DEAR ABBY: I had weight-loss surgery a year ago. I'm now off all medications (high blood pressure, antidepressants, etc.) and take only one multivitamin daily. I feel like I'm 25 again. However, I have also changed mentally. After many years of being a zombie on antidepressants, I feel like I have finally "awakened."
I come from a dysfunctional, abusive childhood. My father abused my mother. I was diagnosed with dysthymia years ago, and I feel the diagnosis was correct. I now feel my dysthymia has turned more into anxiety than depression. I'm no longer afraid of speaking up and, after 20 years, I actually have opinions of my own.
Needless to say, my family (husband, grown children and in-laws) are not used to this side of me. I find myself feeling resentful, anxious and envious of certain immediate family and in-law family dynamics now. I don't want to upset my family by being so vocal and opinionated, but I don't want to get back on mind-altering prescriptions either. I also have little faith that counseling will do much good. I'm afraid I'll be pushed into taking meds again. I feel like I'm between a rock and a hard place right now. Any advice? -- A TOUGH SPOT IN NORTH CAROLINA
DEAR TOUGH SPOT: Keeping in mind that no one can force you back on medications if you don't want them, I do think you could benefit from talking with a licensed mental health professional about this. You have made major changes in your life, and are no longer the person you were when you were prescribed the medications that made you feel like a zombie. A mental health professional can help you to sort out whether you have a problem or whether your family members do in dealing with the new you.