About me — I Challenge Myself to Go without an Antidepressant

November 27, 2011 — Taken from the “About”  page

I’m a 40 ish female, married with 2 kids.  I grew up in the NE of the US.  I’ve battled depression my entire life.

I’m well-educated and consider myself perceptive and knowledgeable about depression.  I’ve come to understand and accept the causes are childhood sexual abuse and the dynamics of my childhood.

I’ve taken a multitude of SSRI’s and every professional tells me “you’ll be on antidepressants for the rest of your life.”   I challenge that assertion.

I’m just coming off Pristiq and I’ve made a choice to go drug free.   In my hands, I have a Rx for Wellbutrin which is one of the few meds I haven’t tried yet but I’m holding off on filling the Rx until I feel depressed again.  No drug has been a miracle cure so I’m reluctant to start on another.

Is my depression cured?   Or will I hit the bottom?  How long will it take without my meds?  I have a new therapist and with her help I’m going to see if I can learn to live in the now without medication.   I know my childhood circumvented the important task of helping me effectively deal with my emotions so it might not be long before I get pulled down hard into a major depression.  But, I hope all the psychotherapy and soul-searching I’ve done has taught me how to acknowledge, accept and express my feelings more appropriately.   Is it simply a matter of serotonin and norepinephrine or do I have some control over this nightmare called depression?  We shall see.

I will write in this blog at a minimum of once a week and probably more.  Join me.

8 responses to “About me — I Challenge Myself to Go without an Antidepressant

  1. Hey, this might come off sounding preachy, but I have severe depression and anxiety issues, which I’ve been to therapy for but rather than medication we tried Cognitive behavioral therapy, which I must say, works as long as you continue to see the therapist. (Doesn’t work so much if you can’t follow through with it on your own at home lol)
    Not sure if you’ve heard of it, but thought I’d comment!

  2. I just found your blog and read this post and the one about serotonin withdrawal. I relate well to what you are saying about the SSRI’s. I am eleven years into my battle with severe depression and anxiety. I have been on and off SSRI’s at least three times, I hate the side effects, and am currently on Wellbutrin, but I wonder why as the stuff seems to have little effect. I too have been told I will need the drugs forever, and have trouble accepting that. I am currently fighting to stay of the SSRI’s and writing my blog is my current effort to stay out of therapy and stay off the drugs. You may be interested in the post I made about meds a few weeks ago. You can find it here if your interested:

    http://tiptoeingaroundtheabyss.wordpress.com/2011/11/09/better-living-throught-chemistry/

    • Thanks for your reply. I can relate to much of what you say about SSRI’s and the side effects. I have had my share of frustrations with the ones I’ve been on to the point where I wish to see how I am without them for awhile. I will follow your progress or lack thereof, which often feels like the case with depression.

  3. Daylily, I can very much relate to what you are going through, having gone on and off various anti-depressants myself over the years.

    You write very well and eloquently.

    I too have frequently self-medicated with alcohol just to escape the pain I feel. Right now I’m not drinking at all. There is a prescription medication called Campral that actually takes away the craving to drink. It is highly effective and I noticed no side effects.

    I have used it in the past, and it certainly helped, but this time I just quit Oct 1st when I moved from the U.S. to Canada. I had cravings but somehow made it through. However, the idea that one will feel better if you quit drinking because it’s a depressant: well, not for me so far. I’ve been miserable since the move, I know absolutely no one where I’m living, no job, I had to sell my condo and car in the U.S. because I just wasn’t making it there.

    But even though I can live for free in my father’s condo while he spends the winter in Florida, I’m finding it tough and feel much worse up here, I can’t even get access to the “universal” health care—it will be June 2012 maybe before I can even see a psychiatrist—wait lists are horrendous.

    Wishing you well.

  4. insidethemindofstephydawn

    I think you can survive without them if you work out all the things in life you do that make you happy and keep you going. If you have a reason to live you instantly feel like you have something else to focus on and your low moods arent controlling you. Was only until someone told me I didn’t need them I believed him, it’s a bit of a rollercoaster and probably a silly thing to do but I have been trying to cope without relying on medication.

    I have gone 2 years without antidepressants now because on the insert leaflet that lists side effects says that it could make you feel depressed. Whats the point of taking something for depression that causes it? They also got rid of every other emotion possible and made me into a zombie. Literally my mum said I would just sit there all zoned out. They cause you to eat too much and put on a lot of weight. They stopped me from suicide at first but ended up doing more harm than good in the long term.

    If you really want to try other methods than tablets your therapist will help you. Accept help when youre feeling alone.

  5. Wow, I’ve been reading your posts pretty much most of the day (After I somehow managed to delete your comment from my own blog. I still have no idea how that happened. Just blame lack of sleep) and I’m sorry to hear about the sexual abuse.

    I know I could never give up my antidepressants, even if I argue I don’t feel a change in my moods, the little white pills still feel like a comfort blanket.

    Wine is sunshine but it can also be rain. Sometimes it feels like its washing away your dark moods but suddenly you find yourself drowning in depression. God, I’ve been there so many times.

    I love this blog and I’m certainly going to follow your progress. 🙂

    – Raindrops

  6. Two words of advice: yoga (yes, seriously) and cognitive behavioral therapy…great stuff.

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