Reflections on Life After Antidepressants

The main point I have wanted to make in this series of posts related to my discontinuation of antidepressants is this: It can be done. You will survive. Your body is working with you to recover. The last days of my third and final taper, nearly two years after I had made the first attempt, ended innocuously. Step by step I was slicing down my tablets until they became too small to slice. At this point I started skipping days: I'd take a sliver on a Monday and not take the next one until … [Read more...]

Third Try to Get Off Antidepressants: Success, at Long Last

In honor of Mental Health Awareness month, I have been posting about the long and arduous journey I took to get off antidepressants. They had been prescribed for me by a general practitioner when I was experiencing a difficult passage in my life and, over time, had come to affect my health adversely. I made the decision to get off them but it was a long haul. This post addresses how, by my third attempt, I had learned some fundamental ways to broach the taper of these meds and how, by God's … [Read more...]

The Troubling Matter of Medical NonCompliance

by Wendy Murray In keeping with my posts this month -- Mental Health Awareness month -- I include below an account of an experience I had with a medical professional who proved unhelpful and even belligerent in my attempt to seek her help in withdrawing from my antidepressant. I have learned that this story is typical and many patients, like myself, contend with unhelpful doctors.  I want to be clear that, even as I write about my experience with this one professional, I also saw several other … [Read more...]

What SSRIs Do To the Brain, Making Them Difficult to Quit

(This series about antidepressants is posted during Mental Health Awareness month.) For some, the attempt to discontinue antidepressants is a life-or-death dance. Something in the brain of a person who is discontinuing sends alarming signals. Often these impulses leave one with the singular feeling of rage that focuses on the need to self-destruct or to destroy something or someone else. For those who are discontinuing, if during one of these rage-filled moments, they are lucky enough to cling … [Read more...]

I Knew I Had to Quit Antidepressants When My Mind Grew Dull

Since May is Mental Health Awareness month, I am highlighting my experience with taking antidepressants and how, over time, I concluded they were causing me more harm than they were doing me good and thus decided to get off of them. I had been put on antidepressants by my G.P. during a rough patch (as is the case  for so many for whom these drugs are casually prescribed). I found, over time, that my mind was growing dull, my thinking fogged, and I sometimes found it hard to come up with the r … [Read more...]

My Struggle with Antidepressants: An Epic Slog

Continuing my series, this Mental Health Awareness month, about my journey to quit antidepressants, this post describes the point when I made the decision to finally be rid of them. A passage from John Milton’s Paradise Lost captures the picture of my relationship with antidepressants at that point, and the struggle to be rid of them: “[You] feel by turns the bitter change; Of fierce extremes, extremes more fierce From beds of raging fire to starve in ice Their soft ethereal warmth, and ther … [Read more...]

Before Starting Antidepressants, Please Think Again

The month of May is Mental Health Awareness month and thus is it a good opportunity for me to share what I have learned about antidepressants and how they often frequently worsen the symptoms associated with mental health. You read that right. Many years ago, during a difficult period of my life, I was prescribed by a general practitioner an antidepressant that falls into the category of an SSRI (Selected Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitor). From that time until the time I was able at long last to … [Read more...]