Quitting antidepressants after 10 years is no joke. Here's one woman's experience plus helpful links about how to quit antidepressants safely.

Looks Like I Picked the Wrong Week to Quit Antidepressants

I’ve been on an antidepressant for over 10 years and have been thinking about going off of it for the past 3 years. I’ve been smart about it—make no mistake. I know how shitty I feel when I’ve missed a dose, so I know better than to quit cold turkey.

I spoke to my doctor who prescribed me enough to wean me off the meds over the course of 3 weeks. I took the full dose for 4 days, then cut back a little, then cut back a little more, then even more. Tuesday was my last day to take my last dose. And I’m ready to cut a bitch.

Dude, yesterday I felt 10 different kinds of woozy. I’ve had very little to be depressed about lately and figured, why stay on them when I feel like I don’t need to be anti-depressed, right? Oh my hell. What was I thinking? Last night I went to my oldest daughter’s last regular season home basketball game. It was senior night, and I really, truly thought I’d be okay. Until I wasn’t. Seriously, I cried from the time her dad, her sister and I walked her onto the court to accept the flowers and cards from her coaches and teammates until the final buzzer rang. Then I cried some more. I couldn’t read the cards, because tears. I couldn’t even talk to her.

RELATED: Writing Through Depression

Is there ever a right time to stop taking antidepressants? Someone needs to clue me in, because apparently I suck at decision-making right now. And breathing. And interacting with other humans. And coming up with coherent thought.

I checked the Google to see how long these seriously screwed up symptoms will last and let me tell you, I’m not happy with the results. I may quit the Google and just try Bing for life. Maybe Bing will have better answers. Weeks? Months? Screw you, Google! And your stupid lies too!

Some folks recommend fish oil, but then they say they burp a lot of fishy flavor and that’s kind of unpleasant. Really? How about going outside in the sunshine for a while? That helped some other folks. Apparently those folks tried to quit while basking in the Arizona sunshine, and not the late winter freaking sub-zero temps of West Virginia.

What was I thinking?? Quitting antidepressants in early March when I can’t go outside and enjoy the sun without suffering from frostbite? At this point, frostbite might actually be a welcomed relief, because the woozies are sucking the life out of me. I’m dizzy, nauseated, cranky, weepy, headachy, miserable. I’m just like God’s little ray of sunshine right now and my family thinks I’m just a JOY to be near. Those assholes.

So, much like Lloyd Bridges’ character Steve McCroskey in Airplane, it definitely looks like I picked the wrong week to quit anti-depressants.

Editor’s Note: as someone who’s been there, I love this author’s honest and humorous portrayal of her experience going off her meds. But quitting antidepressants is no joke. Please seek professional medical guidance before altering your dose of any prescription drugs. For more information on antidepressant withdrawal, symptoms, and advice, this is a great resource pamphlet from the Royal College of Psychiatrists.  

 

This original piece by Teri Biebel was written exclusively for In the Powder Rooma division of Hold My Purse Productions, LLC. Featured photo © istockphoto.com/CREATISTA. 

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Teri Biebel is a working mom of two teenage daughters. She is a writer, a ranter, a fan-girl and has a huge crush on Mike Rowe. You can find her at the blog Snarkfest.

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  1. says

    I’m so sorry you’re going through this, T.. but you made me laugh. Especially that header. Glad you haven’t lost your sense of humor. ((hugs))

  2. Stefanie says

    Saw your article and read it literally 5 minutes after taking my 1st half dose. Thought today was the day to start weaning off what my family calls, “moms pills”.
    Now I’m not so sure…then I read the comment about being filled with rage when not on antidepressants and I remembered the unmediated version of me. What was I thinking. I like my pills. I need my pills. Pills are GOOD!

    • says

      What works for one doesn’t always work the same for everyone, and you need to do what works best for you! But know, please, that while it does take what SEEMS like an eternity for the withdrawal symptoms to subside, they ARE subsiding and they will eventually all go away.

  3. says

    Teri, if I had to go off my meds, I’d need to be at the spa the entire time, but then an old Yanni song would come on and I’d start crying into my cucumber water, which is DISGUSTING! Where in the hell is this going? I hope you can get back to a safe dose and find some balance, Chica! xoxo

    • says

      Stacey, thank goodness the worst is past and I survived without the need for cucumber water! A spa week would’ve definitely helped, but the support of my friends has helped tremendously. Thanks babe!

  4. says

    this has me rolling as I just stopped mine a little over a month ago. Was fine the first couple of weeks and was like “I got this!” But then this past weekend my emotions were so raw. Lots of crying, etc. and not even near time for my cycle. I needed this laugh big time!

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