February 22, 2004

oh SSRI can you see

2/22/04

In Which the Cheese Almost Totally Slips Off My Cracker

I take Celexa so you don't have to. At least that was the purpose of this blog, going back to the first real entry so many years ago. Since that date, I have never actually run out of pills, an event that finally happened somewhere in rural Virginia two days ago. Unable to reach my psychotherapist for a refill, I decided not to worry about it and wait until I got back to Brooklyn.

That's almost three days, cold turkey, off the anti-depressant, and I am here to tell you IT AIN'T A GOOD IDEA. Apparently Celexa is water-soluble, meaning it starts its inevitable journey out of your body the second you swallow. Fully 25% of the medication is gone by the next day, meaning that you can have it flushed out of your system pretty quickly. Your brain, however, is not so quick to forget.

The second night off the drug, I woke up in a cold sweat because I had dreamed that Tessa and I had turned into al dente pasta. I could not move my arms or legs because they had the floppy consistency of wet durham wheat. I tried to keep the conversation afloat at breakfast with Maud Casey, but I kept getting distracted by the Wang Chung songs on the ambient speakers, and lost entire five-minute stretches of time while Maud and Tessa wondered why I was fidgeting like a 3-year-old on Almond Joys.

By the time we got back to our apartment in Brooklyn yesterday, I felt like my brain case had been stuffed with wool socks. I laughed, I cried, I explained things to the dog. When I would turn my head to answer a question, my brain's perception was stuck where my head had just been, making the whole world off-sync like one of those shitty educational movies we had to watch in science class.

I just took my regular dose again, and normality has still not called my body home.

I just drifted off while writing that sentence and wiggled my foot for ten minutes.

I am off to sleep, perchance to dream, of fountains that spurt mustard, hats made of meat, and Wink Martindale.

Posted by irw at February 22, 2004 10:16 PM
Comments
Posted by: Laurie from Manly Dorm at February 23, 2004 5:33 AM

Oh dear. Poor Ian. Lexapro is the magic pill that gets me through the day, and I understand that Lexapro is the isomer of Celexa. I have learned the hard way that missing one day's dose of Lexapro is not quite like missing your daily vitamin pill . . . your body/brain has to essentially start from the beginning. Miss one day and it's just like you never had the benefit of months of therapy and anti-depressants in the first place! How lovely!

Hang in there! Your photo made me laugh. . . my beagle Jack has been by my side through thick and thin. At times, I am convinced that Jack and Jack alone truly understands why I am the way I am. Your dog seems to have that knowing look as well!

Oh, and I wanted to mention one other thing. My doctor warned me to take Lexapro at the same time each day. Apparently, taking two doses too close together made lead to seizures. Yet another reassuring thought in the battle to be normal. Take care and have a good day!

Posted by: CINDY at September 1, 2004 8:06 PM

HI LAURIE. HOW LONG DID THE LEXAPRO TAKE TO "KICK IN'? When I STARTED TAKING INITIALLY IT SEEM TO HELP. NOW, AFTER TAKING IT ABOUT FOUR WEEKS, IT MAKES ME FEEL MORE DEPRESSED. I DON'T WANT TO GIVE UP ON THE MEDICATION BECAUSE I UNDERSTAND IT COULD TAKE UP TO TO 6 WEEKS TO HELP. MY DOCTOR THOUGHT IT MIGHT BE BEST FOR ME TO JUST TAKE 5MG BECAUSE I FEEL PRETTY SENSITIVE TO THE LEXAPRO. I WENT FROM 10 MG FOR 2 WEEKS, THEN UP TO 20 MG FOR 2 WEEKS NOW BACK TO 10.
Thanks.

Posted by: A friend at September 3, 2004 4:36 AM

I'm not Laurie, but it's almost my first anniversary of being on it. It took about three weeks for it to kick in for me. But everyone is different. It mostly took away the hole in my stomach that I felt when I woke up in the mornings. It doesn't necessarily make me "happy", but I don't feel full of dread before I get up. It felt odd to wake up without that pit-o'-dread in my stomach every morning, but it was a great relief. I've been on 10 mg, which isn't a lot. There are other pills out there, so if it isn't working, I'm sure your dr. will look into others. But give it a chance. Also, read Ian's blog every day - it helps.

I'm not revealing my name because I'm a writer and people will think I'm just trying to fit into the cliche by being on antidepressants. Truthfully, I avoided them as long as I could. ;)

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