I’ve written before about how psychiatric medication functions similarly to bumpers at a bowling alley. The medication also acts like a surge protector of sorts, preventing sudden emotional spikes from overwhelming the brain.
Although reducing the dosage creates a (much-needed and welcome) opportunity for me to experience a greater range of emotions, it isn’t a smooth process. Like a good muffin batter, it’s lumpy.
When you haven’t experienced real emotions in a while, you can forget how they feel and lose perspective on them quickly. In my pre-mediated depressed state, the downward swings were sudden and violent. The return to baseline, however, felt like an eternity. Outside of experiencing a major depressive episode, emotional surges, while not always pleasant, are expected from time to time and, generally, my brain manages them quite well. Like most people, I have built up resilience to the periodic highs and lows of life. With medication, especially at high doses for a prolonged period of time, I’ve observed that resilience declines.
I find myself longing for some kind of mental surge protector. The only answer, though, is to build my own, out of experience, practice, patience, mindfulness, and intention. It’s hard, but it’s some of the important work I’m doing right now.