Off My Meds

I’m almost out of crazy pills. That’s what I call them, although, I suppose that name is rather ambiguous. They’re not pills that make me crazy, but the opposite.

A few years ago, I had such a serious depressive spell that I was forced to seek treatment. I went to the California Department of Crazy and they medicated me. Then, that well went dry.

Fortunately, my state psychiatrist afforded me quite a surfeit of pills, so I’ve been slowly doling them out to myself ever since. At first, I was cutting the 20 mg pills in half and taking 10 mg a day. Then I cut them in quarters, taking only 5 mg a day. As my stockpile increasingly dwindled, I began taking 5 mg every other day. For the past week weeks, I’ve been taking it twice a week. Now, I only have a pill and a half left.

Even though I’ve technically had health insurance since November, I just got my health insurance card a few days ago. I can begin the arduous process of finding someone to write me a new prescription.

But, for now, I’m effectively off my meds.

I haven’t been depressed. I have been angry instead. I was written up at my job for having a bad attitude. In the meeting where this was discussed, the thought popped into my head that part of that is due to not taking my crazy pills.

I have the shortest temper known to man. I also can’t focus worth a damn. I forget things all the time, even as I go to write them down, so that I don’t forget them.

But, strangely, I haven’t been depressed.

I am effectively SSRI-free, yet I’m not depressed. That little tidbit boggles my mind. This is one of those forks in the road, where I could decide to stop medicating myself. I could try to live SSRI-free forever and see how it goes.

Then, I remember that chronic depression is cyclical and it’s also something that never, ever goes away. So, even if I’m not depressed now, that doesn’t mean that I won’t be. In fact, it’s pretty much guaranteed that I will be depressed again at some point, with or without medication.

The pills have become a sort of placebo crutch for me. I can deal with the depression (at least, mostly), because I know that I took my little crazy pill today. That knowledge affords me the security of knowing I won’t go off the rails entirely. I’ll be able to cope.

So, I think I’ll forgo that fork and stay on the path of better living through modern chemistry. Time to find a shrink.

Have you ever gone off crazy pills? What were your side effects? Do you call them crazy pills or something else?