January 5, 2015: I think I’m going to quit taking anti-depressants

I’ve been on them now for close to eight years I think, I don’t really remember. This year proved a bit tumultuous with a few prescription changes and in the last two years I’ve had two emergency psychiatric hospital visits. To me that is unacceptable given that I only started taking these pills to help with anxiety, not depression. I suppose it’s possible that my depression developed over the years but it is also possible that the medication is in fact the cause. I think I owe it to myself to find out. Lately I have returned to self harm as a way to feel in control of myself again and that is a slippery slope that I want to stop.

I’ve booked a doctors appointment three days from now because I need to ween down properly. I know the withdrawal symptoms from Effexor come fast and hard. My plan to help me cope during the transition is to get a prescription for a PRN such as lorazepam to use only to treat anxiety/panic attacks and to join a new yoga studio close to my home, possibly two sessions/week. I find yoga helps my body and my mind.

I don’t know if my doctor will support it, but in the end she can’t make me continue taking something if I don’t want to.

Getting off the Effexor should alleviate my insomnia as well. As a sleep lover this has been a challenging side effect for me and I look forward to resuming my love affair with slumber. I don’t like that I can’t sleep well without taking sleeping pills. Lack of sleep is also a trigger for my anxiety.

I’ve also decided to significantly reduce my alcohol intake, another anxiety trigger, and instead invest in a nice vaporizer. Also the occasional caffeinated beverage I drink to keep me alert during the day has to go, another anxiety trigger. A Pepsi is a panic attack in a can for me. No wonder it keeps me alert, it turns me into a squirrel.

Wish me luck.

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