The Trintellix Experiment


So after taking some time, I decided to be a guinea pig for the research into how Trintellix effects cognitive problems associated with depression. When the psychiatrist first told me I should be on antidepressants, I left his office feeling weirdly defeated. I think it’s because it feels like giving up on myself when I know full well that others would say it’s the opposite of that. Still, I can’t help but feel disappointed that I couldn’t just fix me without any drugs.

Before that appointment, I was told I most likely have had Attention Deficit Disorder most or all of my life. It really helped to explain a few things and I wasn’t all that surprised to be honest. At first I was resistant to the idea of treating it with drugs, but I slowly came to accept it. I’m not sure why it bothered me less than the idea of going back on antidepressants. I think it’s because I was told you could take it for times when you feel you need it (like work days) and not at other times. I’m not sure if this is at all true, but regardless I had hoped that I would be prescribed meds for ADD and not depression.

Maybe it was my way of trying to maintain a sense of control over the situation. And I think I just figured out why I felt so bad after leaving the psychiatrist’s office: it no longer seemed within my control (as crazy as this sounds). Logically, I know I have a choice. But for some reason it doesn’t feel that way. Relying on antidepressants that I will have to take every single day for the next year, and possibly for forever makes me feel like I don’t have control over my own life, my own self. And maybe too it’s partly the commitment, as I’ve agreed to do this for a year.

I thought being on ADD meds might allow me to live up to my potential; I would finally have the energy and the focus to become a healthy, happy person sort of on my own.

All this is mute anyway, as the psychiatrist convinced me it was better to try Trintellix. So I’m officially a guinea pig. I’ve been taking it for a week now. I will try and keep this blog updated on the effects in case anyone’s looking for a subjective account of what it’s like. So far I haven’t noticed any major changes, granted it’s only been a week and they are starting me on just 10 mg once in the morning.

I will have follow-up appointments about once a month, where they have me filling out ridiculously long questionnaires in addition to an odd cognitive test. The only side effect I’ve noticed so far is some minor nausea. I definitely need to take it with food, and if I don’t have enough food, it’s much worse.

Today was a bad day, though I can’t say if it has anything at all to do with the drug. I’ve been feeling sad and hopeless, super self-conscious, very anxious in public, and kind of emotional, meaning I cried easily. It’s not like these things never happen though, so I will have to wait and see.

In other related news, I can’t decide if my therapy sessions are helping at all. I feel like I’m just not committed enough to working on my issues. I do good for a little while, but soon I’m back to my old habits. Because of this, when I go in to my appointments I always feel unprepared, like I’ve been caught in class without having done my homework (which was a pretty regular occurrence in high school if I remember correctly).

I wonder if therapists have changed a lot since I last saw one in university. I hate to say it, but my therapist seems like kind of a flake. I think she’s mostly good at her job, but she has a tendency to get all excited about something and then bites off more than she can chew. She always tells me to contact her outside of work so we can hang out (free of charge) as kind of an extension of our therapy sessions. But it often doesn’t work out and she changes plans at the last minute. After today’s fiasco with her I decided I wouldn’t do it anymore. I’m starting to feel like that unwanted friend or something, and I’m not sure it’s good for the therapy sessions. But then I think about the fact that whatever else, she did get me out of the house today, and she did give me a reason to get some exercise in the great outdoors (we went for a long, brisk walk). So I’m undecided. I will most likely continue to give it another chance, and another…. It’s on her own time afterall…

So that’s where I’m at: still feeling like I’m spiralling, but in slow motion. I’m hoping the benefits of therapy and the Trintellix will kick in soon and give me something to hold on to, change the trajectory I’m on, but still not feeling very hopeful.