Off Antidepressants and Feeling Overly Emotional

Woman CryingThere are mixed feelings when it comes to antidepressants. Some people feel they are given too frequently to people who simply don’t understand that you can’t be happy all of the time. Others feel it is a necessary drug and many people do actually have the problem of a chemical imbalance in their brains. No matter which way you feel, I think we can all agree that taking medication is a serious matter and should not be taken lightly.

About two years into my treatment for chronic pain, it became painfully obvious that I was, in fact, depressed. I spent almost all day sleeping, was not a happy person, and frankly I had thought about suicide. I went to a psychologist and was prescribed an antidepressant as well as referred to an in house therapist. The medication (and therapy) did help some and I continued the medication up until my second surgery in November.

Unfortunately, after the second jaw surgery in November I had to discontinue it. Why you ask? Because we had to open the capsules and pour the little balls of medication into a suction feeding tube. This did not work. I don’t understand the physics of it, but it would just get stuck in the syringe and not come out the feeding tube. So I quite it cold turkey. This resulted in a week of crazy emotions and then I went back to feeling pretty normal. However, there are some differences I am noticing even eight weeks out. AntidepressantsCartoon

I should give you a disclaimer that I have always been a crier. I cry when I’m happy, I cry when I’m mad, and I definitely cry when I’m sad. So being overly emotional is not a weird thing for me. However, I have been crying more than usual. I cry during every episode of every TV show I watch. I find something sad, or touching, or amazing…and I cry. Same thing goes for books. I also have days where I wake up angry. Like today. I’m angry deep inside and everyone is annoying the crap out of me. Get out of my way world because I’m pissed! This is especially bad since I have a first date tonight.

So my question is, why am I so damn emotional? Am I still feeling the effects of getting off of my antidepressants? Or is this how people, or more accurately I, would normally feel? Even worse, am I experiencing the heightened emotions because I’m still suffering from depression? I need to see yet another doctor.

Do you have an opinion on what’s going on with me? Or have you ever gone off antidepressants and know how I feel? Leave a comment and let me know.

9 comments on Off Antidepressants and Feeling Overly Emotional

  1. painkills2
    January 21, 2015 at 4:47 pm (3 years ago)

    I was on anti-depressants for a long time, but that was awhile ago, and they were specifically prescribed for the treatment of chronic pain, not depression. Although back then (and still today), many doctors think pain is subjective enough to treat with mood stabilizers. If pain patients just get into a better mood, they’ll be able to better manage their pain. That works for some people, but not many.

    I hope you know that anti-depressants have been proven to only be a little more effective than a placebo — but if the placebo effect works, I say go for it.

    Since it was so long ago, I don’t recall if I had any withdraw symptoms after stopping one anti-depressant or another. But I do remember that these drugs either produced no effect or made me feel like I wasn’t myself — and at times, actually made me more depressed.

    But if you take any drug for awhile, it will change the way your brain works — it might make it work better, but then your brain will get lazy and allow the drug to do the work that it usually does. You just have to wait until that drug is completely out of your system and your brain catches up to what it’s supposed to be doing.

    Now that it’s been almost a month, have your moods normalized at all? Normal meaning you feel more in control of them.

    Reply
    • jaelinpalmer
      January 21, 2015 at 7:55 pm (3 years ago)

      My antidepressant was prescribed for depression, but it also helped the sympathetic nerve symptom, which was supposed to help my pain at least a little. While it didn’t help my pain, it did help somewhat with my depression. As I’m sure you know, pain inevitably leads to depression. My pain was so severe all I did was sleep. Literally. The doctors did emphasize that depression hurts too and can make my pain worse; I’m not sure if that’s true or not because I was so far down the pain rabbit hole nothing really made a difference.

      I did not know antidepressants are only a little more effective than a placebo. However, my family has a history of depression and antidepressants making a difference. I was not taking the antidepressant that normally helps my family members because the one I was taking helped with pain and I refused to try a new medication. Doctors were always experimenting with how I’d react to different medications and I just couldn’t take it anymore. So maybe a different antidepressant could have helped me more.

      That really sucks that your medication didn’t make you feel better, or even made you feel worse. My mom and dad helped me stand up for my health early on, so if something didn’t make me feel right we got off of it right away.

      I forgot to ask my pain doctor about why I still feel overly emotional when I saw him last, so I’m glad to hear that my brain is just catching up to the change. I stopped very suddenly and completely cold turkey, so it really was a big change.

      I actually do feel a little less emotional. I’m still crying a lot easier and harder than I used to, but I think maybe it’s just because I empathize with people’s pain more easily (even if it is fake pain on a TV show). I started tearing up while writing that last sentence. Ridiculous. Even though it doesn’t sound like it, I really have been doing a little better. I’m already a crier, the last thing I needed was for it to become even easier for me to blubber. Thank you so much for commenting. It’s nice to know I’m not alone.

      Reply
      • painkills2
        January 21, 2015 at 9:11 pm (3 years ago)

        People shouldn’t feel bad or ashamed about crying, like it’s something only weak people do. Heck, I cry at least once every day (usually more). Yesterday, it was the picture I posted under “This is why war should be banned” that made me cry.

        If we don’t cry sometimes, how would we know when we’re happy? 😀

        Of course you’re not alone — I had jaw surgery too, you know. Not as extensive as yours, but I can tell you that looking at the pictures of you after surgery and reading your story literally makes me cringe, like I can feel your pain.

        But I’m so glad you are doing better. What an intelligent, strong, and powerful woman you are — I’m impressed, and that doesn’t happen very often. Take care, young lady.

        Reply
        • jaelinpalmer
          January 22, 2015 at 12:19 am (3 years ago)

          Thank you so much! You have no idea how much that means to me. Sometimes I do feel weak for crying, but you’re right. Without sadness we wouldn’t know joy. I looked up the war post, that really touched me too.

          Even if your jaw surgery wasn’t as bad as mine, I’m still sorry you had to go through it. That just sucks. I appreciate your empathy.

          And as for your last comments: they made me cry in happiness. I’m trying so hard to keep moving forward despite all I’ve been through and your comments really made my day. Thank you for your well wishes. I truly wish you all the best!

          Reply
          • painkills2
            January 22, 2015 at 12:43 am (3 years ago)

            “Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion.” Truvy Jones, Steel Magnolias

  2. Jamie
    February 26, 2015 at 7:31 pm (3 years ago)

    Hi Jaelin,
    It’s funny I literally just pressed publish on my post when I just happened to come across your blog and see this one. We’re both kind of reaching out for help in a situation where we feel helpless. I totally understand the chronic pain thing, I hate taking medication it gets to a point where you feel you don’t know if it’s the pills making you feel a certain way or you’re just paranoid that it’s a side effect.

    I don’t have all the answers unfortunately. I’m trying to get off as many meds as possible, and try things alternatively that may help my moods. Have you tried simple things like meditation or even just soothing music to try and relax and change your mood, sorry i don;t mean to sound patronizing but I’m trying to re train my brain at the minute so I’m starting with simple stuff first !

    Hope you’re well
    All my love
    Jamie xox Reaping Beauty

    Reply
    • jaelinpalmer
      February 27, 2015 at 11:42 am (3 years ago)

      Hi Jamie!

      I really enjoyed your most recent post as well. Although I’m not happy that you have chronic pain, I’m glad that we found each other. Talking with someone who understands what you’re going through helps more than I ever thought it could.

      The medication thing is hard. I have been trying to get off all of my meds, and the gabapentin (or neurontin depending on the brand) is by far the worse. Then my doctor tells me I shouldn’t be feeling the effects as much as I am and I have to wonder: is it the pills or am I tricking my mind into thinking it’s worse than it is? It’s an exhausting cycle.

      I have tried just about everything. Meditation does help me feel less stressed, but it has never helped my pain. Same with the music. I am just about to give biofeedback another try though, so I understand the retraining your brain thing! Please let me know what works for you and what doesn’t. I would love to swap experiences so we can figure out the tricks most likely to help!

      So glad you stumbled upon my blog! I will definitely keep reading you posts!
      Wishing you extra spoons,
      Jaelin

      Reply

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  1. […] you can really understand. I am also planning on doing a separate post on this, but apparently me being so emotional is completely normal. My therapist says being on all of the medication was probably numbing my […]

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