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Old 02-28-2012, 06:01 PM   #1
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Delayed grief and coming off an antidepressant

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Hello all.
I have been off lexapro for two weeks and I am getting angry at myself and impatient and what is stranger, crying at different times and I am wondering if it is delayed grief. I had been taking it for approximately 4 1/2 years. It helped, I seemed to become serene and more positive. My beloved husband died in 2006 at 56 years of age and I thought I had coped through anticipatory grief and I didn't take the lexapro straightaway because I didn't think I needed it then.
I actually started taking it about a year after when I started working and had work issues due to a difficult supervisor and co-worker and an inefficient and weak employer. Lately I had been crying in stops and starts and because I am trying to lose weight I usually get up most week mornings at 6.30am to exercise. This morning I slept through until 9 am shame on me, so no early exercise. (I wondered later if I had needed that additional sleep.) I was listening to a song and out it came five years of suppressed grief, bitterness and sadness at my husbands death, saddened over lost opportunities and I just couldn't stop crying. I could not even pin it on one thing, it just seemed I was crying over bits of everything. How I hate admitting this. I know I have to be able to express it and it is as though my sadness had been held and locked in as I had to be strong, had to be seen to be coping. I was proud of being strong and resiliant and not succumbing to sadness it was all safely locked inside. I thought so anyway. Now all of a sudden I have turned into an emotional wishy -washy wreck, the type I resent and have to admit that maybe what I am going through it is normal. I just thought that after being on lexapro the grief would somehow disipate over time and you'd miss the person you'd lost, less. Is this delayed grief. Out came all my disappointments, my frustrations and rage and if someone had come to the door and knocked I still couldn't have stopped. Now I have to ask for your help. Is this normal and how long does it take to get over it.

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Old 03-28-2012, 11:09 AM   #2
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Re: Delayed grief and coming off an antidepressant

Hey August - Sounds like delayed grief to me. Since you recently stopped taking Lexapro, that could have something to do with feeling just more emotional in general.

I recently lost my stepdad to a form of dementia and though I too had thought I had done alot of anticipatory grieving, I am surprised at how much, and how deeply, I am grieving. I know we all like to think of ourselves as strong, we'll just buck up and get through it, but I want to tell you......it's okay to cry! It's okay to let it out! These are "grief attacks" and they are very real. I relate to you because for whatever reason, I think because I too had to be so strong through so much, I hate it when I break down. But it's all part of the process, and unfortunately there's not an anti-depressant strong enough to stop this normal process from happening at some point.

It's different for everybody. I hope you'll see this post and let me/us know how you're doing. I've spent most of my time on the Alzheimer's board, but have wandered over here today - for obvious reasons

 
Old 03-29-2012, 05:51 PM   #3
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Re: Delayed grief and coming off an antidepressant

The best thing a person can do for themselves is to allow themselves to grieve.
There is no time limit, no standard way to be, for the grief to assert itself. Any way you grieve is "the right way". Sometimes, even NOT grieving is the "right way" to grieve.
Let your heart dictate what you need to express.
I think that a person does themselves a great disservice when they think they have to be strong, and not grieve. The grief is not going to disappear. The grief is a natural reaction to a loss. It may feel totally overwhelming at times but I truly believe that grief is something that everyone has to walk bravely through, emotionally, instead of trying to jump over or ignore.

Sue

 
Old 03-30-2012, 05:58 AM   #4
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Re: Delayed grief and coming off an antidepressant

Thank you so much TC08 and Slenderella. I am really pleased you responded. I was frightfully upset the other day as I had to attend a funeral and following that, I let the tears come and thought to hell with anyone who had a problem with it. My darling daughter suggested I go back on the lexapro but I don't want to do that. I do have a right to be angry and upset. Thank you for your understanding. I know much of my grief was through disappointment. I told a friend who said I had coped really well after my husband died, that one of the reasons was I had a future to consider and work to look forward to. I'd passed my degree and wanted to work and that helped with the loss of my angel. I knew I would need something once he was gone. I worked for four years so really I guess it did achieve part of the outcome I had hoped for. I have just ordered a book called 'The dance of anger" by Harriet Lerner which I am hoping will help explain the reasons we grieve and yesterday whilst walking, I remembered that many of the reasons we learnt through psych classes were also not just death of a spouse but the loss of opportunity and our role as well. It's starting to make sense. I also know of others who have degrees and have undergone the same experiences I have and they work happily enough in other areas so I guess there is life after retiring from a life-held dream. I think and hope it is going to be okay. Many many thanks to you both.

 
Old 03-30-2012, 10:19 AM   #5
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Re: Delayed grief and coming off an antidepressant

Hey August -

Yes, grief comes in many forms. Sounds like the funeral you attended allowed you to get some of your grief out. I'm with Slenderella - that grief is indeed different for everyone. I would add - it's different at different times as well.

Be gentle with yourself. I was re-reading your original post, and could hear how hard you can be on yourself. I have been this way too, and through a series of losses and life events have learned to ease up on myself. We all are our own worst critics

I'm glad you have work that you enjoy and congrats on the degree! Hope you find the book helpful. Feel free to post again and let us know how you're doing. Hugs to you!

 
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Old 04-01-2012, 02:06 AM   #6
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Re: Delayed grief and coming off an antidepressant

Thank you. I did have work but my work finished two years ago and I believe that contributed to the grief as I had lost my role. I know of other people who got their degrees, one psychology and one education and stopped working in their chosen capacity because of one thing or another. They are sensible, loving and intelligent people so I figured my learning and work achieved it's outcome. It gave me a goal to aim for and I realised this had achieved the objective; i.e a prospect which helped for the interim. I understand now some things are right at the time but may not be right forever and that has helped. I am now looking for something else. You have all helped me so much and I thank you and I have realised that grief can be liberating and helpful.
There is much for me still to do and new avenues to explore and I just have to be open to new beginnings. I look forward to some challenges now. Bless you all. xxx

 
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Old 04-01-2012, 11:16 AM   #7
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Re: Delayed grief and coming off an antidepressant

Hey August - Life can hand us so many challenges. You sound stronger in your last post. I have been through several major transitions in my life now (I'm 48), and they've never been easy. I'm in one right now actually. After losing my stepdad I'm looking at returning to work. I also went through thyroid cancer in 2008. I have a paralyzed vocal cord now which limits how much and how long I can talk. At the time of the diagnosis I was in real estate. I remember waking up from the anesthesia barely able to breathe, swallow, and no voice. My voice is much better now, but it's been a long road back. I now inhabit a different body post thyroid cancer. My voice has improved, but I still suffer with energy levels We just never know what life has in store for us.

"There is much for me still to do and new avenues to explore and I just have to be open to new beginnings. I look forward to some challenges now. " I like the sound of that! Just know that grief works on its own timeclock. It can come up at unexpected times and situations, and that, unfortunately, is **normal** for grief. All my best to you -

 
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Old 04-02-2012, 01:21 AM   #8
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Re: Delayed grief and coming off an antidepressant

I hope your voice and everything else keeps getting stronger TC08 I had a funny feeling before. I came into the house after putting out church notices in letterboxes for Easter services. I wasn't pleased about doing that before I started but by the time I got home I thought if someone takes notice and attends and it helps them as it helped me, it would be worth it. Our uniting church is a lovely welcoming little church. When I crossed through the kitchen to go downstairs, I could smell my husband's deodorant. Lovely reminder really. Not spooky or anything. Sometimes the light will go on of it's own accord or the TV will flick on. That happens quite a bit. It is sort of reassuring almost as though he's keeping tabs on me. I hope you continue to do well after your thyroid cancer and it is lovely to know how many people care on this site.

 
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