Downhill

So the last time I wrote things had gone downhill again. After a few weeks of feeling good, great in fact, everything nosedived and I was anxious and teary again.

Things haven’t gotten any better. In fact I think things may have gotten worse.

I just don’t know what to do. I’m so lost.

I’m either completely anxious or uncontrollably crying. I cry all the time. I cry when I wake up and I cry in the shower and when I’m getting dressed. I cry watching tv and I cry in the car.

I’m just feeling so hopeless and defeated. I feel like this will never end.

I accepted the need to take antidepressants because I thought they would make me feel better. But here I am, Reece is three months old and I’m feeling back at square one. I can’t really look after him. I don’t want to be left alone with him.

I don’t really like to admit this, but I almost wish that death would just take me because I feel like this is my new reality and I hate it. I can’t look after my kids. I’m a burden to everyone, my mum has to look after me and the kids, while working and taking care of herself. I won’t kill myself, because I don’t want to leave my kids or my mum behind or have them find me dead, but at this point I feel trapped.

I’ve spent the last two weeks increasing my lexapro dose from 10mg to 20mg. I finally got to 20mg yesterday. I’ve been taking Ativan every single day, and I’m fucking terrified that I’m going to become dependent on it.

I just feel like I’m never going to get better. I just want to get better. I want to be me again.

I feel so sorry for my kids and my mum.

My mum is so supportive but doesn’t know what to do.

I try to avoid Scarlett when I’m crying but sometimes I can’t avoid it. She’s so sweet and she says ‘mummy what’s wrong?’. I lie and tell her I’ve hurt my toe and it’s made me sad. She wipes me eyes and says ‘oh silly mummy! You’re okay, you’re okay!’ Then she cuddles me. It warms my heart but at the same time my head says ‘you don’t deserve her, you’re better to leave her with your mum so she has someone stable caring for her’.

And poor Reece. I hardly manage to do anything with him. I give him maybe 2-3 bottles per day, then mum takes over. I talk with him and give him eye contact and smile at him, but it’s so forced. Because all I want to do is cry.

I just, I don’t know how to get better. I don’t know how to fix myself and I’m so scared that this is my new reality. I won’t be able to live in this reality.

Fighting

Hi all. Been a little while since I last updated.

Things were going good, great in fact. My mood has levelled out and I hadn’t had anxiety in weeks. I was doing so much more with Reece and feeling so much more connected.

Then Tuesday came.

And I crashed. Nose dived straight into a concrete platform.

I couldn’t stop crying again. Anxiety spiked and I ended up needing an Ativan after not needing any for weeks.

I don’t know what caused it, it may have been a variety of factors.

  • Reece started sleeping really bad on the Saturday night, he was up very often during the night and just unsettled, so I didn’t have a good sleep for 4 nights
  • We had SO much going on the weekend prior, lots of events and things for the kids
  • We were trying to finish building a toy box that just wasn’t working out. We ended up hiring someone to fix it, a qualified professional, and he couldn’t even figure out what we were doing wrong! He couldn’t get it going, so $375 later we still had two unfinished toy boxes that the kids won’t be getting for Christmas now
  • I had been anxious about seeing my psychologist the following day because the session we had the week prior really dug up some shit that I didn’t even know was a problem
  • My mum got sick and wasn’t able to do as much

So I don’t know what it was. Maybe a factor of everything. All I know is that now things are really hard again. I am riddled with anxiety but not wanting to take Ativan because I shouldn’t need to take the fucking Ativan to function.

My psychiatrist and psychologist are on holidays for 2 weeks for the Christmas and new year period so I’m on my own. The psychiatrist did suggest that anxiety usually needs a higher dose of lexapro, so I’m thinking of increasing my dose on Boxing Day. Slowly, only 2.5mg at a time. I’m going to go up to 12.5mg for 7 days then 15mg for another 7. Then I’m going to try to get an appointment with the psychiatrist. She had said in the past that I may need to go up to 20mg of the lexapro, so if that has to happen then I guess that’s what needs to happen.

I’m just so over all of this. I’m just so tired. Tired of having to get through the day instead of enjoying it and enjoying my kids. I hate not feeling attached to Reece. Scarlett is the light of my life and I detest that sometimes I could either take or leave Reece. I just feel like that makes me a horrible mum for even thinking that.

Everything is a fight. Getting through the day is a fight. Battling the anxiety is a fight. Shutting off my brain is a fight. Keeping the tears at bay is a fight. Showering is a fight. Smiling is a fight. Doing things for the kids is a fight. Eating is a fight.

And it’s not that I’m suicidal, it’s just that… well, sometimes I think that maybe I’m done fighting.

This shit is hard, so much harder then I ever imagined.

2 months

Reece turned two months old about a week ago. He has been doing very well.

He’s drinking between 6-7 bottles a day. He usually has about 180-260ml per bottle. Sometimes less. He averages just over a litre of formula per day.

About a week ago he started social smiling. It’s still sporadic and it feels like it takes a huge effort to get him to smile. I am really bad with comparing him with Scarlett. Scarlett was smiling consistently at 6 and a half weeks. He was 8 weeks old before his first purposeful smile even appeared! And now we get maybe 5 per day? It improves every day so that’s good.

He’s not really chatting yet. He makes the occasional noise, and of course he sometimes cries and he grunts a lot! But no cooing that I’ve noticed.

He’s sleeping well. Usually he will have a bottle at about 10pm and then sleep through until 4:30. Can’t complain about that. Usually he will stay awake for a while after his 4:30am feed but then go back to sleep after about an hour.

Naps aren’t bad. He usually gets tired about 45 minutes after his bottle then will sleep for a few hours.

He got weighed today, he’s 7.14kg and 62cm tall. They still think he’s gaining too much weight but what can I do? His thyroid has been tested and is fine… so there is literally nothing that can be done to reduce his weight gain. We are just keeping an eye on it for now.

I’ve also noticed over the last month that Reece is getting a flat spot on the side of his head. His right side. The nurse confirmed this today and said that if he still has it at the 4 month check, or if it hasn’t gone away OR has gotten worse, then we will need a referral to a paediatric physio. He may need a helmet, which I really hope isn’t the case. If he does, he will need to wear it 23 hours a day for 2-6 months. It’s just such a big thing.

She recommended lots of tummy time while he’s awake. Also getting him to put his head on the other side while sleeping since he favours his right side. He can move his head, he just chooses not to. So we will flip him in the bed. He favours his right side because he is looking at me on his right. If I flip him so his feet are facing the headboard (rotate him 180 degrees) he will then be looking at me on his left side, which will take the pressure off his right side. I’m going to try this for 2 weeks and see if it helps. If it does, I’m going to switch him every night between his right and left side (because we don’t want to clear up the flat spot on one side only to get one on the other side!).

For naps in his bassinet, she suggested rolling up a towel and putting it under his right side so that he is tilted towards his left side.

Let’s cross our fingers that this works!!

Otherwise he is growing well and doing well in general. Scarlett is doing really well too. She’s talking more every day and getting even more clever. She counts from 1-20 (although ALWAYS misses the number 7 šŸ˜‚), she sings constantly, builds towers and is getting so creative.

She is loving Christmas. We are visiting Santa this weekend and I suspect there will be tears šŸ˜‚šŸ˜‚

I am doing better. I’m still not feeling like myself but I’m doing sooooo much better than I was. I don’t have any anxiety for no reason and i couldn’t even tell you when the last time I cried was.

I still don’t feel like myself because I still feel agitated sometimes. Like my fuse is shorter. I feel like my patience is much lower than it was and I don’t have the capacity to deal with things like i used to. I also sometimes just feel, disconnected? Not sad or down per say, just not content or happy. But those moments aren’t always. Usually once per day, sometimes more, sometimes less. I’m still scared to be alone with him but the concept isn’t quite as daunting as it was previously.

I still have small anxiety when Reece cries, but I can’t even tell you how much more I’m able to do with him. The other day I did EVERYTHING for him. The whole day. All his bottles. All his changes. I held him and played with him. Spoke to him and he smiled at me a few times. It was a good day.

I’m also better at handling stressful situations. Take today for example. Mum and I needed to go and get some things at a few different hardware stores. We had to coordinate it around my mums school/kinder pickups which meant we had to leave at 8am. Scarlett and Reece had a rough night last night. Scarlett is sick so she would wake up and cry which woke him up. Of course she would go back to sleep but then he was fussy. Then I would just get him to sleep and she would wake up again.

So I was going on only a few hours of very broken sleep. I was exhausted and did not want to get out of bed when the alarm went off, especially since it had only been 1 and a half hours since Reece had woken for a bottle.

But I got up and got ready. We went out and everything went wrong. The first store didn’t have anything we wanted. The second one had one thing but had to order the other thing. The third one told us on the phone they had the second item we wanted and when we got there they had put aside the wrong thing and the tool sold while we were on our way there.

It was stinking hot! 35 degrees and the car was boiling. Reece is so good in the car but he hates the hot weather, especially in the car seat, so the poor thing was upset and sweating.

Scarlett is sick so need I say more?

Scarlett also decided it would be funny to run off in the hardware store and hide in a shelf. Of course me screaming for her was not only embarrassing, but totally scary because I couldn’t find her. It took a complete stranger to tell me where she had hidden so I could find her. šŸ˜³

Then we finally got home. We had an hour before we needed to be out again. We get Reece out of the car and I’m carrying him up the stairs into the house and bam. He projectile vomits everywhere. It was literally everywhere. My full arm was covered, his clothes were soaked, my feet were saturated, he even had it pooling in his ear.

Instead of freaking out, I went into fix it mode. I got a blanket, placed him on the floor. Went and washed my arm and feet while running a bath for him. I got him fresh clothes and a towel and then undressed him. Bathed him. Dressed him. Then fed him. And I did this without even thinking about it.

It wasn’t until we had left again that I was like ‘holy shit, I just did all that without any anxiety, overwhelming feelings or a meltdown! Yay me!’.

So things are good and getting better. My next appointment with the psychiatrist is this Thursday.

I see my psychologist Wednesday.

I see my acupuncturist Friday.

I see my masseuse Saturday.

I’m doing workouts. I’m eating healthier. I’m taking my medication and my vitamins/supplements. And I’m getting better.

Thank the universe.

How Iā€™m going

So today is the 17th day on 10mg lexapro. The first week was hell, but throughout the second week I noticed improvement. Slowly throughout the day I would notice the anxiety fading and I wasn’t so teary.

By the mid-end of the second week the morning anxiety was gone too.

But I don’t know. I had a small set back on Saturday. My mum had an appointment that I couldn’t go with her to, and she couldn’t take Reece. Which meant that I had to be at home alone with Reece and Scarlett for 3 and a half hours.

Well, I wasn’t alone, my dad was there, but when it comes to calming a fussy baby or caring for him (like giving him a bottle or changing his nappy) my dad is no help and I may as well be on my own.

It was severely anxiety inducing. I got so overwhelmed. And of course, my normally super chill baby was Mr fussy pants and even though he wasn’t inconsolable, he was grunting and crying on and off. I get so overwhelmed on my own and I don’t even know why. This PPD has stripped me of all of my parenting confidence. I don’t even want to hold him when I’m overwhelmed, let alone settle his cries!!!

Anyway, mum was gone for longer than expected then I took Scarlett to a wiggles concert. The anxiety stuck with me all day, but luckily it did ease towards the night. I was so close to taking some Ativan but at this stage I hadn’t had ANY in 3 days, so I didn’t want to slip back.

Then Sunday I woke up for the first time in half a week with morning anxiety. The anxiety went up and down for most of the day. I still refused to take Ativan, although at one point I was so tempted.

Today has been the same. I didn’t wake up with any morning anxiety but I have been anxious on and off all day. For no reason whatsoever.

I don’t really know what to say. This exact same thing happened when I went to 5mg, I felt great for nearly a week, then started to drop again. So my psychiatrist increased it to 10mg. Once I got over the start up side effects, things started to look up. And now it’s like I’ve gone backwards again.

I’ve been on lexapro for over a month now. Only 17 days at 10mg, but you wouldn’t think I would be going backwards again after all this time. I don’t have another appointment with my psychiatrist until next week, so I’ll find out what she wants me to do then. Probably increase the dose, given her recommendation last time.

Ugh. When will this end??

Don’t get me wrong, the anxiety isn’t super super bad when it’s here, but it’s still uncomfortable and I don’t like it. It’s not something I ever dealt with before so I just want it gone.

Reece is 2 months old today. I thought I would be feeling recovered by now. Or at least almost there. But yet here I am, still not able to be alone with him and feeling more anxiety when I should be feeling less!!

I’m doing everything I can to get better though. I’m seeing my psychiatrist and a psychologist. I’m going to acupuncture regularly, I’m reading a book on PPD, I’m meditating, taking supplements, exercising. I’m making an effort with Reece even if it does overwhelm me.

I’m just feeling lost. I’m for sure better than what I was when I started medication. And I’m better than I was after I increased the medication to 10mg. But I’m worse than a few days ago and that worries me.

Am I supposed to feel anxiety after days of having no anxiety at all?

Looking up

So the last you guys heard from me I was still pretty anxious. Things hadn’t really improved and my doctor had switched me to a different benzo.

Today will be the 11th day of taking 10mg of lexapro. I must say, I think I’m starting to get better.

Saturday, before I took the Ativan, I noticed a slight improvement in my anxiety levels in the night. I’m talking after 7:30pm.

Then Sunday, I noticed a dip in anxiety levels from about 5pm.

Monday came and my anxiety started to leave at about 2:30.

Mind you, all these days I still woke up with pretty bad morning anxiety.

But today, when I woke up, I noticed I wasn’t quite so anxious. Then as the day has gone on, I’m noticing that I have very little anxiety. I took 0.75mg Ativan this morning, and it’s now 3:40pm and I haven’t taken any more. And I have no anxiety. Nothing.

My mood is improved, so much so that I even did a Christmas art and craft activity with Scarlett this afternoon. I’m even making dinner tonight.

I’ve given Reece 3 out of his 4 bottles so far today.

I saw my psychiatrist this morning who doesn’t think this improvement is from the lexapro. She says it’s too early to see improvement yet. She thinks the improvement is from the Ativan and the fact I’ve calmed down.

She thinks I’m going to have another 1-2 weeks before we see improvement from the lexapro.

Mind you, I’ve been on lexapro for a month now. Sure, I started at low dose and only been on a therapeutic dose for 11 days. But if im honest, I’ll take any improvement I can get.

I am very tired still. I find I get really tired from about 2pm onwards. It’s been warm here though so that probably has something to do with it.

All in all, today has been a good day guys.

Maybe a dull light?

So today is my 8th day taking 10mg lexapro.

The day started like usual, I was super anxious when I got up. Super groggy from the added Valium. Tired but also wired. Shaking hands and tremors. And teary. Very teary.

But, I had organised last week to go Christmas shopping with my mum today. So I tried to suck it up. It would be a good distraction, right?

Wrong.

See, the thing is, when all you have eaten in three days is 3 dry biscuits and half a banana, you don’t feel great. Add that to the anxiety and the fact we were going out, it just wasn’t a good idea.

We ended up having to leave early. Because I almost had a panic attack and burst into tears in the shopping centre.

So we left but decided to still have a productive day and wrap some Christmas presents. Well, it seems that everything overwhelms me now a days because the Christmas presents were wrapped with me violently sobbing.

It’s almost comical… Christmas presents made me cry.

Anyway, I got a call from my psychiatrist. I told her how I haven’t declined any more but I haven’t gotten any better either.

She decided to quit the Valium. We are moving onto Ativan. Apparently it lasts slightly longer in your system and leaves quicker so you’re not stuck with the yucky side effects like drowsyness or nausea.

So I collected my script.

We had a doctors appointment for Reece tonight. I had anxiety at the doctor just because I was nervous about the results. All is fine so that’s a relief.

Anyway, on the way home I noticed I felt a little less anxious.

Once we got home I managed to eat a little- a ‘chicken fry’ and maybe 8 chips? I did drink a big frozen coke though.

Then I noticed that my anxiety was pretty low. Not gone, but low.

I know that once I sit down after dinner my anxiety peaks though, because I zone out from the tv and wonder if I’m ever going to get better.

I decided to take 0.25mg Ativan to see if I could prevent the anxiety. And guess what? It’s not bad at all. I feel better than I have in maybe two weeks.

I know it’s a short term thing, but it’s promising that I was feeling a little better before I took the tablet.

Again, maybe placebo affect, but it was nice to not feel so miserable for a little while.

I have read that sometimes that can be a sign that the lexapro is starting to work- that you get a small window of relief that slowly grows over time.

Please, please be working.

Feeling horrible

So last week I saw my psychiatrist who told me to increase my dose of lexapro to 10mg. I increased it slowly and did 7.5mg for 3 days, then jumped up to 10mg on the fourth day. As you all already know, the first day I was panicked all day. The second wasn’t much better but it was a slight improvement. Maybe 5%.

Now it’s been my 6th day on the 10mg dosage and I’m miserable. I still have increased anxiety, and although it is relatively managed by the Valium, it still breaks through.

But that’s the least of my problems. I feel like since I’ve started on the 10mg dosage my depression symptoms have gotten worse.

The thing is, when I started the lexapro and even when I increased the dosage to 5mg, I started to feel better. I felt my mood had evened out, I was much less teary (I went from crying several times a day to maybe once a week). And although the anxiety was still there, it wasn’t too bad. I saw light at the end of the tunnel.

Then on 5mg I felt okay. I did experience a period of feeling unsatisfied, and just generally not happy, but still not teary or as bad as I was.

The day after I started taking the 10mg my mood dropped. And my mood has slowly gotten worse. I am teary again and my thoughts are racing. I feel like the medication is doing nothing. Maybe just making me worse.

Today is day 6 of 10mg. I thought I would have at least felt a little better by today. I tried not to take Valium today, I just took my lexapro tablet and tried to go on about my day, because I am scared of becoming addicted/reliant on the Valium.

I had an appointment to see my acupuncturist. I ended up having to get her take the needles out of me early because I was on the verge of a panic attack.

Anyway, I rang my psychiatrist today because I was slipping down that slippery slope again.

She seems to think that this is due to my anxiety getting me down. She wants me to take 2.5mg of Valium three times a day for today and tomorrow. She’s hoping this will make me feel better.

She’s going to call me in two days time to see how I am. If I’m still feeling hopeless we are going to make a new plan.

I just feel terrible. I think I feel just as bad as how I started. The anxiety is especially bad today. Even after I took 2.5mg of Valium. It’s like my scalp is prickling.

My appetite has gone again. I haven’t eaten all day. I have managed to force down some drinks because I don’t want to be dehydrated.

Is this normal? I mean, I know it can be common to feel worse before you feel better, but I was already feeling better. Is it normal to go this far back when you increase your dose? Or is this an indication that lexapro isn’t for me?

I just don’t know what to do. I want to feel some relief. I don’t know if I stick with this medication for a little bit longer? But how much longer? When will the relief start? Even if I had some small amount of relief to tell me it will get better?

Do startup side effects usually last this long? 6 days. And I don’t know if I’m getting better, I think it’s only getting worse.

I expected to be feeling better by now, especially since all together I’ve been on lexapro for nearly a month. Of course, that included 4 days of 2.5mg, 14 days of 5mg, 3 days of 7.5mg and 6 days of 10mg. But it’s been in my system for quite some time. Why am I reacting like this?

I need advice on what to do because I don’t know if I can handle feeling this way for much longer šŸ˜¢

Lexapro 10mg day 2 (day 22)

Today was much like yesterday in a lot of ways.

I had increased anxiety all day- it’s controlled by the Valium but if I don’t take Valium it’s just terrible. Even sometimes with the Valium it’s uncomfortable. Although, if I compare it to yesterday, maybe it’s not quite as bad? Let’s put it this way, at no point today did I reach levels of panic, whereas yesterday it happened twice. Although, today I took Valium WITH my lexapro at 5:30 then I went back to sleep. The first sign of panic yesterday appeared about an hour after I took the lexapro, so maybe the extra sleep helped to disguise it (perhaps I slept right through it?) or maybe the Valium helped to suppress the panic? Either way, the anxiety has been bad but did not get to panic levels like yesterday, so maybe we can call it a slight improvement.

I feel like my emotions are back to all over the place and mostly geared negatively. I feel hopeless again. I haven’t felt hopeless in a good while. I feel like this Illness will never end.

I feel like I’ve regressed. My logical brain has gone out the window and I’m back to not handling things very well again. I’m hardly able to be around Reece because it sparks the anxiety.

I just want to feel better.

I guess I don’t help myself either. When I get into these anxious, hopeless episodes I find myself googling everything. The two main things I’ve been googling is ‘how long were you on lexapro before you stopped taking it’ and ‘when will the increased anxiety from lexapro go away’.

Again, I’m not helping myself. I think that 80% of the forums or articles I found wound up with people taking it permanently or getting off of it, then needing it permanently for another episode later in their life. This is where my hopelessness gets worse, because I just want to be happy without these meds. I was happy without medication before Reece came along. I’ve never needed antidepressants before. So why do so many people end up on these drugs permanently?

In terms of the increased anxiety, it’s a mixed bag. Some people got over it quickly, others it took a long time. Some people never got over it and had to switch meds which led them to a whole range of other side effects.

I feel like I can’t win and I’m feeling stuck in a hole. It’s just horrible. This illness is horrible.

My mum is awesome though. Seriously, she is my rock, my whole world. I would not have survived this without her. Yesterday and today she just picked up the pieces. She made sure Reece was bathed and fed and changed. She did almost everything for Scarlett, like cutting up her fruit and dressing her for the day. I did manage to bath Scarlett today which was really nice. I was proud that I at least accomplished one thing for the day.

Whenever I was overwhelmed or crying mum would comfort me. Tell me that this will all be okay and that this time in a week I’ll be feeling better than what I am today. She deserves a medal. No, she deserves a fucking island. I can’t even express to her, or to anyone how utterly appreciative I am to have my mum. Some people take their parents for granted but I never have. And this experience has cemented what I already knew- I am the luckiest fucking person around to have someone as amazing and selfless as my mum.

And now I’m fucking crying again.

I just want to feel better. I want to feel back to my normal self and I want it to happen, like, yesterday.

I know this illness takes time to pass but I’m doing everything they recommend. I am going out, I am getting fresh air and sunlight. I am doing (light) exercise. I am taking time out for me (acupuncture once a fortnight, psychiatrist once a week, psychologist once a fortnight, and one exclusive, non-mental health based thing every fortnight like a massage or the movies). I am taking my medication. I am seeing my mental health professionals. I am taking my vitamins religiously. I am pushing myself to do things for Reece and forcing myself to be more involved and active in his care, even if it feels overwhelming. I am talking about my illness and being very open and honest about my feelings. I am meditating and practicing mindfulness and doing my breathing exercises. I have been doing aromatherapy. I have been eating at least 3 meals a day, and mostly healthy food too! I am trying to eliminate the negative thoughts. I have been educating myself on this illness and reading everything I can about it.

I am doing all these things, so why aren’t I feeling better?

Hm.

Anyway, some other symptoms for today included on and off headaches- nothing major though, and very fleeting. They appeared just as quickly as they left.

Tiredness. Lethargy. Blurry eyes. Shaking arms and hands. Twitching. All things I can handle and can put up with.

Hopefully tomorrow is a better day.

Lexapro 10mg Day 1 (Day 21)

Holy fuck.

That is how I would describe this increase. Lexapro has caused no increase in anxiety so far for me. Nothing at all. Other symptoms, yes, but no increased anxiety.

Until this increase. Within about an hour of taking it I could feel the anxiety rising. And then it reached a fever pitch.

My skin was prickling. I got extremely hot. I felt like I was crawling out of my skin. My chest was tight. My arms were tingling. It was like a long, constant ringing began in my ears. It felt like I was going to stop breathing.

And then I ran for my Valium.

Once I took it, I started crying. Like a fucking baby. Not again. Please not this again. I can’t handle another huge drug reaction.

I guess it’s safe to say the lexapro hasn’t made me numb or emotionless… yet.

The anxiety did calm down after I took 2.5mg of Valium. Then about two hours later it started to rise again so I took another 1.25mg. And it lowered again.

It kept me relatively calm until about 4 hours later when it started to creep up again. I had only had 3/4 of my 5mg tablet for the day so I decided to take another quarter as a preventative measure.

About 3 hours later I was ready for bed and the anxiety spiked yet again. I think this time I was anxious because of bed time. I knew that I was allowed more Valium for the day, so I took another quarter. And if it does nothing else, hopefully it will let me sleep.

And now I’m in bed.

Between all this anxiety, I’ve been an emotional mess. Crying on and off all day. I almost feel like I’m back at square one. My mood is lowered and my anxiety is heightened. Just yesterday I was feeling okay. I wasn’t feeling great but I didn’t feel this shitty. I felt stable, just not super happy.

Today I feel like the medication isn’t doing anything except making me anxious. I feel like I’m on that slippery slope again. No, I feel like I’ve already slipped down that slope and I’m waiting for how hard I’m going to crash.

My logical brain says that I know if I’m having side effects, it means the medication is working. It also says that this is just a reaction from upping the dose, especially since I was okay yesterday and nothing else has changed except a dose increase. I know it’s a short term problem, that these side effects will pass. I know that it gets worse before it gets better. I know this. But my brain isn’t commuting it.

I’ve found myself obsessively googling people who have had increased anxiety from lexapro and when it passed. Let me tell you that this is a bad decision, because of course you find people who say it never passed after they were on it several months and they ended up switching medications. Which heightens the anxiety even more. I thought I found the right medication.

There are also a lot of people who urge others in my situation to just hang in there because it gets better.

What I don’t understand is why I didn’t have increased anxiety at any other dosage. Or at least anxiety that wasn’t over something.

It’s like I hit therapeutic level for a drug and my brain rebels.

I’m finding myself questioning why I even started these meds. I’m terrified I’ll never get off them and that is just… I can’t even tell you the level of anxiety that gives me.

All in all, today has been a bad day. A really bad day.

And the bravest thing I’ll ever do is take that next 10mg lexapro tablet tomorrow morning. But I will. I will take it and I will hope with all my might that tomorrow the anxiety isn’t quite so bad. And that maybe I won’t be so terrified for the future. And maybe I won’t be so emotional.

Lexapro 7.5mg

Day 18:

Today I increased the dose of my lexapro to 7.5mg. I’ve certainly noticed a few side effects. The blurry eyes, again. Tiredness.

But the worst one? The god damn headache. It started about 8 hours after I took the dose and it’s been the worst headache yet. It actually feels like a tension headache, or a headache that you get when you sleep on your neck wrong. It’s sort of radiating from the back of my head down my neck.

When I started the lexapro in the beginning I had a very mild headache for the first 3 or so days. It would go away then come back, so it was intermittent and not too bad. I didn’t even take paracetamol for it. Then it went away. Then I increased the dose to 5mg and I’m pretty sure I only had a very mild, intermittent headache for one or two days.

But this time it was like the headache came and it hit hard! I ended up taking some paracetamol for it and it maybe helped for an hour, but after that it was like it slowly came back. And it came back throbbing. Of course I couldn’t take anymore panadol yet so I just had to go to bed with the headache. Ouucccchhhhh.

Edit: so after an hour of tossing and turning with a raging fucking headache, I got up and searched for something to take to relieve this, so I could sleep. I called a 24 hour pharmacy who told me NSAIDS react with lexapro, so no ibuprofen for me. Also no aspirin. Which left me with almost nothing. I wasn’t due for paracetamol for another hour so the options were to stay awake with the headache for an hour so that I could take panadol, get enough relief to fall asleep and just hope to hell I stayed asleep. Or try Valium. I was only going to try a quarter of a tablet, so 1.25mg, as i have learned that for anxiety, this is usually enough for me. If it didn’t work, I would just take a full 5mg tablet and knock myself the fuck out.

Well, within about half an hour my headache was gone! Hallelujah!

Okay, I’m going to sleep now, I’ll update tomorrow night!

Day 19:

So I ended up sleeping without any issues last night! I think Reece sensed that I needed a good sleep because he only woke up once overnight to feed.

Today I’ve not been feeling too bad.

I feel strange and I can’t even describe the feeling. It’s like… I feel unsatisfied. Like I don’t feel depressed or sad, I just don’t feel happy and I don’t know why. I certainly have moments of happiness, but it’s like once those moments pass I go back into feeling unsatisfied. I don’t feel like I need to cry and I don’t feel bad, I just feel like something is missing. I don’t know if this is a side effect of the medication or a side effect of the depression. I do have to remember that it takes 4 weeks to feel the full effects on a therapeutic dose and I haven’t even gotten to the therapeutic dose yet, so the fact I’ve seen improvements is a good sign that perhaps I will feel like my normal self after 4 weeks on 10mg.

In terms of physical symptoms, I’ve had no headaches today, which is a huge contrast to last night! I’ve had slightly blurry eyes, not as bad as what it has been though! And I feel like my concentration isn’t great. I feel a little spaced out but nothing dramatic either. Otherwise all is good!

And guess what everyone. I left the house with Reece! He needed a blood test to check his thyroid so my dad drove me to the collection centre, but he waited in the car! I was inside with him, in a public place, ON MY OWN, for half an hour while we were waiting/getting the blood taken. Pat on the back for me! Mind you, Scarlett was at home with mum. So I didn’t venture out with both of them, but it’s baby steps. Once I’m comfortable being in public with him, the next step will being in public with two kids.

Day 20:

Today was the third day at 7.5mg. I had a small amount of anxiety today, but I have a feeling it was due to a certain thing.

I got accepted back into university.

I should be happy and excited to be going back next year, but I’m dreading it. The thought of going back in just over 3 months fills me with so much anxiety I can’t even tell you. The thing is, by the time uni starts Reece will almost be 5 months old, so I expect to be feeling better.

But at the same time, every health professional I have spoken to has told me that I need to come off the medication during a period of low/no stress, otherwise I have the chance of relapsing.

In saying that, my psychiatrist said that I could be on medication for 1-2 years. I only have 2 years left of my degree, so do I just go ahead and do the degree and stay on the medication for a little longer than I would like?

I don’t know!

Anyway, other than anxiety, today I feel fine! Still maybe a little foggy but fine other than that!

I start 10mg tomorrow. Fingers crossed for a good result!