It’s been two months. Two full months since the final taper dose of my anxiety/depression medication. It doesn’t feel like that long, and I still feel like I’m learning to live, or should I say, cope with out them. For 2 months, I have experienced dramatic changes to my emotional and mental state of being. It’s been awhile since I have written anything about the changes I have been experiencing. Once the main discontinuation syndrome symptoms wore off, it was hard for me to determine what was happening. Here’s a short list of what I have experienced.
- I feel more intensely — both bad and good emotions.
- I cry easier than before.
- I get overwhelmed, and I’ve had many moments of severe anxiety.
- I’ve felt pure joy a couple of times, and for no real reason
- I’ve had increased PMS symptoms
- About 20lbs of weight loss
- I’ve experienced a few set backs with my eating disorder
- My face has been oiler than usual
- I’ve had vivid and intense dreams
- I’ve seen a decrease in my physical strength
- I’ve had a lot of headaches
- I was drinking too much (but recently stopped)
- I now have an increased sex drive
- Darker circles under my eyes
- I ruminate all the time
I have also noticed I am more in-tune with my anxiety. My medication took away most of the physical side-effects of anxiety, but my anxious thoughts were still there. Because I didn’t have the physical que’s I didn’t always focus on dealing with the thoughts that were causing the anxiety. Now, I have no choice. When my heart is racing, and I’m crying uncontrollably, I need to take action right away. Luckily, I have great co-workers, who are aware of what I’m going through. They don’t freak out when I’m having a spell; instead, they sympathize and help me breathe. A few of them are good at asking me what I need to do to feel better. The last 2 episodes I’ve had at work only lasted an hour, so this is a big improvement. All-in-all, I think I’m doing pretty good, and I’m optimistic I can continue on without my medication.
It wasn’t easy for me to quit taking my medication. For the longest time, I felt I absolutely needed them, and I think I did at some point. I may still need them; only time will tell. Please note that I am not an advocate for medication discontinuation. Every person is different, and his or her mental health illness’s require different types of treatment. I have worked with my doctor during this trial, and I have a psychologist lined up to work on cognative behaviour therapy. If I wasn’t so sensitive to the medication side-effects, I probably would still be on them. But I am sensitive to them, and I’m not sure if they are worth the trade off.
Be well my friends.