I’ve been avoiding this post for about a week now. I’ve been avoiding this topic all together for at least that long. The truth is, I don’t know what to think, or say, about it.
My birthday was my self-imposed figure-out-the-SSRI-situation date; by that time I wanted to have made a definitive decision on whether or not I would be seeking out an anti-depressant to help me combat the very real and very difficult depression that I’ve been combatting ever since I went off my (not pregnancy safe) medication to start trying. It’s been four months since I stopped taking my medication, four months of trying. I must admit, I’m still not where I want to be. Did I think I’d be in some idealized place of complete mental stability by now? No, but I had hoped I’d be doing better than I am.
I understand what is going on. I know myself and I know my triggers. TTC is a MASSIVE trigger for me. The uncertainty, the complete lack of control and the failure all play on my weakness, helping to make me miserable. There was also the stress of packing my room at school and house hunting that caused some significant stress. Finally, the situation with my friend was not an easy one for me. So I understand why things were so hard, and got so bad. I have no doubt that there is a chemical mess to be blamed for a lot of this but the circumstances are absolutely exacerbating the situation.
Now I’m stuck in this strange limbo. We’re in contract to buy a house but I won’t let myself believe we’re actually doing that until we’re preliminarily approved for our mortgage and my parents have the home-equity loan money they are gifting us in a new account. Both of those things should be happening in the next week. Until then I just wait.
I’m such shit at waiting.
Moving into a new house will be good for me. It’s something I’ve wanted for a long time and it will create that special kind of chaos that only huge, hurried life changes can bring about. I THRIVE on that kind of chaos and I thrive on change. Packing, moving and unpacking our new home, which will bleed right into unpacking my classroom and starting a new school year could be just the distraction I need to get me out of this funk. Of course it could also send me over the edge, but it will probably do that whether I’m on an SSRI or not. 😉
The truth is, there are no easy answers here. I’ve been on the safest (as far as pregnancy goes) SSRI before and I didn’t like it much. Zo.loft did help me with my anxiety, but I have no idea how well it will treat my depression and I’m terrified it will cause the significant weight gain I experienced last time. I’m not sure what the other pregnancy-safe anti-depressants are but I know I’ve never tried one before and there is no guarantee that a new drug will even make me feel better.
Plus, all these drugs carry risks to the (hopefully-will-exist-one-day) fetus and even if they are small I would rather avoid them if possible. Recently I’ve seen a couple of those lawyer commercials urging people who took Zo.loft or Pa.xil during pregnancy to sue if their babies were born with birth defects. That kind of stuff is just too anxiety producing for me right now.
I sat down the other day with Mi.Vida and we talked about this. This decision is not just about me and my well-being but about the happiness of our whole family. I need to consider my relationship and my daughter’s experience as well. Right now I think I’m shielding Isa from the affects of this depression but Mi.Vida is not getting off so easy.
We decided to wait one more month before we make a decision. If the frenzy of packing the apartment and moving to our new house doesn’t shake me from this, I’ll start something in the fall, before school starts. If we don’t get our loan, I’ll go on something immediately. And if, at any time, either of us feels things have gotten insufferable, I’ll make an appointment to see my psychiatrist.
Depression is a slippery foe. It’s not as easy to combat as people think. Taking an SSRI can be the game-changer but that is not always how it works and sometimes it takes months to find something that works right for you. Unfortunately all the drugs I know work well for me I can’t take. I suppose I could stop TTC for the moment and take my old SSRI but honestly, I don’t think that is the appropriate move. That might help me get to a place where I’d experience less depression and feel more stable but it would not bring me any closer to being able to complete my family and until that happens, I’m going to be in a difficult place.
So right now I soldier on. I hope that now, in the absence of the triggers I was dealing with before, in the presence of the summer sun and time with my beautiful daughter, I will find that happy place. And if not, I’m ready to bring in the big guns, even when I’d much rather avoid them.