Off The Happy Pills

After many decades on antidepressants (aka Happy Pills) I decided about 6 months ago to try to face the world without them. The first 3 months were not so good. My head would spin, my mind would not shut off, I had difficulty sleeping and some of my friends appeared very annoyed with me and my behavior. But, stubborn as I am, I wanted to feel the whole continuum of emotions. The bad along with the good.

Now my mind is beginning to quiet and I am able to sleep most nights. I feel anger, frustration, despair and sadness along with joy, happiness, contentment and love. Sounds like a full plate to me. My local doc thinks I am nuts to try this and is worried that I will crash and burn (will not be the 1st time). My Mayo Clinic endo is thrilled with me and is impressed with my brave decision. I do not know if both or either of these docs is on the right track, but it is something I feel I need to do.

Not so long ago, I was on so much medication that while traveling from home it was necessary to carry an entire case for all meds and supplies. Now after many years of trying to be healthy has brought me to 3 medications. Insulin via pump, Nexium & generic Prinivil to protect my kidneys, and all of the assorted supplies. I am amazed that I have been able to do this with the help of family and medical professionals invested in living well with T-1 and/or a cure.

I am ready to face whatever lies ahead with laughter, tears or both. I do feel a little like Alice in Wonderland going through the looking glass, turning around to look at self and then turn again to walk toward a new and different life experience.

Keep on being who you are to find the right path....

I was on 3 anti-depressants, and have gotten off of 2 of them. I am afraid to go off the last one, because while I'm not at all depressed at the moment (I am actually HAPPY!), I am so afraid that the depression will descend again, and then the only thing that keeps me from obsessing with suicidal thoughts is the anti-depressant.

Anyway, I hope this works well for you -- I hope you never get depressed again!

Natalie thank you for your well wishes. However, I have no doubt depression will knock on my door. I just keep learning to reconize it earlier and try to listen to what my mind is trying to tell me. I try to honor my depression by accepting it then act to combat it. I am not always successful, but so far I am ready for what ever life brings me. Good luck.

This post is concerning to me. I only take 1 low dose med, and started about 2 months ago. So far, it has helped me manage a lot of the day to day, there is no hope for me feeling (I am unemployed, facing potential foreclosure, and live so far away from my family). The meds still allow me to feel sadness, and on certain days, I can say I am feeling depressed or aniety, but it seems like it just helps smooth it over a little, my lows are not as low, and I think I'm getting myself up every morning and taking care of my business rather than letting things pile up so badly, that I am unable to face them, although I have plenty of those not dealing with THIS today days as well.

Is this a first step though, will this drug eventually start to lose it's effect and I will need more and different medications? I know when I look at my family, I see depression everywhere, and for a long time, I just felt this is life, and you just need to take it and deal with it, but with everything that has happened in the last few years, I couldn't deal with it anymore and decided to get help. Now I'm wondering if I should try to stop these meds ASAP, the idea that I will be dependednt on anything more than insulin horrifies me, Experts?

Not an expert, but when you're facing that much stress, I think it's good to have not only pills from a psychiatrist, but therapy from a psychologist, who will help you talk through the things that are bothering you, and help you come up with ideas for combatting them.

I have not found that the drugs lose effect, but rather that my level of depression varies. It can spiral downward in spite of the pills, or it can lift, all by itself. That's where the talk therapy helps.

I don't regard antidepressants as a dependency, but they sure do help when all I can think of is suicide!

I've not been in touch with my counselor in a while, my family Dr prescribed for me, the counselor I saw for 2 years, she always said I should seriously consider anti-depressants, and in a lot of ways, she was little more than a sounding board that let me know, no, I'm not crazy, the world is this full of total and complete idiots, it was kinda almost like girl talk with her. Most of the time when she suggested something, I had either already done it or knew about it, what I'm noticing on the meds is it's a little easier for me to start doing the things I knew I should have been doing anyway.

Do you get constructive advice from your counselor? Maybe I was wasting my time with the one that I was using, I liked her though. Oh well, thanks for the reply Natalie, and Jackie, good luck on your attempt to get off of meds, I think I would want to stop if I felt they were altering me as a person too much, or were interferring with sleep.

Every one of us is different and we all try to seek center or balance in our lives. During great stress and for many during chronic stress, chemical aid becomes necessary. I am trying out my own brain chemical existence for the 1st time in over 30 years because I am in a safe place in my life and have the support to try it. However, without the safe place and the support I would not take the chance. The Big D is challenge enough and anything that makes it easier is fine by me. Practice self-care whenever possible. Thanks for your imput.

Way to go, Jax. May I ask what antidepressant(s) you were taking? I've been on Prozac for decades. I think when I was first given that drug I was depressed or at least VERY unhappy. I was going through one of those 'trying times' and the doctor prescribed prozac to alleviate some of the anger and OCD I experienced at the time. It helped. It seemed to take months to work, but it did - OR, I simply got over my 'trying times' and healed on my own.

But the point I'm circling is that I cannot get off the drug now. I've tried several times and after about a month, I start to feel so anxious and raging bull kind of anger. So, rather than alienate myself and my loved ones any more, I just stay on the darned drug and put up with the extra couple of degrees of body heat, and the extra expense. At least in combination with several other medications I take for pain, the prozac also helps me to wake up and stay that way some days... and that is no mean feat!

I admire you being able to ditch a pile of medications and wish I could wean back off the 40+ pills I take daily - and those are the prescribed tablets, not counting liquids and lotions and OTC supplements. I think if I'd been stranded on the highway like so many others were the other night during that blizzard, I would have been in dire straights by morning without all my meds! I hate being so dependant and that it takes a full travel bag of bottles to go anywhere by plane, including liquids not normally allowed on a plane.

OTOH at least insulin has freed me from three other meds (Gluconorm, Januvia and Actos) so thats 7 pills I no longer take and I haven't had any ill effects from Metformin or Lantus (yet). Much of my GI tract is missing now so I do take a lot of meds to encourage food to digest - and will always need those drugs, but it would be nice if I could wean off prozac some day. I cut out street drugs; I cut out drinkin', I cut out smokin', and now I'm cuttin' out paper dolls!

Bikette, it sounds like you have a lot to deal with! When I went on pills, first for hypertension, then thyroid and depression, my friend Mariann told me, "Remember, pills are your friends!" That is, if they help you feel better. And my prescriptions do help me feel better -- I have tried going off them and have gotten very sick.

I'm on Cymbalta, for depression and not willing to go off it, because I have had problems with depression all my life. And while an antidepressant, for me, doesn't lift the depression, it does keep me from obsessing with suicidal thoughts. Last summer the depression lifted in an instant, one moment I was depressed, the next moment I wasn't, and I could feel the difference! I REALLY wish I knew why that happened -- I could sell it to other people and become a millionaire, LOL!!! But I stay on the Cymbalta for prevention, and hope I never get suicidal again, although the risk is there.

Best wishes to everyone who is stuggling with this KILLER disease!

Methinks becoming a millionaire would alleviate a lot of peoples' depressions! At least for awhile, 'til the tax man cometh.

I also think I resent being 'caught' by this prozac web. Nobody said it would be a life-long routine to take these drugs. I thought, when the depression lifted, the reason for the pills would be moot. I mean I didn't have those feelings of rage before I got depressed and I do not consider myself depressed now, so howcum the anger bit still surfaces? When I get off the prozac, I don't get depressed then either - just really really p'ss-toff (new word). I think the drug has trained my little neuron synapses to zap this way and I can't seem to untrain them. Of course, that's just MHO again, and worth every penny (Cdn) you paid for it.

There is also a negative connotation that accompanies most psychiatric medications since the vast unaware assume we must be drain bamaged to require this type of potion.... and that ain't necessarily so. Ain't nothing wrong with me that a new head, a 20-y.o. body and a million dollars couldn't fix quite handily.

Yeah this whole depression thing sucks! bikette, I have been on many different drugs over the years, paxil, prozac, welbrutrin, so many I can no longer remember them all. And yes, I too became very anxious and full of rage, apparently I was bad enough to loose two friends over my bad behavior. Still not totally sure on that one as I want a sit down, not texts. So yes mame, it was rough. Now about 8 months in, I am more relaxed and settled. I can still belly laugh and cry during commercials. I plan to wiat this out and see if I bottome out. I too have been suicidal over the years, but I learned long ago that I could feel suicidal and not kill myself. That freed me up to allow myself to feel that bad and know that I would come out the other side. I am not sure what the answer is, other than big bucks, but I really want to find my center again. Good luck.

Some of the commercials I’ve seen would make Richard Simmons cry - so you’re not alone there! And Back-atcha with the good luck. I hope you find your centre again… mine was somewhere between my boobs 'n my butt!

You bring up an important point bikette, and that is sense of humor. Without a sense of humor this whole living with or without D would be very difficult indeed. Oh yeah, and a lot of motorcycle time, that’s where I clean the cobwebs out of my brain. Happy Trails, Jax

I too am also more than ready to face what every lies ahead for us. I hope to have both laughter and tears.
forever your mom