depression medication withdrawal

But there is a downside to medication – the withdrawal effects are BRUTAL even if I miss them by a day.

I experienced withdrawal the first time my dosage was upgraded; my body didn’t react well to the new dose – I got nauseous, dizzy, disoriented, and light-headed. I figured it was the anti-depressants that were causing those symptoms, so I stopped taking them entirely… bad idea. I was bed-ridden for days because I couldn’t move without wanting to throw up.

Anti-depressants are like a dam. They stop the water (depression) from flowing, but water builds up on one side of the dam. Stop taking anti-depressants for more than a day and the dam breaks. Everything that built up beforehand, that wasn’t affecting you, all of a sudden comes out of nowhere and hits you like a sledgehammer.

-Anonymous

adjusting to medication

The first week I didn’t feel much of anything, but things stopped feeling less hopeless. I was… overly optimistic about everything or almost uncaring, but in a positive way. Tather than “what’s the point” it became “what’s the point of worrying? Things will work out however they work out.”

I felt… light. Like a weight had been lifted off of my shoulders. I remember walking around and feeling almost as if I was floating.

Eventually taking medication just became part of my daily routine, almost as unconscious as brushing my teeth. ┬áMy depression wasn’t as strong, and when it hit me, it didn’t last as long as it usually did. Eventually I started to feel normal, well aware that bad things happen and it’s okay to feel sad, disappointed, angry or just rotten about them – that’s just normal human emotion. But at the same time, I could finally just accept things and started to view my problems as surmountable. My failures did not mean I was a failure myself – just that I had unfortunate circumstances or had made a mistake. It wasn’t the end of the world, and I didn’t beat myself up for it.

-Anonymous

choosing to take antidepressants

Before the tragedy – the loss of a good friend well before his time – I had gotten complacent vis-a-vis my depression. I figured “well, I’m still breathing – it could be worse and so long as it isn’t, I can deal.” But the problem is, depression can work incrementally, bringing you down into the abyss one step at a time. I had gotten to the point where suicide was a viable option and I hadn’t even seen anything wrong with it, really. I just… felt like shit and every day felt worse than the one before it. I didn’t care about anything. It’s not that I didn’t want to care, it’s that I actually *couldn’t*

But when I lost my friend, something clicked. I realized I actually cared about something – the people in my life. And at the wake/funeral, I realized that if I were to die, maybe people would grieve for me too and having felt that pain – the first thing I truly felt in ages – I did not want to inflict it on anyone else, especially not the people I cared about.

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