Cutting Loose

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I’ve decided that it’s time for me to stop taking my antidepressants.
I’ve been taking Venlafaxine (Effexor) for almost a year now. I don’t have any HUGE complaints about it. Overall its been pretty good. I just think I’m one of those lucky people that doesn’t have any crazy reactions to medications. Even when I first started taking it I never experience any nausea, headaches (more then usual), or things like that. The only two areas it has negatively effected me is my weight (I’m almost 95% positive this is to blame), and some “intense” feelings. I’ve read really horrible things about the withdrawal from this medication. Horrible, horrible things. I’m hoping because I’m on a low dose it won’t be too bad.
I’ve been doing some research on the drug and found that a lot of people have complained that it effected their weight. It’s not a type of antidepressant that typically effects it drastically, but there are still cases of course. Since being on the drug I’ve been way more sensitive to certain kinds of foods, and have been retaining water like crazy. I’ve gained about 25 pounds since starting on Venlafaxine, and haven’t changed my eating or exercise habits drastically to cause the weight gain.
There are also times where I feel like I’m sort of having an out of body experience. Everything slows down and seems very unreal (if that makes any sense at all). I also feel as if it has taken all my feelings away. I have emotions, don’t get me wrong, but they are very short lived. My brain seems to be moving a million miles a minute that I don’t have time to process anything properly – everything just is what it is and I go on with my life. That’s not exactly a bad thing, but I would definitely like to get some feeling back into my life.
Overall, I just don’t want to be on any medications anymore. I stopped talking oral contraceptives about a year ago, after being on them for 9 years, because I didn’t want something controlling my body. I was stopping a natural production, and I didn’t feel comfortable with that anymore. I don’t like the idea of drugs anymore. I don’t want anything “artificial” in my system, telling my body what to do or how to act. I’m worried about how this is going to effect my mood though. I’m not going to lie, I’m quite the moody person. I also suffer from anxiety, which has been a relief not to have to deal with since taking my meds. I need to do everything possible to deal with my depression and anxiety without medication.
My boyfriend is a little worried about the outcome as well. Don’t get me wrong, I know he’ll love me through thick and thin – but it’s probably going to get difficult. I’m sure there will be a time period where I’m very overwhelmed, and very irritable. One of the reasons I finally decided to go on antidepressants was because of the way I was acting towards some of my friends and family. I had this horrible attitude that I shouldn’t have had towards them. For no reason I always felt negative and felt like everyone was to blame. I didn’t want to talk and open up, I just wanted to be a bitch to get everyone to leave me alone. It’s going to be hard to adjust at first.
I already exercise and eat well, so that’s one thing that will help me a lot. I’m booking an appointment with a counselor very soon, so that I’m still going to take care of my mood, I’m researching more into massage therapy and acupuncture to help with depression and relaxation, since I have coverage for them through my work, and I’m going to start attending yoga classes at my gym. 
I need to make it my goal, every morning, to be happy. It’s going to be difficult, but I’m confident that I will get this depression under control without using medications.
Wish me luck!

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