Two years ago, I went through a VERY deep and dark depression…

Long story short, I went to see a therapist as well as a psychiatrist. It’s a well-kept secret that I had been on depression/anxiety medication…until now. I feel that I need to share my story with others so that you know you are not alone and yes, even a social butterfly like me isn’t always as happy as she appears. Surprise!!

I have been to three different psychiatrists (not by choice-thanks, CalOptima!) *that’s sarcasm*

Each one of them very nice and very “in tune” with my symptoms and how to help me pull out of this.

For the first six months, I was placed on Prozac 20mg. All that did was make me irritable, lazy and overeat so much that I felt like a fat stuffed pig. I did feel “happier,” but now I was drowning my insides with food. The more I could get booked on jobs in Hollywood, the more I was able to eat, so working did me NO good…ironic, isn’t it? I think I took this for maybe four months?

So, I then went to the then current psychiatrist to tell her of my dilemma. She told me about Effexor XR and how it was “weight neutral” and may indeed make me feel better. So, I remember having to sort of “slide” into taking this drug in order to avoid any short of “shock” to my brain due to the difference in medication. I did pretty good with the 75mg dose (very low) for about two months.

Shortly thereafter, I started to feel the effects of depression again. You see where this is going, don’t you? Well, I went up to 150mg and have stayed there ever since. The time-lapse has been about one year now.

Recently, I was assigned to yet ANOTHER provider. She’s really great and wanted to know if I was ready to come off the medicine. I was like…”AM I?” God has sent me a miracle! (I thought to myself)

So, I’m happy to say that as of Sept. 23rd, I have been reduced back down to 75mg. I will be on this smaller dosage for three months and then down to 32.5 for another three months. After that, it’s goodbye medication!!

Although, I have talked to people who have come off Effexor and lived to tell about it (Actors and Comedians names I respectfully withhold), I thought, why not make a blog about my experience with this in order to help some other people learn what to expect. I’ve heard this a lot: “Norma Jean, it’s NOT fun!” Me: “Oh joy.”

Well, here we are, I’m ready to struggle through anything this thing dishes out. I just hope I can give a clear description to all of you of what I’m going through, feeling emotionally and physically.

I’m sure this will make me a better actress! *ha*

So, today is September 29th….I will be adding to this blog instead of creating more and more entries, so watch for additional dated entries here.

September 29th:

Feeling like I can’t get comfortable! I’m irritable, can’t seem to focus on any one thing for too long. At the same time, I’m telling myself this will all be over by morning. I hope to God it is!! At moments today, I felt like I wanted to scream and climb out of my skin. Every little noise was intensified and I couldn’t stand to hear any noise that I wasn’t making myself-what an awful feeling.

Last night I had a vivid dream just like I remember when I started taking the medication. Thank goodness, this was a good dream about a new home I had just bought vs. the nightmarish creatures that were present so many times.

I’m sweating easily…I never sweat, really. I can’t drink enough water and I’m feeling like I don’t want to do anything (physically).

I know darn well I need to exercise every day through this, but today I wanted no part of it. I just wanted nothing more to get all the work caught up on my computer. Did that happen? No! Why? Because of all the breaks, I have to keep getting up and literally shaking my limbs. I feel tense, uneasy and jittery.

So….(in Wendy Williams voice) how you doin’?


About normajeanactress

Funny Red-headed Character Actress SAG/AFTRA

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