Antidepression Quandry

For the past several months, I’ve been actively trying to wean myself off of my antidepressants. It’s been going quite well, which is why I’ve been keeping it up. Slow and steady, as I am in no rush. I just feel like it’s time to get off them, and since I know from previous experience how difficult that can be, I figured I would take my time, and just aim for an eventuality. I don’t really want to be taking them for the rest of my life, if I can help it.

I’d forgotten how physically sick I would feel when I changed the consistency of taking them, so I went back to super steady, and made incremental changes as I went along. I keep forgetting when I last took one, so sometimes I still don’t feel great, even though my weaning period has been going on for a long time.

As far as depression goes, however, I’m still feeling pretty balanced. That, for me, has been the main thing to keep an eye on. Even when PMS-ing, though, I’m thus far able to differentiate between when I’m legit upset by something versus weeping unnecessarily hard over a commercial on television.

I mean, I have a new TV now, so everything looks splendid, but still…I can tell when I’m being hormonally over-sensitive, most of the time. So that’s good.

I’m wondering now, though, if I should start taking them regularly again, even just at the lowest dose. I find my ability to focus on one thing at a time is suffering a lot lately, and it occurred to me this morning that it might actually be due to taking myself off antidepressants. It was easier for me to direct my focus when I had something to take the edge off. Is it something I can learn to do for myself, if I keep working my way off of them? I actually don’t know. I’m not entirely sure I ever could. It’s fine on the surface – things still get done, and some of them even get done well. I write everything down now, anyway, because I have trouble remembering things since I started on these MS meds. So keeping track in alternate ways helps me, and is a habit I’ve developed anyway. But it’s frustrating on the inside. I feel almost overwhelmed sometimes, and more often now than I used to. Again, maybe I can learn to focus better, anyway.

But maybe not.

The other point in favour of going back on them more regularly is how, like…not exactly over-sensitive, but I’m having a lot more anxiety now, and as such I am getting much less sleep. I’m constantly thinking about things, and going over things in my mind. That on top of the usual MS fatigue I’ve been experiencing the past few years is making it harder for me to NOT break down and cry about even the smallest things.

Again, maybe in time I’ll learn how to quiet my mind naturally and get better rest. But maybe I won’t. Maybe I never really could. I’m not actually sure.

For now, I’m not really going to make any decisions. I just started thinking about it this morning, and since I’m definitely PMS-ing (bring me salt!) right now, I may as well wait until I at least have whichever faculties I usually have about me again, and go from there!

One thought on “Antidepression Quandry”

  1. This is something I do have experience in and hope to off you advice or help. I don’t know if you see a psychiatrist or who prescribes your pills but I’m sure that you know that you should not be weaning off your drugs without their knowledge or without a plan in place.
    Second if you are forgetting when to take them (I was doing that too) get yourself a pill sorter with the days on them, that way it will become quite clear immediately what days you have forgotten or not.
    Third, it is quite possible you will have to be on them for a long time and there is no shame in this. It is what it is. I used to fight this as well. I would want to try to get off them because I wanted to see if I could do without them or I thought depression was weakness and I worried about the long-term effects. But the fact is, is that depression is a disease that can be managed quite well with the right medication. A medication that works.
    Which brings me to my fourth point. Over the years I have switched medications several times. They do, from time to time, quit working. They just poop out. Sometimes a higher dose may work but if that dose is getting dangerously high then it might be time to switch.
    Which brings me to my fifth point. There is a study that CAMH is doing called IMPACT. They have you fill out a questionnaire, they take a sample of your saliva and do an analysis and then send your doctor back a report with the best 3 antidepressant matches for you. The one I was on wasn’t even on the list that they sent back. I was a Cipralex and now I take Pristiq. The transition was easy and now I’m hoping to a lot better.
    Sometimes I do get frustrated and want to get off them all. There are those that tell you they are garbage and evil and those that tell you that they are good and needed. My doctor is a psychiatrist and I actually started seeing her to get off them safely but that never did actually work,
    Anyway, if you are interested in the IMPACT study I can send you the information to give to your doctor. It might be a direction to go.


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