Eating Disorder Relapse and Medication Withdrawal

I started a medication called Wellbutrin a few months ago. It’s supposed to lift you out of depression, and help get you out of bed when the depression monster steals your energy. Last monday (April 13th) I had a meeting with my prescriber. It was at that time she realized my script had been written for double what it was supposed to be. She told me the high dose was way too much, and I had to go to the half dose immediately.

The fall out has been intense.

The monday we spoke (the 13th) was the first day of being on the half dose, and my life has just spiraled out since. I have no energy. I can not bring myself to work out. I’m irritable. I’m binge eating daily. There were two nights I drank alcohol- which I hate the taste of, so I have no idea why I did this. I woke up with a hangover both times, more depressed than ever, and reaching for food to cope.

I am withdrawing, physically. I have the sweats, the shakes, and the awful, dark thoughts. I’ve watched the scale creep up a bit every day, and the three pounds I had worked so hard to lose this month have been regained. My confidence is level 0, and the weight gain has me feeling like a complete failure. 

I’ve blogged to get through this, but feel like I’m lying. I post uplifting script, and tips to have better mental health. Meanwhile I’m sitting here in a blanket burrito, unshowered, desk littered with empty candy wrappers.

What is wrong with me?

I think I’m over the hump, and it seems like my withdrawal symptoms are starting to get better. I’m still irritable. I’m still tired.. But less than yesterday. Even more less than Friday. I’m hopeful it will continue to even out.

I took about five steps back this week while I adjusted to the new dose. I have a lot of ground to reclaim, and a lot more ahead of me when I keep on forging forward. 

The first thing I had to do was ask for help. I had to be honest with my husband and my sister about what I was feeling so they could understand why I was acting this way.

Then I had to make a plan, including touching base with my prescriber when her office opens tomorrow (Monday) morning. I’ve also decided to start eating off the FODMAP diet for the next month, quit having any alcohol at all, and making exercise a priority- ESPECIALLY when I don’t feel like it. Most of all, I’ve opened up about my binge eating. A big part of BED (binge/purge eating disorder) is the secrecy and hiding of consuming food. By talking about it, and confessing I’m already taking steps to avoid binging today. I opened the door and wecomed my husband into my secret little world. Just by having him here, I feel less of a need to shame-binge When I can be open with him, it makes keeping any secrets feel wrong- especially food secrets.

There are a ton of factors that go into mental health- and chemicals play a huge role. Being medically treated can be a lifesaver for most people. The situation I’ve gone through this week is rare and unlikely. It has been unpleasant, for sure, but It does not make me regret seeking treatment in the least. Getting help, getting medication, was the absolute best decision I’ve made. It saved my life. Even with this little bump in the road, I still have 100% faith in my doctor and their plan. It just sucks to get through.

I’m planning on getting out for a short hike with Mike and the little girls today. I also had a cup of coffee to give me a bump of energy where the Wellbutrin has me lacking. Most of all, I’m opening up to my family and friends to get through this. They make me so happy, they distract me, they support me. Just knowing how much they care for me, and how lucky I am to have them is a major confidence bump. They love me. The greatest people in the whole world love me. That must mean I’m worth something!

photographer unknown

Wash your hands. Don’t touch your face.

Stay home. Stay home. Stay home.

Stay healthy.

-Kate

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