I have been off Lexapro for a week now. It’s my first time with 0mg since my first hospitalization in 2012. Late last year, I started taking Latuda, which is for bipolar depression. It seemed like a good time to try weaning myself off of the Lexapro.
I take a lot of meds. I used to be concerned about how the pills were “changing me,” but I realized that all of the pills do is help balance me to a point where I can function normally. It seems to go against logic, but I am able to be more myself when I artificially add the chemicals that my brain lacks.
Recently I have become aware of a part of the mental health community that concerns me. Just thinking about it is making me cry right now. There are people who say that I use my pills as a “crutch.” That instead of learning techniques to control my patterns of thinking and behaving, I pop pills.
I have been struggling as I have been decreasing my Lexapro. I notice that I’m having a tougher time dealing with stress, I have been more emotional, and I am having more thoughts about self harm. I don’t know if this is because of the dosage change, stressful circumstances, or a combination of both.
I’m meeting with my psychiatrist on Monday, and we’ll be discussing whether or not I should stay off of the Lexpro. Part of me wants to show that I can manage without it – that I can use the coping skills I’ve learned in therapy. I feel like if I can get through the months of April and May, I’ll be fine. But the other part of me doesn’t want to tempt a disaster. I can’t afford to have a bad episode during these next couple months.
I honestly don’t know what to do. It is entirely possible that I would be feeling this way even with the Lexapro; things are very stressful right now. I’m still functioning. I’m going to class, doing my work, and participating in activities.
For me, it’s not a question of whether or not I will take medication. It’s a question of how much. Without the Lexapro, I’m still taking seven pills a day. I don’t think I will ever be completely drug-free, but part of me would like to embrace this chance to reduce the number of chalky tablets I put into my body.
Ultimately, I need to make this decision myself. That said, I am still interested in other opinions. It’s important to note that saying no to Lexapro right now doesn’t mean that I can never go back on it. I think that all of us have different ways of dealing with our conditions and that we shouldn’t feel shame in taking medication or choosing not to take it anymore. I’m just trying to figure out which way is right for me.