After the episode in 2010, I continued to take my anti-depressant and anti-psychotic, but they left me feeling a little like a robot that was just going through the motions. I felt numb and could hardly stay awake in the evenings. I continued seeing the nurse practitioner, but we struggled to find the right meds. She would constantly look up different meds in her book and a lot of the time I felt like I knew more about them her. I had tried almost every anti-depressant out there. I was losing confidence by the fall of 2011 so I decided to see a psychiatrist that I saw briefly during my outpatient therapy at the hospital for a second opinion. The psych decided to do a DNA test to find which meds I would get the most benefit from. The test showed that none of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors worked well for me and a selective serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor called Pristiq would be better as well as an anti-psychotic called Geodon. If anyone out there is struggling to find the right meds, I strongly suggest you find a doctor that will do this test for you.
I started the new meds right away and it took a while to adjust. The Geodon made me so tired at first that I sometimes had to pull over on the way to and from work to sleep. There were many mornings that I almost drove off the road from nodding off. Eventually we found the right dose and I stayed on them until the summer of 2012 when we decided to try to get pregnant. The withdrawal symptoms from the Geodon were intense. They say there are not any problems with withdrawal, but I definitely experienced some. When I first started tapering off I would wake up every hour the nights I didn’t take it. I would have chills the following day and difficulty thinking clearly. It is hard to explain, but it was an awful feeling.
Once I was tapered off I did fine for about 9 months without them, but in the spring of 2013 I was hit hard with a mixed episode and extreme anxiety. Thankfully I caught it before I went into psychosis again. I went back on meds and I started seeing naturopath that prescribed vitamins. I also had cranial sacral therapy done which relieved so much tension in my face and jaw that the look of my face changed completely. It was amazing and I recommend it to anyone who needs relief from anxiety and stress. It took months to recover from the episode. I had so much anxiety at times that I got lost driving home from work. I ended up working full-time from home for 3 months then I worked 2 days in the office and 3 from home for six weeks. I was very lucky that my employer accommodated my needs.
I stayed on meds until January of 2014 when I thought I was doing so well on the vitamins that I didn’t need it, but by June I was depressed and anxious and had to go back on them. I’ve been on them ever since. I’ve been pretty stable for the past two years, but I still experience depression in the winter months and the one symptom that has been the hardest to shake is fatigue. However I am starting to see improvements in that area as well. I started a prescription vitamin called Deplin in March and it is really helping with the mild depression and fatigue that has lingered on. The big test is this winter, but things are definitely looking up!