I was prescribed Sertraline (Zoloft) in 1998 when I had postnatal depression. I was told to take it for a year to 18 months. I went from deep depression/anxiety to euphoria in the space of about two weeks, I felt pretty damned fantastic, there was nothing I couldn’t handle. As time went on I continued to feel well but my emotions were dampened down, so I was functioning well, no depression, but no “joy” either. After a few months of feeling well I decided I didn’t want to be on Sertraline anymore, didn’t read the patient information leaflet or talk to a doctor, not that that would have helped anyway. I just stopped taking them. My head felt terrible, it began to feel water logged, if I turned my head there was a time lag between my eye balls catching up with the fact that my head had turned, so dizzy, gradually intense sadness would kick in, really really intense sadness and anxiety, oh the anxiety, pumping adrenaline and nerves shot to bits. I went back on the Sertraline.
The doctor told me to do the alternate day thing, alternate days for a fortnight,then every third day for a fortnight, then one tablet a week, I did this various times over the next few years to no avail. I tried a pill cutter and halving the tablet, it wouldn’t break down easily without crumbling so that was unsuccessful. Every time I tried something, I ended up in worse shape than the time before, it was all getting steadily worse. I tried meditation, healing, exercise, cognitive behavioural therapy, counselling, fish oil capsules, NOTHING touched it. I pressured my surgery to refer me to a psychiatrist for advice,but the psychiatrist had no clue and could only recommend switching to another drug. I did switch to Citalopram for a while, and Mirtzapine, I felt constant fatigue on Mirtzapine, and then back to Sertraline. Yet another psychiatrist recommended halving my dose of Sertraline and taking diazepam to mitigate the withdrawals, so replace one powerful drug with an even more powerful addictive drug.
This is my description of how withdrawal felt from my blog, I only recently found out that what was happening had a name,akathisia:

“5am and for about the 3rd night in a row I’ve barely slept, I can’t stop the adrenaline pumping round my body, my stomach is tightly knotted, I’ve barely been able to eat properly it makes me feel sick. I’m clammy, sweating and crying and P is trying to reassure me, but he has to go to work. I get up and drag myself through all the motions of the day and making sure boys get to school, I feel like the living dead, I make sure they get fed and make sure they and no one else is aware of what’s going on, I don’t hang around at the school gates. Oh I do kind of tell a few people I’m not really feeling right but I play it down.
The constant adrenaline is tormenting me on the inside and I can’t stop it.It’s been building up over a period of months and I’ve been fighting and fighting the feelings but it seems to have reached a peak of exquisite torture.It’s like being at the top of a roller coaster that never stops. Someone else mentioned birdsong, and it was a funny thing, the torture was worse in the mornings and over the summer months while it was slowly building, birdsong in the morning outside the window had become a kind of torture as well. I had to go to work only 2 days a week and God only knows how I managed it. I had taken
my last Sertraline tablet months ago, and come off it as per the doctors instructions, and now my depression/anxiety was back tenfold to punish me for daring to presume I could stop taking it. I must be wired up wrong, no one else feels like this do they? What is wrong with me? Maybe I really am insane, maybe I just can’t cope with life without my tablets, how come everyone else can cope with life, and I can’t? There must be something fundamentally wrong with me. By now the Orwell Bridge was beginning to look a bit attractive and I just wanted to escape the adrenaline surges torturing me, my nerves were in shreds”.
This was 2003,at the end of 2003 I gave in and went back on the sertraline.

In 2006 I attempted another withdrawal, but at the same time we found ourselves going through a stressful life event, I tried to tough it out but ended up back on the Sertraline again.
So here I was, several years later and no further forward, and not for wont of trying! Everytime I went in a book shop or library I would try and find anything I could about antidepressants and depression, but nothing really enlightened me. I rummaged around on the internet but couldn’t find the answers. Until one day, I was browsing around Waterstones, and “Coming off Antidepressants” by Joseph Glenmullen jumped out at me, I read it avidly, and discovered TAPERING!!! But, all the examples in the book referred to liquid Seroxat or Prozac, I was really upset to find Sertraline was not available in liquid form. Armed with my new information about the simple concept of tapering, further digging led me to Dr Healy’s protocol of switching to the equivalent dose of liquid Prozac. These two pieces of information became my secret hope, I latched onto them. I decided to take a leap of faith and switch to liquid Prozac. At the beginning of 2007 I marked up my calendar with a schedule, I was going to go down from 5ml to 4.90ml the first week, 4.80ml the next week and so on, as my sons would say “epic fail”. By about mid February the nightmare was unfolding again and I had to give in and go back to the top of my Prozac dose, I was devastated.
Still I hadn’t given up hope, P was sympathetic but he couldn’t understand why I didn’t just give it up and accept I “needed” the drugs like a diabetic needs insulin. After lots more research, and P having interesting and enlightening conversations with a client who was a pharmacist about my problem, I started my taper again in May 2008, this time much much slower and here I am four years later down to 1ml liquid Prozac and still sucessfully tapering. It has needed a lot of self-discipline. I kept this blog/diary of my progress; I’ve been amazed to meet a few others who have been tapering longer than me. Nowadays my withdrawals are fairly benign, but I still feel a bit scarred from the experience,the akathisia has left me still feeling like my nerves are quite raw and very close to the surface but I can live with that now.
There is a huge assumption that these drugs are benign and harmless, they are not; they can cause extreme agitation and internal torture. They are dished out like smarties and people left to deal with the results. Starting them is like playing a game of Russian Roulette, you might be a lucky one who can take them and come off them with ease, or you might not. My understanding was that they were meant to be taken for only a year or so after you feel “well” but many many people are stuck on them for years or forever, I know many people who’ve given up hope of coming off SSRI’s and I hear many people say “oh I’ll be on these the rest of my life”. There is NO support or advice in place through doctors or psychiatrists on how to taper safely off the drugs.....if anyone does find any help in the UK, please let me know, although it’s a bit too late for me now as I’ve almost done it myself, but I know a lot of other people who might like to know!

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Four years on...

I decided to do an update as I get occasional e mails from people who found my blog asking how I am now.

Four years ago I went back on the standard dose of 50mg Sertraline (Zoloft if you're in America) and fairly rapidly made a full recovery. Some months later I got fed up of the "feeling a bit too happy/high even in inappropriate circumstances thing", or the "totally numb" thing  (if you're taking these pills you'll know what I mean, if you're not taking these pills you might think it all sounds rather nice).

So long story short, I went back to liquid Prozac and reduced down to 3ml liquid Prozac, every day for the past 2/3 years I have been taking exactly 3ml liquid Prozac (standard dose is 5ml). This particular dose means I ditch the numbness, but I haven't reduced so much that I go into acute withdrawal/depression/anxiety/dread mode. It works perfectly for me and I'm leading a "normal" life, whatever "normal" is, and I don't often think about it unless someone asks.

Yes depression/anxiety always lurks beneath the surface, you never really get rid of it. Sometimes something will trigger an attack of insomnia/anxiety, or a wave of depression, but I can generally get a grip on it or ride it out.

Friday, 19 July 2013

One journey ends and another one begins

This is my last blog post it’s time for me to move on. My page on Facebook will also be deleted shortly.

 I tried, I gave it my best shot, it didn’t work out, and if I hadn’t tried I’d never know and I’d still be wondering.
In the middle of June 2013 I’d had enough, had enough of overwhelming depression that wasn’t going anywhere, and the persistent feelings of dread and anxiety.  I couldn’t cope with the fact that I couldn’t cope with doing routine things like going to work and participating in normal everyday things. This may have been withdrawal, but this was also very real depression. There were odd good days but I began to realise that I was kidding myself, I wasn’t getting any better, I was trying hard, lots of bike rides, healthy diet, positive thinking. It came to a head when I couldn’t get myself into work one morning, and I just couldn’t fight it anymore, I felt crippled by it. I’d been debating for a few weeks whether to go back to Sertraline.

 Reader, I went to the doctor and I started the Sertraline. I read somewhere “being mentally ill sucks, the drugs suck, it’s choosing the least sucky option”. The decision was not made lightly, but having made the decision I felt like a great weight had lifted off me, devastated and totally drained, I was off work for 2 weeks, I needed that space to come to terms with my decision and what had happened.

 Whether I like it or not, I have been feeling a lot better. I’m relieved to be feeling better, and trying not to think too hard about whether there are any long term implications to being dependent on a drug, and take one day at a time.

This decision is the right one for me at this point in time, it wasn't all bad, the tapering method worked for me for a long time and it works for many other people who have successful outcomes, who knows, I might revisit it at some time in the future.

 I discovered the meaning of my recurring dream.

Something positive to have come out of this journey is that I’ve discovered I have some absolutely fantastic supportive friends in real life and on line, and a fantastically supportive husband and parents.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

It's Getting Better all the Time (kind of)

I just wanted to log on here that I have stabilized at 8mg Prozac and I'm getting better all the time, it's not what I wanted, it's not where I thought I'd end up, I thought I was the "poster child" for tapering off antidepressant drugs in this excruciatingly slow style, it worked SO well for five years, I felt so well tapering for five years, until it all unravelled spectacularly last Autumn. I feel disappointed.

If you'd asked me, this time last year, I would've said I was doing really well, and well on course to be off Prozac completely in the near future. I was even thinking this blog would be all tied up and finished and left just floating around in cyber space.

At one point though, I was feeling so bad I was considering going back to the full dose and being done with it, the thing that stopped me was the thought of the horrible side effects, the numbing of libido and emotions, and there is a tendency to essential tremor in my family and I notice on the drug, full dose, my hands have a horrible tremor, and my handwriting gets really scruffy, and I'm enjoying my piano, so no I don't want to aggravate a tendency to a tremor which the full dose gives me.

P and I have talked over this so much, we've come to the following conclusions:

  • I have an underlying condition/predisposition to depression/anxiety.

  • The drug is too enmeshed in my brain/body after so many years which have included various attempts at cold turkey and alternate day withdrawals messing up my nervous system.

I genuinely feel that it's been too many years now, and I can't put myself through the misery of withdrawal any more, I'm sooo tired of it, it's not what I thought would happen but I'm going to stay at 8mg, possibly forever, I'm at a point where I want to keep quality of life, and after you've been through a period of depression and come out the other side, boy does life feel good, I think you never take "happiness" for granted if you've experienced depression.

I'd like to have got off Prozac fully, but it's not fair on me or my family to keep putting myself through the misery, and since I would probably have to go into "rehab" for a couple of years to do it which isn't an option on the NHS or living in the real world, I can't see it happening. As long as my surgery doesn't have an issue with prescribing the liquid so I can continue with 8mg.

Friday, 5 April 2013

2ml (8mg)

Another up dose :(

Good days and bad days, I think the good days are way out numbering the bad days now, but the bad days feel....bad.

I've tried throwing everything at it, mindfulness, relaxation CD's, my piano, positive affirmations, magnesium, nope, none of this truly shifts a full blown anxiety attack in full flow. Lately, on a bad day, I've caught myself thinking about going back to full dose. Then on a good day I wonder what I was thinking, having got so far.

Friday, 22 March 2013

1.30ml (5mg) - Remember that Light at the end of the Tunnel?

Well I think in the end it was an oncoming freight train. I never really seemed to get any better, many insomniac nights and anxious low level depressed days, so hard to keep functioning and so very exhausting. It’s in my nature to soldier on regardless, I’ve always been Mrs Reliable, always turn up when I say I’m going to turn up, never off sick, whole years with no sick leave, always do what I say I’m going to do. Now I feel like Mrs Flaky and unreliable. I never know from one day to the next how I’m going to be. I must be a great actress though, no one seems to believe me and everyone tells me I always seem the same and I hide it well. Either I should be on the stage or they’re being polite I can’t work out which.
P has been trying to persuade me for ages to go for another up dose, so since nothing else seems to be working, and I’m desperate to feel better, we settled on 1.30ml (5mg), this could either go well, or totally backfire, anyone who knows anything about drug withdrawal or reinstatement knows that recovery comes in "waves" and "windows" and as I've had a lot of lovley "windows" this week I'll choose to be optimistic that the "windows" of getting better will increase and the "waves" will decrease.

I’m one week into the up dose and it’s been a bit of a roller coaster week, initially I felt like a plant that’s been starved of water coming back to life, all the anxiety and dread cleared, as though someone had waved a magic wand, I felt so well the contrast made me realise just how “unwell” I’ve really been feeling the past 6 months. On day 3 in the evening I had intense anxiety and dread kick in, had a poor night and woke to very very intense anxiety, it can be so intense and physical it can reduce me to tears.  I was working with P that day and decided to soldier on, as the day wore on the intense anxiety lifted again and I was well again. The next day at my other job was all good, I felt great, the following day was ok and then last night moderate anxiety kicked in again and I was wired and awake all night. I need to give it a few weeks and see if I settle down. In any case I’ve almost come to the conclusion that I might never achieve my goal of all the way off the drug without being so ill that my whole life goes down the pan, and I might just have to find a permanent stable dose and stick with it. 

In other news I have my new piano at last, electric so I can practise with headphones and not disturb anyone; this is a great way of just getting lost in the moment and so relaxing.

At this point here, I want to say thank you to my husband, my parents and a couple of friends in real life who’ve  been so supportive and been there for me going through this, I think they’ll know who they are if and when they read this.

Me Too!

Thursday, 28 February 2013

5th Anniversary of my Blog

Yup I can't believe it's 5 years since I started this, privately, and I thought I would be finished by now and this blog would be all neatly tied up and finished, but no I'm still here with a Facebook page to boot, and a job in addition at: Surviving Antidepressants.

ONE day this will be history.

My Prozac Reduction Timeline

Thursday, 17 January 2013

There IS light at the end of the tunnel - and no I don't think it's an oncoming freight train.

My younger son who takes an interest in this blog came up with the heading for this blog post, and his sense of humour is a bit of a worry.

Oct/Nov/Dec saw me unravelling in a nightmare way, the worst things were the fairly severe internal anxiety and adrenaline surges, and resultant insomnia, I’m a bit scared to publish this but in the interests of an honest log of my progress here goes, at my lowest points, a few nights saw me self medicating with tamezapam and whisky, either one, or the other or both together, 2 or 3 hours of total oblivion even with a hangover the next day was slightly better than 7/8 hours of sleepless anxiety with someone snoring beside me, only slightly better and it was the bit of oblivion I was after. The tamezapam has virtually all gone now and I won't get anymore and I've abandoned the whisky, especially after reading alcohol is no good for damaged nervous systems anyway.

I also had a lightbulb moment about a multivitamin I was taking, I'd read that too many B vitamins can be aggravating to messed up nervous systems so I looked at my Holland and Barret vitamin bottle (other brands are available) and discovered that I was taking over 100% of the RDA, so I ditched them and just sticking with the high EPA fish oil capsules and a healthy diet.

Mid December I realised I’d got to guesstimate the best dose of Prozac and stick to it for better or worse, messing about with the dose was sending my nervous system into constant turmoil. Just before Christmas I could feel myself starting to come out the other side, somewhat, the internal anxiety, dread and adrenaline surges subsided, but knew I still had a little way to go to get stable again. There was a fair bit of “faking it to make it” through December, in other words I had to get a grip and force myself through the motions of whatever I had to do on any given day, whether it was work, working with P or Christmassy preparations, but "going through the motions" is grim.

Now into January, I can feel myself feeling more like my old self again, my normal sleep pattern is coming back, not 100%, still getting odd bad nights but definite improvements and feeling more normal, whatever that is, "normal is a setting on a washing machine" comes to mind.

At the moment, I just want to relish feeling “normal” for a few or even many months, I am torn between feeling desperate to get off this last 1ml of medicine drug poison, and terrified to rock the boat and do anything about it.... ever.

As an aside, a colleague at work asked me the other week, is there no help or withdrawal specialists on the NHS? really?!?! Yes really!!

I am grateful to P for being my rock, and to Alto Strata and other friends at Surviving Antidepressants, and my nurse friend, for helping me untangle this and work out the best dose to be on.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

A Little Knowledge Can Be a Dangerous Thing!

1ml Syringe
Yesterday, my friend who is a specialist nurse called round and we talked syringes. (I really need to get a life). This friend is the only health professional me and P know who has taken on board and taken an interest in my issues. I happened to mention in the course of the conversation that I'd started flushing the syringe in water and drinking the water to make sure I got all the medicine out. I'd read that this was a good idea. She pointed out to me that if I had just started doing this, I had inadvertently been updosing another .05ml so I had gone up from 0.85ml to most likely 1.10ml which was a bigger jump than I had intended. I was flusing the Prozac out of the nub at the bottom and that nub is quite big. 
Everyone close to me has had a different opinion on what I should do, but I decided to go with my gut feeling and go to 1ml. Six days later I think this gut feeling is begining to pay off, this week end the awful gut churning anxiety/dread/doom feelings seem to have just melted away, I'm sleeping better, not quite as well as previously but noticably better and today I feel a definate shift towards feeling more "normal" self again. I have also been practising a mindfulness meditation everyday and of course that may have helped as well.

Saturday, 15 December 2012

1ml (4mg) - Who Needs Red Bull!

So after nearly a month at 1.05ml I honestly wasn’t feeling any improvement, in fact I think I was beginning to feel worse again, the main problem was feeling “wired” or like I’d drunk a jug of Red Bull and unable to sleep, this in turn was making me feel really depressed. 
I would really like to thank Alto Strata at http://survivingantidepressants.org/ who asked a knowledgeable doctor about what was happening to me and the conclusion was that by going to 1.05ml I may have overshot my bolt, and the Prozac was becoming too activating, it is a stimulating drug and I seem to be very sensitive. When we studied it I was beginning to feel better shortly after I went to 1.05ml but since Prozac takes a lot of days to reach “high tide” it was probably the effect of going up to 1ml beginning to take effect and then I ramped it up by going up further to 1.05ml and got worse again. So I’m going to see how back to 1ml goes.

In my real life I seem to be surrounded by people who just “stopped” their drug or had no problems, I am so thankful for the internet and finding that I’m so NOT alone with this and I'm not mad.
In the meantime I have begun to practise mindfulness, and can thoroughly recommend a book called “The Mindful Way Through Depression”, it has a CD with it and I’ve begun to do about half an hour practise a day, and if I can find the right dose to get my nervous system back on the right track I’ll stick there because I’ve had enough of this crap for now.
My Prozac Reduction Timeline

Saturday, 17 November 2012

1.05ml - Arresting the Spiral

So I’ve  found myself spiralling down in a way that I hadn’t felt for 5-6 years, after years of fairly benign withdrawals because I’ve been tapering so slow, I was shocked to find myself getting all the old symptoms from years back. A bad withdrawal seems to take your most negative emotion like anxiety and ramp it up or amplify it to a spirit crushing level. Mind you depression does that as well?!?!
 As I’ve documented in the posts below the worst things I was getting and still getting on and off, was insomnia, deep despair, dread and adrenaline/anxiety. I actually, maybe naively, thought I’d left those things behind years ago in the bad old days. It’s impacting on my life again recently in ways I hate; I’ve been too exhausted to go into work for a few days during October/November, and I’m struggling to get myself back on an even keel again. Insomnia is the most debilitating symptom and just aggravates everything else and is classic in drug withdrawal.
So having taken guidance from the eminently knowledgeable and wise Alto Strata, (who I probably should have listened to months ago when she suggested a micro taper to me) I’m going to go up a tiny bit more to 1.05ml in an extra bid to clear my current issues, as she explained it .05 is 5% of 1ml and it could well be that I am sensitive to tiny amounts now, and Prozac is a stimulating drug, if I’m sensitive I don’t want to aggravate things further but need to find the right balance and stabilise myself at that point.
So I suppose the lesson here is never get blasé and underestimate the power of these drugs, for good or bad depending on how you view them.
The other lesson is that recovery and progress doesn’t always happen in a straight line.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

1ml (4mg) - A Small Reinstatement

So on Wednesday I had to updose a tiny bit back to 1ml, the received wisdom from those who have trod this path before me is that if you start unravelling it's best to go back to the dose where you last felt well, so this is what I've done,  I will write more fully about it hopefully in the next week, right now I'm just totally drained.

Prozac Reduction Timeline

Monday, 29 October 2012

C'mon Inner Peace I Don't Have All Day!!

The people who mentioned it gets hard near the end, they were not wrong!!  Anyway I realised this blog was turning into a right misery pity fest so I want to turn it around again into a more positive story of recovery and celebrate the fact that I have in fact come a long long way even if there is still a bit or work to do.

I’m getting the adrenaline surges I used to get years ago when I did cold turkey but not as severe, it becomes a bit of a downward spiral because adrenaline surges means it’s hard to relax/sleep and in turn the tiredness/exhaustion makes the surges feel worse and more desperate; the one positive thing about adrenaline surges is that they appear to eat calories and I can now eat cake and lose weight.!!Has to be some benefit doesn’t there? Yesterday I had a couple of strong coffees in the morning and couldn’t help but notice how very on edge I felt an hour or so later, so I guess that’s something I’ll have to cut down or eliminate, hopefully temporarily. I have taken some advice and this is the positive action I am taking:

       Out with the bungee jumping

       Out with the trips to Alton Towers, no more Oblivion for me, at least for the time being

Cut down on tea and coffee


       Replace tea and coffee with chamomile, green and rosehip tea (boring but soothing)

Eat healthy

Magnesium citrate (was already taking magnesium but apparently magnesium citrate is much better absorbed and is good for the nervous system and muscles)

Melatonin (good for sleep)

Learn about Mindfulness, “Wherever You Go There You Are” on order.

Keep up with the exercise, sadly weather for cycling is not good but I still have the X trainer.

Continue to appreciate my caring and supportive husband who worries about me, and my funny affectionate sons.

 I’ve been trying to unravel whether this is “withdrawal” or mind and body rebelling against the crutch I’ve had for so many years now disappearing, and even whether I ought to up dose a bit or tough this out. At the moment I’m going to stay at this dose, take positive action as above and mull over how to proceed in the future.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Peter Hitchens writing in the Daily Mail about Felicia Boots

Peter Hitchens often writes on this topic in the Daily Mail. I have actually been avoiding this story because it's really so painful, but it is actually really important to share this, as most people will be missing the point entirely and blaming the post natal depression, the real story is that she stopped taking her pills cold turkey. Thank you thank you Peter Hitchens.

Investigate the evil of these pills

I bit my tongue when I first read of the tragedy of Felicia Boots, her life now a desolation of unbearable grief.
As soon as I learned that she had killed her own children and then tried to do away with herself, I was sure that I would find she had been taking ‘antidepressants’. And so it proves.
Our courts let many people off because of spurious claims that they could not control themselves.
Probe: Peter Hitchens wants an inquiry into the usage of antidepressants following the tragic story of Felicia Boots, right
Probe: Peter Hitchens wants an inquiry into the usage of antidepressants following the tragic story of Felicia Boots, right
But I believe that in her case the judge was right to say that this unhappy woman was in the grip of ‘forces that were beyond her control’.
It will be pointed out that she had recently ceased taking these pills, because of a perfectly reasonable fear of passing on the drugs to her children through her breast milk.
To anyone who has studied the matter, the fact that Mrs Boots became unhinged after ceasing to take her ‘antidepressants’ will be no surprise.
Normal human beings become abnormal, possibly for ever, as soon as they first ingest these powerful, poorly-researched chemicals, often prescribed by doctors shamefully ignorant of the growing body of expert criticism of them.
The effects of coming off them can be even worse than the effects of starting to take them. I have absolutely no personal stake in this argument. I have simply observed what seems to me to be a pattern, both among several people known to me and in a growing number of news reports.
I will be told this is ‘anecdotal’. Very well, then. Let us have a proper, fully-funded inquiry that will settle the matter once and for all. It is very urgent. Prescriptions of ‘antidepressants’ grow all the time.
If there is the slightest risk that they make good, kind mothers lose their minds and kill their own babies, I can imagine few more pressing matters on the agenda of any government than to establish the truth and act on it. Please, somebody listen.

Link to the article (scroll down)

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Cutting Up Rough

Just had one of the worst few days in a long while, since I embarked on this taper in 2008 my withdrawals have been fairly benign and I’ve been pretty much able to work through them. This time however I’ve had a few days that have felt much more crippling in intensity, I’m wondering if it’s because now I’m below 1ml each cut I make is more than 10% of previous dose. At this point I could make micro cuts, which could be endless, or just leave even longer between cuts and accepting that the withdrawals will be more debilitating when they do hit. At the moment I am thinking the latter; whatever, it’s just really frustrating to be so near and yet so far to the end. It’s so tempting to just think to hell with it and just drop this last bit dead but I just know Prozac and my brain won’t like it and will cut up very rough.

These past few days I’ve had the following:

·        Wired/caffeinated feeling

·        Insomnia (one night I got so fed up I went downstairs and made a packed lunch and sorted laundry, went back to bed and still couldn’t sleep)

·        Free floating anxiety

·        Crying

·        Despair
At my lowest point I nearly deleted my page off Facebook and this blog, until P talked me out of it, and now I’m so glad I didn’t, I would have missed the page and all the wonderful people out there. This time I even had to take a couple of days off my local authority job and I felt really bad about that, I’m so used to rarely being off sick. The plus side is that I work with a great team of people, and I felt able to tell the truth about why I was off sick and even had a lengthy chat about it with a colleague when I did get back and it was all positive.

Today I feel like I’m definitely coming out the other side and I’m just left feeling like I’ve been through the wringer and feeling a bit spaced out.
I do just want to address something that I know people think but are too polite to say or ask, everyone who goes on these drugs went on them for a reason, depression, anxiety (and nowadays PMT, ADD, ADHD, physical pain or any number of different ailments). How do I know I’m not just depressed still? Of course I’m not naive enough to think depression will leave my life forever, of course I will always be someone prone to depression/anxiety as part of my makeup and I am ever mindful of that fact. Having had depression I know that with no drugs involved it just doesn’t shift that quickly, it’s a longer haul. When doing a slow taper off a drug the depressions are mercifully time limited and do shift in a way that depression wouldn’t.

My youngest son is 14 this coming week, this means its 14 years since this story started.

I just want to end this post with a picture made by a good friend Paul:
My Prozac Reduction Timeline

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Today is World Mental Health Day

P is in a lot business networking groups on Facebook, and he received an invitation to an "Afternoon tea and talk" event at Arlingtons Brasserie in Ipswich this afternoon, it's a mental health awareness event with interesting things going on,  at first I thought I wouldn't be able to go and then I realised I had in fact swapped my work days for a staff meeting so I could in fact go.

 A portion of the proceeds of the event are going to Suffolk Mind and The Mind Sanctuary in Suffolk. This was too good an event for us to miss as it combines business networking for P and mental health awareness which is of interest to us both.

The Mind Sanctuary

Suffolk Mind

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Antidepressant Withdrawal is Hell!

When I shared this picture on my Facebook page a while back I was shocked by how much response it got, so many related to it or had something to say about it.

I could tick at least half the things on that list and many people I know could tick nearly all.

Monday, 1 October 2012


So a week into my tiny cut this is how I've been feeling, my sleep pattern has temporarily gone to pot and I've been dragging my weary ass through the days, it's. just. a. drag. On saturday I'd had a good nights sleep but despite that I just felt like someone had pulled my plug out, I felt drained like when you have flu.  No emotionals this time, just tiredness,  I know it will pass. I really was hoping to speed up the last bit of the taper now, but P, very sensibly said what does it matter? who cares if the last bit takes another load of months? enjoy the stability in between the drops? I know he's right darn it!!

I'm married to someone who can sleep on a clothes line at the drop of a hat, I however have to go to bed the same time every night and no matter what time I go to bed, I always wake early, I never sleep the clock round, and I daytime sleep just doesn't come easy, and if it does I get a thumping headache, so routine is important to me, I've found talking to other members of my family that they are much the same, and I think it's to do with being brought up in a farming family.

Prozac Reduction Timeline