So I took myself off of my Lexapro a couple of weeks ago.

The reason is because I found, to my dismay, that that particular medication destroyed my sex drive, like bad. And while it was nice to not feel like a 1000-lbs weight was crushing my shoulders or have mild-moderate anxiety attacks, it’s not worth it to ruin my sex life. I will gladly be a basketcase til the day I die if it means being able to have orgasms.

It was kind of surreal coming off the meds. My script was one pill a day, taken in the morning when I’d wake up for work. It took like a week for the stuff to build up in my system so I was expecting it to take just as long to clear out. But I was already feeling it by the end of the first day not taking it. I felt like shit by day two. It’d literally felt like a gradual, uncontrollable slide down. And it was a slide into a really deep hole. It was so hard moving and getting myself up to doing anything.

I knew that I had some mental health issues, but I didn’t realize just how bad it was until I came off the meds. You don’t realize how bad it is when you’ve been knee-deep in it from the beginning. And I’ve been depressed since I was like, 12 (I realized that recently, too).

It’s a little bit sobering when reality enlightens you to your situation. I was aware since around the 11th grade that I was mildly depressed. At least, I thought I was mildly depressed. And you know what maybe I was mildly depressed back then in high school but a lot has happened since high school that’s been quite fucked up and so as a result I’m a bit fucked up too. What I didn’t realize until this point was that I was more than just mildly depressed. I’ve kind of been lucky to get as far as I have despite it honestly.

I’m on a new set of meds now. Cymbalta is similar to Lexapro in that it apparently can treat both anxiety and depression. I started taking it on Monday, accidentally taking half the dose the first two days. I’m supposed to take this med twice a day, so now I take one in the morning when I get up and one in the evening when I take my newly-prescribed hydroxyzine for bedtime. The hydroxyzine can apparently be used as a sleep aide, but I haven’t any luck with this dosage. Every night I’ll manage maybe a couple of hours of sleep but if I wake up in the middle of the night for whatever reason, I can’t fall back asleep. I’ll literally spend the rest of the night tossing and turning and it’s impossible to get comfortable enough to drift off. It’s been like this for a week now, and I’m exhausted.

I don’t know if it’s been long enough for the Cymbalta to kick in. I can’t really say if I feel a difference in my anxiety or depression. Like I said, I’m just tired. Cymbalta is another one that might affect my libido — I hope it doesn’t — so I’m keeping an eye on things for now. As it is, clearly the hydroxyzine is either not strong enough of a med or in not high enough of a dose because I’m averaging 3 hours a night here. I’ll give it another week to be sure before I start making phone calls.

Obviously the journey to get medicated is a long and tedious one, because who ever gets the right combination on the first try? It’s still really annoying though because I still feel like I’m just kind of drifting around in life, not really going anywhere. It’s like I’m just kind of wildly flailing and I’m tired of feeling this way. Like I said, it’s exhausting :/

Fingers crossed though!


4 thoughts on “unmedicated

  1. Fingers crossed indeed. Keep at it. Eventually, you’ll figure this out and it will totally be worth it when you do.

  2. Anti-depressants take a while to really set in with what they are supposed to be doing. In my experience, with my meds (mood stabilizers), I feel something initially and then I reset to what I was before the med. After a period of time I slowly get to the place the med is supposed to help me with, or I don’t and I need to titrate up a little more. Unfortunately I can’t take anti-depressants because I’m bipolar 1, meaning anti-d’s will cause me to go manic. If I could I’d try cymbalta since it’s good for chronic pain as well.

    One thing they never seem to let you know is that when you go off an anti-depressant, you get a kick back depression. If you can ride that out, you’ll feel better. However, if you have clinical depression, well then, best to do what you did and get on a new med. I’m just letting you know in case you ever want to go off this one in the future. Basically you have to dig in and survive it. I wonder if it’s better if it’s tapered off…. hmmm, good question.

    Wellbutrin has no sexual disfunction by the way. Not sure if you’ve considered that. It either works really well or horrible for people. Not sure if it helps anxiety. Honestly, I wish there was a miracle drug that just took anxiety away! Ugh, I hate it and have to deal with it with tools like mindfulness (which I have a hard time with) and distress tolerance skills.

    Hope you’re feeling better during this transition period.

    • I had no idea there was such a thing as a kickback at all! Certainly explains a LOT. My sister takes Wellbutrin actually (she’s bipolar 2 actually) and she’s told me that yeah, it doesn’t impact sex drive. It’s still hard to tell if this cymbalta is actually working and I’m dealing with the kickback still or if it’s making things worse 😬 Hopefully that’s not the case, but I have a hunch that I’ll probably switch again haha. Anxiety is such a bitch! I’ll take crippling depression over anxiety any day ugh.

      Thank you so much for stopping by and giving insight and support ❤ l

  3. Pingback: a dark place | Sincerely, G

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