I am diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and I am currently taking celexa (Citalopram) as prescribed. I have been having issues with med compliance lately. About a month ago I started to feel a low mood coming on and I stopped taking my medication for a about a week. It was horrible, I was a tearful, agitated, exhausted, aggressive, and I called in sick for work A LOT. I resumed taking my medication and it improved 100 percent. Recently I have been starting to feel like I am coming down again, and I know that stopping the medication is definitely not a good idea but I find myself wanting to. I feel like it’s a natural cycle and while I’m feeling “happy”, I feel like it’s fake happiness. I feel like I miss being depressed. Like I lost my comforting best friend by taking this medication. I know my life is terrible without the medication but I like to feel even if it’s pain, and I feel like the medication makes me feel nothing. I know it sounds strange but I’m unsure of what to do. I guess I’m just looking for an answer as to why I feel like I miss it and also if there are other medications maybe that might let me have feelings without getting horribly depressed.
Thank you for writing such a clear letter about your experience. I would like to begin by reframing what you have said, then make a suggestion.
With any emotional state we develop a familiarity with it more than anything else. I doubt you miss the actual depression, but the familiarity of it provides you with a sense of comfort. My grandmother made the worst Irish soda bread every Christmas. No one liked it. But the first year she didn’t make it we were disappointed because it had been such a familiar part of the routine.
The suggestion I am making to you is “dare to be happy.” Changes in our emotional makeup can make us feel unregulated because we are losing the familiarity. My strong encouragement is to make your medication an adjunct to individual or group therapy to accelerate your healing process. You can find help at the tab at the top of this page. Study after study shows that the combination of medicine and psychotherapy is the best way to facilitate change.
As for my Christmas story? Eventually we all brought more and better desserts, and once we did, we never missed the Irish soda bread.
This article has been updated from the original version, which was originally published here on November 13, 2010.
Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP
Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: http://www.dare2behappy.com/. He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.
APA Reference Tomasulo, D. (2019). I miss my depression. Psych Central.
Retrieved on November 16, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2018/11/13/i-miss-my-depression/
Last updated: 26 Jun 2019 Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 26 Jun 2019 Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.