I had written a post recently about my son's experience in taking Prozac entitled, "I'm an Aardvark and I'm Happy." Based on his good experience with this anti-depressant I was ready to take the plunge myself. I had resisted the idea of using medication for my depression for several decades. The only other prescribed anti-depressant I had used was Pamelor back in my twenties. I had just had a miscarriage and was seriously depressed. My therapist demanded that I try medication after I found myself weeping uncontrollably at my work place. I don't really recall much about that time except that I was in an emotional daze. The medication simply dulled the pain until I was a bit more functional. I wanted to try having another baby so my time with Pamelor was short lived.
So what made me want to try Prozac after all these years? I liked what it did for my son and I was weary of the constant battle with my depression. I was finally ready to receive some help in the form of a little blue pill. I discussed my choice with my neurologist who was treating me for my Multiple Sclerosis. She told me that usually if one family member does well on an anti-depressant that another family member should do as well. It makes sense; after all, we have a similar biological make-up.
With great hopes I got my prescription filled and got my bottle of Prozac. The following morning I sat staring at the little blue pill with trepidation. I actually wrote a Prozac diary and here was my entry for day one:
"So here I am... a medication virgin....staring at a pill on a paper plate. I ate my breakfast and sat and contemplated this blue (generic form) entity before me. I sat there for about twenty minutes...carrying the pill to my mouth and then placing it back upon the plate.
It seems a defeat to me in some ways. And I know this is the wrong way to look at things...and realize I am only talking about me...and what this personally feels like for me...nobody else. I just...hate this. I hate needing help. But I will state here today that yes I do need help.
So I took the damn pill."
During the first week I did begin to notice subtle changes. Mainly I felt jittery in the mornings and then lethargic by late afternoon. I began to sleep more and eat less. Then there were some moments where I began to experience some very good feelings. I wrote in my journal the following:
"Mood wise...there was a brief (several hours) by the end of that first week where I felt spectacular. I felt GREAT as in Tony the Tiger G-G-GREAT! As a matter of fact...I was feeling so darn chipper that I telephoned friends to tell them the news. One friend who has been on many different anti-depressants was a bit worried that I was turning manic. She also told me this feeling probably wouldn't last...I would calm down and just feel normal good...whatever that means. She was right...this initial "euphoria" didn't last and was replaced by....more of a mental sluggishness. I remember trying to sit down and do my bills and having to stop in the middle as I literally could not think any more. I have never had this happen, even with my MS."