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.
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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.