Last year I read an article published in the Guardian that warned against coming off anti-depressants without advice from doctors. Doing so could lead to extreme symptoms of (you guessed it) depression, among other things.
The article was not wrong.
Last month I ran out of my anti-depressants and, seeing as my mind is a little slippery sometimes (another side effect of medication), I forgot to replace them. For a week and a half I did not take my prescribed Sertraline and it hit me like a freight train.
I felt tired. So tired. Waking up and getting myself out of bed was a nightmare. When I finally managed to push the covers back and sit up my thoughts came syrupy-slow and I couldn’t make sense of things.
One day I had an interview at 13.00 and yet I could barely stay awake. A woman with fuzzy blonde hair told me all about electronics and home and business instalments and I just nodded and kept pushing myself up in my seat so that I didn’t fall asleep.
She showed me around the building and I asked some blurry questions. When I left I breathed a sigh of relief, got home and fell asleep on the couch. I have never known tiredness like it.
I felt more depressed. Thoughts of doing things that mattered like housework were met with myriad what’sthepoint?aries. Excuses were easier to make up than actually getting up.
In contrast to this I would have periods of highs where I could clean the house, perform woodwork, write a blog and job hunt for hours. My heart raced. I was plagued with bouts of tunnel-vision and then I would fall asleep as quickly as a switch had been flicked.
Had I been in more dire circumstances I sincerely believe that, without other medication placating erratic thoughts, I would have been close to spiralling again.
The message is clear; best not to come off meds without consultation.