I’m currently on a very special journey to being free from anti-depressants. Seven months ago when I started SSRI’s again after a three year break I had no intention of using them long term. They were merely a crutch, a fair weather friend. 

Am I scared this choice will cause my brain to become overwhelmed, breaking into tiny pieces of well positioned glass severing the functionality of my mind? Of course I am. I have been down this road before. I remember my brain’s slow journey back into it’s own brand of normalcy. I remember almost being mowed down by a eighteen wheeler because my brain wouldn’t react fast enough to tell my body to move. I remember the anxiety. I remember the brain zaps. 

But I also remember the beauty and freedom I felt being one hundred percent me. Knowing my emotions were my own, my decisions were my own and not some product of an altered brain chemistry. I am clearer off medication, I am happier. My intense craving for the constant companion of alcohol diminishes. I do not need to be called three or four times because I am in zombie land. No relation to the film. I spend less days perpetually fatigued, praying for the moment I can slip into my sheets only to find myself with eyes wide for hours.

I know I am making the right decision, but I can’t promise myself it will be pretty. 



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21 responses to “Freewheeling

  1. You’re trying to get away from SSRI’s and I’m thinking I might need them. I wish you luck, because I probably need some.


  2. gophergold

    “But I also remember the beauty and freedom I felt being one hundred percent me. Knowing my emotions were my own, my decisions were my own and not some product of an altered brain chemistry. I am clearer off medication”

    As for me, I’m clearer and more in control when I’m on my meds.

    Good luck.


  3. Sadly I’ve been bipolar longer than you’ve been alive. I have had many of the same feelings when my mood was moving towards hypo or manic. Taking meds suck, I have tried over 45 drugs or combos since diagnosed. I have a VNS device in my chest. You and I have a chronic illness which will require meds all our life. You don’t have a professional monitoring your withdraw. Zoloft is probably not the right drug, you have to find another or combo to try. They may not work and you have to keep pushing for some middle ground. I love the person I am when manic, just last night I said I want to be that person. The fact is you don’t stay high and falls can be much worse. You are very smart and it’s easy with just enough information to justify not taking your meds. Meds do change the chemistry of your brain our brains need help producing the right level of chemicals in order to stay balanced. The best step you can take now is find a Psychiatrist who understands your diagnosis. Some people have depression, we have one of the most debilitating mental illnesses. It’s a full time job until you get the right mix of drugs. You want to go back to school and host of projects to full fill you and will raise your confidence. When we fight our mind every hour of every day it’s hard to achieve your goals. You know I’m coming from a place of helping not judging. I worry about you.


    • Hi darling. I don’t have mania because I am not bipolar! My illness is not one medication is usually the answer for but I do know where you’re coming from and I thank you. I do have someone monitoring my weaning as well!


      • Hi, I knew we had different disorders but thought the symptoms were similar. I’ll have to read up so I know what I’m talking about. Take care and know I’m thinking of you,sending good thoughts your way.


  4. I’m on herbal pills right now, St John’s Wort. They’re not as strong as “real” antidepressants but they’re sufficient for me. You can’t take them if you’re on the pill though, as they alter your hormones and counteract the effect.

    Still, if you want to wean yourself off chemical pills, taking weaker herbal ones might help. Or weaker chemical ones, too… if the ones you’re taking now have shitty side effects, you can always talk to your doctor about them. Nearly getting run over is a pretty drastic side effect… I’m sure there must be something more adapted to your brain chemistry (though finding the right thing can be a very slow process). Good luck! xx


  5. I get how you feel with meds making you feel like a zombie. I’ve had a large number of meds do that to me, I spent 3 years a walking zombie so dosed up with meds I fell asleep everyday in class, and when I was awake I wasn’t quite there. Definitely feel clearer without them!


  6. Excellent choice IMO. Antidepressants can dull your symptoms but don’t cure you. I just wrote about how I came off pills for good several years ago. Never looked back.


  7. Good luck!!!! 😊😊


  8. sc0pic

    Courageous of you! Good luck. And check out the film The Garden State if you haven’t already.


  9. Having bpd myself , and knowing that there are no medications for it – only ones to treat concurrent disorders such as anxiety and depression, I have found that Elvail , one of the tricyclics ( very low dose) keeps me out of suicidal depression, but doesn’t cause side effects or numb me as the SSRI’s did when I was younger. That, and clonazepam for my anxiety allow me to be clear but also be myself.
    The tricyclics are often overlooked , because doctors push the newest SSRI’s or SNRI’s, and I found Elavil by accident by being put on it for pain and sleep . Maybe this will help someone .
    As for your journey back to being sans chemicals – I support the idea fully. Best of luck


    • Thanks! I’ve never heard of that one. I know what you mean about them pushing the newest meds, it’s what they’ll make their money off of. I’ve been researching some of the older MAIOs so if I ever decide to be back on meds, I’ll skip the SSRI. I just don’t think they’re for me.


      • I’ve never tried maio’s because of the scary contraindications – but apparently they try those when all else fails. I’m happy that tricyclics do something for me without the flu like symptoms and complete personality numbing effects of SSRI’s .
        I commend you for your efforts to get back to the chemical free you.
        I’m on a plethora of pain meds too- I don’t think a single molecule in my body is my own. Haha


      • YES! I’m having the flu like symptoms in withdrawal now and the headaches, my god. Not only was I about as interesting as a wet blanket but my headaches made it so I never wanted to do anything even if I had the heart to.
        Currently the only thing I will continue to take is xanax, I am prescribed to take it twice a day but I certainly don’t. I save it for serious panic attacks and anxiety. I’ve seen what xanax addiction can do to people. As for your other comment, I plan on smoking plenty of weed tonight. Join me?


      • Poor you! They are not exactly easy to Get off of. Doctors go on and on about dependence on pain meds , and are so reluctant to give them out , yet they freely hand out anti depressants that your body gets super dependant on and have terrible withdrawal symptoms, and of course later your brain significantly.
        I unfortunately can’t smoke weed!!Every single time I’ve tried over the past 15 years , the result is the same. Nausea , extreme paranoia and anxiety, dissociation, and generally terrifying effects. I feel that it exacerbates all of my mental illnesses. All 5 of em!
        It really sucks , because I would much prefer to smoke a J or eat a pot brownie than take as many pills as I do. I’ve heard of sooo many ppl using it for pain.
        Obviously I’m an addict as well, so there’s that… Sigh..
        I see methadone in my near future. * cries*
        Oh no wait , I’m too numb to cry.
        *stares blankly at the wall*


      • That makes me sad to hear, especially since I know how it feels to be an addict. I hope you can find happiness somehow, I hope both of us can. <3


      • Thanks. And thanks for understanding addiction.
        I have found happiness – unfortunately in pill form ..


      • where ever it comes from, we deserve it. <3


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