Wednesday, April 15, 2009

a dilemma (not a fun kiddie stories today)

as indicated in today's title, this is not my normal "haha, my kids are funny" kind of post. i am in the middle of a dilemma right now and i feel the need to get it off my chest. i am hoping that in putting everything in writing, i will be able to get a better grasp on the situation.

when jack was six months old (he was my most high maintenance infant, having what we called "jack attacks"), i had thomas at home, was babysitting my nephew and found out i was pregnant again. i spoke to my obgyn about the fact that my emotions were a little crazy (i mean no offense using the term, i do it all the time, sorry) and that i had little to no patience with thomas and my nephew. i felt bad that i snapped at them and yelled so often, but i couldn't seem to stop myself. my midwife prescribed zoloft for me. i really liked it, as i did not feel like a zombie and i was way better able to deal with what was going on in my life.

i have been taking zoloft for over four years now regularly. i have missed a week or two here or there, but have kept up with it pretty steadily. considering that 15 months after jack was born, i gave birth to dennis, and 12 months and 3 weeks after dennis was born, i gave birth to katie and cara. it seemed like a good idea. at one point, i had a six year old here with me, and four children, ages two and under. i think that is a lot to deal with for anyone, but especially for someone with a history of depression in their family.

a few months ago, i realized my prescription was running out, and i started to take just one pill a day (i always took two before). i still felt the same. around 3 or 4 weeks ago, my prescription ran out completely and i had no refills (i always take it at night, so i kept forgetting to call my obgyn in the morning).

this week, i have noticed that i have had a headache for like four days now. not a migraine or anything, just an overall achiness. i have also noticed that when i have energy, i feel way more energetic than usual (i've been going to the gym, with the 4 youngest, who go to babysitting there); but also when i am tired, it is debilitating. i am much quicker to snap at the kids, but i also laugh harder at them and have more fun with them when we do things together. i am also having horrible issues with my self image right now. i am not at all happy with my appearance (or my hair, but there is not a whole lot i can do about that. i am thinking about looking into extensions, though), but i have been making way more effort to diet and get to the gym.

i am sort of feeling like everything was sort of numbed while i was on the zoloft. i never felt as bad about myself as i do now, but i was never through the roof thrilled, either. i feel that zoloft kept me on a very even keel. now i have to figure out if i want to continue with that or try to slog through it on my own. i am trying to figure out what is best for my children, a pretty even tempered, easy-going mom, or one who frequently laughs out loud, but yells just as much, too. i am also trying to figure out what is best for me. maybe if i continue to feel this bad about things, i will be more motivated to do something to improve the situation, which will make me happier in the long run. am i subjecting my children to a maniac in the meantime? i don't think it is a bad thing, by any means, to be an even tempered, easy-going person with five young children in the house. on the other hand, maybe with five young children in the house, i am supposed to feel like a crazy person.

i have a call in to my obgyn to talk to her about what i should do. hopefully, i will be able to come up with a situation that will help both my children and myself be happy. sorry for being so serious. thanks for sticking with me here.

as a reward, i will relate a funny story from dennis this weekend...we were driving to my grandparents house at the shore (about 2 hour drive) and were stopping at dunkin' donuts for coffee and munchkins. dennis (3 years old) said that he needed donuts. my husband tried to convince him to get munchkins (much better for the car ride), when dennis said "i need a donut. i'm a cop!" we have no idea where this came from. we never disparage police here because: a) their cops (and philly has been a really tough town to be a cop in recently) and b) my father is a retired philadelphia cop (who now works as an investigator for the state). tommy took dennis in to dd with him, and as they were coming out, two cops walked in. dennis yelled "look! it's cops!" i've included a picture of the little angel so you can get a visual of who was trash talking the philly pd.


  1. Definitely talk openly with your doctor. Mayber there's something else you can take that will keep you in the best of both worlds. I hope it works out quickly and easily for you!

  2. This is a good question. I give my boys both a little adderall for school. They do not take it on weekends or in the summer. Just school. My point... it is good to talk to others who take the same pills. I would be full of advice for the adderall. But, I have not ever tried any 'happy' pills for myself. I agree with Nicole to ask a doctor. I wonder if a shrink who prescribes this pill to more folks would be even better to ask? Maybe, until you can get into a doctor, try googling zoloft withdraw? You do sound very sad. I bet your doc would write you a temporary prescription to hold you until your visit. Call for more pills and an appointment in the morning. You can always cancel it if you change your mind.

  3. i can feel what you feel right now,writing is a good therapy,good you did it.I am not an expert but i suggest you need to see a doctor to ease your worries.Well,it is good you have noticed it yourself, meaning your still in this world.
    Taking care of kids are so tough, this can not be denied.Hope you can get over it soon.Take it easy friend,we are here, if you need someone to talk to.take care

  4. What wonderful writing..... we have a red head in our gang too!
    I've had the zoloft "conundrum" as well....for me, it was sleep deprivation, but for my sister, it was zoloft that helped her so much. She felt like the negativity was at a much higher rate than she felt comfortable with, and like she was having a hard time being positive. But definitely see a doctor who will listen to you and is knowlegable about the medicine. With five kids, that's hard, I know.

    Great blog, I enjoyed reading!

  5. I agree with what the others have said: talk to your doctor. Maybe he or she can come up with something that can work better for you.

    Also, I'm jealous that you have a Dunkin Donuts near you. I miss that place. I used to get a Boston Cream Donut with a strawberry coolata. But Wyoming doesn't have a Dunkin Donuts around here. *Sniffs*

  6. Talk to your doc. I have been on an antidepresant for years now and I get the headaches and major withdrawl issues when I try to come off it.

  7. maybe you can try a different medication. i do not think you can continue feeling the way you are right now. you and your family deserve more (and yeah, i am going to be selfish, but i want more ;)). there is a happy medium between numb and maniac/depressive, you just have to find what works for you. i do believe our family is prone to depression, there are just too many instances to deny it.

    you are a beautiful, fun, loving mother, sister, wife, daughter, and friend, and you deserve to be able to enjoy life! love you!

  8. That is definitely a tough one. I'm writing this without reading any of the other comments so my original opinion is not initial impression reading your post was that 3-4 weeks isn't enough time figure out who you really are, or will be, off the medication.

    I would also guess that because you're worried and wondering what to do, you're also hyper-sensitive to every little change, mood swing, shift, etc. You're looking for problems and changes, so you're finding them - does that make sense? Self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts, I guess.

    My initial reaction was that you should give it some time, though I do think talking to your doctor is a good idea - to get another perspective.

  9. It's totally normal...I would think....I have a good friend...very similar situation....only she just tried to go cold turkey....Dr said NO way...that since you've been on it for a relatively long period of will gradually have to reduce your may take awhile...but by won't feel like it's such a night and day transition....I have a feeling she'll put you back on it...just maybe a lower dose...then when that runs out...a lower dose...until you aren't on it anymore....

  10. Hi Beth. Thank You for visiting my blog.I love your blog. I have been sitting here for a while now and I have to drag myself away. Even though I only have a brood of four instead of 5, I can relate to a lot of your posts.