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.

Sunday, 28 January 2007

Finally down to 4ml

Day 28 and have now reduced original 5ml dose down to 4ml. Have felt generally a bit low - no doubt in part because of the time of year and Mr 5ml's frequent absences with work - but I feel like I'm starting to emerge from my protective bubble. Things I've managed to ignore or haven't noticed for the last five years are starting to affect me, particularly my physical environment, the grimness of this part of East London, the dirtiness of the streets, the brutalist architecture or some of the tower blocks, the abandoned warehouses and filthy facades of the high street. I am also starting to feel the disconnect between people here, the way people at best politely ignore everyone else or more often, interact with an undercurrent of defensive antagonism. Too many rats in a cage and they start eating each other.

Physically, I'm still very drowsy and can easily sleep for ten or eleven hours a day, and my concentration is awful. I've noticed that I recently started waggling my leg when I'm working, something I detest in other people - it really winds me up for some reason. My stomach has been okay most of the time but quite upset on the days when I reduce my dosage even by only 0.1 ml. It's made me apprehensive about leaving the house. I bought some Buscopan, which is for IBS (to which my doctor attributed my stomach cramps when this happened the previous times I tried to quit) and will use it if I get a very bad attack.

I've been to the gym twice this week and have really stepped up the fruit and veg input even further. When I went for my gym induction, they measured my body fat percentage. Let's just say it's one less than my age and on the verge of obesity. When I think how skinny I was before I started taking this stuff, it really horrifies me. I don't think I'll ever get back to the size I was but I pray to God that once this stuff is out of my system, all my healthy eating and exercise will finally start to shift some of it. So far, the best I've been able to manage is to stabilise my weight for a few months at a time.

I feel like I've done the easiest part now, the first 20%, and that withdrawal will get harder increment my increment from now on. The prospect of what might happen next really scares me, particularly as Mr 5ml will be away so much over the next few months. I haven't set myself a particular date by which I expect to be off it, but the plan was to start the fertility treatment in June. At my current rate of progress, I should be off by the end of April (bearing in mind I went up to over 5ml when I switched to liquid). But any reduction has to count as success, it's all a step towards being drug free, getting my life back and maybe having the chance to start a family. So why do I feel quite so miserable?

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