Just over a week and a half ago, I took my last half pill (25mg) of Sertraline. Throughout my time on the anti-depressants, I wasn’t sure how much of a difference they actually made. Sure, I felt more relaxed and it really did help to bring my spirits up when I was at the lowest point in my life – but a small part of me thought that perhaps some kind of placebo mental game was play. I didn’t feel completely numb while on them, I still felt sad, and I still got anxious at times, but I am now beginning to realise just how much of an effect they really do have on your body.
*** Cue the withdrawal symptoms! ***
The last week has been a roller coaster ride of emotions, constant dizziness, high irritability and a lot of crying! It’s not really pleasant, but I am hopeful that the worst of these symptoms will be over in a couple of weeks. My biggest concern is how I will cope with my anxiety. What people seem to often do is package anxiety and depression in the one box. Sure, these often go hand in hand, but not always.
You see, I don’t consider myself a depressive personality type. I generally have a positive outlook on life. The glass is half full and I am mostly happy in my day to day activities.
Dealing with anxiousness on the other hand is a different story. This is something that I honestly do struggle with at the best of times, and is something that I am going to need to focus on over the next few weeks, especially while my body is getting used to the lack of substance that it was being fed for just under year and a half.
I probably should have done some more research before jumping off the meds, but I know this is the right time for me, despite how crap I feel at the moment. In case you’re in the same boat, here’s some helpful info courtesy of Mental Health Daily.
This article discusses the factors which may influence withdrawal when getting off this medication.
It also lists some of the symptoms which may be experienced. A few of these that I personally can relate to include:
- Brain zaps
- Crying spells
- Memory loss
- Mood swings
- Panic attacks
- Weakness in muscles and joints
So what am I going to do about it?
I could sit here feeling sorry for myself, and ultimately make myself feel even worse than I already do, or I can simply try. Try to get though the next few weeks utlising all the new techniques that I have learnt.
I think I’m going to go with the latter.
Let’s just say, Lavender scented essential oil has become my new best friend – we are attached at the hip, and just like a clingy girlfriend, it ain’t going anywhere until I say it can! That’s tip number 1. Lavender is renowned for its aromatic therapeutic properties and I’m taking full advantage! I may as well bathe myself in it!
Tip 2 – yoga. I’m going to classes once a week at this stage, but perhaps I will start going twice.
Tip 3 – try to keep busy, whether it be through work or hobbies.
Self care is tip 4 – clothes, lippy and nails – #noshame to treating myself over the next few weeks. Remember that when you look good, you feel good!
Number 5 – Crystals – they are also my friends and they can stay. My favourites during stressful periods are clear quartz, rose quartz and blue lace agate.
6 – Herbal tea – I have just invested in some calming therapeutic tea thanks to Organics for Lily. Her blends contain lavender, lemon balm and chamomile.
7 – Taco ‘bout it!
– tell your family, closest friends or your significant other about the emotions you’re experiencing, don’t go it alone. Utilise that support system because you are loved.
The last thing you want is to end up like this guy –
With all that in mind, I don’t expect each day to be rainbows and fairies and sunshine and unicorns. Having shitty days is part of the process. But even if you pick one of those tips to implement within a crappy day, it counts for something and it may even help in the moment!
I’m glad I was on the lowest possible dosage of 50mg and I am glad that I decided to get off the meds now. I didn’t expect jumping off them to be such a bumpy road, but I have seen worse days. If I could get through last year, I can get through anything.
And so can you 🙂
Love & Light,