Is it possible that I hit the jackpot at the first roll of the wheel?
Lexapro was the first medication I ever took for my mental health issues. I was given a one-month sample pack by my GP, and afterward, I took Celexa. Back then, Lexapro was available only as a name-brand, and so it would’ve cost $90 a month for me to stick with it, even with insurance. Celexa, on the other hand, was readily available as a generic, and as I’m sure many of you know, it is similar to Lexapro.
When I tried Lexapro, it worked remarkably well, or it seemed to. I didn’t feel much of a difference, but a friend told me that I seemed to behave in a more upbeat manner. I think it was on its way to working.
Celexa, however, did nothing for me. No side effects. No benefits. I took it for several months just to be sure it truly wasn’t working.
I’ve been on quite a few medications during the past five years. I have a general idea of which ones I’ve been on and in which order, as well as how long I was on them and what I experienced while on them, but alas, I do not keep a medication log like Ruby or DeeDee. Perhaps it would’ve been a good idea to begin one, but when my medication journey commenced, I didn’t know that I would sample so many medications and feel like some sort of lab rat what with all the drug experimentation. I could maybe start one now, but I feel like it wouldn’t be that useful since so much has already happened in that arena.
If I’d kept a journal, I could remember more certainly how Lexapro worked the first time. But as they say, it’s too late for woulda, coulda, shoulda.
Toward the end of 2012, my latest pdoc brought up the possibility of trying Lexapro. I explained my first experience with it, and I was delighted when she told me that there was now a generic option available.
So I began taking Lexapro once again. We’ve been fiddling with the dose, going back and forth on 10 and 20 mg, because we can’t tell whether it’s responsible for heightening the physical effects of my anxiety. Also, for the first month, Lexapro did cause digestive problems, just as it did five years ago. But after I had taken it for a little while longer, that side effect faded away.
I did notice mood changes when I started taking Lexapro, too, but I’ve been hesitant to declare success. I didn’t even fully explain this matter to my pdoc. During our last session, though, when she asked me if any medication had ever helped with my mood, I answered that Lexapro had. Other medications have helped with problems to varying degrees, but not with my mood. Wellbutrin, for instance, has been an enormous help.
But now I’m tentatively ready to declare that Lexapro has provided me with substantial benefits, even though I’m still not quite sure. I sometimes wonder if I’m experiencing some sort of mania instead.
You see, I have experienced an improved mood. It’s made me ever so slightly bolder, though I’m still the epitome of timidity.
This isn’t to say that I somehow have “gotten better.” I don’t think my mental health problems are all due to biology, for one. Then there’s my anxiety, both social and generalized, that’s still at the same level. Oftentimes I can be sensitive to medications, which is why I haven’t tried any hardcore anti-anxiety solutions.
I still have very little confidence. I still harbor a lot of self-hatred. I still feel pointless. I still experience moments of excruciating despair. I still have urges to harm myself. I still can’t connect with others and feel as if I never will. I’m still hypersensitive and defensive; in fact, sometimes I am more so.
But I would swear that, over the last few months, some aspects have been tempered. There’s nothing on this blog to document whether or not my memory is correct since I took a break to work on my novel. In fact, occasionally I’ve wondered if the novel is responsible for my mood changes. Perhaps, I theorized, intensely focusing on the project prompted other concerns to fall by the wayside. However, I finished the rough draft about a month ago, and there hasn’t been any rapid downward spiral.
As I said earlier, I could also be mistaking the source, which could be mania rather than Lexapro. But it doesn’t feel like mania. At least I don’t think so.
Therefore, I’ve concluded that Lexapro must be the deciding factor. The next few weeks may help prove or disprove this theory.
But it’s incredible to believe it, that I potentially won medication roulette on my first spin.