At first, like many people I found talking about my mental health problems seriously intimidating. The thought of literally writing posts about it on my blog terrified me. Then one day I was scouring the internet for some advice and I realised that I could use my position as a blogger to help other people in the same boat as me. For the last two weeks I have been coming off of my antidepressants after slowly reducing them over a few weeks. I found a LOT of blogs for myself but I couldn’t find anything to let the people I love know how to support me through the journey, so I wrote one.
We will be INCREDIBLY aggy
Please don’t take it personally if we are a little bit more irate than usual. Imagine what it’s like for your brain who has had all of this lovely serotonin made for it to just be sort of left out there on its own struggling to make sense of why it now has to do it naturally. Coupled with some of the other side effects, it can leave you with a short fuse. Already in two weeks of being off of Citalopram I’ve managed to row with a friend I NEVER row with and call a woman an idiot. (If you are reading this though woman at Fenchurch st station who made me get hit by a door – you were an idiot). We don’t mean it and we will feel SERIOUSLY guilty after, but although there is no excuse for being rude to people, a little bit of leeway would be appreciated while we are going through this time.
We told you for a reason
If we have singled you out to have the conversation about coming off of our antidepressants you should feel incredibly flattered. This means we love you so much that we want you to know the reason for our changes in behaviour. There are many people in our lives that will probably notice the changes to our behaviour while we are completing this mammoth task but it will only be people we feel close to that we are going to tell. It may seem like a pretty big deal to you but we really don’t expect anything from you, apart from being there.
We will probably be super tired for a bit
Just to make antidepressants that little bit more fun for us all you will spend the first few weeks on them tired as fuck and the first few weeks off of them tired as fuck. Splendid news! So if we have to bail out on things and you live with us and we are tucked up in bed by 9pm on a Friday this is just a side effect. Having all of thought anxious and negative thoughts start to seep back through and trying to deal with them is exhausting.
We’ll get physical side effects as well
Just to add to the unpleasantness, there are some physical side effects as well, some of which might leave us out of action for a bit and not able to live up to our full potential of being funners. Dizziness is one of the most common ones so if we look like we are stumbling about a bit we haven’t just done a morning Tequila. We will also feel a bit sick and sweat our tits off.
We may not make it the first time
Coming off of antidepressants is seriously hard work. No matter how much we might feel like we are ready for it, we may not be just there yet. If we can’t do it first time there’s no doubt that we will want to give it another go at some point. The best you can do if you love someone who is going through withdrawals and may need to start taking their medication again is to let them know you are there for them.
We are being really brave
We don’t want a medal or a paper hat – we just want to live our life normally without needing to be on medication for the rest of it. That said stopping medication is seriously hard work. To support us through this time it’s nice to know that you realise how brave we are being. Coming off of antidepressants can sometimes make your depression worse than it was in the first place, so we are taking a huge risk.
We’ll eat less
One of the least productive side effects of being on antidepressants is having the appetite or a large horse. Because throwing in getting fat as well is a massive help if you suffer from depression, obviously. Our appetite will be massively up and down for a couple of weeks so if we can’t eat something delicious you have cooked us don’t be offended we are just adjusting.
We will still need to know our tablets are there
There’s no quick fix or cure to mental health problems. The likelihood is even if you start to feel better, you will suffer from another episode of depression at some point. Try not to think it’s super weird if we still stockpile some tablets for a bit. Knowing they are there if we need them is a massive comfort. It may be something that we keep in our cupboard forever, but never use, and that can seriously help us in getting better.
We’ll cry a LOT
Don’t be surprised if you find us in the kitchen having a breakdown over a potato. Being tearful is one of the most common side effects of coming off of antidepressants, and sometimes, a good cry sorts you right out. It doesn’t even have to be something remotely sad, and even the most cold hearted of people will shed a few tears. I’ve spent the last two weeks crying at Made In Chelsea. Yep.