Coming Off My Antidepressants?

Everyone and their mum knows by now that I’m on antidepressants. For three years, I’ve been taking citalopram daily. They’ve boosted the Serotonin levels in my brain to keep away the bouts of depression and overwhelming anxiety attacks. People have tried to tell me I didn’t need them, but I knew I did. However, now, I’m not quite sure. For the past few months, I’ve been considering coming off my antidepressants.

Giving me the freedom

No longer am I controlled by my mental health. I don’t feel paralysed by fear that a panic attack could happen whenever and for any reason. There aren’t as many days where I wake up and feel nothing expect despair. For these reasons, I’m so so thankful that antidepressants worked for me.

The thing they gave me was freedom. Freedom from the clutches my mental health to, fully and truly, live my life. My medication has allowed me to achieve everything beyond my wildest dreams. They have helped me to do some massive things I could never believe but also to just live a ‘normal’ life. Apart from the big life changes – graduating, moving and getting a job – my anti-depressants have given me the ability to function again. Antidepressants honestly saved my life.

For the past three years, people have been trying to convince me that I don’t need or shouldn’t take this medication. The shame people tried to made me feel for taking antidepressants was overwhelming. This shame, at times, made me feel incredibly weak and as though I wasn’t fighting my mental health. People don’t criticise those who suffer with diabetes for taking insulin or people who break a limb for wearing a cast. These things are done to help you get better and be healthy. Antidepressants are no different. They can help you to get a healthy place, mentally.

Time for a change

All of these comments were politely (or not so) ignored. I knew what was best for me. For some people it’s talking therapy, for others its CBT and for me, it was antidepressants. However, the time has come where I am considering coming off antidepressants. This isn’t a decision fuelled by people being ignorant and the stigma. Nope, I’ve never felt ashamed about taking antidepressants. The reason I’ve been thinking about this is because I’m in a really stable and happy place in my life.

Never in my life have I felt so settled. I know who I am and have learnt to love myself. The people in my life are absolutely wonderful gems who make me feel loved. I am aware that life isn’t always this peachy but I think I get through it. No matter what is thrown at me right now, I believe I could fight it.

Even so, I’m still incredibly scared that coming off antidepressants could be a bad decision. I’m terrified that as soon as they’re out of my system, my panic attacks will return and I’ll feel overwhelmed by depression. So for that reason, I will be seeing a professional to discuss my decision, develop a plan and put some systems in place. But yeah, that’s where I’m at currently with my mental health.

Let me know what you think?