Thursday, 31 January 2013

SSRI: a few weeks in

It's been a bit over 3 weeks now. I got started on SSRIs on January 7, and had an immediate and forceful placebo help.

Just enough time has passed that now I can start collect some first impressions.
First off, side effects. I have them. Common ones? In spades.

  • My joints are aching. Usually, it's been my elbow joints, but today I have a shoulder ache that annoys me and throws me off my productivity significantly.
  • I've had a touch of my manic side. Just one, very early on, and nowhere near where I would ask for help for it — just enough to remind me it exists.
  • I have some slight eczema. Just enough to redden the skin and make me wonder why. Doesn't itch, just discolors.
  • I am exhausted in the evenings. Utterly and completely. Leaning on doors and walls, just waiting for it to be late enough that we can go to bed.
  • Muscular tension — oh boy! I have chattering teeth, grinding teeth, bouncy knees, and tense up pretty much all over.
  • Several different instances of autonomous systems going weird on me. I won't talk about bodily fluids here, but have gained a bit of awareness over the past few weeks.
On the other hand, there are the actual effects of taking the pills.
  • Before I started, I had daily crying jags. After I started, not once.
  • Before I started, I had daily episodes where I was terrified of things. In these three weeks, twice.
  • Before I started, my bad moods would be these chasms swallowing me up, leaving me powerless, anxious, afraid and inconsolable. After I started, it's much more of a gray dull sadness. Still not good necessarily, but far more livable and endurable than the explosive mood swings I had earlier.
Of course, life. During these three weeks I have submitted a major paper to a high-prestige conference. The last weeks running up to that submission, I pushed myself hard. As a result, I am still reeling from the sudden relief of the stress; I have yet to get back to marching speed with any of my regular activities. And it is hard to see what parts of my sadness, inactivity, and lack of impetus comes from my illness, and what parts simply come from my body trying to recuperate after the paper crunch.

But for today: my shoulder joint hurts.

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