When all the trouble happened at work in June 2014, I was having a lot of trouble sleeping. My doctor prescribed me a new antidepressant that would help me sleep at night. Did it ever. I’d be out for a solid 12 hours and still have trouble waking up.
I’d got to a better place mentally thanks to the drug and my psychologist, but this drug was starting to hinder instead of help, so my new lady doctor and I sat down and talked it through.
We planned out exactly how we would do the drug change-over – I would take half doses for 4 nights, then stop that drug. We’d wait a solid two weeks in between, then start on the new drug which I have already taken before. She did not write me a script for the new drug as I was not quite ready to go through the process yet.
When I was ready, my doctor was taking a few days off, so I had to see another doctor. No problem, I thought. All I need is a script for the new thing, this should not take long. Hahahhahahaha yeah that jinx thing happened again. This doctor was not familiar with the drug I was on, and spent 20 minutes reading about it and telling me wrong and irrelevant information, even though I told her I just wanted the script because I had already talked it through with the other doctor and I knew how to stop taking it.
Then she charged me almost $100 for an extra long session. Is it my fault she knew nothing? I think not. I will not be going back to see her any time soon. Not once did that idiot doctor mention any withdrawal symptoms to be aware of.
So, I discontinued the old drug. Everything seemed perfectly fine the first two days, but then things got very weird indeed.
If you imagine my mind as a large railway station, for over a year there had only been one train on the tracks at a time. Now it was like 300 trains, some slow trains, some express trains, some crashing into each other, some derailing off the tracks.. some there one minute and totally vanishing the next minute. Thoughts were coming at me faster than I could process them or write them down.
It felt like there was “An Explosion Of Snoskred”.
I wrote 20 LONG blog posts in the space of a few hours, and had ideas for 100 more spilling out as a surprise to myself. My OCD which had been mostly dormant sprang to life. I suddenly felt like I had to clean all the things RIGHT NOW but every time my hands got slightly dirty I had to stop and wash them which severely impeded my progress. I began checking the doors at least three times a day to make sure they were all locked.
I could not sleep more than 7.5 hours. When I woke up, it was like being slapped in the face with a bucket of cold water instead of swimming up very slowly through water. Bang, awake. While on the drug my dreams had been detailed, very real, and I could remember them the next day.
Now when I woke up, they vanished like thin wisps of fairy floss in a strong breeze, I could not catch them but I stretched very hard trying to grasp them and the more I stretched the more I knew I never would manage to remember what had happened. I knew they had happened and they felt super important, like I needed to remember them.
I got a lot of shiznit done, fast.. it was fantastic, I’m not going to lie. This went on for four days.. Then I began to wonder.. was this possibly a side effect of stopping that drug? I googled.. and it turns out one of the possible withdrawal symptoms is Mania. I’m not a doctor *but* I am pretty sure that is what I had. Had is the right word because it just a distant memory now.
The good part is, much of the great stuff remains. 7.5 hours is the max sleep I can have. Waking up is like flicking a switch. I’m exercising 6 days a week for 33 minutes – 3km exactly. I’m inspired to write and do more.
Don’t let us for one minute kid ourselves. I might not be sitting here typing this today if not for those drugs. I needed them to get through a bad situation. As I said in this post – Needing to take antidepressants is not a sign of weakness! It is a fact of chemistry.