I recently went off one of my meds. I mean, I didn’t just stop taking it cold turkey, flushing the leftover pills down the toilet. I’m not that crazy and reckless. But after being on a mood stabilizer (Lamictal) for almost three years and dealing with anxiety and hypomanic episodes far more than depressive episodes, I decided I wanted to wean myself off of my antidepressant (Celexa), which I’d been on for almost eight years. My doctor and my therapist both agreed that this made sense, so over a course of three months, I slowly reduced my dosage and have been completely off of it for a couple of weeks now. While I was tapering off of it, I didn’t notice any adverse side effects (and I noticed one good side effect, an increase in libido, which the Celexa had been messing with since I started taking it), and now that I’m 100% off of it, I feel as good as I did when I was on it. Maybe even a little better, which I assume is because the mood stabilizer regulates the cyclothymic swing between depression and hypomania better without the added antidepressant in the stew.
Well, except for one thing. I don’t know if this is a side effect of going off the Celexa, I haven’t found anything online that mentions this, but…everything, and I mean everything, brings tears to my eyes. I watch the season finale of The Flash, I bawl. I watch the season finale of Arrow, I get all choked up. I watch the season finale of The Flash again and I get blubbery A-GAIN. Movies, commercials, the teary confession of a teen contestant on So You Think You Can Dance, my daughter ending her first year in college with an A average, it all makes me cry. Not sad crying, just “Oh my god, this is so moving!” crying. I’ve always been easily moved to tears, but this is pretty extreme even for me.
Maybe it’s not fallout from the Celexa. Maybe my emotions are just riding high these days. I think the obvious answer is: going off the Celexa is making my emotions run higher than they have in quite a while. As side effects go, it could certainly be a lot worse. I’d rather cry a lot over things that move me than experience “the zaps” that I’ve read about–or have a surge of depression come at me. I’m definitely not complaining.
But if you see me, maybe offer me a tissue before you tell me about your beloved pet dying or about the wonderful thing your partner did for you recently or before you show me a particularly pretty flower. I’ll probably need it.