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.

Monday, 23 April 2007

Article in Best Magazine last week!

Had a short piece publish in last week's edition of Best magazine last week. it took the format of a diary piece, detailing five days in the life of someone trying to quit seroxat and was part of a larger feature on habit-forming prescription and over-the-counter-medication. Was great to be able to raise awareness about the hazards that come with the benefits of antidepressants. These kinds of issues are fairly frequently covered in the broadsheets but not always in the rest of the media.

I'm now down to 1.9 ml, 0.3 ml away from my target to achieve by the end of the month. I think I'll be able to do it but it's not a strict deadline. I had a crappy week last week because I had a stinking cold and had four nights in a row with interrupted sleep (including two nights of less that three hours). Too much time lying awake is no good for anyone's mental health, far too much time to brood and analyse. I'm thinking more and more of where my life is going, my (lack of) career, what will happen if I never have children, impending ecological meltdown, etc etc, and not in a helpful or productive way. I am reverting much more to my usual (ie, pre-antiddepressant) pessimistic outlook on life and I know this is something about which I have to be very careful or I could slide back into my pit of misery. I counter it by telling myself this isn't the time to be overly concerning myself with the big questions (what is the point? what am I here for? is it worth living? does my bum look big in this? etc). I have to focus on my health and on doing things that make me feel okay, rather than beating myself up for having ruined my career, lost my looks/let myself go, and the general pattern of self-defeating behaviour and self-pity to which I am prone. The great thing about the past is that it is over. Things are done that cannot be undone and they can jetisoned when they are no longer useful. How awful would it be to reach the age of 80 and to still be fretting about what might have happened had I not sent my last 18 months at university hiding under the duvet. Looking forward is incredibly liberating and exciting, and something I never managed to do until I was about 30. I was always chewing over the stupid mistakes I had made and my failure to learn from them. If you are always looking backwards, you are not open to opportunities that might open themselves up in the here and now. I should remind myself of this a bit more often.

So I am feeling a bit more like an authentic version of myself, rather than a pharmocologically zen one and though this is a slightly less comfortable sort of existence, at least I am moving towards being a fully feeling and engaged person, for good and for ill. I need to concentrate on self-awareness and avoid self-pity.

I feel like the physical side-effects have become much less severe as the psychological changes within me have become more pronounced. Am still tempted to try to go cold turkey but am a bit too chicken (ker-ching!). I think the most beneficial thing I've done in the last few months is to go out into the fresh air and countryside in Southern Germany. I sometimes wonder if I'd lived in beautiful surroundings whether I'd ever have become depressed in the first place.

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