Well, it's been about six weeks since I started my Cymbalta and I figure it's time for another update. Six weeks is a sort of landmark in antidepressant therapy. At six weeks you should know how/if the drug is going to work for you and how bad the side effects will be. Sometimes you have to wait until eight weeks to really know, but by six weeks you should have a pretty good idea.
For me, things have gotten better. Since my last update my three big side effects (nausea, sleepiness, and sweatiness) have all lessened in intensity. The nausea is gone. Taking my pill in the morning with breakfast, instead of at bedtime, fixed that right up--thanks for the tip Elizabeth-w. The sleepiness is getting better. Most days I still want that afternoon nap but, if by some miracle, all of my children have slept through the night I don't need it. Since I usually get woken up at least once by all three kids (my five year old says she comes down for hugs in the middle of the night because her "love bucket just empties out too fast") I'm guessing that is the cause of my continued sleepiness. I haven't fallen asleep unintentionally in weeks, which is probably for best. After all, while being a narcoleptic makes for entertaining stories it was a little nerve wracking. As for the extra sweat, well, I've just started carrying around tissues so I can mop it up and I'm learning to live with it. Thank goodness it's almost fall, though!
My mood is still improving too--even though I'm having PMS (aren't you glad I share?). This last week I cleaned out all our closets and our garage. I even organized a garage sale (with the help of my friend Sarah!). I only made $65 but that was enough to pay for the chest freezer I wanted so I was happy. A few months ago I could barely navigate my dishes so cleaning out the garage felt like a gigantic accomplishment. Also, I've been more relaxed with my kids. My five year old (who has social anxiety issues and real-life phobias) started kindergarten and it's been a bit of a roller coaster, but I've been able to ride that ride without going nuts and for me that's pretty good.
The Cymbalta, unfortunately, has still not made me perfect (just ask any of the women who were at Enrichment tonight! Someday I'll figure out how to control my kids and leave a Church function without them having a tantrum, but I'm not making any promises at to when). I know it's silly but I do keep hoping that somehow the right chemical will make all my problems disappear. But no pill can tell me how best to deal with my anxious five-year-old or my volatile two-year-old. It also can't teach me how to manage my time better or increase my temple attendance. Those are things I have to do. But what my antidepressant can do for me is give me the mental space to work on those things instead of spinning my wheels over craziness* and that is good enough--not perfect--but good enough.
*Speaking of crazy, I had a mildly intrusive thought the other day where I kept shaving my head and tearing out all my hair--how Brittany Spears of me!--but I was able to laugh it off. In fact, I'm still laughing now. Our brains are so weird!