Monday, 8 September 2014

Might as well face it...

I'm addicted to drugs.

I've been popping prescription pills since I was 19 years old. I had a nervous breakdown and was slapped on SSRIs - it was Seroxat back in them there days. I remember my GP telling me excitedly that they were absolutely non addictive, side effect free and basically a miracle of miracles. It was not long after they had been discovered and it was just after Prozac was handed out like smarties.

And, to be fair, they seemed to be the miracle he described. I went from an almost catatonic state to being able to function. From total agoraphobic to student again. From someone who couldn't lift her head up and walked around like that wee dead girl in The Ring to someone who could socialise, work, think, feel, again.

Because I was on them I stopped taking illegal drugs (don't wanna mix them up, kids), and I cut down drinking a fair amount. And I was 19. I had two years of Uni left to enjoy and I was so relieved to feel some freedom from the pressure of suicidal thoughts that I honestly didn't give a shit. Fine, they say I have a chemical imbalance in my head, and I need these drugs. Fine. FINE.

A few years later I decided to stop them. Just stop taking them. Bad idea. For drugs that were touted as non addictive, turns out they're addictive as all fuck. Ask a GP to help you come off them and they tend to skirt around it. "Wait until your life is stable and you're happy," is something I've heard from more than one.

Seriously, dude. Seriously? Who has a life that's smooth and lovely and marvellous? Who? Fucking show me someone and I'll eat my hat. You dick. But I kept taking them. Because, well, it's easier, alright? It's just easier. When you're on a drug that fucks you the fuck up as soon as you stop taking them, it's a lot bleeding easier to just stay on 'em.

I was all about the easy. I figured I'll just stay on them forever. No big deal. Other people take more, take worse, so, you know. Fuck it.

A few years later they shifted me to Sertraline. Can't recall why. I think they've stopped giving out Seroxat, to be honest. It went from wonder drug to dodgy fucking drug pretty quickly. Studies came out saying that, actually, it increases suicidal tendencies in a notable amount of test subjects when they tried to stop it.

An anti depressant that makes you suicidal? Awesome.

So I stayed on it.

I've been waiting for that magical time where I am totally chilled, happy and fulfilled and can come off my highly addictive drugs that I've been on for 19 years, but guess what? Hasn't happened.

Then recently I got to thinking. What if without these pills, I'm alright? What if I don't need them? What if I'm better without them? What if some of the head fog and sad is because of them? Thing is, they have some brutal side effects when coming off them. Really nasty. I don't mean Trainspotting babies on the ceiling or anything, but I do mean a very odd depersonalisation feeling along with severe vertigo. Both of which kick of panic for me.

So to decide to come off them is a pretty damn big deal. I've quit fags this year, imagine if, by the end of 2014, I'm free from a drug I've been taking since 1993? Who will I be? How will I do? Will depression still be such a looming demon? Will I be able to manage my symptoms better? Or will I crack like a pane of glass after it's been nutted by a rhino?

Let's find out, shall we?

1 comment:

  1. Long-time reader, first time commenter. This post more than all your others struck a chord with me. A few months ago just before I split up with my wife, I was prescribed 50mg of Sertraline. Aside from the depression, I was getting anxiety and was informed that this was the weapon of choice in tackling it. After a while, the anxiety decreased somewhat. When I went back for a follow up I mentioned that a known side effect (failure to orgasm) was causing me real problems. My doctor decided it would be a good idea to INCREASE my dose to 100mg per day. This ended up making me much worse.After a few weeks, I decided I was coming off them.

    I began by skipping a day every so often, and slowly increasing the drug free days. I'm currently on 2 doses per week. Be careful you don't come off them too quickly as you will feel utterly vile. I hope you blog your progress as I'd be interested to follow it.

    Andy

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