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  1. 'Twas a long time ago and the fog of years of SSRIs has settled in so dates are fuzzy but here is a snapshot of my story: 1984/5 Prescribed low dose of Prozac. Wonder drug. Sure to cure my "depression". As a survivor of early childhood abuse, it was easier to drug me than to hear about what happened; both the psychiatrist and I were complicit in this. 1987 Began a journey of recovery from ( illegal) drug addiction. Continues to this day... By 2000, up to 40 mg. of Prozac but not feeling100% (was that ever the goal?) so switched to 10 mg Celexa 2001-2007 dosage crept up to 80 mg of Celexa. I was self-prescribing. Primary care doc just took my word for needing more since I was in the "field" and he continued to prescribe ever increasing dosages until I maxed out at 80 mg. 2007-2010 These years were worst. I was lost; a Zombie fugue state settled in. The world was a muffled, distant. I was disconnected from everyone. Everything lost its meaning. 2010 Awoke from the stupor and decided to get off Celexa 2012 20 months to get off the drug but got off the last 20 MSG in a month. Too fast. For 30 days had severe withdrawal symptoms - eyes rolling to the back of my head, panic attacks, racing heart, no sleep. Sheer madness. I drove my self to the hospital twice to check into the psych unit but called friends while in the parking lot. They helped me see that what I was experiencing would pass. Go home. Go to bed. Call at anytime if I wanted/ needed to. Symptoms of withdrawal included: Blind rages. Nasty interactions with family, clerks in stores. Insomnia. Weight gain. Anxiety. Irrational behaviour (Moved out of my house. Sold many possessions. Asked friends to care for my dog.) Fear of flying. ( My job included a lot of flying. Took .5 mg of lorazepam to get on plane. Boarded early. Flew with colleague.) it was hell. My therapist was supportive. She did not suggest to go back on meds but told me to see if I could go just one more hour, one more day, one more week without meds. My friends were very supportive. My family was worried but continued to support me. 2014 Turned the corner last fall. I began to feel alive inside. Hope rather than stubbornness was supporting my resolve not to go back on meds. (Though at this point, I had no drive to go back on meds.) 2015 Insomnia and foggy mind continue, perhaps they always will. I don't know what "normal" is. It's been a challenging life - physical and sexual abuse and the accompanying illegal drug addiction, physical complications, and then addiction to prescription drugs. It's not been easy but this I know, if you are reading this, you too have a big story. I am 68 years old and beginning a new chapter in my life. At times it's difficult to know whether it's aging or the drug story that results in irregular sleeping patterns and monkey mind, but for today, I am creeping towards peace.
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