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, 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.

Monday, 7 May 2007

Inching closer to a drug-free life

Am now down to 1.45ml. It's feeling quite bumpy now, as though the metaphorical tyres of life have deflated and I can really feel every imperfection in the road. I find that spending time in the garden helps (killing these things, as does cooking, reading lots of Sherlock Holmes, avoiding big social situations with people I don't know and trying to keep everything in perspective. I've not reduced as much as I'd hoped since the beginning of May because I've been on my own with Mr 5ml (or should that be Mr 1.45ml?) away and I had another bad spell of insomnia last week. That was where Sherlock Holmes came in. I find him a reassuring presence.

What I haven't been doing much is exercising, apart from my usual trips to the shops to buy provisions. I was ill for a week, recovering for another, then busy/lazy last week. Must try harder.

The great thing is that physically, I've not had that many symptoms - the seroxat headache has gone, my stomach feels okay (aided by industrial quantities of Actimel), occasional dizziness but not too bad, no real weight loss but no further weight gain. It's funny that it was the physical aspects of withdrawal that I feared the most - in fact, I do still fear them kicking in when I quit altogether. I think I had forgotten what it felt like to be depressed - or rather what it didn't feel like, because I didn't feel anything except a low, dull ache of loss of something I couldn't ever identify. I do feel aspects of that now, but more because of missed opportunities and stupid mistakes I've made, but I am trying not to dwell on them. I started reading 'The Interpretation of Murder' yesterday. On the first page, there's a passage about how to be happy, you have to live in the present, whereas to find meaning, you have to look into the past and the future. It made sense to me, as did the happy pig and the unhappy Socrates when I was studying Mill at college. I think the way to square the circle is to operate on different levels at different times and to be able to switch off your brain. I don't think the two are mutually exclusive in a single person. I like Hegel. But I like Viz too. I always wanted to be able to reconcile opposing ideas, find a middle way, to have it all at the same time. You probably can't have everything, but you can have more than you think you can.