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ChessieCat: so I'm not the only one (Pristiq / desvenlafaxine)

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Carmie

Hi ChessieCat, 

 

 Just wanted to say I think about you a lot. You have been so kind to me and I appreciate it a lot. I know you are really struggling n my heart goes out to you but I just wanted to say you are AMAZING!! The work you do on this site is incredible!!!! Extra emphasis there, and well justified! 

 

Just wanted to send some sunshine your way. You really deserve lots of it!!☀️☀️☀️☀️☀️☀️☀️☀️☀️☀️☀️

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Happy2Heal

seconding everything Carmie said ❤️😊😊

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ChessieCat

Thanks ladies, I appreciate you kind thoughts and words.

 

UPDATE:  Made a reduction today.  Now down to 5mg.  95mg LESS than where I was at 3 y 2 m ago.  It's great to see it in that way.

 

Because I am close to the 10% reduction mark I held for 4 weeks instead of 3.  Time for an updated graph.

 

666331064_TaperApr2019.png.aa4fe62848a1e20b2d0642bb7fe09275.png

 

 

Edited by ChessieCat
updated graph

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ChessieCat
On 10/27/2015 at 6:14 PM, ChessieCat said:

because today is my 10th day at my lower dose and I have been feeling worse today than at any time since I halved my dosage.

 

Just been working out my dose reductions so I can post it in the Pristiq tapering topic for other members info because of having to get my doses compounded and I'm not making a precise 10% reduction each time.  And I've just realised that it was only 2 weeks that I had reduced from 100mg to 50mg.  For some reason I had always thought it was 3 weeks.  But I was suffering major cog fog at the time.  And feeling so bad it probably seemed like 3 weeks!  Still very thankful and relieved that I found SA when I did.

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wantrelief
39 minutes ago, ChessieCat said:

Now down to 5mg.  95mg LESS than where I was at 3 y 2 m ago

Wow!  Congratulations, CC....that is an amazing accomplishment!

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Carmie

Well done ChessieCat, 

 

You have done so well. I’m glad your withdrawals symptoms have been bearable too. This is very encouraging💚

 

 

 

 

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ChessieCat

Thanks WantRelief and Carmie.  I must admit that it's a really great feeling.  However, I'm still amazed at what we go through to get off an AD.

 

I've posted the following info and table in tips-for-tapering-off-pristiq-desvenlafaxine

 

 

Getting off Pristiq is achievable!!!  😊

 

Depending on your compounding pharmacist, you might be able to get your Pristiq compounded in the dose you need to make a 10% reduction and get 28 capsules made up for a 4 week hold.  My compounder makes capsules in dose batches of 100 so I have had to adjust my tapering to suit the capsules.

 

I thought it might be helpful for other members tapering Pristiq to know what doses and length of holds I've done using compounded capsules.  In Australia we can only get 50mg and 100mg tablets.  In some other places 25mg tablets are available so you can use 50mg and 25mg tablets combined with capsules whenever possible.  I got my Pristiq compounded in the largest amount (eg 40mg, 30mg, 10mg) and then use 5mg, 2mg, 1mg, 0.5mg and 0.25mg to make up the full dose.  In the table I've included how I have already tapered on the right (doses from lowest to highest) and on the left is my proposed taper to 1.25mg (doses from highest to lowest).  Obviously if issues arise I will hold for longer.

 

I did a long hold of about 3 months on 50mg (a tablet dose so convenient) and about 7 weeks at 20mg (I had extra 20mg capsules available so I took the opportunity to hold).  I accidentally reduced my dose by half going from 9.5mg to 4.5mg instead of to 9mg for 5 days when I used the 0.5mg bottle of capsules instead of 5mg (yes, my anxiety did increase for a while).  I held for longer because of the error.  I also held for an extra week at 8mg.  I had dental issues from May 2018 and the accidental dose reduction mentioned.  And there might be info in my Intro topic for the other hold times which aren't 21 or 28 days:  chessiecat-so-im-not-the-only-one

 

When I got to 8.5mg I started taking a smaller part of the dose in the evening.  The amount varies, depending on what dose I am taking.  For example when taking 6mg I took 1mg at night (dose made up of 5mg and 1mg capsules) and at 5.5mg I took 0.5mg at night.  I'm now down to 5mg but my dose is made up of 4mg and 1mg capsules so I take 1mg at night.  Member Andie has just started taking 4mg capsules 3 times a day for his  her 12mg dose.

 

Sorry it's blurry.  It's not bolded but came out that way.  I tried but couldn't create a JPG and had to use PNG and this is how it turned out.  EDIT:  Thanks to my daughter's suggestion of using the "snip tool" to create this is now clearer.

 

514512539_Doneandplan2018.PNG.5eaa8eeeb6f5608f4cc6f6fa4af0e4f8.PNG

 

Edited by ChessieCat
corrected gender of Andie/changed table

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Carmie

That’s great ChessieCat, 

 

Well done! I’ll send anyone wanting to get off pristiq to you. 

 

Sending much love💚

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Andie
3 hours ago, ChessieCat said:

Member Andie has just started taking 4mg capsules 3 times a day for his 12mg dose.

Hi SA Friends 

 

I’m a girl 😉.  No problem though! 

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ChessieCat

So sorry Andie, I'm sure you understand how confusing it can be.  😏  We have some members with screen names which seem more feminine and we later realise that they are actually a male.

 

I've corrected the information in the posts.

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Andie
3 hours ago, ChessieCat said:

So sorry Andie, I'm sure you understand how confusing it can be.  😏  We have some members with screen names which seem more feminine and we later realise that they are actually a male.

 

I've corrected the information in the posts.

That’s ok Chessie. I totally understand! 

 

Well done on getting to 5mg. How are you feeling? 

 

 

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ChessieCat

Thanks Andie.

 

Withdrawal wise I am feeling quite good.  Life wise I'm just plodding along taking one day at a time.  The biggest thing at the moment is getting through the Christmas / New Year holiday season.  I always find this time of year to be stressful so I'm just trying to stay removed from the hubbub that is going on.  Before AD tapering I used to be able to join in some of the merriment even though I had to make an effort to do so but would usually enjoy it.  However, I am feeling anti social and don't plan on going to any Christmas functions.  I figure why put myself through something which stresses me.

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Andie
1 hour ago, ChessieCat said:

Thanks Andie.

 

Withdrawal wise I am feeling quite good.  Life wise I'm just plodding along taking one day at a time.  The biggest thing at the moment is getting through the Christmas / New Year holiday season.  I always find this time of year to be stressful so I'm just trying to stay removed from the hubbub that is going on.  Before AD tapering I used to be able to join in some of the merriment even though I had to make an effort to do so but would usually enjoy it.  However, I am feeling anti social and don't plan on going to any Christmas functions.  I figure why put myself through something which stresses me.

That’s great you are feeling good on the 5mg. It gives me a lot of hope that I can be free of the Pristiq. 

 

I am also avoiding the Christmas craziness and I haven’t been to any functions. I go to the shops either very early or very late as I find it just too overwhelming at the moment. Too many bright lights and sounds etc. My system struggles to cope. I also can’t watch much TV- too much rubbish! I don’t know whether it’s because my perspective on what is important in life has changed because of this process. 

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ChessieCat

I no longer watch TV.  I think it's been about 2.5 years now.  I don't miss the garbage they expect us to watch and the news that isn't!  It's ended up being current affairs and sport.

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Andie
8 minutes ago, ChessieCat said:

I no longer watch TV.  I think it's been about 2.5 years now.  I don't miss the garbage they expect us to watch and the news that isn't!  It's ended up being current affairs and sport.

 

I agree. It’s utter garbage and sensationalism. 

 

Are we the only two currently tapering Pristiq? Where did everyone go? 

 

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elbee
On 12/7/2018 at 4:40 PM, ChessieCat said:

Made a reduction today.  Now down to 5mg.  95mg LESS than where I was at 3 y 2 m ago.  It's great to see it in that way.

 

Congrats CC! Wow, graphing your progress really helps highlight how far you've come. I wonder if there is an app for that? ;)

 

8 hours ago, ChessieCat said:

I no longer watch TV.  I think it's been about 2.5 years now.

 

Me either, though I still do watch movies and some documentaries (mostly science and nature). It wasn't until I quit watching standard TV programming that I realized what garbage it actually is (as you say) and how toxic it can be if I consume it. And yes, I very much limit my news intake too by all means.

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ChessieCat

Went to the movies yesterday (I, Claude Monet - so a relaxing movie, not activating) and towards the end of the 1.5 hours I experienced twitching / mild jerking in all four limbs.  I occasionally experience it at night but that's the first time it has happened when I've been fully awake.  the movie started at 3 pm and we had walked a fair way before going in to the cinema, so maybe after the exercise and then relaxing for that amount of time and in the dark my brain was thinking it was time for a sleep. 😔 Zzzzzzz

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ChessieCat

Feeling blah today.  Would love to go back to bed but know that it would be better not to.  At least I know the reason why I am feeling like I am.

 

I did a lot of walking on Sunday.  It took me a while before I got to sleep but I did sleep well once I did.

 

On Monday I was learning new processes at work which was really tough on the old brain cells.  I was picking it up and learning okay but I got to the stage that I knew I had had enough and I left early because I knew that if I kept going I would lose it.  I'm glad I left when I did.  When I went outside it was extremely oppressive.  Thankfully it wasn't overly hot and it wasn't humid, but by the time I got on the train I was really tired and felt wiped out.  By the time I got to my station it was raining and it wasn't oppressive and I felt a bit better.

 

Then yesterday I spent a lovely 4 hours at a community garden with a long time girl friend so we were outside in the fresh air and sunshine and walking around and chatting.

 

I'm very thankful that I cancelled going to ladies Bible study this morning.  I had already decided that I wasn't going to go to the Christmas lunch which was after the study.

 

Tomorrow and Thursday I am back at my other volunteer job which is labelling scanned documents.  Easy work but very boring and doesn't need much brain power.  I've downloaded some Old Time Radio programs from loyalbooks.com (they have Superman, Dragnet, Father Knows Best, Romance, Thrillers, Sci Fi) and I bought a pair of noise cancelling headphones on Monday so that should cut out the air conditioner noise which can be very annoying.  I have to drive 1/2 hour each way but I usually don't mind the drive.

 

Needless to say I'm taking it easy today.  Very pleased with myself that I had a shower before 10 am and I've cooked hard boiled eggs ready to have for lunch.  If I'm going to cook dinner, I have something easy planned.  And I know what I'm taking for work tomorrow.  Later today I might put away the clean dishes and do the bit of washing up that needs doing.  Less clutter on the benches makes it easier to prepare things.  But the groceries which are still in the middle of the kitchen floor in bags can stay there until Saturday.  There is only me and the cat.  I can live with it for a few more days.  They've already been there since I shopped on Thursday and Friday last week.

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elbee
On 12/11/2018 at 7:08 PM, ChessieCat said:

Needless to say I'm taking it easy today.  Very pleased with myself that I had a shower before 10 am and I've cooked hard boiled eggs ready to have for lunch.  If I'm going to cook dinner, I have something easy planned.

 

Well done on the self-care CC ;) 

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ChessieCat

I've got a few itchy spots this morning.  Found one on my back last night and assuming it was a mozzie bite.  However I found another one when I woke up this morning and in the half hour I've been up I've started scratching in other areas. But a mozzie did just fly past in front of the computer screen.  Just wanted to note it here for reference if needed.

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Happy2Heal

what's a mozzie? is that short for mosquito? 

 

I've had some odd rashes and itchy places thu out WD, fortunately they all resolved quickly. 

I hope yours does too!

 

how's things otherwise?

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ChessieCat

Hi H2H,

 

Yes, mozzie = mosquito.  Still not sure what the itches are.  Haven't seemed to develop either way.  Not too worried about it though.  I have had hives a couple of times this year, possibly related to something I've eaten.

 

And a bit of fun to make you smile:  Link to song  Don Spencer, my kids grew up with his songs.

 

If you want to here some more fun songs check him out on YouTube.

 

Aussie Mossie lyrics
 
She's a little Aussie mossie in her Aussie mossie cossie
And she's looking for a possie on your unprotected skin
When she's finished her inspection she will give you an injection
And you'll have an itch to show you where the Aussie mossie's been

There's a great proliferation in the mossie population
It's a constant irritation to us all
Yes it's hard to feel affection when she heads in your direction
'Cause the little Aussie mossie is out to get us all

You can hear her coming, buzzing and a-humming
But she's hard to see
Travelling in cognito, here comes the mosquito
With her stinger aimed at me

It's the female of the species that's biting us to pieces
'Cause the Aussie mossie's brother doesn't bite at all

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Carmie

Hi ChessieCat, 

 

Hope the itching goes away soon. I’ve never heard that poem, LOVE IT! Yes, the Aussie mossie can certainly be a pest, also the little sandflies. I was sitting near a creek once and got eaten to death by those small flying critters😄. Was itchy for ages. I must buy some insect repellent, I’ll get one without chemicals. I love nature, and these little critters seem to love certain areas in nature too. 

 

I also kept getting bitten by ants one day when I was lying on the grass reading. Found myself a different patch of grass. I don’t know if insect repellent works on ants??  I think I read somewhere they hate vinegar. Next time I lie on the grass I might go there smelling like salad dressing!🥗😂

 

Hope you have a happy day💚

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ChessieCat
27 minutes ago, Carmie said:

I must buy some insect repellent

 

My daughter says Bushman is a good one.  Not sure of the ingredients though.  She said other ones stain/bleach clothes.

 

28 minutes ago, Carmie said:

I also kept getting bitten by ants one day when I was lying on the grass reading.

 

You should always feed the ants first when on a picnic.  What do you call angry ants at a picnic?  Croissants / cross ants.  I made that one up years ago.

 

Since I posted the link to the Aussie Mossie song above, I've been listening to the Don Spencer songs on YouTube.  Really enjoying them!  There are about 80 songs.  Nice, lighthearted, non triggering and catchy tunes.

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Carmie

Hi again Chessie, 

 

I’ve never heard of Don Spencer. I just put him on Spotify. It certainly is fun for all ages. Very Aussie. Tweet, Tweet, Quack, Quack is being sung at the moment. It’s making me laugh! I’m glad you’re finding his music non triggering and relaxing. We all need to find things that help us cope, some good and happy distractions. Love your joke too, those pesky ants love biting. 

 

I don’t listen to much country music but I loooove Lee Kernaghan: “ We’re all members of the outback club, we don’t back down, and we don’t give up...” I love his song She’s My Ute too. It makes me smile. 

 

Have a happy day💚

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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ChessieCat

There's country music and then there is Country Music.  Australia has some really good artists.

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Carmie
1 hour ago, ChessieCat said:

There's country music and then there is Country Music.  Australia has some really good artists.

 

So true ChessieCat, 

 

I like Troy Cassar-Dailey as well. A friend of mine asked me to go with her to a Keith Urban concert one day too, but I didn’t have the money at the time. I would have liked to have gone. He’s actually from New Zealand. I did have one of his concerts on DVD. He’s coming again at the beginning of next year some time but I already spent money on two concerts at the beginning of the year and can’t afford another. Looking forward to seeing Phil Collins. 

 

I do like singers like Lee Kernaghan though, as they really describe the outback life etc in Aussie Land. I looooove his voice too, I find it really relaxing. Here’s to continue to find things that can help us to relax in this journey. One of his songs makes me so sad though and I have to skip it when I’m already feeling sad. I can’t remember the name of it on the top of my head, but it’s about a horse being put out to pasture because it’s not able to do anything else. Sooo sad. I’ve been in tears listening to it a couple of times, so definitely skip that one in my CD when I’m already sad. 

 

I do have a WALLOW playlist on Spotify though where I put sad songs etc. They are sings one can relate to when going through stresses.  When it comes to animals though, that’s a totally different matter. That pulls on my heartstrings way too much. 

 

Thanks again for your music recommendations. They are brilliant. I’ll check out Peter Coombes too. I’m a big kid at heart and listening to Don Spencer was so cool! It really made me smile. 

 

Thanks again💚💚

 

 

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ChessieCat

Merry Christmas everybody!!!

 

Christmas day is just about over for me here in Sydney.  I've had a lovely relaxing day.  My daughter and I took a simple lunch and picnicked by a set of 3 lagoons.  There were some other people and a couple of children but there was plenty of space for everyone and it was lovely and quiet, which is what we were looking for.  We saw a couple of large carp come up to the surface, some tiny fish, a few baby tadpoles, two different types of water fowl, some native ducks, and a family of 12 almost grown ducklings waddling along in single file and some geese, a pelican, and some other different types of birds, including a willie wagtail, a fairy wren, sparrows having a dust bath and also coming down to eat some bread, 3 plovers, Indian mynas, some dragon flies and 1 white butterfly.  I even managed to sit still long enough and had 2 timid geese take bread from my hand, and my daughter managed to catch it on film.

 

We then came back to my place and spent some time doing some craft things together and had some treats and a simple tea.  Even though I had sunscreen and a hat on, I did manage to get a bit of sun burn, and I can feel that my eyelids did.  It was 35 degrees celsius (95 F) so very warm but there was plenty of shade and a bit of a breeze.  Much better than staying at home.

 

Now I'm going in for a nice shower and hopefully a good night of sleep.  I am very tired, a pleasant and relaxed tired.  Whether that leads to going to going sleep straight away is another matter.

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brassmonkey

Sounds like a wonderful afternoon. Cold and rainy here. Try some vitamins E oil on the sunburn, works wonders.

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ChessieCat

Thanks BrassMonkey.  Yes, the Vitamin E does work wonders for burns.  My scolded wrist last year healed very quickly thanks to your suggestion.

 

Thankfully I've only got one patch of sunburn on one side of my neck which is only a little bit burnt.  The shower I had last night before bed helped to get rid of some of the stinging, some of which would have been from perspiration, especially on my face.  I didn't put any sunscreen on my face because I wear a hat.  However I did spend some time close to the lagoon so probably got the reflection off the water.

 

I slept well and through the night until about 5.30 am and am feeling much better this morning but can tell that I was outside yesterday and will take things easy today.

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ChessieCat

Ended up going back to bed at about 9.30 am and fell asleep almost straight away and woke just after 1 pm so at least 3 hours of sleep.  Don't think it was just the sunburn but probably have a bit of heat exhaustion.

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Carmie

 

Hope you’ve recovered from your sunburn ChessieCat, 

 

Those lagoons you went to sound amazing!! I love water, and the wildlife would have made my day. 

 

Sending hugs🤗

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ChessieCat

Thanks for checking on me Carmie.

 

Yes the sunburn is okay now, but I'm really starting to feel the heat.  My skin feels cool but I feel like my blood is hot.  I'm sitting in front of a fan and not moving around.  It's 30 C degrees in the house and will start to get higher soon so I might put the air con on for a while now as I'm starting to feel uncomfortable and headachy.  The joys of living in Australia in summer.

 

Other than that I'm doing okay.  Thankfully the heat exhaustion didn't seem to increase my withdrawal symptoms.

 

I've got another week to go on 5mg for a total of 4 weeks then I will be going to 4.75mg for 3 weeks.  Part of me wants to speed it up a bit and it would be good to do 2.5 weeks but then my reductions wouldn't fall on a Saturday.  But I could do them on a Tuesday because I am off on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.  I think I might try that for a few cuts, because I'm only reducing by 0.25mg so much less than 10%.

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ChessieCat
13 minutes ago, ChessieCat said:

But I could do them on a Tuesday because I am off on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.  I think I might try that for a few cuts, because I'm only reducing by 0.25mg so much less than 10%.

 

Just worked it out and it would only take about 2 weeks off a 7.5 month.  Not worth the hassle.

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Carmie

Hi again ChessieCat, 

 

Glad your sunburn is getting better. Great that the heat exhaustion didn’t ramp up your withdrawal symptoms. When I got heatstroke this year it didn’t ramp up mine either, I just got slightly headachy, nothing major. 

 

Wow! You’re doing really well with your taper. You will soon be under 5mg. Yay!!! Party time!!!🎉🎉 Yeah, trying to get ahead by two weeks wouldn’t really be much of an accomplishment. I’d stick to your first plan. 

 

Make sure to turn on your aircon if the temperature gets close to forty degrees. We don’t want you melting away, this site needs you. 

 

 

Sending hugs your way ChessieCat 🤗💚

 

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ChessieCat

I posted this in another member's topic and I'm posting here for my own record:

 

On 10/3/2018 at 8:50 AM, ChessieCat said:

 

I'm still here because I am trying to assist other members.

 

No, I am not healed, I am tapering and recovering from 25 years of antidepressant use.  It's hasn't been and still is not plain sailing.  I'm having to deal with fluctuating moods, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, low motivation, low energy, lack of confidence, reduced ability to go out and also to socialise,  light and noise sensitivity, poor memory, poor sleep, reduced ability to read and focus, and do hobbies which I used to enjoy.  However, there are things which have improved over the last 3 years.  I now shower almost every day, clean my teeth and eat proper meals.  Even though I don't like doing it, I am managing to get to the shops for groceries whereas before I would make do with whatever was in the cupboard until I was forced to shop because I ran out of food.  I'm also managing to think a few days ahead, whereas before I could only think about the immediate things.  Thinking ahead to the next day was almost impossible.

 

In the last 4 years I've also learned and use many non drug coping techniques which I wish I had been taught before I ever took an antidepressant.  If I had used non drug coping techniques I probably wouldn't have had to resort to an antidepressant because my depression was caused by experiencing many major life stressors over a 10 year period and I had very little support.  However, I cannot change the past and have had to accept that it is what it is and do the best with the situation I am in.  Constantly thinking and worrying about my healing/recovery is not going to help me, it would probably tip me over the edge and I would give up.

 

 

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