Transitioning Into Crisis
Transitioning to a different antidepressant has been a treacherous undertaking. I started out feeling pretty good. Almost a week into it, last night and this morning, I hit rock bottom. I was ready to go out and get hit by a truck. However, my husband said, “Where are you going?” I came back in the condo and called the Colorado Crisis Line. The crisis worker grounded me to my senses, and I managed to get through the night. After a rocky wakening, I took some SAMe and went back to bed.
By the time I woke up, I was doing better. I was able to read and listen to guided meditations.
However, my Top 5 was in shreds. I no longer had a perfect score since June 7, 2020. I had stopped recording my food, and my eating was out-of-control. Hopefully, I can do some damage control now and get myself back on track. Why do I get to the point where I have no mastery of myself? Does this happen to everybody? Hopefully, not to the point of getting suicidal.
I called the Crisis Line again in the middle of the night. We got disconnected. Then I called Mom. She suggested that I find medical coverage that would take care of these things.
I am kind of angry at myself, but kind of self-compassionate too. I knew that getting off of an antidepressant could be rough. At first, it looked like it was not going to be a big deal. I was able to blog and share my experience. Nothing embarrassing happened. Now, I do not know if I can even share this. I think I will, though, for the benefit of others who go through it. If you have not been there, maybe you know someone who has or will. There was nothing I could do to get my mood up, and it was sinking fast.
Lack of Options
I have some fears that SAMe is not going to work as well as Imipramine. I may go back to my up and down, up and down routine instead of consistently staying up. Maybe that is adequate. My doctor says he is running out of options. It is hard to find an antidepressant that will not eventually cause mania. The other tricyclics affect the heart as Imipramine does. It is not safe to give them to me.
SSRIs eventually trigger mania, and some do immediately. Other antidepressants put me into a rage, and all carry some suicide risk. Latuda and Vraylar are extremely expensive. I am old enough to have been around the block with antidepressants. I do not even want to try new ones; my experience has been so horrible.
My doctor does not want to use SAMe because it is not a medicine, at least not in the United States. SAMe is classified as a food supplement because it is a naturally-occurring substance in the body. My doctor does not think it is studied enough. I think it is. He is letting me go ahead with it because nothing else is an option right now. It turned me around this morning within a few minutes. In the past, it has been fast-acting like that. Almost everything is fast-acting for me.
Imipramine turned me right around, too, when I first started taking it. However, I did not want to take it last night. It made my eyeballs feel like sparks were flying in the interior. Also, it caused my eyes to go into spasms off and on for weeks. I continued taking it because it made my mood so good. However, its mood elevation diminished when I took it only every other day. Last night, I refused to take another pill, even though Mom begged me to take one more. Now, my eyes are free of these adverse effects. What a relief!
What can I do now? I can be grateful that my eyes are doing better. My mood is not as elevated as it was a week ago, but so what? If the rest of my body is healthier, I can celebrate.
I asked my doctor if I could take a larger dose of SAMe than what I recently had. A doctor once prescribed me one gram a day. I limited myself to 600 mg to stay safe from mania. However, I could possibly handle more. I do not think my current doctor feels comfortable prescribing any amount. I have not heard back from his office again today about that.
My husband’s reaction is PILLS! His father was an eye doctor who hated prescribing pills to his patients. Drug companies would give him boxes of samples, and they would sit around without getting dispensed. My husband is proud that his father was not a pill doctor.
Some pills are worth it, I think, yet many are harmful. Some have some beneficial effects along with harm. Imipramine is one of these pills. When my primary care doctor evaluated my EKG (electrocardiogram), he wanted to convince me to get off of Imipramine. It was adversely affecting my heart. The heart is such a crucial organ, I did not want to mess around with it. I was convinced.
I am calm right now, ready to continue my life. I hope my readers can glean some value from the experience I have shared. The blog posts leading up to this set the stage for what happened. Things looked like they were going to be okay. Suicidal urges often have a sudden onset. They can subside quickly too. Be compassionate toward those who have them, and especially be understanding if a person you know completes a suicidal act. I had a boyfriend who took his own life in 2013. I did not think it affected me much, but by the end of the month, I was in the hospital with a diverticulitis flare-up. I almost had to have surgery.
Fortunately, there are crisis lines to talk us out of our urges. I started using crisis lines when I was in college. The first time I called one, my roommates tried to stop me. Do not ever stop someone from calling a crisis line. When they are ready to get help, it should be unobstructed. Those who work crisis lines are trained to help people in crisis, and I believe they do a non-judgmental job. Fortunately, when my husband saw me go for the crisis line last night, he did not interfere. He, too, was not judging.
I do not understand why my own mind tries to self-destruct at times. My life is pretty good. However, even someone as talented as Robin Williams did not resist his own mind. Today, I am still among the living. I am planning to go on with my projects. Maybe I will cut my 100-day Top 5 project short and start it up again. We will see.
I wish suicidal urges did not happen. However, as always, I intend to learn from the experience when they occur. God willing, I will live a long life.
If you would like to join me on this journey from the beginning, please start with Day One. If you wish to download a FREE copy of my ebook (with no need to enter your name or email), click on the book below.