I mentioned back in March that I planned to talk to my doctor about phasing out Zoloft at my upcoming physical.
When I brought it up, he was supportive…but hesitant. He acknowledged that staying on or going off this type of medication (at least in my particular situation) was/is my call, but he wanted to make sure I was contemplating the cut off for the right reasons.
“Why do you want to go off of it?”
“Because I don’t want to be on medication forever?”
“Why not? What if you need it?”
“I don’t *want* to need it.”
“But what if you do?”
“Well, I’d like to see if I do.”
He nodded, and we outlined a very conservative plan for gradually reducing my dosage–25 milligrams at a time, taking a full month to see if each reduction was successful. I walked out feeling pretty good about things.
And then I reduced my dosage and it all went to shit.
I lasted about three days before I slipped into almost a week-long period taken over by that feeling of heaviness. For me, two of the most frustrating things about depression are 1) sometimes it takes me a couple of days to realize *that’s* what’s making me want to punch everyone in the face and 2) sometimes it’s hard to tell if I’m feeling awful because of the depression or because maybe life is just being a big pain in the ass at that moment. But once I figured out what was going on, I had to acknowledge something that my doctor said to me during our appointment.
“You can’t let pride dictate this. Please be honest with yourself about whether you need this medication or not.”
So I was. That day I went back to my regular, higher dosage. And I cried a lot because I *am* prideful and I *don’t* want to need this medication. But I do–at least right now. I need to be ok with that. I’m not quite there yet, but I will be.
(For those of you facing a similar situation, I was recently sent links to this and this. Both of them left me crying and nodding and just feeling very grateful that we live in a time where depression isn’t such a hush-hush thing. People who have it can also be incredibly awesome–and the fact that they’re talking about it openly and honestly makes them even MORE awesome.)