Monday, May 9, 2016

Medication Increase?

Wow.  Rough week, friends.  Same old heavy stuff.

I've been reading through some old journal entries (see the post Being Diagnosed - Part 1) which are very interesting.  Initially, reading through the ways I was feeling 12 years ago helped me remember that the slump I'm in now will get better.  God has always brought me through the valleys.  But then the depressive thoughts arrived - why am I STILL dealing with this?  I just want to be healed.

Every couple of months since the beginning of the year, I have had 1-2 weeks of difficulty, then I am back to managing the illness well for about the next 6 weeks.  And then I hit the next slump.  Each time the slump feels unbearable.  I desperately search for help and do the cognitive and therapeutic work I know I need to do to get out.  I cry out to God and work through it by His sustaining grace.  And I get better.  There are still hard days, but overall I do okay.  And after about a month-and-a-half, I fall into the slump again, which is where I am now.

Because this keeps happening (this is my 4th slump since November), I'm wondering if I need to increase my medication.  Under normal circumstances, the dosage of Zoloft that I am on is perfect for me.  I had three really good years (end of 2012-end of 2015) during which my second child was born.  When I found out that I was pregnant with Baby #3 at the end of 2014, I decreased the dosage because I was doing so well and wanted less of the medicine to reach the baby.  I did well on the decreased dosage until two months postpartum (November), and then I fell hard.  I went back up to the "sweet spot" dosage of Zoloft, and it did help me feel better.  But these slumps keep coming.  Thankfully none of the ones since November have been nearly as bad, but they just keep returning.  (You can see more of my mental health journey here.)

should I increase my medication?

I want to continue to breastfeed my daughter, so that's another factor in whether or not to increase.  Should I just stick it out until she's completely weaned (13 months)?  I'm making it (even though I'm miserable at times).  Is it worth suffering through the dips that happen over the next 5 months in order to keep breastfeeding?  I've been told that Zoloft is one of the safest mental health medications to take while breastfeeding, so that's good.  Maybe an increase won't even make a difference.

I'm going to talk to my therapist (and maybe my psychiatrist's nurse practitioner) about this and see what he says.  Here is my hope: my therapist will think an increase in dosage is a good idea, the nurse practitioner will increase my dosage, and I will still be able to breastfeed the baby.

If not, I'll probably just stick it out.  Prayers are much appreciated.