Whilst many people state that they have got their life back after taking antidepressants – this is not my experience nor that of many others. Significant numbers of people taking anti-depressants experience devastating side effects whilst starting, changing dose or withdrawing from them.
The big issue for me is one of informed consent, people are making choices about whether to take a mind-altering substance when they are in an extremely vulnerable state, but they are not being given the facts.
I am currently writing down my tail of anti-depressant useage and the horrific fall-out I went through when trying to withdraw from Effexor. Psychosis, mania, aggression and incarceration are unfortunately just some of the words that I needed to use. I also want to tell you how vehemently I struggled to halt the increasing chemical cocktail that was paraded before me and why I resisted the re-telling of my life so that it fitted into other people’s expectations.
Damn it we told them, me, my family, my friends – that the only reasonable explanation was that I was in Effexor withdrawal. It was just too destroying a thought to the medical profession’s world view, that this could be true. So they didn’t listen and mocked the very thought of it.
Skipping to the end, three (ish) months down the line, exhausted, full of anger and out of options I got myself back on the dreaded Effexor and pretty much instantaneously returned to being ‘me’. However it took a lot of trickery on my part and a stale mate situation for this to come about.
I am nearing the end of my second withdrawal attempt from Effexor and one thing I know for sure is that it will definitely be successful and that for me and many others, to garden is to live.
Make of it what you will! But what it is not is a manifesto or advice because I have no idea who you are – you must answer that conundrum for yourself.
Here’s the links if you’re interested..
Entry into the mental health system – how I came to a point where I needed help from the mental health system and why I first started to take anti-depressants
Induction into mental health system – My first experience of help from the mental health system and how my condition deteriorated as I continued to take anti-depressants.
Sabbatical and re-entry into the mental health system – My time away from psychiatry and the things that I tried to improve my quality of life. How and why things went wrong for me and how a severe withdrawal reaction from antidepressants saw me propelled back into the mental health system.
Explosion back into the mental health system – How quickly I became acutely psychotic and manic when withdrawing from my antidepressant – Effexor.
Hotel for the mentalists – describing the lead up to being sectioned and hospitalised. How slow, difficult and dangerous this was for all concerned.
Prone Position – Mental health unit induction – my first couple of days in the unit. Induction into staff violence.
The Grate Escape – A poorly planned and badly executed escape attempt, resulting in sedation and a decision to do everything in my power to get out of there.
Looking for a saviour and random good fortune – Staying quiet and biding my time as I continued to fight off the sum total of all the evil in the universe. Luck was on my side as I managed to avoid further drugs and get myself a legal representative by accident.
Therapeutic Resistance – The activities and interactions that I had with the clinic’s staff.
Time machines and judgement day – My long awaited and successful mental health review tribunal.