You know that feeling—when you’re on a specific medication for your mental illness, and you start wondering if you are even on the “right” medication, or perhaps the medication is only okay for your condition, and you still have troubling symptoms while on that medication, and you also have stupid side effects that make you want to tear your hair out and punch the air and sometimes even call your most adorable and sweetest and absolute best friend in the world Scooby the Doggo a nincompoop?
Hello, Medication Anxiety.
Medication anxiety is an experience I know most of us, if not all, can relate to.
And it’s a motherfucker that doesn’t discriminate.
I’m on Viibryd for my clinical depression.
(I think maybe sometimes maybe I don’t know sure why not I should also be on anxiety medication, but I am tired so maybe I won’t bring it up to my psychiatrist.)
I’ve been on Viibryd since May 2018. Before, I was on Prozac, which made me feel manic and ornery. After some spells of initial nausea on the depression medication, I’ve felt better overall. My mood has been brighter. But lately, I’ve had bouts of depression creep in again, like slivers of shadow on a sunlit running trail, and I haven’t been able to avoid them.
This is where anxiety brain takes over.
Anxiety Brain to the Rescue!
Small doses of doubt start to seep into my conscious, and I think maybe I should try a new medication. Maybe this Viibryd isn’t the right one for me. Maybe it never was! Maybe, just maybe, it was right for 8 months, but now it’s wrong; or, a kinder interpretation, maybe it has just run its course. Maybe I need to ramp up the dosage.
Maybe, maybe, maybe my brain should just shut up.
It’s overwhelming. Let’s say it is time for me to check in with my psychiatrist. What then? A higher dosage could do the trick, but it could also make me fuzzy and a dull zombie. (Or Zombeaver if Tony the Therapist was writing this.)
Perhaps it’s a different medication I need. What then? Oh, just weeks of trial and error and nausea, and—oh hello depression, hello darkness my dear friend-mortal enemy—and another handful of months until I even know if it’s doing anything.
But maybe it is just anxiety. Maybe, after all, Viibryd at 20mg is good for me, and I am just allowing my anxious brain to rule me.
BUT, BUT, BUT, what if it isn’t and I have the next bestselling memoir in me but my medication is keeping me from writing it the way it needs to be written?
(I worry about this too, and I am ashamed of that. I mean, who cares? If my medication is keeping me from unmedicated depression, suicidal ideation, total darkness, isn’t it worth it?)
Viibryd has been in my system since May 2018, so maybe I need to give it more time. Like a friend I need to warm up to.
BUT WHAT IF I’M SETTLING? What if Viibryd is the bizzaro evil version of my true friend?
But what if I am just being anxious.
Yeah, that’s probably it.
With all of that anxiously said, I do sincerely wish things were easier. I have it really easy in the grand scheme of things. I have medical insurance. I am currently on only one medication for mental illness. My heart breaks for those who are dealing with co-morbid conditions.
What do we do? How do we fix this? How do we alleviate medication anxiety for all of us feely humans?