Wednesday, March 28, 2012

How long to taper?

So far so good on the Zyprexa decrease. I have had some problems sleeping, but not as bad as in the past. I have had some mood swings, but not too bad either. I had about two days of depression, and now I am just moody. No irritability, no signs of hypomania.

Two nights ago I gave in the insomnia and took a full 10mg of Ambien- I normally only take 5mg- but, as usual, the cognitive side effects were too severe and I really couldn't do any paperwork before lunchtime. So no more, it is better to be sleep deprived.

I do feel more alive. Like parts of my mind are starting to wake up. It is subtle, but it is there.

But it is also scary- the thought of going completely off of Zyprexa. Of all the meds I currently take, that is the one I have been taking for the longest, my guess is about 12 years. And in those 12 years I managed get myself off of disability, get a Master's degree in OT, and work for 8 years as an occupational therapist. But it is easy to confuse correlation with causation. And I really think that in those 12 years, I just wasn't so miss-medicated so as to make me manic and rapid cycle. Really, the depressions have continued to a large extent. But positive experience has built upon positive experience, and work has really been what has made me better. And, I feel like I should be further in my life than I am. Things are still very hard.

As predicted, my therapist is not too happy with me reducing my meds again so soon. But she says that she will support me.

She asked me what I am going to do about my other meds. And I told her that I don't know- at least for now. Ultimately, I want to get off of whatever I can get off of, but my priority has always been the Zyprexa. I'm not sure if I am doing this in the right order- maybe I should get off of the antidepressant first- but I do take another mood stabilizer.

Work is going well. But I am not studying like I need to be. I am too consumed with this, with meds. I hate this. I don't want to be thinking about meds all of the time- and yet, how can I not be, when I am learning how much of what I assumed to be true about them is actually false?

Interestingly, I may find a reason to stay on my antidepressant that has nothing to do with depression! Since I lowered my Effexor, my irritable bowel syndrome has been acting up. It really wasn't too bad though, until today, when I had to keep running to the bathroom at work. But then I started wondering, are antidepressants any better for IBS than depression in the long run- maybe they don't work for that either? And I am just having withdrawal effects.

No comments: