Now I’m off the drugs, what now?

Posted: May 29, 2016 in Black Dog

After being on anti-depressants for over a year, I’m off them now.

I started taking them, under prescription, after I came close to ending it all; my life seemed bleak, with no prospects of improvement, and ending it seemed to be for the best for all concerned.

I don’t think my current GP is clued up on even the common mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety, and when I went in to say I felt ready to come off he asked lots of questions about the tablets I was taking. I suspect this is a more widespread problem, but that is another discussion.

I was on seretide, which is essentially a supply of seretonin – a hormone that the brain uses to make us ‘happier’. Note that these drugs are not ‘happy tabs‘; what they did for me was pull me out of the hole that I felt I was in, and prevented me from getting worse. Bear in mind that your brain uses seretonin on a localised basis within the brain, whereas the tablets supply seretonin to the whole brain, which means there are side-effects of a greater or lesser intent, which vary from individual to individual.

These drugs are not a cure, but a way to manage your mood; it’s through the counselling/therapy that you learn to manage your condition yourself.

And I’d arrived at the point where I felt as though I could manage my head space without the assistance of the drug.

What is surprising for me is that I feel even happier after coming off the tablets. It’s as though the tablets stop you from having low moods by keeping you in a ‘middle mood ground’, and having come off them, I’m now able to break the ceiling.

How am I? I used to say I’m okay. Just okay. Now I say I’m good. And I say it with a smile.

And now to get on with the rest of my life. I am looking at what is important in my life; what makes me happy, and what I can dispense with. That will not be easy, as none of us likes to change. But I will do what I need to for me, and try not to allow the thoughts and actions of others to dictate how I should be.

Easier said but done, but it is something to work toward.

I am still having sessions with a psychotherapist, but having been stable for some time, they may well stop soon. But should I struggle in future, I know that help is available.


 

Post Script.

Following a comment I recently received, I just want to clarify a few things.

The condition I refer to is my own – depression. Not all mental illnesses are the same, with some requiring constant attention, just as with some physical illness, for example, diabetes or asthma.

For anyone on medication and wishing to come off them, you must discuss it with your doctor (General Practitioner in the UK). I was also receiving psychotherpy counselling to monitor my state, and still continue to have this, though this has now been reduced because I am stable.

~Dom~

 

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Comments
  1. Lauren says:

    Total stranger here, but I wanted to tell you that as someone with mental illness, it brought a huge smile to my face to read this post. I find such hope in your progress and I wish you all the best as you continue. it takes a lot of bravery to speak aloud about these things and you deserve everything good life has to offer. take care of you!! Lauren

    Liked by 1 person

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