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When I look back on some of the 'major life decisions' I made while I was 'spellbound' by all those psych drugs, I am filled with regret and even shame. Anyone else relate to this? These tides rush in, frequently in the mornings, and just crush me against the rocky shore. For example, I was in a management role at my last company and essentially demoted myself. I was so sick and frankly out of my mind that I thought it was the 'right' thing to do. The new role turned out to be a complete disaster that eventually drove me out of the company. I left on my own terms but I now wonder if I could have found a way to stay. I blame myself for not 'seeing' the complexity of executing a job move like that. I was so numb and disoriented by the drugs and WDs I just couldn't see anything clearly. Now looking back I wonder if I should have been more honest with the people I worked with about what I was going through. At the time, I didn't fully understand how powerful those drugs were and what havoc WDs cause on our interior lives. I thought I was just 'defective' and that it was 'all my fault' so I did the best I could and never told anyone what I was struggling with. Another example is while in the fog of ADs, we built a house that we really couldn't afford. My 'normal' alert systems were completely offline due to the drugs. If I had been in my right mind, I would have been able to feel the 'warning' signs like anxiety and such that could have informed my wisdom that 'maybe this ani't such a great idea' or 'slow down and think about this' but it was like I was mesmerized and totally fixated on accomplishing the task. I've not had suicidal thoughts that all the warnings talk about but I think these things were similarly spellbinding. Over so many years of those drugs, I didn't realize that I had become a different person. That person did a lot of things that I still can't understand...and yet wasn't that 'me'? If not, who the heck was it? Part of what makes this journey off of drugs so hard is it can feel so 'unique' and lonely... Any and all thoughts welcome. Thanks.
I'm putting this question out there, partly as a reminder to myself, hopefully as a help to others who are struggling... I am in such physical and emotional pain these past few weeks. It is getting unbearable. My wife and I are trying to stick to the commitment not to go back on the meds. But boy, do I think I want to at times. Especially right now. So I'm here to remind myself why I stopped the psych-drug merry-go-round. I hope it helps you too. And I would love to hear your "why" story. It will be encouraging to all of us, I think. Anyway, I went off of the meds because I didn't like who I was as a person, and more and more I got the feeling that the meds were a big part of the reason. I was an angry person all of the time. And selfish. I would give in to rage - even in the most inappropriate situations to do so (like my daughter's 7th birthday party, for instance). I treated my wife horribly. I would go off the rails, feel like killing myself, and take handfuls of the meds at once (wow - I never admitted that ever before). I would fantasize about hanging myself (even though I would never have the guts to do so). And as these things were happening - especially over my last year before going off the meds - there were more and more times where there was a part of me inside of my mind saying "stop it, stop that crazy person" - as if the real me was trapped inside of this raging body that had been taken over by another mind. I had to find out who God created me to be. I even needed to find out what a real relationship with God was like. Turns out that He created me as a pretty nice guy. I'm loving and caring and helpful now (well, as helpful as I can be given the immense physical pain the withdrawal has caused me, and the anxiety that keeps me from running errands some of the time). I was even more engaged in activities during the window as I tapered (completely incorrectly and too fast) and for the first 3 months after I was drug free. And that is part of the problem. I can remember a time during the taper, towards the end, when I was in a "sweet" spot - where there was no withdrawal syndrome, and 90% of the time I was a great guy. I keep fantasizing about going back to that "sweet" spot. But I don't think going back on the drugs after being off for over 4 months would really work - and it could cause actual harm (I fear, for instance, the suicide bug that bites some people during the early days of psycho-med use). Or, it could just cause me to go back down the rabbit-hole of using the psych-meds - and that will bring back evil me. So I'm writing this to remind myself why I quite the psych-go-round. I hope it helps remind some of you too. SJ
I am in a really bad wave if not way , but today I was thinking I have been on antidepressants for 25 years , but I have been in this state at least 2 or 3 times over the years , about twenty years ago I crashed really badly and I remember how I felt then as the way I feel now , I was on a antidepressant can't remember what one but I believe it may have been sertraline , I know I had not come of it or started to taper in anyway but I felt like I do now , then 10 years later I also remember that I felt excactly the same again , overwhelming anxiety severe depression, the feeling of being so unwell suicidel thoughts and it took me many months to stabilise and get back to some normality , I think that after the second time is when I went on Effexor for over 12 plus years , now what I am trying to understand and find meaning to is , was this protracted withdrawel , back then and have I got through it once , or was it depression and anxiety that was just plaguing me , I know not everyone has become depressed on antidepressants many people have it before they even start meds , if it was protracted withdrawel how did I get it if I didn't just stop or reduce my dose , maybe the med I was on only lasted a short while and I went in to withdrawel not realising that and thought symptoms were returning . But if it was protracted withdrawel and I have manage to get through it more than once will it get harder to recover as my cns is so damaged from early experiences , can you have protracted withdrawel more than once , also I think that along the last 20 years even though I was sort of stable wilst on Effexor have I just been in one long protracted withdrawel , in the early days I just assumed it was depression but I know I felt like this before , eventually I slowly got better to some sort of life but to be honest the last 20 years have been a struggle , I am trying to determine wether I really did have depression and even though I am in withdrawel I will still continue to have depression because that's the way I am , maybe my cns will heal but what if it's original depression and anxiety , how do I determine the meaning , I know now that my cns has been seriously disrupted as I cannot tolerate any meds now , so where does that leave me in terms of treating perhaps depression and anxiety that is with in me , people suffer severely everyday with this illness who have never touched a med , so when do we know when withdrawel is over and it is the real thing plaguing us , how do we get the help we need if we just keep waiting for recovery when it's not medicated induced , how long do we give it , I hope this kinda makes sense but it is something that has been bothering me all day , but I know I have done this before felt the same , sorry for the long post , finding the meaning to all this is hard
Petunia posted a topic in Finding meaningI just watched this video of an interview with Philip Jacobs. I found some of his ideas helpful for understanding illness as part of a larger, more positive picture, he writes: 'I had always previously thought that it was possible to change my attitude to any situation. With the illness, I realized that there was a stage where you couldn't. You could have a good attitude either side of the experience, but not while you were in it. This was when the illness was deep in the brain, there was no way out until it passed and you just had to allow the experience to be what it was and if it was darkness then it was just darkness.' I was having to assimilate the idea of illness and suffering as a gift - what looked like suffering on the physical and psychological levels could often have a transforming effect on the deeper spiritual levels, that may not be apparent to the casual observer.'