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31 October 2010

Medication sitrep

I'm trying to post at least a little bit about how the new medication's going... I've found that looking at past posts helps me put the present into perspective, see how far along I am, etc., so applying the same principle to posts about the effect of medication on life.  Since I have to have some past posts to compare to, I'm putting down some notes.  I'm not part of a study or controlled research, and not publishing "results"-- these are my observations, nothing more.

I'm currently taking 50mg of sertraline, and 150mg of trazodone, both before bedtime every night.  "Bedtime" for me varies from 2300-0100, so I try to take them at around 2300.  Trazodone is supposed to be taken with food, so I try to eat something then as well.  On Wednesday (two days from now) it'll be two weeks.

I can say that I sleep a little better, and the frequency and severity of the nightmares and strange dreams has dropped off.  I'm trying to get 7-8 hours of sleep a night, which has been problematic.  Before the meds, I didn't like to get that much sleep because when I did, there was enough time for REM sleep and dreams to happen.  I haven't had a WTF wakeup in a while now, where I wake up and it takes me a while to figure out that I'm really here and not where the dream was.

I have had a couple of lectures, and a couple of study sessions, where I've really been able to focus on what's going on.  It's not every day, or even every lecture, but I've been dialed in a couple of times.

Walking from class, or just around campus, I've been struck by color, and brightness, and the extent of 3D-ness.  I've noticed things that I hadn't noticed before, or I look at a building and see it differently, somehow.  Again, this isn't happening all the time, and especially not in the morning when I'm running to get to class.

Mornings.  I am not a morning person, and I don't think there's a medication for that.  I'm not sure groggy is the right word in the morning, but dysfunctional might apply.  I'm having problems getting to class on time.  I'm doing better once I'm there, but getting dressed and out of the house I feel like I'm in slow motion.  I wonder if it's a matter of the medication, on top of me not being a morning person.

There are times when I walk back and forth in my apartment, and just feel the need to say "wheeeee!" and then I wonder where it came from.  Then a little while later, I'm yawning and tired.  So things aren't especially level.  "Mood swings" is probably the closest description.  I'm telling myself that I'm just not used to how it feels when the medication's really working.  Another theory is that for now, the medication is still getting where it needs to be, and so it works at some points during the day, and doesn't at others (and those times are unpredictable).

I'm spending more time alone than I'd like, and I feel a little cooped up and housebound.

I still find myself checking my backpack for my reading glasses a minute after I know I put them in, and I still find myself checking burners and lights and making sure the door is locked.  But those things are important things to check.

Side effects: decreased sex drive, perhaps.  It's still there, but I think decreased a bit.  My stomach was a little upset the first couple of days, but nothing since then.  And really, nothing else to report.  I'm keeping an eye on myself-- one of the risks, I'm told, of starting to take an antidepressant is suicidal thoughts, but they haven't happened.

Today especially, I'm tired.  Last night I was able to put together a good couple of hours of doing homework, but all day today I've been kind of a slug.  Coffee hasn't done much to help, and I've had two pretty decent nights of sleep, so I'm blaming the meds.

Overall:  when I'm feeling good, it feels strange... not in a bad way, just different.  I don't think I'd like a pill that took me from feeling like crap one day to feeling perfect the next.  Understand that I've never felt completely good for any length of time, and I'm trying to convince myself that these (even occasional, medication induced) good moments aren't the sign that something bad's on the horizon, as it's been in the past.

It's not a matter of "the old me" coming back, because I've never been here.  From here on, it's all new.

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