Coming off anti-depressants after 14 years…
it’s possible - YOU can do this!
CASE STUDY: Patient recording their recent experience and sharing in hope it will help someone else.
“Changing your life around is not an easy thing!
I found myself in this situation earlier this year when my health finally gave out.
I was unwell, mentally shot, physically sick and incredibly depressed. It wasn't a fun place to be.
There were many things that led me to be where I was. Life style choices, unresolved issues and some plain old bad luck. But I resolved to turn things around and get better. And that is easier said than done.
Part of moving in the right direction was removing anti-depressants from my life. If you've been depressed and feel that it's all slipping and is too much then they can be of great benefit, and they were to me when I started.
The problem is trying to determine when is the right time to stop taking them and work through what issues you may have yourself. With the help of a knowledgeable friend I started reading up on anti depressants (A.P.) to find out what they do to the body. As good as they can be there are side effects you may not be aware of.
Part of the bigger issue for me was my stomach and it's here that I found A.P.'s can have quite a negative effect with what they do to the stomach lining. I was also surprised to find out that there have been no major studies into the long term use of A.P.'s. I had been on them 14 years.
Making the decision to remove them was not difficult once I realised that they were in fact impeding my ability to get better. Actually doing it was a different thing.
I took the long term approach and started to slowly reduce the intake. I took just over a year to go from 150mg a day to 5mg. Moving slowly didn't really cause me many side effects but getting off the last 5mg was quite difficult.
The old feeling of anxiety and restlessness and agitation returned but it did pass after a few weeks. Knowing that it would come made dealing with it easier, this time I was in control of how I would feel no matter what that feeling was.
There was two weeks of feeling very flat in a hole and with no spark at all. And then came the part I wasn't expecting. There was this eruption of all the negative, depressing, lost, angry, agitated emotions that had been locked down and covered over with the A.P.'s for 14 years.
I was extremely volatile as my system purged all of this black that had been subdued due to the A.P.'s. Let me assure you, this was not fun. It lasted for 6 weeks as it kept pouring out. I felt like a boil that had been lanced after the pressure had built too much. I kept myself away from family and friends in case I was responsible for arguments over nothing.
Staying focused in this time on the bigger picture really helped. I was able to tell myself that nobody can pretend to be healthy with all of this rubbish locked away inside and I had plenty.
Like most things it eventually passed to leave me mentally and physically exhausted but most importantly calm. There was this refreshing ability to be able to relax and be in charge of how I was feeling and thinking. It was such a nice change.
Over the following months I preceded to get better and was able to start building myself again from the bottom up but this time I was in control.
The A.P's came into my life when I needed them, and they helped. They stayed too long because no one knew when to come off them, and that's not a good thing.
Making the decision to come off them was easy once you want to be in charge of your own life again, and there will come that time if you want to get better. A.P's are incredibly powerful no matter how small the dose so if you are planning on coming off them do it slow, it gives you the best chance of success.
But most importantly if you want to feel free and reconnect with yourself then removing them from your life is an easy decision, just take your time and be prepared for a fight that you will win if you’re patient. Good luck.”