Medication Maintenance: Too Much of a Good Thing?

About a month ago, I had a lot of anxiety-inducing events happening all around the same time. I strategized and planned how to deal with everything and figured, at the end of the day, I would just “get ‘er done.” But in the approaching weeks, I just didn’t feel like myself. I had assumed I would be super-hyper and anxious, perhaps a bit petulant, but not this. I was exhausted but couldn’t sleep through the night. I was punishing myself with food control and I noticed my internal thoughts were getting sharper, meaner, deeper. Still, I told myself it would pass.

I had a terrible social hangover for a few days after the main event. That was to be expected. But a week passed and I still felt like shit. I panicked and went to my psychiatrist. We decided to move my medication up. I felt like I was slowly falling and didn’t want to dip too low before it was too late to pull myself back up.

I already have side effects from this drug. (It’s my super drug – the one that pulled me out from my three-year chemical depressive slump.) Dry mouth, disturbed sleep, pee issues, hair issues, anxiety, memory loss, inability to find words. But once I went up, I started to notice other things. My current side effects got worse: my dry mouth has now created a metallic taste in my mouth. I can’t have disturbed sleep because I can’t even fall asleep – my brain can’t shut down. And new side effects have decided to join the others. I’ve started getting tremors, dizziness, and light-headedness. I don’t have any energy – when I start spinning, my legs feel like I’ve been at it for an hour already. I’m sweating more. The worst and most disconcerting component is that my anxiety has really increased. The same drug that in the past made me feel like I had a couple cups of coffee, is making me feel like a squirrel on coke. (Yeah, not sure why that metaphor, but it just seems right.)

And honestly, I could handle all this. I believe that side effects are just part of the package and you live with them. They suck, they’re annoying, but you chew gum, drink more water, put your hair up, take more meds during the day for your anxiety, and just wait out the light-headedness.

But I’m not feeling emotionally better. (After all, that’s the other part of the package deal.) It’s probably the anxiety, but I’m actually feeling worse. I’m thinking thoughts I haven’t had for almost a year now. I find myself fluctuating my mood multiple times in an hour, let alone in a day. It’s exhausting. I’m starting to get anxious about going into the supermarket and the gym – the people, the noise. Small things feel huge and unmanageable. I catastrophize more than usual and find myself falling into self-hate vortexes.

I’m terrified. I’m nauseous. I’m scared. Hopefully we will go back down on this med and I will be better. We might have to go on another drug expedition to deal with this sadness. That, I detest. But I don’t want to go back. I don’t want to cut. I don’t want to think about dying. I don’t want to wish I didn’t exist. I don’t want to go back.

Update: I spoke to my psychiatrist yesterday and I went back to my past dosage. Here’s hoping this post will soon be a distant memory.