There’s more to life than this. I’m trying something radical, and I’m doing it under doctor’s supervision, and I’m pretty terrified, but I’ve had enough.
I’ve been on antidepressants for more than ten effing years now. In that time, I’ve developed anxiety, fatigue, PGAD, musculoskeletal aches and pains (like fibromyalgia) and bipolar disorder. Before I started antidepressants, I had none of those things – only the severe depression. In the decade I’ve been cycling through to try to find the “right medication”, I’ve been constantly sick with some random ailment, I’ve piled weight on and lost tons (without really changing anything in a couple cases), and, once, I developed an endocrinological disorder that had me in and out of the ER and seeing a specialist who gave me an endoscopy and found nothing. (This was remedied when I stopped taking the psych meds I’d recently been put on. Miraculous.) Every other year or so, my body adapts to the drugs so entirely that they stop working and I either have to be pumped full of more or changed up altogether, which is nothing short of torture for a few days while my entire psychological/physical system detoxes from the addiction of one and moves to another.
I’m sick of it. I’m fucking done.
I know that sounds terrifying and dangerous, but I’ve been talking to my doctors about this and it’s something I feel confident I should at least try with close supervision. I NEVER had manic episodes or anxiety until I started trying out different antidepressants (and, for a while, Adderall/Vyvanse that one of the quacks I saw gave me to “jump start me out of bed”. Christ…) and I truthfully don’t even know what my natural existence would even feel like anymore. After a decade’s worth of therapy, learning tools for managing my ridiculously intense emotions/conflicting exterior dynamics, and healing from all the stuff that was making me depressed in the first place when all my Crazy started, who knows how my natural mental state would actually maintain?
We intend to find out.
I’ve been researching the hell out of this (I was ESPECIALLY bothered when I joined a forum for people quitting Effexor – which is worse than heroin withdrawal – and saw SO many people listing the same EXACT side effects as I’ve had, INCLUDING the PGAD.), and the first couple weeks are going to be rough. Like stay-in-bed-twitching-and-aching rough. But, frankly, I’ve done that before, and as long as I know it’ll pass, I’ll be okay. After that, we’re just going to monitor my behaviors and moods vigilantly and I’ll probably lay low for a bit while I adjust, but I intend to continue getting a ton of supplements and sunshine and exercise when I can. My doctor has moved me over to Cymbalta to wean off of instead of trying it with the Effexor because they’re comparable, but the former will take care of the fibromyalgic-type pains I’ve had for a couple years now. In the meantime, I’m going to be going heavy on B-complexes and Omegas 3, 6, and 9.
I’m fucking done with years of endless side effects and adjustments and jumping from one addictive substance to another without ever feeling “right”. I’m sick of constantly having some new physical demon to battle and experiencing behaviors I never ever had before even though I’m supposed to be on medicines that will “fix” everything. I’m tired of being handed new diagnoses for things I never actually exhibited before I was taking this stuff. And, most recently, I’m sick of feeling nothing and wasting my time and my life being apathetic and useless.
I’m ready to find a new way of life because this shit isn’t working. Here’s to getting back to basics.