“I’m going cold turkey.”

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Bitch, say what?

 

Welcome to yet another instalment of ‘Shit depressed people have to hear!’ Today’s dosage of bullshit comes from within the depression ‘community’ if you can call it that. It’s when someone makes an announcement, either online or offline, that they’re quitting their meds cold turkey.

 

It’s probably not healthy for me to get so angry over things that at the end of the day have absolutely nothing to do with me. That’s me, I can go on a rant about anything and get so wound about something in the middle of the rant that it leads to a rant within a rant about something completely different before we have even reached the end. A meta rant.

 

I shouldn’t do that because it just takes emotional energy from me, but in a way this does involve me like it does anyone suffering from depression because the more people do this shit, the more acceptable it seems. And it makes me want to grab the person in question through the computer screen and give their forehead some alone time with the keyboard. I’m almost certain it would lead to their head making a hollow wooden noise, because there doesn’t seem to be a fucking brain in there.

 

I feel like I’m stepping onto a dangerous territory by telling people what they should and shouldn’t do with their own bodies but this is something I still feel like I’ve got the right to get wound up about because it doesn’t only affect them but how people with depression are viewed as a whole.

 

Don’t quit your meds cold turkey, you fucking twat! 

 

There seems to be two reasons for doing this: Either the meds are not working, or that the people taking them are feeling better already and think that they don’t need them. Neither of these scenarios should not lead to the conclusion of going off your meds without medical supervision under any circumstances.

 

Listen, I know how shit antidepressants can be. They take ages to work, IF they even work, and you have to wait even more to find the right dosage. AGAIN, weeks of waiting which might lead to you having to come off them and having to start this shit carousel all over again. And when you talk about weeks to a depressed person who can’t even envision the following day, you might as well be talking about years.

 

I know how frustrating it was for me. I had to go through two sets of antidepressants to the maximum and then come off them because they didn’t work. This took months. Months. I can’t even start to describe how incredibly frustrating it was not to feel any better and getting the new hope with every increase, only to face disappointment yet again. But it had to be done, because the consultant psychiatrist and I had to make sure that it wasn’t just a case of right medication-wrong dosage.

 

And you don’t come off them just like that. You lower the dosage little by little with time, under medical supervision, and once it’s viewed as acceptable, you either come off them completely or start the new antidepressants with a low dosage which is yet again increased incrementally over a period of time. One thing that wasn’t part of this process under any of the medication I was taking was to just stop taking them and see what happens. 

 

Notice the word used earlier? Consultant psychiatrist. A trained medical professional.  No matter how much you dislike them and no matter how much you are the best person to say what suits you best, this still doesn’t change the fact that they have the specialist medical expertise required to prescribe and change the dosage of antidepressants and you don’t.

 

And no matter what you say, I’d trust their opinion about coming off a medication more than someone who doesn’t have any medical training whatsoever. Just like I would rather seek an opinion of an experienced construction professional about knocking down a wall in my flat, rather than go ask a nice neighbour what she thinks.

 

I don’t know who I hate more in these cases, the people who make the announcement that they’ve stopped taking their medication without medical supervision, or the people who commend them for it. Don’t fucking encourage them! This isn’t some #reclaimyourself campaign. This is someone making a ridiculously stupid mistake.

 

A mistake because what tends to happen has happened every single time I’ve known about someone doing this, the person has felt a million times worse as a result. Never have I once heard that someone has fiddled with their meds and is now feeling brilliant. Either they have gone from good to shit or from bad to worse. I want to yell at these people for so many different reasons.

 

In the case of people going off their meds rogue because they feel better, why do you think you are feeling better exactly? There is a pretty good chance that the pills you have been taking have something to do with it, and what do you think is going to happen when your brain all of a sudden stops receiving what it’s been used to? Oh my goodness, it might actually be a similar to what happens when someone becomes ill with depression. 

 

You’re feeling better? That’s wonderful, absolutely brilliant! Go to your doctor and tell about it, have a discussion about whether it’s the right solution for you to come off the medication. If you decide that this is indeed the case, the dosage will be lowered within a set time frame incrementally as to prevent any adverse side-effects and assure the best possible outcome. Don’t pull the fucking rug from underneath your own recovery by being a twat.

 

You don’t feel like the meds are helping? I’m sure you’re right. The thing is, that it might be a matter of dosage. That’s why it needs to be checked. It might feel illogical but the option has to be checked just in case. Or if the increase is not seen as the right decision or it doesn’t work, you may come off it little by little and a new medication is possibly started all over again. Everyone is unique, and you can never, ever make presumptions whether a pill works for you or not based on other people’s experiences.

 

Frustrating? Definitely. Slow? Incredibly. Fucking insufferable? Absolutely. But it just might be necessary for you to get better.

 

These aren’t some over the counter cough drops. These are specialised medications that need to be taken under medical supervision as not to make yourself feel worse. When someone decides that they know more about antidepressants than a medical professional, nothing good comes out of it. Why do you think people make fun of antivaxxxers?

 

Also, these people are the ones who have the duty to pick up the pieces when you come crying back saying how horrible you feel as a result.

 

Nothing exactly empowering about that. Jesus Christ I hate people.

 

18 comments

  1. Every single fucking doctor tells you not to do that. I know not all doctors are great with mental health, but medication is the one single thing they know how to do. I have limited patience for people who do this and then wonder why they feel like shit. Whether the antidepressants were working or not they are still CHEMICALS that affect your BRAIN, why would you just stop taking them? For fucks sake. I know our illnesses can make us think and do weird things, but this is one time not to listen to yourself. Clearly this annoys me as much as it annoys you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Even when my psychiatrist put me on a medication that had “those” side effects (the so called rare side effect where you want to die even MORE”) he STILL made me do the slow weaning off process. Because it is necessary!

    Could not agree with your post and these comments more.

    Cmon people were not talking about quitting chocolate fks sake. We’re talking about stopping medication without medical advice. Would you just stop or increase your blood pressure meds without following what the doc says? Nope? Then why are MH drugs any different?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Let me preface this by saying SSRIs make things worse for me…they found out pretty early on why…because bipolar. It still wasn’t smart when I took myself off them and it DEFINITELY was one of the dumbest ideas I ever had to go off the mood stablizer they put me on at that point. I thought it wasn’t working that well, then I thought I was doing fine and then I went off it and holy fuck…..bad decision du jour. I crashed like a semi spinning out on an icy bridge. Anytime I think I want to alter what I take without consulting my psychiatrist I recall what has happened every single time.

    Liked by 1 person

      • What happened is that I ran out of medicine accidentally and couldn’t get a doctors appointment (you have to book weeks in advance, or be very lucky and get a same-day appointment).

        So it’s been about a week without taking my meds (not through choice) and… tbh I don’t feel any worse or any better. I was thinking about changing meds anyway. But going to change doctor and start the whole process again….

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ah, that’s different. It’s not like you chose to go off your meds. I’m sorry if the post seemed hostile to you, I was referring to people who make a big thing out of their conscious decision. But yes, changing doctors and starting over is a good idea.

        Like

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