4 things to know before you stop taking antidepressants 

As a bid to lead a happier life I’ve decided to quit the happy pills. Ironic, isn’t it? I’ve been feeding my brain with a serotonin feast, and I’m just about sick of relying on these pills in order to lead a happier, depression-free life.

I’m not saying that they don’t work, at first they are a god send! But after nearly two years of being on sertraline (Zoloft) I’m ready to flush the SSRI’s out of my system and make room for the real me.

Here are some golden rules (which I’ve only just discovered myself!)…

1) The doctor is (usually) always right.

Never stop taking antidepressants without telling your doctor 

This could heighten the risk of suicide or self-harming.

The doctor will also put you on the right path by either lowering your dosage or switching you to another medication for the time being.

For me, missing just one day will cause severe ‘brain zaps’ leaving me disoriented and unfit for everyday routines.

2) Ask yourself: are you ready to stop taking antidepressants?

Do you feel you are physiologically dependant on your antidepressants or that you can live without them? 

You will know when you are ready. You won’t feel scared, or frightened to stop. You’ll feel a sense of clarity, that you’re happy enough without them.

I’m sick of feeling numb and not like myself at times, I want to be the person people enjoy being around. I’m happy, so I know the journey will have a light at the end of this all.

3) Tell your friends

Your friends are there to support you, so keep them informed and they might be able to help. 

Friends are the best medicine.

4) Research the withdrawal symptoms of your antidepressants

Some can be short term and others stay in your system for longer.

Antidepressants such as Prozac (fluoxetine) stay in your system for much longer than sertraline, making it sometimes easier to wean off them.

sertraline

I wish everyone the best of luck!

How to beat the January blues

How is everyone?

I hope Christmas was as merry as possible and that your post-party selves are suffering only mild effects of alcohol binging.

Try not to neglect yourself this month. You have to keep moving forward and not backwards in this January struggle.

But how?

Well, if you think the fun has to stop after the 25th of December, you are wrong.

I was pondering on the idea of a holiday, or just a spontaneous city break this February. I found myself sifting through the Expedia sale in the early hours of New Years Eve. I’ve always wanted to go to California, but how would I afford it? I’m skint! I calculated the cost and I only had meagre £50 and a student overdraft. But then I realised my student loan would be coming through in two weeks and all I knew that if I booked a holiday I would feel so much better. I have something BIG to look forward to. So I booked a two week holiday, in June to Los Angeles, ‘the city of angels’.

I’m absolutely dirt poor, living-off-30p-noodles-broke and I don’t have a worry in the world because I’m going to Cali!!!

I know I’m crazy, and I know it’s not the best advice to book something you can’t afford. But, I will tell you this: plan something that keeps you moving forward into to future.

Christmas isn’t over, the fun isn’t over.
It’s just begun.

Portrait of a painful memory

She painted her skin
with the brush of a knife
the fibres so sharp
it could end her life

She looked at her masterpiece
And sighed in a whim
The oozing crimson
Trickled down, past her shin

Then she glared at the lines
that the paintbrush had traced
She’s ashamed of her work
She’s ashamed she resisted
It’s a terrible mess
I told her, it won’t last forever
You’ll be free someday
I promised
She wept
Then she painted one last picture
And away
She swept