As my wife and I try and get pregnant, there has been talk about me getting pregnant at some stage in the future. She will be having our first child for sure – we’re currently trying with a donor but that’s another post – and perhaps in the future I might have a second.
Might. There are a few issues with it. Not just with how I feel about actually being pregnant an having a baby (I’m not overly keen on the idea) but the fact that I would have to come off my medication.
I can’t remember how long I’ve been on my medication actually. It’s probably written down somewhere, I’ve had a blog of some sort since I was 18. Most things are noted down. I’m currently taking Tegretol (Carbamazepine) and Seroxat (Paroxetine). I started the Seroxat a few years before the Tegretol but I’ve been on both almost a decade I would say, maybe eight years? I didn’t think I would ever really come off them so it never really mattered how long I had been taking them because I would always been taking them.
Things are different now. Not even considering the pregnancy, I have thought about coming off my medication. But having been on them so long it’s a bit of a daunting prospect. The Tegretol might be easier at least, I’m not on a particularly high dose, so it wouldn’t be too hard to withdraw it from my system properly.
The Seroxat is going to be the problem.
At the moment if I miss a dose if I get a headache. Two doses and the anxiety gets worse. Three and the depression kicks in. It can get pretty bad pretty quickly, and it can take a week of taking my meds properly again to get back on track again. So it feels like a bit of a mammoth task to come off it when the withdrawals make me feel like my mental health has regressed ten years.
And then, and then, what if when I’ve finally, painfully slowly, milligram by milligram come off Seroxat (by taking liquid Seroxat that probably tastes disgusting and it’s probably something we’d have to order every month specially at the pharmacy I work in) what if I’m not stable without it? Not well without it? What if I actually still need and will always, always need it.
The idea at this point, of always having to take it, isn’t so bad. Because it’s part of my routine. Get up take meds. Take meds go to bed. Every day. Every week. Every months. Always doesn’t seem to bad after a decade and I don’t even think about it. But coming off them, and then realising that I’ll always need them and should never have stopped taking them.
Holy void is that a horrible thought.
So what? Do I never try? Do I risk it? If I never have a baby myself will it even matter.
I’m still undecided. I had considered coming off the Tegretol because I certainly feel more stable. But what if that is just the Tegretol’s grip on my stability and I take it away and then I’m unstable once more, unpredictable.
A problem? A risk?
There are a few other issues with getting pregnant and my mental health. My hormones for one. I’m on the patch because my hormones do not do well without a bit of a kick. Also, I stop taking my meds, one of the many things that helps me cope and I have a baby and all the extra stress that comes with it.
It’s a minefield.
Not an easy decision.
I remember really struggling to comply with my medication once. I mean I really hated taking those damn meds. I hated who I was and part of that manifested itself in hate for my mental health and the future of it. I couldn’t imagine being on those damn meds for ever, hell I didn’t want to even be on them for another month let alone forever. It didn’t help that medication was the only help I was getting – instead of being part of the help I needed.
Now years later, after the therapy I needed, the medication don’t seem that bad because they are just part of the care I had and needed back the. Part of a big picture, a long game.
I am going to assume that makes sense.
I think I managed to talk myself out of this.
Anyway, these are some thoughts. Mostly half formed. If you’ve come off a medication like Paroxetine let me no how it went.