Antidepressants: the saga ends

Yes I know that was quick, but it’s too late to rethink my use of the word saga, so what are you going to do?  I wrote a piece about antidepressants around a month ago, which would be worth reading if you haven’t already.  After 15 years on one pill of another, I decided to give them the push, and see how life was without them.

After the initial withdrawal symptoms, I felt fantastic!  I had more energy, I wanted to do things, and talk to people and I felt amazing.  My sex drive came back and I’m not embarrassed to say that I had some amazing orgasms that didn’t take 30 minutes of dedicated work to happen.  I honestly thought that this would be my life now, and that the antidepressants belonged in the bin.  I even launched a packet into the bin before my husband said “I think we’d better keep those, just in case” and we fished them out of my waste paper basket.  While I am tempted to say that he is a total jinx, I know that this was not the reason that my brief foray into the world of chemical free living.  Well, one chemical less anyway.

Just 4 short days ago, I had what is often referred to as a “long dark night of the soul”.  I spent the night awake and crying, not wanting to wake my husband or support because I could not deal with another persons emotions, even if they were those of love and support.  Anxiety gripped me.  I was afraid I would not sleep.  I was afraid too sleep, to try and fail and feel worse, and I could not even one more intrusive thought.  Every second felt like an hour, and I did not know how I would make it through that night.  But I did.

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It was then that I made the decision to go back on the pills.  It may have been a one off, a bad night.  It had been a hard week.  The previous weekend had seen an alarm, be it car, house or fire going off for 48 hours without cessation in my neighbourhood.  I contacted police who would not help (they would not even come out to see if the alarm was going off as the result of a crime), and I could not contact the council because it was a weekend.  To say it had a huge impact on me and my mental health does not even begin to describe how distressed and sleep deprived I was by the time in finished.  My Aspergers makes me very sensitive to noise, but this would have been torturous for anyone.  It is in fact used as a form of torture.

I slept a lot in the week following the alarm incident, but when it came time to return to normality, I just didn’t feel normal.  I felt incredibly, crushingly low.  This prompted that one night and a river of tears, and my decision to go back on the pills.

Could I have waited it out?  Yes I probably could have.  I could have put myself through feeling low and anxious just to make a point, just so as not to go back on the pills, but why would I do that?  It would be like a drowning man refusing a life raft.  Having a long history of depression I have been in situations that were far worse.  I have felt far worse.  I don’t want to go there again.  4 days on and I’m feeling better.  I’m not putting that all down to the medication.  I have a wonderful support network who I have leaned on, and who are very good to me however I’m feeling (you know who you are <3).

I have also made an appointment to see a Councillor, something which is long overdue.  Like many others I have not been able to access the help I need on the NHS, whose answer to everything is pills and maybe some CBT if you kick up a bit.  I know some people have benefited greatly from CBT, but right now it is wildly over-prescribed as a solution to thinks like depression and anxiety in the NHS.  CBT is not suitable in all cases and should not be handed out to everyone like a mental health band aid regardless of their circumstances.  My appointment is with a local charity who offers subsidised counselling.  It is still more than I can truly afford, but it’s something that I need to make work, even if hubby and I are stuck eating smartprice pasta for a few months.  Well, more so than usual.

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My plan B was always to start taking the pills again if I needed too.  Secretly, I am a little bit gutted.  There is no shame in taking medication for depression, but I did kind of hope I could “do it on my own”.  The problem is, you generally can’t treat a chemical imbalance without help, and I know that, in my rational mind.  I’ve spoken to friends who have assuaged some of my worries, some of the reasons I tried to come off them in the first place, and I feel okay about it.  What matters is that I am a happy and functioning human being, however I make that happen.  Today I am happy, happy in myself and happy with my decisions.

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2 thoughts on “Antidepressants: the saga ends

  1. Hugs Vicky. I'm sorry you had such a tough time of it off the meds after a while. I feel you on the half hour to orgasm, but given quicker orgasms or crying every day I pick my mental health every time. I have no qualms at all about thinking I'll be on brain meds for life – it's a chemical imbalance and I need them. I'd never tell someone who needed heart meds they're weak to take them, so it is with the happy pills. xxx
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    1. Totally on the same page Leah. Trying to see if I needed them was something I felt I needed to do, and I do, so taking them for my whole life is not something I\’m worried about. Libido and orgasm issues just mean I need to get a little more creative with my big girls toys 😉

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