Oct 17, 2010

A Matter of Medication

Recently I posted about a medication change that was not explained fully and apparently was in a manner that caused concern. I apologize for those who may have felt that way. My personal reality is that I am on medications for several physical conditions. Except for an antidepressant, I take little else for anxiety symptoms. My main medication for depression is Cymbalta. I've been at the maximum dosage for two years (120 mg/day). I had been trying an adjunct antidepressant in much smaller doses because it seemed as if I had become more depressed. I had been working with my psychiatrist on the adjunct meds which weren't working.

When I met with him last week, I spoke of feeling overly dosed since, logically, I was not nearly as depressed now as I was when I was in the midst of surgeries and a body falling apart and not working correctly. I was indeed a mess in 2008. My dose before all that happened was just 30 mg/day of Cymbalta. I asked if I could begin cutting back 30 mg for a two week period and then another 30 mg to see if I might stabilize at 60 mg.

He agreed it was worth a try. I've been on 90 mg a day for five days and yesterday I began to feel lighter. We both agreed the adjunct stuff was not working and was just causing me to deal with side effects each time I tried something new. But I never touched the dosage of my main Cymbalta without speaking to him first.

I am hopeful 60 mg will be my new daily maintenance dosage which would also allow room if I ever do need to go up a notch or so due to life circumstances rather than trying a second medication.

Most who are trauma survivors seem to be medication jugglers. I've just found that my intuition is often right and I find doctors who allow me to try what I sense to be right. We both know if I start to crash, it's not the right decision.

Because of what happened to me in 2007, I have learned to be a much more proactive patient. And I encourage all patients of any doctor to be knowledgeable in what is going on with their care and why/what medications are going to do. Speaking up doesn't come easily to many trauma survivors, but your medical care is a place where I believe it to be essential.

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