To medicate or not to medicate

Shortly after D-day, I went to the doctor.  My vitals were so out of whack that she asked me if something had happened to me.  So I told her briefly that I had just found out that my husband had been having an affair.  She was wonderful in her response and put me at ease.  She asked me if I needed medication to sleep or to help with depression.  I just automatically said no.  I tend to be very sensitive to medications and I don’t take anything unless I absolutely have to.

Coach James, though, says that A LOT of people take various drugs for depression and sleep when they are in recovery after an affair.  So I’m wondering… do you take stuff?  What do you take?  Does it help?

Even though I have developed fibromyalgia, I still don’t take anything besides a pain reliever and Sudafed.  Sudafed is the oddest thing for me.  Since I am so sensitive to medications, Sudafed – pseudoephedrine – is also strong for me.  It acts like a stimulant.  It takes away a lot of my physical pain from the fibro so I can still do martial arts and fitness classes.  I have to do a long extended and gradual period of warm-ups that other people don’t, but after that, I’m ready to go and have only lost a little bit of my mobility.   I only take it for my weekend classes, which are the most rigorous.  Otherwise, I will build up a resistance and have to take more and more – like a drug addict.

The stimulant effect also helps me to get things done.  I only take it once in the morning, but it keeps me pumped for much of the day.  During the week when I don’t take it, I sometimes have difficulty focusing on getting things done and I am much more depressed.  Hmmm… so I guess I am medicating, but only on weekends, and only with non-prescription stuff.

How about you?

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35 thoughts on “To medicate or not to medicate

  1. Amy says:

    I am about to have to get back on anti-depressants. I fought it, but I have battled depression for years. I have prayed and finally realized that taking the medication isn’t a sign of weakness. I used to feel that way but I am not weak. I just have a medical condition. It is getting in the way of me actually living. Some people have this condition periodically and I have it ongoing. Some times of year are much worse than others. This time of year is really bad for me. It is the beginning of winter and the start of a period of time when many are affected by SAD (seasonal affective disorder). If you and your doctor feel you need it, it is your business and no one else’s. If depression is clouding your ability to live, then maybe you need it. It is a hard decision to make. I have fought this decision so many times and have finally realized I am not defective because I need meds. My body needs seratonin and norepinephrine in order to feel better and it hasn’t been producing it correctly. I hope whatever decision you make that you feel better! Hugs!!!

  2. Not Over It says:

    Hi Amy – yes, it is a medical condition that some people suffer from, and there is nothing wrong with that. One of my daughters has depressive tendencies, and uses SAD lamps every winter.

    But for me, I am not used to this. I am an optimist by nature and have never been down for long. Certainly not for two years, like I have been with this situation. But this situation calls for more than a pep talk or watching a movie with a whole container of ice cream.

    I just wanted to know if my friends here are all on meds or not, and what seems to work the best. It sure seems like a lot of people take meds these days…

    Hope you are doing well…
    DJ

  3. Liberty says:

    DJ…I do take an anxiety med once in awhile. I try to not, but sometimes I just feel the anger and anxiety building up and I think it’s better to take something before I lose it! I honestly think if I was doing my exercise that I wouldnt need it but right now I am not doing anything. I have always been into fitness and in every situation where I have felt upset I would go for a run or workout and feel better but not this time. So, my answer to your question is I think sometimes medication totally helps. Struggling thru something without help is sometimes worse, I think!

    Take care….Liberty xoxo

    • Not Over It says:

      Hi Liberty – that’s what I am hearing here. Struggling through can be awful and sometimes meds makes that unnecessary.

      Right now, I don’t feel awful enough to feel that I require meds, but I do feel a great difference when I take the Sudafed. I get so much more done. Without it, I feel slow and unfocused. I do function, but not at the speed or with the focus that I do with Sudafed.

      Just letting thoughts roll around in my head for the past few days…

      Hope all is well with you, Liberty…

      Love & prayers,
      DJ

  4. emilylonging says:

    I’m on antidepressants and went back on lorazepam for the separation. I was off everything for a while but then shit hit the fan and I needed it again. Take it if you need it. The stress is probably worse for you. The lack of sleep makes it hard to make decisions. Why make your life harder at this difficult time, is my theory.

  5. I never went on drugs for depression. I suffered from severe PMS before menopause years ago and they put me on prozac but I took myself off after 6 months. It did help but I just didn’t like popping pills. Less then a week after D_Day I had a kidney stone and the dr gave me percoset and it was on the drugs that I calmed down and quit spinning. I only used it off and on for three weeks but I couldn’t believe how much it helped. I was able to sleep again and then able to make decisions. If I was still suffering I may have considered it but I feel like I’ve been able to make good decisions and pull myself up. But I sure can understand why people may need it..

    • Not Over It says:

      Sleep is so important. It is an issue for me. Last night I slept fairly well – I went to bed a full 8 hours before I needed to get up. I dropped off very quickly and slept peacefully for 3 hours. That was very good. Then I woke up and couldn’t go back to sleep. The doctor told me to get up and move around a bit when this happens, so I did. Then back to bed – it took about 30 minutes to fall asleep again, but I did, and slept for another 2.5 hours. After that I tossed and turned until my alarm went off. And that was a good night for me. It’s gotten much better since I started praying and meditating and doing Tai Chi.

      That much sleep is ok for me. I can function at work and go to exercise in the evening and be ok until 10:30pm. I do drink a cup of coffee somewhere in the day but it’s enough. I wouldn’t say I’m energetic but I can get everything necessary done.

      Before Dday, I used to sleep deeply and well. It would be nice to sleep like that again. I’ve heard that the sleep you get with meds is not a good sleep, but maybe it will be better than not enough sleep.

      Thank you, HE – hope you’re doing well today.

      Love & prayers,
      DJ

  6. nmwf1 says:

    Dj, I told you a while back about my horse riding accident and it left me very depressed. I was already taking medication for attention deficit, but my depression got so bad along with Trauma disorder that the Dr. put me on different medications effexor, zoloft, and a few others, not all at once but trying different ones to see if they worked, all of them gave me side effects, (headaches, yawning effect,other things) until he put me on good old Prozac . it did the trick all right to help with depression. you basically go around kind of happy. However;, One day my Mom and i were going for a walk and my Mom stopped and looked at me and I realized she was having a heart attack, (911 drama) OK to make a long story short, she had open heart surgery, and the whole family was in the waiting area and one of the Dr’s came in to say how things were going in there and he said that her heart was only working at 20 percent and they didn’t really expect her to pull through. Ok everyone got upset, thinking she was going to die, But, Oh No. not me on Prozac, i didn’t so much as frown, I was just optimistic and thought everyone was over reacting. My mother did pull through. (THANK GOD!) Everyone thought i was in shock and was afraid to cry, cause they know I was very close to my Mother. But really I remember just being numb, not really happy, but not sad either, I know the Prozac was the culprit. it does work to alter your mood. but I kind of weaned myself off of them because I simply did not feel the proper emotions for the events around me. Prozac can have sexual side effects to (ugh!!) Anyway, medications work differently for everyone. Its not a bad thing if it helps you to cope. And there certainly isn’t any shame in them. They make them for a reason. Sometimes life just gives you that reason to take them. .I still take meds for attention deficit. i am taking anxiety med as needed, because a few months ago I was heading for a nervous breakdown, and I continue to have a lot of stress and anxiety attacks. Good luck in your decision! (Its not as if you are taking drugs off the street, my dear LOL) The Dr, monitors you closely!

    • Not Over It says:

      Hey NM – that reminds me of something that happened when I first went on blood pressure meds a number of years ago – I knew I felt extraordinarily calm and quiet. We were at a party and my son choked. He needed the heimlich manuveur done. I was CPR and first-aid certified and knew I needed to stand up to help him, but I was so slow that a friend got to my son first and did the manuveur before I even took a step. I was horrified. What if I needed my normally speedy reflexes? Should I even be driving?

      We did discover that the dosage was way too strong – one of my first clues that I am sensitive to all drugs in general. But the whole thing just scares me to death… I’m thinking of trying something just to help me sleep.

      Hope your day is going well…

      Love & prayers,
      DJ

  7. Paula says:

    I have never taken meds in my life before, other than a couple of times needing antibiotics with severe mastitis! I was prescribed for about 22ish months after Dday, my psychologist sent me to a psychiatrist, and we fiddled around with tricyclics, SSRIs, and dose rates. Anti-anxiety meds were thrown in the mix. I liked the shrink, he was very understanding, but none of this worked at all for me. I stuck at it for around 9 months (trying new “magic pills,” waiting desperately for them to work) but nothing ever got in the slightest bit better. Funnily enough, I didn’t think I was clinically depressed, and all three of the anti-anxiety drugs I tried made me panic – so I gave up on those. I thought I was just dealing with delayed, or drawn out, grief. I gained back most of the weight that had fallen off me (and I had kept off very healthily for nearly two years) VERY quickly, when put on the tricyclics, and THAT made me depressed, LOL! I don’t like the idea of meds, either, but I am also very aware that some people need them to balance the chemicals in their brains, the same way diabetics need insulin, and this is a very stressful time, so no shame in it at all. ( I say that, but I felt like a loser for needing to resort to them, silly, I know, especially when they didn’t work one iota for me!)

    • Not Over It says:

      I’m glad you told me that. It reminds me that I am so sensitive to drugs in general that it would be scary to start. If there is a side effect, I will probably get it. The last time I took Benadryl, it knocked me out for several hours, and then I was groggy for two days. Hmmm… lots to think about.

      Thanks again…

      Love & prayers,
      DJ

  8. After our first DDay, no I didn’t. Just therapy. After this nuclear second DDay??? I *had* to. The anxiety attacks were overwhelming. For 2 months I was on klonopin and I’m also on zoloft. I’ve thought about weaning off the zoloft, but I’m still not in the right head space to do it yet. Not at all. (I had a major flip out last night where I was a sobbing mess). Between that and therapy it’s the only thing that’s keeping me barely hanging on.

    • Not Over It says:

      Oh Sam, you are still in the worst part of pain – and your second Dday was so awful – I think you are handling things very well. I had an anxiety attack on Saturday, and I haven’t been sleeping well. For me, I think it’s because it is finally hitting me that this is my life now – my mind still fights it tooth and nail. So that’s why I asked about meds. Anxiety attacks after more than two years? It feels like I’m falling apart sometimes.

      My brother’s wife had an affair and he was on Zoloft for a long time. He said it was the only thing that kept him sane.

      How is your husband doing? Is he settling into his new job? Tell me a little bit when you feel up to it – no pressure to answer me right away… I just think about you and wonder how it’s all going.

      Love & prayers,
      DJ

      • You know, I think that realization is hitting me too, since technically I’ve been living with the fact that infidelity has invaded my life for 16 months now. That my life is forever changed. But then when the second DDay hit it was like a HUGE truck hitting me and dragging me behind it and it’s driving cross-country.

        His job is going well, he really likes it a lot. He’s got 6 more weeks of training left and then he’ll be at his actual location which is only 20 minutes from home. (YAY). I’m up and down and all over the place. I”m worried about the holidays because he was out of work for so long. 5 kids, gifts, money…*sigh* It’s hard to explain that to little kids.

        I totally feel you on the anxiety attacks. The other night I was sobbing and like hyperventilating at the same time. Ugly mess. I have therapy this tuesday and I can’t wait.

      • Not Over It says:

        Sam, you are so good at analogies that get the point across! The truck is driving cross-country… I love it. Not that you are on this long, drawn-out thing, but you know… I love the analogy.

        Acceptance… it’s a hard pill to swallow. It pains me so much to know, too, that whether I stay or leave, the damage has been done to my soul. Like you, I feel the weight of being forever changed.

        But after all this time, I compartmentalize better than before, and I am planning to have a wonderful holiday weekend. I hope your holiday is everything you want it to be.

        I’m glad your husband is enjoying his new adventure, though I totally get that there must be all kinds of triggers in it for you. The money is an added stress. I pray every day that God will take your circumstances, which were created by other people’s bad choices, and turn it all around for your good.

        Somehow I always smile when I think of you. You cheered me on when I was still at the bottom of those dark holes, and I will forever be grateful.

        May God bless Thanksgiving for you and yours…

        Love & prayers,
        DJ

  9. Exercisegrace says:

    The three years the AP was in our life was pure hell for me. The lies, the deception, the denials, the fighting, the pleading for truth. I managed all that with no meds. When the truth blew up in my face the month after she walked out of the business, (for those late to the party they ran a business and their affair out of our home. He had sex with her in the same bed). I was devastated. From there we went through her crazy stalker behavior, legal threats and money grubbing. Still no meds. Now? Nine months after d-day it’s like I have suddenly fallen in a pit. My husband thinks I should be, if not over it, at least much further along. I realize this has got to stop dominating my thoughts during the day. I acknowledge we can’t rebuild if I keep reminding him every day of my pain. I know we MUST start having some positive interactions. But with no history of depression, I feel incredibly resentful that I have to consider taking a brain altering drug because of his and his whores selfish choices. Absolutely bawling as I type this. How did this become my life? What mistakes deserve having the person you love and trust most ruin your life?

    • Exercisegrace, I feel your pain as I read here and I/we understand you, luckily in this situation you are not alone. I am over 2 years after DDay and only now I feel that we are getting somewhere and communicating properly and that I am not going to fall into pieces every time I think about the destruction of our lives, as you have expressed here, by the person we trusted and loved most. At 9 months past DDay, there is no way you can be over it! I at this stage was still raging and falling apart, and questioning. How can you not to? You are still trying to make sense of this mess. Falling in and out of this sad pit is part of the hard work that goes into healing. It is not easy, but you will have better days ahead of you. Your husband is twice a fool if he believes that you are able to do that. If all the years that you shared before the affair, has been completed altered by his affair,actions and lies that goes with it, and changed you and your relationship forever ! and he believes that you can just get over it! He should better think and search deep inside himself if what he asks of you, is at all humanly possible. I dont think so.
      Be kind to yourself and accept your emotions. Cry if you need to. Be angry if you have to (controlled anger if need to be) . But also find the strength somewhere inside you, to also when calm, talk about what you want for your future. What you have to do to get to a better place in your lives. Tell him that you will still be angry at times. I am back to counseling because there is still so much I can not deal with. But, I am stronger now too. Dont let anyone dictate how you should feel. Feel “the feelings” in your body, and than work through it, then let it go.

      My husband and I started taking herbal sleeping pills as we just could not sleep after the disaster that destroyed our lives. We also started taking some herbal pills which is supposed to just calm you down and help you to get through the day! Although my counselor asked me to talk to my doctor about anti-depressant, I did not want to. I felt that I needed to understand openly how my pain was changing me. I was also afraid of having these pills in my hand and just lose control and do what I wished most: disappear! To cope I learned meditation, I exercised, I sat in the park for hours until I was freezing and had to move on, I walked without direction for as long as I could bear. I did everything I could to distract my mind. Many times I wanted to take anything that would dull the pain, but somehow I did no do it!
      But I am not in any form against it. If it helps, I believe that you should take it! There are no rules for right and wrong in this process, only the things that works for each individual.

      • Exercisegrace says:

        Thank you for your kind words. They mean more than you can know. The support, the affirmation of normal, that many others have made it through this pain.
        He just wants it to be over. He hates her, she showed her evil ways and that was a twisted blessing as she unleashed some real crazy. For me it is not so simple. I am deeply hurt. Somehow he thinks I should just “know” that wasn’t who he really is. I should just pop back to the man I knew loved and trusted and believed in for thirty years. I don’t think he knows how long and hard this road really is.

    • Not Over It says:

      HI EG – Like Trytoowife said, you are still so new to the pain – we were all in a similar state at 9 months. Those pits – I call them dark holes – they seem to appear out of nowhere sometimes and once you fall in, it is hard to climb out. Since recovery is not a straight line, you may run across dark holes a number of times as you work through the mess.

      I still cry and grieve over my life. How did I end up here? No one I knew before would have imagine that this would be me today. It’s a hard thing to accept. I understand your feelings.

      We will make it, EG. We really will.

      Love & prayers,
      DJ

      • Exercisegrace says:

        Oh DJ, you are so right. I am down in the darkest, deepest pit yet. What I wouldn’t give for a glimpse of daylight. Mostly I an struggling with the twisted beliefs my husband has. Stupid things like…. I never thanked him for the house he built for us, or appreciated all the hard work he did while building it. Really? Sorry sugar, but that’s your slut filter at work. How does he expect us to rebuild our marriage when he doesn’t even remember who I WAS for most of it? He says he loves me, he wants us back, he’ll do anything. But all these false beliefs? How do you get past that? How cruel to twist someone’s world. Turn them into someone they weren’t.

      • Not Over It says:

        Affair fog – I am still dealing with that. My husband convinced himself that I was impossible to live with and that was why he had to go find someone else. We had actually been very happy until he received her contact info.

        My children and I have all experienced the change in his attitudes and his rewriting of our history. We just have to deal with each notion as it comes up.

        Our second marriage counselor helped in this area by pointing out some discrepancies in our stories. My husband will still fight me on it, but he does know that he was deluded, and he will sometimes listen. Sometimes not. We are going to go back to counseling to get some of this stuff straightened out.

        My husband also feels that I was never appreciative of him or what he did for the family. So not true… anybody who knew me pre-affair knew that I talked about my husband a lot, and that I thought he was a great husband. When I remind him of events where I showed my appreciation he looks at me like I’m an alien. And then sometimes he’ll remember reality… sometimes not. So we need counseling… more like a third party to act as mediator.

        I used to listen to the music from Braveheart when I was in one of those dark holes. It helped when I needed to feel the pain and experience it. It didn’t do much good to fight it. With acceptance comes the realization that you will come out of it when the time is right for you. I’ll pray that it won’t be long.

        Love & prayers,
        DJ

  10. Walt says:

    I didn’t need meds after D-Day. Surprisingly, about a month after filing for divorce (2 months after d-day) I started to have panic attacks. I wasn’t concerned about the divorce itself – I was very concerned about the impact on my kids. I was also having trouble sleeping.

    My Dr. prescribed some anti-anxiety pills which I took off and on for 6 months. I hated taking them as they gave me a headache and made me sleepy.

    If you need them, take them. If you can get by without, I’d personally go that route.

    • Not Over It says:

      Thank you, Walt. That is me exactly – anxiety attacks and trouble sleeping. For me right now, I feel like I’m losing myself. I am not me anymore. Even my daughter says I am a shell of who I used to be.

      If there is a side effect to any medication, I will get it. I guess I’ll try some herbal pills like Tryingtoowife said.

      Hope all is well with you –
      DJ

  11. Angel wings says:

    Hi everyone!
    Unfortunately I am on anti anxiety-depression meds. I think for the first four myths after Dday I was too shocked and numb to really feel anything. I was in that state of mind of trying to do everything I could to save my marriage. All this was during the summer mths. Then at about the 4th month mark the anxiety and depression kicked in full force. I am an elementary school teacher so the stress of work added to it all too. I was becoming impatient with my students (which is very inlike me). It was at this point that I knew I was going to need help keeping my emotions in control. I was on a low dose of celexa and that was enough for me. I was on them for about six months then stopped using them all together. I was in a better state by then. Ianaged to stay off of them only taking th here an there as needed for about 5 months. On top of my H EA there have been many other changes in our lives in the past year. One of them is that we are now empty nesters. Of course this brought my depression back on and with school beginning at the same time I am back on the meds again. I’m lucky they have worked for me and I can take them as needed. (Which seems to be most days). I understand they are not for everyone but if you feel you need a little extra help them the choice is there for you. I thankful the holidays are not a trigger for me so I’m trying to not take them at this time while I’m off from work, but I understand holidays can be a tough time for many. They do numb you quite a bit and can keep you from feeling “real” emotions. I used to cry at every little thing from commercials to quotes. Now I don’t cry as easily because of the meds. Weigh your pros and cons and the choice is yours. Peace to all during this week of thanksgiving.

    • Not Over It says:

      Hi Angel Wings – good to hear from you. I have heardd that some of those meds keep you from feeling the highs and the lows, so that you are somewhere in the gray area all the time. But if the lows are making life miserable, I guess that’s a better option.

      My lows are not so bad now. I probably should have been on something during the first year when the pain was so agonizing and I wasn’t functioning very well. Live and learn…

      Since I am so sensitive to meds, I think maybe the herbals will be a good start. If my marriage keeps going on its present path, though, I will probably need something stronger in the near future. Thank you for helping me think through all of this.

      Love & prayers,
      DJ

  12. Libertyl says:

    I too tried the herbal sleep aids….didnt help with me, but I know they do for some. I am so tired (pardon the pun) of not sleeping either…last night I could not fall asleep either and my H woke up at 2 and I was still awake so we had a fight! So, it’s been a long day. I know how hard it is to try to function on little or no sleep and it’s hard! I work in a busy Dr office so I can not afford to make mistakes because I am tired! I guess at this point I have decided that lack of sleep is one of the pitfalls of this freaking mess!

    I hope you find some relief soon DJ…..

    • Not Over It says:

      Thank you, Liberty – I am going to try the herbals first. Since I am so sensitive to meds, maybe they will work for me. Yes, I haven’t had a good night’s sleep in two years. Hopefully I’ll find some relief – I’ll let you know what works for me…

  13. DJ I am sorry! somehow my post was doubled here. If possible you can delete it please.
    These herbal pills we take are a blend of herbs such as hops, valerian and passion flower, there is a good selection of them around, and they are so safe that it can be bought over the counter. I am, like you, very sensitive to meds and these pills makes me calmer and therefore I can sleep, but they are not strong enough for my husband, but he likes the feeling of calm they produce on him. For him I buy something stronger, not herbal, from the same brand, and he takes it only sometimes, when he becomes too tired for lack of sleep. But this is all we take. We both learned to cope with life with little sleep, that is the truth! Then one day we just crush in bed out of exhaustion, then the circle starts again! I am learning to deal with my anxiety, on my counseling sessions. Will share with you at some point, when it all makes more sense! Love and prayers for you DJ and for everyone here.

    • Not Over It says:

      Hi TTW – something seems screwy with WordPress… I can’t get the comments and the replies to match up… oh well… I always say the name of the person in my opening, so we can figure it out.

      Thank you for the names of the herbs. I will start looking for some. My husband also has trouble sleeping since Dday, so he’ll appreciate some help with that as well.

      Love & prayers,
      DJ

  14. I sometimes joke that I’m unipolar–all up and that could be because I’m ADD. I didn’t go on any medication and have never been on antidepressants. My sleep was sporadic for about 6 weeks–not saying it was good after that. So to get rest I practiced meditating. I also saw a hypnotherapist. It was about 6 weeks after Bomb Drop when Sweetheart moved to his apartment–and a few weeks after that into the alienator’s house. He came and left a bunch of times over the next 3.5 years, but the severe anxiety was limited to those first weeks after Bomb Drop.
    Personally I want to be against pharmaceuticals, but then I didn’t need them and I realize that for so many others they are a necessity just to get you up enough to where can bring yourself up more.

  15. AngelWings says:

    Hi DJ
    Finally have access to a computer (oh how I miss my laptop that our child took to college). Sorry for all the misprint. My comment was done off my phone. Hope that you had a great thanksgiving week and are finding some peace in your daily life. I’m thinking of trying some of the herbs also and hoping they will help so I don’t need to take a prescibed medication anymore. I’m happy to report that I only had to take meds once in the last 10 days. But I do feel the anxiety building up. Hoping to start walking again and that it will help ease some of the anxiety I feel. Trying hard to focus on the positive that has been going on in life and not dwell so much on the past (as much as it hurts). Need to find a way to keep moving forward. I hope that you find something that works for you and that things will continue to improve in your daily life. Peace

    • Not Over It says:

      Hi Angel – Oh, I know how it feels to be using only my thumbs on my phone when trying to write a nice note… I hate not being able to type 90 words a minute!

      I’ve been so busy that I haven’t looked at any of the herbals yet. Hopefully after this week, things will settle down a little.

      Glad you are connected. We will move forward together.

      Love & prayers,
      DJ

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