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.

Thursday, 15 February 2007

Mood swings

I remember a few years ago, Lou Reed released a particular miserable and morbid album about various friends of his that had recently died of cancer. One line went:

'Sometimes I feel so happy,
Sometimes I feel so sad."

Yep, a simple but effective summary of the last few days. I have had periods of euphoric happiness and a sense of total contentment. This is very unlike me. I tend to be even-tempered, possibly slightly erring on the side of discontented. I am deeply suspicious of extremes of happiness and sometimes find myslef consciously disengaging from an experience when I'm having too good a time, for fear that it will lead to some kind of punishment to 'even out' the score. And so it has proved, because I've had some thoroughly wretched, snivelling-whilst-doing-the-washing-up-and-thinking-about-dead-relatives moments. I even had a panic attack lasting around two hours yesterday. It was only a fairly mild one - hyperventilating, stomach cramps, shivering, fear of illness (rather than fear of death) - but still, I mainly don't have panic attacks any more and it's always a bit frightening when they happen. My usual post-panic attack remedy is a cup of camomile tea with a spoonful of sugar. I wonder if this is linked to my blood sugar levels crashing in some way. I often experience a strange, 'bloodless' feeling these days, often accompanied by a nagging tension headache around the back of my skull.

I am still very lethargic as well. I have risked coffee this afternoon (1 part weak coffee to 2 parts milk) to stay awake and get some work done. My dreams are so weird, even by seroxat standards, that I wake up feeling like I've been given a convulated psychological puzzle to decipher. I'm a great believer in drawing meanings from dreams. By that token, I am also a very twisted and sick individual.

Am now on 3.7 ml a day and don't intend to go down again for another couple of days. From what I've been reading on the interspazz, I shouldn't be dropping by more than 10% a week. But does this mean 10% of the original dose or 10% or whatever I am on at the moment? I don't think it matters to much at the rate I'm going. I've managed a less than 25% reduction in a little over six weeks. But I am still here and am not doing too badly, I suppose.

For anyone else doing this, the following seem to work for me:
  • chocolate - not very much, only one piece of Dairy Milk a day, but it seems to make me feel happy
  • Mozart
  • comedy - have been watching second series of Peep Show
  • having a very nice husband (hello dear!)
  • going for a walk every day, regardless of the weather
  • keeping the house reasonably tidy - there is enough chaos in my brain
  • avoiding aggravating media, such as the morons on Five Live in the morning, the Daily Mail mongboards (must break my addiction), Jeremy Vine's creepy intonation on the old Jimmy Young show, all BBC news programmes apart from Newsnight, Mariella Frostrup (her voice is like nails down a chalkboard to me), oh yeah, and that programme with Jeffrey Archer
  • sleeping, a lot
  • dumping all my banal thoughts on this process on the internet.

No comments: