I write you today under the influence.
Of Lexapro, that is.
After my Memorial Day weekend emotional meltdown it became clear I needed to do something about my depression and anxiety before it eroded my quality of life any more. So for the past couple of months I've been in talk therapy with a cognitive psychologist. This has been going well, but he suggested that I might want to look into drug therapy too, so last week after a trip to my primary care doctor I came home with a month of Lexapro samples.
Last week, at this time, I was in the throes of medicine head -- if I sat down or stood up too fast the room started spinning, and in between I felt as if I were in a kind of suspended mental animation; uncomfortably numb. I didn't much like it. Depression actually felt better.
I later found out that antidepressants and antihypertensive drugs tend to amplify one another's side effects, hence the spaciness, and that taking one pill in the morning and one in the evening can help minimize the lightheadedness and lethargy.
So I'm a bit nearer to normal now, just in terms of getting through the day without feeling eight miles high. And it remains to be seen whether or not the Lexapro will keep depressive episodes and anxiety attacks at bay. But I still feel equivocal about taking these pills -- despite understanding the organic and oftentimes hereditary underpinnings of depression, and despite learning that nearly everyone I come into contact with on a daily basis is on some sort of "happy pill." The Stoic in me tells me that I should be able to fix myself by myself. Which is silly -- I mean, I wouldn't take that approach with, say, a broken arm or a clogged artery.
The talk therapy is going well; just about the time I thought it was a huge and expensive waste of time we actually started working on specific issues and goals, and I can actually see a bit of progress in changing my thought patterns...which, it turns out, tend to lean heavily in the beating-myself-up-for-being-normal reason. Again, at times I'll walk out of a session thinking, "This is so elementary, and on some level I already know it -- why do I need to pay someone to tell me what I already know?" But I think the element of human interaction, instead of living my dramas all in my head, and the element of accountability, make a difference. (Which, come to think of it, are also points applicable to being part of a faith community, instead of trying to "freelance" one's Christianity.)
So...anyway...I want to think that, one way or the other, I'm moving "closer to fine," as the song says.