Sharing that picture of MY pill bottle with MY medication inside caused an unexpected bone-chilling effect in me. You all know that I had postpartum depression but something about this picture makes it real and true?? I feel naked– I tell you, mental health stigma is real, even against myself. . .
UPDATE 2017: I just wanted to say that I have BEAT postpartum depression! I have had a second child, a sweet baby girl! BUT — I have continued taking Zoloft. After discontinuing my medication I began to feel a very familiar black cloud consuming me. I don’t consider it a failure to NEED to treat my depression with medication because I am living a wonderfully happy fulfilled life, that I am able to fully participate. Just know that if medication is whats working for you. That is OK! You are winning!
Wow. Today is a day that I will never forget. I am 1 year 9 months and 26 days postpartum. I began treatment for Postpartum Depression in July of 2013.
Today is the first day that I have not felt the “need” to take Sertraline (Zoloft).
Over the past 12ish weeks I have become intensely in tune with my body. Listening to what it has to say, trusting its inner wisdom if you will… Really listening.
On week 9 of the 12 Week Body Transformation there was an undeniable shift. I just knew I was ready to move toward the next step of recovery from this beast and wean myself from medication.
I wont lie I did experience glimmers of fear. A bunch of “what ifs” flooded my mind, but just like I knew Ari was ready for Pre-School I just knew I was ready to take this BIG step as well.
How I Discontinued Zoloft
I admit — I did not consult my Psychiatrist, but we had discussed the possibility of discontinuation previously and how that would look. Also, being that in my past life I was a nurse I felt confident moving forward. 🙂
It’s no exact science
- I went a few days taking only 1 pill
- then 1/2 a pill
- then today…NO pill
Each morning I would evaluate how I felt and I was honest with myself. If I felt I needed that one pill or 1/2 pill I took it. No guilt.
I wasn’t evaluating whether I felt “depressed” or my “feelings” per se. The only way I know to put it is that I was evaluating my inner-self. Asking myself if I needed help that day.
I attempted to quit Zoloft in the past. Because I felt I SHOULD. Not because I felt my body was READY. This made all the difference
How I Feel Now
I feel like a woman.
A good friend of mine who had a similar postpartum experience said after she discontinued her medication that she had a “fuller range of emotions” and I agree. I am more sensitive, I am more delicate lol, my edges aren’t as sharp and I LOVE it!
Greg made me cry today (not on purpose)! At first I had a flashback to the many terror filled tears that poured from my eyes while my depression and anxiety were at their worse. But this felt different — I am emotional but not depressed and it was AMAZING. I actually thanked him for that experience. In that moment he thought I needed to reevaluate the decision to stop the meds. Ha!
Also I am sleeping like an adult! Meaning I’m getting DEEP sleep and I fall asleep quickly. The whole sleeping like a baby thing is a total lie…Babies don’t sleep! At least my baby didn’t sleep.
Withdrawal Symptoms In Myself & My Nursling
- One interesting “side effect” I’ve noticed is numbness around my mouth only when I move quickly and only for a split second. It’s kind of that light-headed feeling you may experience if you stand too quickly but for me it’s a tingling around my mouth with an audible “woosh” sound?? They are often referred to as “brain zaps” around the web.
- The evening of the day that I was totally weaned, my toddler experienced nausea and vomiting. Only for that one evening. He had no fever and acted pretty normal. The the only thing I could think was that he was feeling the shift. Which of course made me upset because Zoloft is “supposed” to be one of the safest SSRI’s to take while nursing — especially since he is such a big boy (33 pounds at 1-year-old) the minuscule amounts that he would get via milk should be negligible.
Could it be a coincidence… of course but who really knows…
- Bloating… like my pants feel uncomfortable and I feel fat.
- Hot Flashes
Even though I feel guilty that Ari may be experiencing symptoms as well, the guilt doesn’t dig as deeply … because I know that if it weren’t for this medication he may not have a mommy at all.
On the other side of PPD aka. Heaven
I beat that SOB…
I. Beat. It…
I am in no way AT ALL the woman I was before pregnancy. I am so much better… I have a story…I have depth…I see and approach the world in a whole new way. I have un-measurable compassion for others… the world and MYSELF!
I feel like a Warrior Goddess.
The Lord has absolutely SCHOOLED me over the last 2 plus years. I have been through it… and you know what? I would not change one second of misery and suffering I endured. It a purification of sorts.
We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 4 And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. 5 And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.
My New Drugs Of Choice . . . The Three F’s
Food, Fitness and Faith!
Fitness- It’s no accident that I felt the strength to wean from my anti-depressant while in the midst of a 12 Week Transformation. We all hear that exercise produces endorphins. Fitness HAS to be a part of my life in order for me to have life. And so it shall.
Food- My Nutrition has greatly improved this year. We are now vegetarian and I’m a super-food junkie. I love Green Vibrance by Vibrant Health. I take it every single day at least once a day sometimes up to 3 times a day . “Green Vibrance can be taken, “More than once per day and up to three times per day is recommended for crisis intervention.”
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
Faith- I make sure to get a full dose of God every single morning to start my day with love in my heart and on my mind. I have had the divine pleasure of stumbling upon “A Course In Miracles” and It has added such clarity and meaning to my life here on earth. My outlook on life really has immeasurable power.
“I am only here to be truly helpful. I am here to represent Him who sent me. I do not have to worry about what to say or what to do, because He Who sent me will direct me. I am content to be wherever He wishes, knowing He goes there with me. I will be healed as I let Him teach me to heal.”
— Excerpted from A Course in Miracles
Mental Illness is Real and Medication Really Does Help
I will say this.
When I was in the pits I KNEW I needed help. When I started taking Zoloft I felt better almost immediately. Because my body NEEDED those chemicals to pull through.
Once my body began to heal, once I began ovulating again and my hormones “settled” a little I KNEW my body didn’t NEED them anymore and again I now feel even better almost immediately.
Once we are done nursing my hormones will shift again and hopefully I feel even better!
Lets try to drop the judgement a guilt that comes with seeking help. Trust yourself, have compassion on yourself!
I have Climbed Out Of the Darkness. I am back! I am one emotional woman over here… for good reason! This video means so much!