husband.

    My husband is a wonderful man. He works hard so I can stay home with our kids, when he's home he is such an involved parent, I can call him anytime of the work day and tell him I need help and he is in the car before I've hung up. BUT, he would also have days when I couldn't say anything without a snide comment. He would sigh. A lot. He would retract into himself and wouldn't even smile when our daughter when she asked for a hug.

    So I told him to get off his ass and start exersizing again, because it seemed to help a bit when he did. Eventually, it just got worse and worse, the headaches started, he was feeling shitty all of the time and the snide comments were happening more often so he decided to get a physical to see what was going on. Our dr prescribed him some anti-depression medication. We talked about it at length because I still didn't believe in medicating yourself to fix yourself, but we decided it was worth a shot. And we would re-asses in 6 months.

    My God. My old man came back. He was so happy, sleeping better, sex got better, he was the guy I had first met again. We were so glad that everything was figured out and he decided since things were so good that he didn't need the medication again. So he came off it. A week later? He was back on it again because in just 7 short days he turned into the guy we didn't like or want in our home.

    I do understand now that some medication is just needed. Some people do have that imbalance in their brain and they are just wired differently and they need a little more whatever to help them. I'm still pretty anti medicine, but now that I see that for some cases it is totally needed, I'm a little more relaxed about it.

    Sorry about the huge comment, but this has all been happening in the last couple months so it has been weighing on me. Thank you again for sharing your story.

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  76. This is such a great post. I can totally relate to your situation and have been on anti-anxiety medication myself. I commend you on touching a subject that others may find taboo.

    Looking forward to your posts in the new year!

    - Talia
    rubytiaradiaries.blogspot.com

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  77. Totally relate to this post. In fact, I planned on writing about my issues with anxiety later this week. Suffering from anxiety for 15+ years!! And quite the guinea pig, too, as I've pretty much tried all meds there is. I had a Dr. appt. today, and was prescribed Zoloft, which I've been on before, but that's a long story that I'll explain in my blog. Stopped my Prozac cold turkey today. What medication(s) are you on? Is it helping?

    Http://thepinteresthousewife.blogspot.com

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  78. Not crazy stalking your blog or anything (I got here from a link in your latest post). It feels so good to read this and all the comments and realize I'm not alone in this. I had to start taking anxiety/depression meds a few years ago and then stopped when we started trying for a baby. Like you, I was fine through the pregnancy and for a few months after. Then I could feel it creeping back up on me slowly, and tried with everything in me to fight it. I finally realized I needed to go back on them when I stopped and looked at how quickly I was flying off the handle or how having to go more than a mile or two past my house were giving me anxiety. I have been back on them for almost two weeks now and can tell a HUGE difference. My boyfriend even asked me today if my "crazy pills" were kicking in cause he said I just sounded calmer over the phone. Lol. Thank you for this post!!

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Please, tell me what you think! I love reading your thoughts and opinions, and I find some of my favorite blogs through my comments!

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