As I’ve written earlier, I had a long-time medication stop working for me a couple of months ago.
I’ve now been on a new medicine, a mood stabilizer, for two months, and am still adjusting to the side effects. I’ve gained 10 lbs due to the way the med changed my metabolism, but overall, I’d say the combinations of medicines is working. My main antidepressant is a different type of SSRI, and it’s been working for a couple of years. I still take an atypical antidepressant which I’ve been on for many years and it helps me with sleep, a tremendous deterrent against depression.
The goal of the psychiatrist together with the patient is to find the right medications that will affect the particular brain chemicals (basically serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine) to the right degree – not too much, not too little, but just right, like Goldilocks would need. (Depression is definitely more complicated than brain chemistry, but that’s for a different blog post!)
Because of the serotonin toxicity that I had in 2010, my psych doc and I have been very cautious with the antidepressants I take and they way they are supposed to work with the serotonin in my brain. I am not sure how they work with the serotonin, only that I have to be careful. For example, Mayo Clinic lists 4 atypical antidepressants on the website on this topic, and I have taken 3 of them. Most atypicals have worked for me, but one (not on this list) sent me racing to the emergency room in fear I might harm myself. The thought was not my own, the medication caused it!
Yesterday I got a letter in the mail telling me that as of January 1, 2016, the main antidepressant that I take will no longer be a preferred med in my prescription insurance plan, which means I will have to pay more for it if I want to continue on it. It currently costs a little over $1/day with insurance, but will be at least $8/day without insurance. $240/month for just one medication, $350/month for all of them. That’s a big hit to the family budget!
But I can’t afford to be depressed, so I will have to go to my psychiatrist and see if we can try one of the others on the preferred list. Another med change. I’m nervous – if it isn’t the right one, it could make me suicidal, or maybe just not work at all, or it could have unbearable side effects. No matter how it goes, it’s a several-month process again.
Didn’t we just do this?
“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:19 NIV
Ok, then. God knows about my need here. It will be ok.