The magic pill.
When I look back at last summer and read the entries of the worst days of my latest episode of depression brought on by tremendous anxiety, I feel relieved that I found the help I needed. Somehow, I managed to work through many issues that were bothering me and escaped much of the seasonal depression I usually experience in winter in spite of a major physical illness.
I recognize that this is time to start thinking of weaning off the anti-depressant she prescribed back in June, though there is still plenty of winter to be had, especially if I listen to the long-term weather forecasts for the Denver area. I feel that I’m in a good place and I’d rather not take yet another pill as part of my daily health care routine.
The thing is, this particular medication has nearly eliminated any emotional symptoms of PMS. I did nothing different after beginning it, no change in diet, no change in exercise, no change in anything. And within a couple months, emotional PMS became non-existent, to the point that I was caught off-guard by the beginning of my period.
My mother will tell you that this emotional PMS dates back to the earliest days of menstruation. At first, it could have been considered adolescent hormones run wild.
But it never stopped. Not when I entered college, not when I went on the birth control pill at twenty, not when I went off the pill at twenty-seven, not with the use of two other anti-depressants, not when my thyroid was finally treated, not when I started exercising regularly and eating healthy as a result of my type 2 diabetes diagnosis. I have had my female hormones checked in the past with no apparent imbalance seen.
The first thing that has helped in twenty-one years of this hormonal journey is the anti-depressant I am currently taking. I don’t have emotional outbursts that alienate friends and family for the week before my period. I don’t cry myself to sleep in distressing insomniac episodes. I feel human all month long.
How do I ensure this continues if I go off the medication? Could it be possible that it is a coincidence and I have outgrown emotional PMS? Is it related to the turmoil that wreaked havoc on my body last month? Nobody wants to take medicine that is no longer necessary, but do I need this to function normally?
Those are all rhetorical questions. I have time to consider them all before my next psychiatrist appointment next month.