Thursday, July 10, 2008

Anti-depressants, Anti-Pain, Anti-Social?

I have been struggling with depression since I was a teenager. At some point in my early twenties I took Paxil and Prozac, and I hated it. I just felt so numb to the world. Since that experience, I decided that I'd just try to deal with my depression naturally. I took up yoga and meditation, and while I had dark thoughts a lot of the time, I found the whole issue with my depression pretty manageable. Over the years, I've had many doctors try to prescribe antidepressants for me, but I always turned them down because I felt that I was handling myself just fine.

About four months ago, my rheumatologist recommended that I take Cymbalta. It wasn't for my depression. She said that it's been found to help people with lupus have less pain. I rationalized that since it wasn't for my depression but for my pain, that it was okay to try, so I did.

I have to say that since I started taking Cymbalta, I'm a new person. I'm genuinely happy. I've never known what it's meant to be happy before. I'm satisfied with life, and I find myself being happy and excited about things I've never been happy about before. I get excited about going out to dinner with people when I used to be anxious. I just feel very lucky and grateful. It used to be that I'd say to myself, "I should feel lucky and I know I'm lucky, but I don't feel it." Now I genuinely feel lucky and grateful. I often say to myself, "What a great life!" I've never felt that way before.

I have noticed some other things however. I'm out of ease sometimes. I get the restless leg thing quite a bit. Also, the most unusual thing happened this morning. I was talking to my friend Fay this morning. Fay was upset because her daughter got kicked out of preschool. Unfortunately, I have a lot of experience in this area considering that my son Julian had been kicked out of practically every preschool in Los Angeles. I was telling Fay that sometimes when things like this happen, you don't realize how unsuitable the situation is until you've had time to think about it, and then you realize it is for the better. It was at this point that Geoff said, "I wonder if that's how I'll feel?" Leaving me to grab the implication of "when I leave you" for myself. When he said that, I quickly gave him a big punch in the arm and went back to my conversation leaving Geoff to say, "Oh my gosh. You hit me!"

This is something not only highly unusual for our marriage, but more unusual for me. I am a very controlled and measured person. Never, ever have I hit my husband. I've only truly yelled at him once in our marriage. But lately, I'm just a reactive person. I don't get angry. It wasn't that I was angry when I punched him. I'm just reactive. I don't think I would have even given hitting him a second thought if he hadn't been such a big baby about it. Then he said, "that's okay. It's not like you could really hurt me by hitting me." And you know what? I almost hit him again, but I stopped myself. I'm just out of control.

Back to Cymbalta. It did help with the pain. I notice that I'm in much less pain these days. I did have a time a few weeks ago when I just felt awful, but I think I may have had a bug because I'm completely over it now. If you haven't talked to your doctor about Cymbalta, you might consider it. I'm really glad my doctor brought it up. I'm much happier and healthier for it!

Have a lupie day!


1 comment:

carterdds said...

You mentioned restless leg syndrome, is this something that is being connected to lupus sufferers? I believe I have that I wont know until I see My Dr. again In OCT.