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. 

When Love and Hate collide 

I have this favourite song,

That describes love and hate,

I never understood it till now,

I can finally relate!

How can it be?

That you can still feel love inside,

For the person that hurt you,

And yet also despise,

The burden is heavy,

It weighs down on your heart,

The days get easier,

But your still falling apart,

When love and hate collide!

I finally comprehend,

You hate but you love,

Although you know it’s the end,

Months since it happened,

Still reeling inside,

Give me some closure!

I need to see some light,

The darkness is all consuming,

It’s eating me alive everyday,

Do I need to give up all love?

To finally make it go away,

Do I forgive the hurt he caused me?

Or do I continue to hate?

Or as they say does love drive out the darkness,

Will it help me see the light in my day?

These conflicting emotions,

It’s like a war inside your mind all day,

I need the war to cease fire,

I need to rediscover my way,

For all that’s it’s worth,

I’ll still love him all the same,

For hate and anger is all consuming,

I must take some blame,

More time will pass and maybe I’ll see,

That just because he’s already forgot me,

I’m worth more than being forgotten,

I’ll be myself again I’ll be me.

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. 

 Psychiatric care. 

In my eyes I lay here as a burden. My mother and stepfather defeatedly trying to lure me out of my safety net of their spare room, from under the sheets that are keeping me ‘safe’ from the world I am trying to avoid, not wanting to venture out in trepidation.

The psychiatric nurse suggests the safety of the formidable psychiatric hospital, 154 miles away. I have been there before and let me tell you, for a depressive it’s the most harrowing experience.

You have a bare room which consists of a bed, a cupboard with no doors, one plastic chair and en suite bathroom you cannot lock, just a sliding door. In the bathroom there’s no taps nor a lever to flush the toilet. Just sensors, same with the shower. What made me laugh slightly though was there was a shower pole and curtain, much more hazardous than a tap or a door on your cupboard. Even the windows where locked. Surprisingly you could lock your bedroom door although the nurses had keys obviously. Regularly throughout the day they look in to see your still there, like you’d be able to get anywhere else, maybe hide in the doorless cupboard. Worst still though was the nightly hourly checks, ever hour throughout the night the jangle of keys can be heard as they check your in your room. Like being in a prison cell. Don’t get me wrong you can leave the recluse of your bare room to explore the rather worrisome ward. People wonder around looking lost and despondent, the odd person mummers something to the passing nurse ‘why are you talking about me’ that’s met by a stern ‘we are not’ from the nurse as she ushers me forward to show me the facilities. There’s a television area with some seats, some chairs and tables which I’m told is where we are to eat our meals, this induces great anxiety on my part, there’s also a communal kitchen. I forgot to mention when you first arrive in your rather perturbed state, shown to your ‘cell’ as I call it, yourself and the contents of your bad is searched for potentially dangerous objects that could cause harm to yourself or others. Anything sharp, any medications or painkillers, tweezers, razors etc.

This brings me back to the communal kitchen, free to come and go into as you please with a drawer full of knives, forks and the usual utensils. Coffee, tea making facilities, a toaster and a microwave. Now correct me if I’m wrong but you could easily steal a knife from the drawer undetected, I didn’t plan this myself but I didn’t see the logic, given other patients where suppose to be protected from harming themselves.

I was just depressed, needing some help, some therapy something to make me feel alive. This place was just like hell in my eyes. I tried to engage, although severely social anxious, with people around me. There was however a lovely old lady who was there voluntarily who was happy to recall stories of her late husband who she missed painfully. She wore his jacket around her shoulders and she told me how not a day went by she didn’t miss him dreadfully. She seemed perfectly sane, just a little lost. The woman however that sat next to me was recalling how the voices in her head where telling her to do stuff she shouldn’t, I wanted to take that pain away from her, offer some words of support but I didn’t know what to say, I was also slightly anxious and worried for myself which made me feel guilty. She was human after all but a prime example of what the ward was for, I wished silently for her to get better although I knew that she would probably be unwell and here for some time.

To pass some time I reluctantly made toast after some encouragement from the nurse that I should eat some thing. However I found myself making tea and toast for everyone else, because I’m to nice, but their verbal capabilities seemed very restricted, was this medication doing this? They wanted to see who I was, with being in the ward possibly some time you’d want to check out your potential new person sharing the ward. All I could do was smile and try to show I was no threat, that I was friendly and hoped that I wasn’t upsetting any of their routine.

It’s safe to say I stayed mainly in the recluse of my room, counting the hours after every check was made by the porters, meals where called and I remained vigilant to stay where I was, the thought of being out on the ward terrified me after having previously gave it a go. I would stare blankly ahead wondering how on earth I managed to get to this point. If anything was rock bottom, this was it.

Now back in a gloomy place of despair, laying in my mothers spare room, the thought of being back there filled me with fear. Yet I was completely functionless.

Was it the best place to be, or was hospital? I am so unsure…

Be positive. Yeah. 

Yeah. That’s what your told. Wash, eat, thinking positively. If only I could just do that.

Can you relate? I bet many can. Knowone choses to feel miserable. You don’t wake up and think, today I’ll be unhappy when I could be content, erm no. Yet most seem to think you’ll just have to snap out of it.

Chemical imbalance, emotional childhood neglect, traumatic experiences,  genetic depression/anxiety. I don’t care for the reason anymore, just the cure, just some relief. My twenties are moving fast and the thoughts that I’m not enjoying the best years of my life only further plummets my mind into darkness.

Wash. I have tried relentlessly only to be reduced to a bubbling heap on the cold bathroom floor. I don’t want to smell! But I can’t muster the energy to push myself to care for my own basic needs, I look back in anguish at how I took these simple tasks for granted and now I’d be lucky to be able to lift the safety net of the duvet.

Eat. Each mouthful feels like like daggers going down my throat. I don’t desire to be thin, I’m not anorexic, I just can’t eat out of sheer hopelessness. The taste of the food doesn’t register with my brain, just a another pointless task in this fight to be here/not be here. Either is both as scary as the other. So I’m stuck in limbo.

Think positively? I would. But when life weighs you down and you don’t have the means, the money, or the strength to think let alone do something, how is it even possible. Mindfulness, I will try, but in current state of mind, no talking about living in the presence day offers any relief, any solace.

Sounds all so negative. I apologise. But these are my thoughts, the words that flood my mind constantly, how can ones brain be in a depressed state and yet my mind races with thoughts, with ideas that soon diminish as I feel the tears of despair rise up and come out onto my cheeks.

Anxiety, that’s what it is. Being depressed and being anxious, it’s like a living hell inside your mind. You want your body to work to function, to feel motivation, or any kind of enjoyment of something, then the anxiety slows you down. Your heart pounds in your chest, your stomach a flutter of disabling butterflies. You reach your clammy hands to your face only to realise that this cycle never seems to end, and again you avoided whatever task you were about to undertake. Fail. Another knock back.

Which is worse? Depression or anxiety? I’m still sitting on the decision that both are, however only having one would be a lot simpler.

Frustrated, despondent and morose 👇🏻