Apathy or Drug Side-Effects

Apathy: I have recently discovered that the main reason why I wasn’t feeling alive or human was due to apathy which was a side effect of the 5-HTP I have been taking in fairly large doses for a number of years (doctor prescribed, by the way).  When I mentioned to my therapist how much better I felt even though all my “normal” chronic medical problems are still with me, we figured it had to be a result of taking a “drug holiday,” specifically from the anti-depressant stuff.  She told me that one of the side effects of most anti-depressants, and one that isn’t mentioned a lot, is apathy.  Well, it all makes sense now.  I just had no interest in anything and for ages I’ve had to push myself to do anything even when I knew once I got going I would enjoy it (like quilting, tutoring, etc).  I have just been forcing myself to care for me and my companions and to do what I knew I ought to be doing.

But it has been a continual uphill struggle.  I was raised with (or born with) the idea that one didn’t complain, one just pulled oneself up by one’s bootstraps and got on with what needed doing.  I have been fairly successful at that, but I get so tired from the forced effort.  But now that I’m off all those drugs, I’m finding that I actually want to do things.  I wake up in the morning now not bounding out of bed (I have never been a morning person) but with the thought that good stuff will happen and that I have nice things to do.  That is a real first for me.  I am still dealing with chronic pain, Hashimoto’s Thyroid Disorder, sinus/allergy issues, constant headaches, fatigue and low energy, etc.  But that is just part of me and life and I am amazed now that I thought the reason I couldn’t get up the interest to do anything was because of those aforementioned problems.  I see now that the real problem for me was the apathy.

I would never say that anti-depressants don’t serve a purpose and I’m sure I did need them when I was in what I call the black hole of calcutta, but I had no idea that they take so much of the edge off of both depression and anxiety that they can leave one totally apathetic.  I don’t plan ever to take such drugs again, knowing how they affect me (and again, they don’t affect everyone in the same way).  If I start sliding into that black hole again, I’ll work hard at finding other alternatives.  

Right now I feel as if I’ve gotten out from underneath a horrible cloud and that I am human again, and the relief is absolutely overwhelming.  I can deal with the other problems and now that I actually want to do things I have already found out that I will have to pace myself and pay attention to my limited energy levels.  I’ve started working with a chiropractor who I am hoping will be able to help me with a lot of my pain issues.  But some things I’m sure I will just have to accept and live with and actually that is ok with me.  I am just so happy not to be apathetic, not to have to fight to do anything.  The world is looking much brighter, thankfully!

2 responses

  1. I just found your blog by googling apathetic drug side effects. I'm trying to live my best life and this entry reminds me that I don't want or need meds that make me 'feel in control' today. Apathy ain't worth it, honey! Thank you. -Lynzz

  2. Thanks, Lynzz, for stopping by and yes, I would agree that sometimes the cure is worse than the ailment. Balance in all things I guess. Stop by anytime and have a great day!

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