I try to quit seroxat (again)

After nearly five years, I am trying to come off seroxat for the fourth time. I plan to keep a diary of my efforts and to discuss a few issues relating to the greed and lies of GSK, the makers of the drug, the woeful ignorance of the real effects of this drug amongst the medical fraternity and hope to find out what help is available to the thousands of people who struggle to come off it.

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

0.05ml but really struggling

My dosage is so miniscule now, it's pretty difficult to measure and can't possibly be having any physical effect at all. It certainly isn't enough to mke me feel happy. Since being relocated very much against my will to Hong Kong, I am about 8,000 miles away from the friends and family who have supported me throughout this long, tedious, difficult and drawn out process. Having been through two failed rounds of fertility treatment over the summer and having just learned I will need to have an operation if I'm to have any chance of conceiving, I cannot think of a worse time to have been uprooted.

On the positive side, I don't seem to have put on any more weight and after about three weeks of really regular and sometimes persistent palpitation, my heart has been back to normal for 72 hours. Logically, I can see that if I get up tomorrow and don't take my medicine, I will probably be fine and not experience any further side effects. But I can't quite bring myself to do it yet. I've been on this stuff for six and a half years and you start to doubt whether you can function on your own (recent experience would suggest, erm, I can't). It will happen, probably within the next week or so (it would be so nice not to have to lug bottles and syringes through customs any more), but not until I'm properly prepared.

Rather unhandily, my very helpful Feeling Good Handbook, as recommended by the nice people at Newham Primary Care Psychology, is at home in the UK. I waddled along to the local English language bookshop but while there was a lot of self-help guff, there was nothing specifically about CBT. I have found myself behaving and thinking like a depressed person a lot since I've been here and I need to get a grip. Depression is something you have to guard against every day of your life if you are prone to it. Unfortunately for me, chocolate chip cookies and retail therapy are never going to be enough.

I need a back to basics healthy eating and fitness plan and to be returned to my place of origin as soon as possible.

Tuesday, 28 August 2007

The palpitations strike back

I went to see the doctor three weeks ago while at 0.3ml because I'd been having palpitations every day for at least part of the day for about 10 days. She was very sympathetic and thought that it was the seroxat withdrawal that was causing them and reassured me that while they are undoubtedly unpleasant, they aren't doing lasting damage to my heart. She said it was safe for me to exercise and that a bit of a work out might even get things working properly.

After that they pretty much stopped for a couple of weeks until this last weekend, when I finally got down to 0.2ml. Yesterday I woke up with that deep vibrating feeling in my chest and it didn't really go away all day. The same happened this morning. I'm avoiding all stimulants, but especially coffee and coke, and trying not to dwell on it, but it is a horrible sensation, the missed beats accompanied by a strange feeling at the back of my head. I am quite anxious at the moment anyway because of moving abroad and some other fairly horrific medical treatment I've been undergoing and whether the palpitations are being exacerbated by this, I don't know. I might try a long hard session of Cher Fitness: A New Attitude tomorrow - it's kill or cure.

Monday, 16 July 2007

The End is Finally in Sight

Am now down to about 0.27 m. I've had a few headaches but I've taken to drinking about three pints of water every afternoon and this seems to have helped. I've not experienced anything weird for a while but I still can't quite believe that I'm going to get away with such an easyride. I fear something horrible will pop up to bite me on the bum just as I think I've got away with it. It could still happen when I come off completely so I will be taking the last bit very very slowly. A 1 ml syringe has recently come into my possession so I can be really quite precise about it. I'm hoping that the level of seroxat in my body is now so low that it won't notice its complete absence.

The bad news is that the weight I put on over the six years I've been on seroxat doesn't seem inclined to fall off of its own volition- I'm going to have to put in some serious work at the gym. BUT, I'm definitely not as hungry as I was before and I'm not getting the big blood sugar crashes I used to suffer from.

My moods are pretty even and stable, though I am consciously taking it particularly easy at the moment. Not sure how I would stand up if I got myself a proper job again and hd to commute. I was on the point of properly flipping out on the Central Line the other week when I got stuck in a very hot tunnel.

Still, it could be much, much worse.

Tuesday, 19 June 2007


Have been making a real effort to reduce my dosage every day for the last few days and am hoping to hit 0.5ml by the weekend (today is Tuesday) and to quite completely by the middle of July. Have been very down generally but reducing my dosage doesn't seem to have an effect on my mood; it's been low but stable. In fact, if anything, my moods seems to correlate with the prevailing weather conditions. Does this make me the most superficial person in the world? I hope so. Then all my problems could be solved by moving to Spain.

However, it's not Spain that I'm going to be moving to but Hong Kong. Him indoors has been made an offer from work he couldn't refuse. I could have refused it very easily, and wanted to, but as a compromise I am going for three months and if I hate it, I will come home. I am worried about everything, of course - the pollution (see photo), food, the humidity, where we will live, not knowing anyone, the business of the place (I have panic attacks in Soho) - but am trying to not get in a state about it. That is to say, I have already been in a state about it and it isn't particularly productive, so I've decided to take the zen route.
Not sure how good an idea moving somewhere quite so hectic is so soon after coming of seroxat. We are not due to go until September which gives me a while to completely come off. I suppose it will be a good test...

Thursday, 31 May 2007


Had another of my special seroxat insomnia nights last night. I used to sometimes have problems getting to sleep at night from time to time and in my most depressive phase, I would wake up at 5am and worry until the alarm went off. But in the last couple of months, I've had three or four nights where I haven't slept a wink all night, not even 20 minutes here or there. I don't feel especially stressed or preoccupied, I just cannot drop off. By about 4am, I start getting a bit agitated and distressed and then eventually I decide to cut my losses and get up and hope to grab an hour in the afternoon.

I was down to about 1ml but have gone back up to 1.25 today. Can't cope with this while my support network have a) gone to Hong Kong, b) gone caravanning for a month in France (and are a bit stingy with the mobile phone use - you know who you are!) and c) have just been selected to run for parliament. I need to get down to the gym, read Sherlock Holmes before bedtime and maybe neck some antihistimines (sic?).

On a scale of 0-10, with 0 being loitering on top of multi-storey car parks/eyeing the carving knife with longing/sniffing weedkiller and 10 being wedding/birth of first child/Forest beating Man Utd, I'd say I'm about a 4. Successive gloomy thoughts. Feelings of hopelessness. Feelings of abandonment/isolation/loneliness. Last time I felt like this, I went to Sainsbury's and bought a massive chocolate cake. Maybe I should try that again.

Wednesday, 23 May 2007

Up again and back down again

God, this is getting tedious. Have been away. While I was away I got really ill. After 5 days, I wondered if it was the dreaded 'flu-like' withdrawal symptoms so I went back up to 1.5ml for a couple of days. It wasn't. I am now getting better and am back down to 1.25 ish, hoping to reduce to 1ml by the end of the month.

I just want this painstakingly slow process to be over and finished so I don't have it hanging over me any more. However, I don't want to stop very suddenly, go loopy and it to all have been for nothing. It's always the end of things I hate. I'm a starter, not a finisher. I'm also getting very angry with stuff generally, mainly politics, husband (absences and smoking thereof), annoying noisy neighbours, that sort of thing. I know my irritability is being heightened by the gradual wearign off of the Seroxat. Perhaps this is my natural state - Victor(ia) Meldrew. Anyway, if they pluggefd me into the National Grid, I'm sure my righteous anger would be sufficient to ensure that no new generation of nuclear power stations will be needed.

*Goes to lie down in a darkened room.

Friday, 11 May 2007

1.3 ml this morning

Am getting my palapitations again but not too severely and am trying not to think about it too much. Don't feel like goign to the gym this avo as originally planned, though. Intend to cut down very slowly over the next week or so as I'm going to be away from home. If I drop another ml in the next week, that will be fine.