medication is scary, part two

It took me approximately five years to get on the right medication.

Over the course of the five years, I experienced the following:

* rapid weight gain (30 pounds in one month)

* deep lethargy, during which air felt stale and I had to nap for 2+ hours every day after work

* mind vomit (a phrase I coined, meaning that taking the medication exacerbated my OCD, sending me into frenetic, panicked obsessions)

* a visible tremor

* drymouth, as stanch as if I were eating Saltines and peanut butter

* dizziness and vision loss, usually paired together (One time I had a whole conversation with someone without telling him I couldn’t actually see him … I hope I appeared to be looking him in the eyes.  The dizziness/vision loss combo happened so often that I actually got used to it, could continue walking across my apartment without even slowing my step.)

* Jello-legs, so terrible that I had to lean against the stairwell wall as I descended from my second-floor apartment

* excessive sweating

* lactation (you think I’m kidding, but I’m not)

* a spasm of pain in my back that once DROPPED me to the floor like I’d been tackled from behind

* an allergic reaction that nearly killed me (please, PLEASE do not take new meds unless you have Benadryl in your home!)

And then along came Dr. Suck-Won Kim, my sweet, wonderful expert psychiatrist, who got me onto my perfect dosage of Prozac, Effexor XR, and Risperdal.

And want to know what?

It was all worth it.

medication is scary, part one


POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS that may occur while taking this medicine include abnormal dreams; anxiety; decreased sexual desire or ability; diarrhea; dizziness; drowsiness; dry mouth; flu-like symptoms (eg, fever, chills, muscle aches); flushing; increased sweating; loss of appetite; nausea; nervousness; runny nose; sore throat; stomach upset; trouble sleeping; weakness; or yawning.

CONTACT YOUR DOCTOR IMMEDIATELY if you experience bizarre behavior; black or bloody stools; chest pain; confusion; difficulty concentrating; exaggerated reflexes; excessive sweating; fainting; fast or irregular heartbeat; fever, chills, or sore throat; hallucinations; increased hunger, thirst or urination; joint or wrist aches or pain; loss of coordination; memory loss; new or worsening agitation, panic attacks, aggressiveness, impulsiveness, irritability, hostility, exaggerated feeling of well-being, restlessness, or inability to sit still; persistent or severe ringing in the ears; persistent, painful erection; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin; seizures; severe or persistent anxiety, trouble sleeping, or weakness; severe or persistent nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or headache; significant weight loss; stomach pain; suicidal thoughts or attempt; tremor; unusual bruising or bleeding; unusual or severe mental or mood changes; unusual swelling; vision changes; or worsening of depression.