Antidepressants–Definitely More Than a Placebo

Today is day 18 of the Wellbutrin/Deplin cocktail. The side effects are calming down (and, alas, my appetite is returning), my sleep is improving, and I don’t feel so damn exhausted. Dare I say it? I’m feeling better. Will it last? Will I regress? Will it get even better? I don’t know. What I do know:

  • I am sleeping so much better.

I’ve slept through the entire night, several nights in a row. I haven’t even gotten up to pee. I haven’t slept through an entire night without waking in years. Usually I wake up at 3:00 or 4:00 a.m. and can’t get back to sleep for hours. Sleeping through the entire night, or waking and falling right back to sleep, truly is remarkable. The fact that it keeps happening tells me it’s not a fluke.

  • While my appetite is returning, cravings are not.

In the first few days of taking the medication, I didn’t want to eat. I thought this was terrific. Now, my appetite is returning, but nothing like before. I’m not craving sugar, or carbs, or “bad food,” or alcohol. I don’t think as much about food. And when I do think about food, it isn’t as exciting as it used to be. The conversation in my head will go something like this: “It’s late, and I’m feeling a little hungry. What do I want for dinner? I haven’t had pizza in a long time. Should I stop for a pizza? No, it doesn’t sound good. How about a burger and fries; does that sound good? Nope, it doesn’t. Pasta? Meh. Scrambled eggs? Maybe. I don’t know.” In the past, I wouldn’t let myself eat pizza, or burgers, or fries. Not because it didn’t sound good, but because it’s “bad.” Now, it’s just lost its allure. Before the medication, I was having crazy sugar cravings. Now, they’re gone. Completely. Remarkable. I know Wellbutrin also is used to help smoking cessation. It’s supposed to zap cravings. Let me tell you: it does. No doubt about that.

  • I’ve been more motivated to get outside and exercise, and soak up some Vitamin D.

I love to hike, and Austin has some great spots. But for months I hadn’t had the motivation to get out of bed, let alone lace up my shoes and hit the trial. Last weekend, the holiday weekend, I did a total of just over 20 miles. My trusty Garmin said so. (I love my Garmin!) This weekend, while I didn’t hike, I did do a 5-mile walk/jog yesterday. Today, I’ll either do a repeat, or get on my elliptical and watch a little Dexter. Also, I’ve been getting in two personal training sessions a week. The medication definitely has made it easier to find my motivation.

  • I’m finding it easier to get up in the morning.

I’m no longer feeling like there are tentacles wrapped around my arms and legs, pinning me to my bed. I’m not awakening at 10:00 or 11:00 a.m., wondering “what the hell?” I’m back to awakening with the sunrise. Today it was cloudy, so I slept a little later: 8:30 a.m. But generally, I’ve been awakening at 7:00 a.m. And since I’ve slept through the night, I feel great. I had been getting up telling myself, “I’m so exhausted.” And I was. I’m not feeling so tired now. Even with getting out of bed earlier. If this keeps up, I might just be able to achieve my goal of early morning “runs.” I want to break through week 6 of the Couch to 5k program, which I keep repeating, over, and over, and over. Patience! I’m getting better.

  • I’m not as tearful, crying over every little thing.

Or how about this one:

Yes, I did cry all the way home from work on Tuesday. But I was having withdrawals from a really nice four-day weekend. Other than that, I’ve been less tearful. Okay, I teared up a time or two during the therapy visit with Annie, but nothing like the waterworks two weeks earlier with Dr. McEnroe. (Again, what kind of shrink doesn’t have a box of tissue on his desk?) A little crying is okay. The goal is not to become a stoic. I’m an emotional person. I’d just like to tone it down a little. I think there’s been some improvement.

  • I’m feeling less hopeless. Hopeless – less = Hope.

Maybe there is something beautiful in store for me in the future. Maybe I will find a healthy, happy love. Could it be?

Submit a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s