Choosing Depression Over Antidepressant Side Effects

ErinChronic Pain32 Comments

For once I'm choosing to be very depressed over the side effects I have from my one antidepressant.I feel lost in a foreign place. For the first time in my life, I feel like I am choosing depression over something else.

Why would I do such a thing?

The answer, in a word, is MIGRAINE. I’ve had a migraine every single day for a year. With the dawning of 2016 I’ve felt myself surrender. I cannot take any more physical pain. I can’t.

The person I am today feels so different from who I was a year ago. . I used to go out, see friends, read, write, sit in coffee shops and daydream. I used to run (okay, a little) with my dog. I used to do art for fun.

I’ve lost my routine, my independence, my accountability. I only leave my apartment to go to doctor’s appointments or to buy food. I’m lucky if I see a friend once a week, and if so, it’s a short outing. Going on my laptop hurts my eyes so much that I’ve stopped almost all online activity. As a result, my ties to the world are unraveling.

The world is going on without me. I can’t afford to lose any more.

After trying a zillion different migraine treatments (seriously) I’m decreasing the antidepressant that helps me the most with my mood and energy. My migraine pain is lessened on a lower dosage. I don’t know if my migraines are a side effect of this medication, but I know the medication makes my pain worse when I take it.

I’ve tried to do this many times before and every time I decided it wasn’t worth it. But now, I’m trying even harder. I don’t have a choice.

With lessened migraines I might be able to “function” better. As in, stand up and turn on my lights and listen to music. Call a friend. Walk my dog. Do something without an ice pack on my head. .

On this lower dosage, the world is literally darker to me. I definitely feel my mood going downward. Yesterday I started crying on the bus but I didn’t care. I walked home just letting the tears flow out of me as if I were alone. That doesn’t feel like the real me. It feels like the super depressed me.

I feel sad but it’s also this numbness of emotion. This numbness feels better than being in physical agony, counting down to the moment my skull explodes.

Ugh, I know all of this sounds really bleak. And here’s the kicker: it’s my birthday tomorrow and I totally don’t care at all. I have zero excitement whatsoever.

This numbness sucks but I feel like I have to deal with it. This way, I can see my family on my birthday. I can go out. I can eat. I can make the best of what I have.

I am only in the early days of lowering my one antidepressant. If and when suicidal thoughts come back, the tides will turn and I’ll probably go back to choosing physical pain. I won’t let myself die over this, but I have to fight harder to LIVE.

I’m being supervised by three doctors so I am in good hands. I don’t want you to worry but I don’t want to sugarcoat things either. This is what my life looks like right now. It’s dark.

Maybe my eyes can adjust to the dark. Maybe I can learn to walk in the night. No, I wouldn’t want this for anyone, but sometimes we don’t get what we want. Sometimes we have to take what we’re given and make the best of it.

I sure as hell have to try.

ErinChoosing Depression Over Antidepressant Side Effects

32 Comments on “Choosing Depression Over Antidepressant Side Effects”

  1. Joe

    All the best, Erin. I hope the different medication helps. I tried to go off my anti-depression meds and it was NOT good. I only lasted two weeks before I had to go back on them. It’s hard, but I’m sure you’ll work through it.

    1. Marla

      Please get the word out. there’s an energy treatment called Neuromodulation Technique that’s great for depression.
      Antidepressants didn’t help me and I was told I would be severely depressed for the rest of my life. I tried several energy treatments. NMT changed my life! I haven’t had any depression in over 15 years! I improved in so many ways! The practitioner also used a Bio-Photon mat which was great, too.

      NMT is good for migraines, autoimmune diseases, etc.

      Treatments are expensive, but worth every penny. You just have to be patient and the treatments will eventually correct the depression. I’m a new person!

  2. Mary

    I am so fucking proud to have you as a fellow human. You’re a fighter, and I just want to encourage you to keep going. Your story and your life are so important. And I’m so sorry for all the pain you’re dealing with.

  3. Jenny

    Or maybe there is another (ancient eastern? Meditation? Other nontraditional? ) light at the end of your tunnel? I have chosen other methods of finding the light. Hopefully there is help for you wherever it comes from. I do highly suggest alternatives to pharmaceuticals. I send my love and light to you.

  4. Jenn tazzi

    So sorry you’re going through that. I hope you and your doctors can find a solution.

  5. STACI

    I struggled with nearly daily migraines too until I started on Suboxone 2 months ago. With the Suboxone, my depression is in complete remission for the FIRST TIME IN 20 YEARS (I’M 38) and I haven’t had even one migraine. I feel alive for the first time.

  6. Laurie

    Have you tried acupuncture? Or a combination of Topamax and an antidepressant? Maybe there are other options?

    Don’t ever give up! You’re a gift to the world and an inspiration…

  7. Mahalia

    Hey Erin,
    Firstly, thank you for sharing your journey with the world bruises and all. Your honesty is so valuable in offering others hope – your perspective normalises the struggle and that brings enormous relief. I just wanted to say that please remember: you aren’t choosing depression. It looks like you’ve been through pain for a long time and you’re worn right out. You’re not choosing depression, you’re choosing reprieve. Depression may be a side effect of that but you don’t choose it any more than you choose the headaches. Please remember ,Its not your fault, you seem to be trying to do what you know you can do to help yourself even if depressed brain doesn’t see it that way. But depressed brain can suck a dick.
    All the best and just ask if you need anything.

  8. Wendy

    You are one brave lady. Migraine is hell, i went through it daily too but amitryptiline helped me. Good luck and i hope the docs can help x

  9. Jodi

    Hi Erin and happy birthday to you.

    I feel you, sister! I’ve been through all that.

    Here’s a couple of things to consider:

    * I know you said you are being cared for by three doctors. Are they communicating with each other about your medications?

    * Have you consulted a gynecologist? I know that may sound off, but hormonal changes can reek havoc with our bodies in a wide variety of ways.

    Most importantly, and I know this may be hard for you to recognize right now, but what I’m seeing is a beautiful, young woman who, despite ALL this S**T is still managing to have faith and find hope:

    “Maybe my eyes can adjust to the dark. Maybe I can learn to walk in the night. No, I wouldn’t want this for anyone, but sometimes we don’t get what we want. Sometimes we have to take what we’re given and make the best of it.

    I sure as hell have to try.”

    That statement is testament to your strength and resiliency. Don’t lose that. You’ll get through it. We’re all bucking for you!


  10. J

    You are incredibly inspiring, Erin.

    It goes without saying that I really, really hope you find a way through and beyond this. Happy Birthday, Erin, or at least the very best birthday that is possible. I respect you so much, and I wish it were better for you.

  11. jessica

    Dear Erin,
    Thank you for sharing this, you sound in a very vunerable place at the moment and I am sorry to hear you are struggling. Your blog offers inspiration to many, including myself.
    However, in the depths of our own despair it is hard to see our self worth. It is there within you, just having a rest.
    Migraines are debilertating, I suffered for 4 years, receiving injections in the base of my skull and medication. I tried various alternative and complementary therapies which did help ease the symptoms. Reiki healing worked well for me, but the catalyst for change was my body psychotherapist. Depression in latin means to depress, so whenever I start to feel that decline into that god awful void, I ask myself “what am I depressing?”. There has usually been a build up, on a subconscious level, but our body expresses what we bury.

    I know it is not easy but getting out what is bottled up, do you have anyone you can trust and feel safe with, to offer a listening ear and warm heart. For me working on a cognitive level is not always the way forward, a simple hug can offer a place of solace.

    If you would like to feel connected to my experiences, please read my poems on, they are dark and some may say depressing, but they are a reflection of my life and feelings in a very transparent way.

    Love Jessica

  12. Daisy

    Happy Birthday wishes from the daisy across the ocean. Bruises and all your blog helps me enormously. X

  13. Nom

    Hi Erin, I just found your blog, and want to express my sympathy – and respect. I’ve just completed coming off anti-depressants, because of side effects I can’t put up with anymore. I’m finding it tough, because they had really helped my mood, and changed everything really. But I’m feeling some optimism for the future, and that’s partly because of reading wonderful blogs like yours! Thanks for your honesty and bravery in talking about your situation. You’re helping to give a voice to the millions of people who feel they can’t speak publicly about their own experiences.

  14. Nick Stokes

    I am very sorry that you have to struggle both with depression and migraine Erin. I hope some solution will appear soon.
    If that may help, my company just finished an article about depression. You can read it and maybe find something useful for yourself. Do you want me to send you the link?

  15. Krystal Craiker

    Antidepressants can have some nasty side effects for sure. The one I’m on now is the only one that I’ve ever had that makes me feel normal, but I still can’t function without my therapist. I for sure want to avoid some of the nastier drugs out there. Hang in there!

  16. Andrea Zissos

    Remember your own words!

    “Recognize your strength. You can’t feel strong without accepting that you have strength. It takes strength to exist. If you’re existing, you are strong.”

    I wrote a blurb that will soon be featured on a new Duluth website about my current view on life, growth, etc. and I noted how inspiring your blog was to me and especially this quote above!!! You will never know what your words have done for me. 2 years ago I became agoraphobic due to the circumstances I was living with and now I feel like I am myself again. You will get there. You just have to ‘recognize your stength’. <3 Remember, if you're ever in Duluth, Mn – Give me a call! Keep Blooming, Erin!

    ~Andrea (29, Duluth, Mn)

  17. Meesha

    As I sat here in my own tears of frustration I read your blog and want you to know that I am one of the people who can not take anti deps at all. They cause my anxiety to get worse and cause visual disturbances. I am generally hyper sensitive to anything even supplements. I am usually so envious of those who can take the meds as the side effects aren’t for everyone. Everytime I have an episode I go back to my psychologist and start working again. I get out but it takes time….in the smallest of spaces hope is there and I so hope that there could be a better resolution for you. Thinking of you and happy to write if you ever need an ear from someone sho doesn’t tolerate the dude effects either.

  18. Mandi

    I took lexapro for 5 years. I finally got fed up with how it made me so numb. It took me 6 months to wean myself off. I still struggle with staying positive and trying to not get lost in my head so much but I am happy I was able to get off my medicine.

    It’s really inspiring and encouraging to find someone else how there who is willing to open up about the dark parts of depression. Thank you for your honesty and vulnerability.

  19. Roma

    Happy belated birthday! (Sorry if it was a sad one.)

    And I’m sorry if I repeat anything others have said (didn’t read above comments fully) but I’ve heard that Advil with Tylenol at first sign of migraine helps. But it sounds like yours may be induced by your other meds…..which is obviously unfortunate. I’m sure others have also suggested switching your daily meds and hopefully the migraines won’t be so bad. A third possibility (which I really, really hope isn’t the case) is that the headaches could be a sign of something worse like a tumor. Overall, I’m sorry to probably just be repeating things that others have said but I really just want to help. I hope things get better for you soon so that you can enjoy the rest of 2016. *hug*

  20. Agata

    If you need someone to talk to. Or you feel abandoned and without support. Or you are deeply convinced that there is no hope for you, that you will have to suffer for the rest of miserable days… please visit 7Cups[.]com.

    This community will listen to your heartaches, will stay with you on your bad and good times, help you with getting some calm, and more. They will never judge you.

    7Cups brought my faith in humanity back. I’m glad that I’ve found it and proud to become part of compassion advocates. Talking to someone can make a real difference and we are here for you.

  21. Nemya

    I’ve seriously fell behind in checking in. I’m so sorry to hear you have to make such a difficult decision. I hope that something gives so you can enjoy life again. Seems despite living with mental illness you had a pretty full life. I wish the best for you as you continue to taper down. And thank you for sharing.

  22. Henry

    Stay strong! My wife suffers from depression and I see the impact it has on her. It must be tough to try handle this without immdeiate family in the house.

  23. Ralph McCutchen

    Thank you for this blog. I have only recently acknowledged that I suffer from depression. It’s been a long road. In accepting and learning how to deal with it, I came across this. Stay strong and thank again.

  24. The Anxiety Guy

    Medication worked against me rather then help me. It felt like a mask, or a band-aid rather then a solution. Once I changed my mindset to look at outer things as a sidekick to my anxiety recovery, I started to put less pressure on myself to recover. Love your blog keep it up. is my anxiety disorder recovery story.

  25. Jolene

    Hi Erin,

    I am not sure if this will help you in any way but I just wanted to let you know that tonight was the first time I say your blog, and it felt life changing. I finally found someone that I can relate to on a whole other level. Being severely depressed at the moment, all I could think about was how dying would be a better option. But reading your blog has made me question that. It was a spark in my dark world. Thank you so much for creating this and making a difference. Good luck with everything!

  26. Murfomurf

    Dear Erin, you seem to have the opposite problem to the one I have! And I don’t mean I only get migraines when I am happy or that being happy gives me migraine! I suffered irregular and nasty migraines especially when I was coming down from a stressful experience like an exam or interview. I had a few episodes of howling depression but they only lasted a few weeks and responded to a short course of old-fashioned tricyclics. Then at about 33 years old I had one awfully severe migraine where I could hardly see and felt partly paralysed on the left. After that I never had another migraine in my life. It is now 30 years later and I have had moderate to severe depression ever since that time. There is no point going off medication except when changing over to a new one as I swiftly become so suicidal I need to devote all my time to staying alive. I always need an extra high dose of any antidepressant and I think that is due to my liver enzymes chewing through them very efficiently. So on a low dose I am suicidal and my migraines might come back and on a high dose I am able to carry on a “normal” life about 33% of the time but spend the rest in time-filling activities (like chasing relatives through Ancestry or doing brain teaser puzzles) due to the mental effort of staying moderately cheerful. I think the best anti depressant for me (when it was working – over 5 years) was Prozac and I am now on Effexor (so far about 4 years OK but a lot of time-filling). I am wondering if you can achieve any better mood and minimum migraine using my info??? See if there is any ryme or reason to your own odd pattern. Good luck. Hugs through the ether!

  27. Brie

    I’ve been dealing with this battle too (migraines and metal health). I stopped taking 2 of my 3 medications and it was a huge challenge. I wasn’t sure I would be able to stay off them, but I did and I feel better overall.
    So sorry to hear about your chronic migraines. It’s just about the worst pain there is and it’s so frustrating.
    I hope something helps soon!
    I love your blog.
    I’ve started one too :) but not as great as yours!
    Miss you. Have been thinking about you recently.

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