Prozac

I don’t quite believe it. It’s been months of complete despair, racing thoughts, extreme fatigue and complete hopelessness and detachment from the world. Time has past quickly and I don’t really recall most of it. 

I took the decision to stop taking the Venlafaxine (Effexor) because I felt much worse, added to that were unbearable side effects like cold sweats in the night, agitation, anxiety, was the most awful thing ever experienced from an antidepressant. Going cold turkey proved troublesome too however, they must have had a small effect on my serotonin because I felt increasingly more tears of despair after withdrawing. Yet I felt less anxious. I managed a few weeks, maybe it was a month, I’m not sure and I went back to the doctor. 

Finally I’m back on Fluoextine (Prozac) that I was previously on for over ten years starting in my teens. Just over a week has past and already I seem to be unable to cry it’s very strange. I feel the stress and feel I need to cry but it just doesn’t happen. The all consuming numbness has returned. I recall this familiar feeling, this dullness of emotions. It’s for the best, I fought it thinking without the intervention of drugs I could do it but the last while has proved otherwise. My head is starting to feel clearer, my thoughts don’t seem to race constantly and I don’t feel like breaking down every two minutes. It’s like my body is celebrating Prozac, like my mind functions properly only under its influence. I guess I have to accept that I will probably have to take them long term, just like before if I’m going to function on a stable basis. 

I will admit this is disheartening but the consequences of not taking it? Despair, hopelessness, anxiety. Prozac wins I think. 

I appear to be coming out of the dark place where I’ve been trapped for a long time now. It’s early days, but the fact I’m hopeful is something compared to feeling like life isn’t worth living anymore. That’s such a selfish, difficult place to be, the shame makes it ten times worse. I was, I am ill, but I think I’m finally beating it. 

Let there be light finally. I’m putting faith in the ‘sunshine’ drug to help me through this. 

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Life without the SSRIs

It’s been some time without the drugs for my depression and I have unfortunately discovered a difficult lesson, my brain can’t function without the impact of these chemicals. I’m in despair and in distress and can’t see to complete the simplest task. 

I may not fully understand the use of serotonin reputable inhibitors but I’m going to have to put my trust in the doctor believing it’s the right thing for me. So I’m back on them, with a dose of Valium to get me through the next few days. 

Once I feel something then I can finally try and manage my life that has spiralled it of control. Regain some order. The future looks bleak but I have to try again tomorrow. I have to try.

I hope something till change. I need to feel normal.  

You don’t want to be here anymore?

I decided to write this blog post because after trolling various forums, yahoo answers you shall find a vast array of troubled people in complete anguish wishing their lives to end. The problem is I want to reach out to every tormented soul to provide even a glimmer of hope, some sort of escape from their current morose. 

But it’s more than that. Suicidal thoughts aren’t just something anyone should live with, but everyday someone wakes up with the will not to want to live another day within their stressful lives, reliving their complex pasts or maybe their fear of the future, not having any future and fearing it’ll feel as though it will not get any better. I would say it won’t feel like this forever, that’s what all these internet ‘answers’ and blog posts all conclude. You’ve heard it before probably countless times. That’s not the answer you seek. Your lives are  hard now, and time is just more anguish to endure as you feel suffocated by your suicidal ideation. 

There’s a pain deep down in my chest as I read in trepidation others in that position, their crys for help, telling the world through the internet that they do not wish to go on. It’s heartbreaking to me even with my own troubles. I know how it feels, I know how selfish you can feel because of it and how that guilt only aggravates the burden you feel. I certainly do not want to sound like a preacher of how to fix your life or what you shouldn’t or should be doing, because only you could possibly know that. Life is hard. You’ve fallen off life, you don’t know how to enjoy it anymore, you try and you feel numb and defiant. You wish to feel better but pulling the duvet over your head and burying yourself safe away from the complicated world we live in now. 

What I think however is, if what’s brought you to my post you may be feeling like your life isn’t possible anymore. Some say you can’t go on another day, but truthfully you can’t go on another hour, another minute another second.  The pain of your next breath only allows your mind to keep pulling forward the fear of wanting to die. The fear of death is apparent, and strange. How can one want something so bad yet be so helplessly afraid.  

You find answer from places like Yahoo answer and your met with an array of different people from all sorts of backgrounds. Some will say ‘man up’ some will say ‘don’t be selfish think of your family’ but you know yourself that when your feeling at your lowest point you can’t see anything else, you see all that’s bad in your life, all your struggles and just wish them to end, it’s a dark cloud that yes intimately your ownly thinking of your self, the burden your feeling is huge and I do not judge, why? Because the depression isn’t you. Your not thinking clearly. 

I’m trying to think of something that maybe could possibly help without leaving you still in impotence and anguish. 

Just don’t do it. When life is gone it’s gone indefinitely, there’s no return, this may be a comfort to some but think of what you could miss. You might not be able to see it just now, break free of your torment, go to bed early have a good rest, if you can’t see your doctor about ways to help, cause sleep is so important to your mood. When your had a restful nights sleep wake up and shower and dress and think today is going to be different because I’ll make a change, it may not be that I get a new job or write a novel but if could be getting out and walking for 15 minutes, visiting a friend for coffee, make that social connection. You’ve achieved a small step, pushing too hard could set you back, but small building blocks of the start of that future you couldn’t see. 

Make a list of things you enjoy, this could be hard, took me a while in my current mindset. Mine for example if I love to run, I love to read and I love to write but writing is the only thing I’ve been able to achieve so far. That and hugging my daughter, when I give her a squeeze and enjoy that relative love we share it wakes me up a little more and reminds me I have to suceee for her. Actually amazed with my very low depressive mood,  that writing Is something I can concentrate on. But it’s keeping me here, it’s stimulating my mind and keeping me here.

Don’t be another statistic on a quantitative survey about how many suicides there were and where. Your a human being and you deserve to live, what’s happened can be sorted and mistakes be forgotten, if your going to worry, worry about tomorrow and how your going to make that first step, you get up, dressed and washed and you take a moment to smile into the mirror and say ‘I deserve to be here’ ‘ I will get better’. It may take some time to figure out what could help you, medication, hospital, psychiatrists, or simply exercising, eating and sleeping well and producing that serotonin you need naturally. Rid anyone in your life that’s holding you back or bringing you down and embrace new friends or the friends you have that have never left your side. If your feeling socially isolated then look up these meeting friends websites, may even be one for mental health. Found one…https://friendsinneed.co.uk/

The last I’ll say is dry your tears, you don’t want to die even if you feel you really really do, it’s just got incredibly hard for a while but have faith in humanity. You’ve been in a dark place but as a result you’ve grown into a deeper more compassionate person. Share how you feel be honest and help others, in helping someone else you might find you help yourself, find your focus. 

This dark place is suffocating, push it away, you’ll be strong once again. But you need to promise and believe that yourself. If I could I’d take away the burden for you. Take care and sleep well tonight, tomorrow’s a new start. Or a stepping stone, whatever’s achievable. You will get there. Think of a time when you felt happy and when you feel those intrusive thoughts enter your head, think of a happy memory and tell yourself you have to smile, and smile. You WILL feel that for real again but we have to try hard. You can do this, push away the darkness. 

No more tablets 

It’s been a drastic decision, I’ve researched endlessly and out much thought into this decision. After 13 years on SSRI medication, once on SNRI meds, that now finally it’s time to stop them completely. 
Looking back, they have never provided me with any sense of relief, just a daily pill to swallow that make me think I’ll feel better, but it’s never fully worked, countless hospital visits and dosage adjustments but not once have I thought, you know what I’m better and I feel myself. 
Spent the last few weeks tapering them off to avoid withdrawal, bit anxious and teary but that’s to be expected. 
These SSRI medications block the uptake of serotonin in your brain so it lingers around longer thus helping you feel more content. I assure you that’s not how it’s felt, not even on higher doses just night sweats, nightmares and agitation. So that’s it, I’m not putting these pointless pills into my system any longer. Will it work? Only time can tell, but right now I’m willing to try anything. Plus if there’s not much serotonin to block the reuptake then how does that even work at all. I’m no doctor, but even the doctors don’t even fully understand how they work, you can’t measure someone’s chemical level in their brain, so the pills are just a long guessing game to see what works and what doesn’t. I’m done with the side effects, done with the doctors.  
I’ve done research into supplements to help assist depression along with a healthy diet. I have good quality fish oil, multivitamin, vitamin b complex and amino acid 5Tp. I’m fingers crossed hoping they will help better than the medications ever did. Along with daily exercise and reduced sugar intake,I’m praying this could work. Amino acid 5tp is an important building block for the body forming serotonin. So ultimately instead of taking an SSRI to block the reuptake of serotonin I’m using this 5tp to help me produce my serotonin. The other supplements are ones found to be deficient in those who are depressed. I did briefly consider St Johns Wort but I’d like to try this approach firstly. St Johns Wort does go back to Ancient Greek times but I’m not as convinced on that one. 
This could be a rocky ride. Also please don’t consider this yourself without talking to your doctor. The coming off of any antidepressants can cause unpleasant withdrawals and even suicidal thoughts, so not a decision that can be taken lightly. 
If your in the same boat, do some of your own research. See what could possibly help you if your finding the conventional drugs unhelpful. There’s also other groups of any depressants and light box therapy. Talking therapy of course is good way forward. 
Wish me luck, hope my new path I’ve chose without the prescription pill works. Could save my life, I need to feel happiness and enjoyment in life again before my twenties are gone and I’m left reeling from not doing something sooner. I hope all those suffering the same find some help and advice the same. 

Always remember. 

I’ll always remember my father. He passed away when I was only four years old. The memory is very vague, but it’s there, set in stone in my memory. I don’t remember much but I remember that day. 

My brother and I returned home that day to find my mother distraught on the sofa. Tearful, eyes red puffy from crying. She told us to sit down. The words out her mouth that day will stick in my mind forever more. ‘Your father has died’. My brother became hysterical with tears and hugged my mother, I sat there in silence unable to take in the words. I guess I may not have understand fully at that point.  

My mother tells me that shortly after my brother gathered up my dads fishing rods and took them to his bed where he lay burdened by his grief. Mum tried to embrace me but I was just still and impertuable. 

After that my memory goes blank, I don’t remember the days that followed.

When I was eleven however I started asking question suddenly then I wanted to know all about my father and why he had died. He had heart disease. He was awaiting a transplant but this last heart attack took his life. A few months after his death a letter came in the post saying a transplant was available. Heart breaking. I can’t imagine what my mother must have been feeling at this point. Two young children to care for, the love of her life dead. 

After I had asked all the questions I wanted I became distraught with grief, there was anger too. Why did he leave us, why him, why did it happen to us. I was just a mess. I would remember the day he died again and again. The tears would not stop but continue coming. I couldn’t make them stop, some time passed but after 7 years of not shedding a tear, they suddenly decided to come. 

That’s when counselling began. I started to struggle at school and lose weight. Eventually I was being being treated for PTSD. I was experiencing a delayed grieving process and was reliving it again and again. It didn’t get any better though and eventually they put me on fluoxetine a few years later after still suffering low mood and anxiety. I recall being 13 when they medicated me. Why couldn’t I have just been strong? There was other contributing factors to my pain, I had an abusive stepfather who had been in my life for 7 years and that only intensified my grief and my hurt. Life was tough, especially for a young teen. 

Looking back is hard, they say to close the door on your past, I can’t seem to close that door. At one stage I thought I could. I got a tattoo of the word father in Scottish Gaelic on my wrist with a butterfly. Butterfly tattoos signify a new life after a period of rough times. To me that was moving on with my life. Without my father and finally the abusive stepfather out of my life. I got it when I was 21, 10 years after we broke away from his abusive hold. Mum had remaried and we had a chance to start again. 

I wear my heart on my sleeve and that tattoo will forever remind me that he worst of my childhood was over. 

I miss my father everyday, if only he was still here things for us all would have been so different. 

The Effexor effect. 

Well been out of hospital for over a week now, to be honest I’m not sure how much time has passed, probably two weeks. 

I’m not sleeping all day and in the waking hours crying my heart out.  This must be progress if anything. 

I seem relatively productive but not fully yet. The anti depressants seem to be having the desired effect, I’m not consumed by tears of despair. Still there’s that feeling of hopeleness that’s terribly frustrating. I feel anxious but it seems dimmed slightly by medication, I can feel it there but it’s not so intense. Sleep is less, before I was awake for maybe 6 hours or so here and there but now I seem to be sleeping at night and not during the day. I guess my body is finally rested from the recent stress I’ve endured. 

It’s funny looking back and remembering myself in the midst of my worst despair, when the tears wouldn’t stop flowing and the pain in my chest was tight and painful. I thought at that point it would never stop. But it has. Till the next crisis I guess. But I have to learn the skills to avoid the next feeling of distress. I’m not sure where to begin, I still feel like I’ve been through the worst months of my life and things feel a bit surreal. Not sure if thats the effect of my medication or I’m just slightly traumatized by recent stay in hospital and all the hurt and distress my family and friends went through. 

Depression really is an illness that effects not just you but everyone around you. That only adds to the overwhelming sadness. Guilt is a hard thing. I find it terribly hard. 

I’m not really sure where to go from here, I’m like a lamb without its mother, calling out for attention but just wondering aimlessly around. I want to have a purpose, go to work or college but worried it’s too soon to commit to anything. When will be the right time though? 

I feel I’ve lost my sense of self, my own identity. Who am I? What is my purpose? I’m thinking too much. But that’s nothing new. I look in the mirror but I’m not sure about myself, people tell me I’m pretty but what I see is totally different. I feel ugly and very self conscious. I just want to shut my eyes and pretend I can’t see myself. 

Recently though I haven’t let much inspiration to write, now my feelings are somewhat dulled by the tablets I don’t have any ideas to write. It’s like my inspiration comes when my feelings are rawest. Right now I just have no words. Just dribble. 

Thank god for medication but I’m missing my inspiration. 

Life’s challenges 🤔

Life’s a challenge,

It’s sure to discern,

What is it that life will teach me,

What lessons are to be learned,

Many anguishes I’ve encountered,

Many arduous situations have past,

I look in the mirror,

It feels like I’m breaking the glass,

I wonder how I’ve subsist,

How have I come this far?

Life sure ain’t easy,

It’s like a door that’s ajar,

I want to close that door,

Move on from past challenges,

But what can you do,

When your mind can’t be silenced,

When I look in that mirror,

I don’t want to see the cracks,

I want to see a contented smile,

A smile that will last,

Tomorrow I’ll face a new day,

Another chance to try again,

So I’ll embrace that chance,

Let there be sun and no rain.