I started my antidepressant taper on May 12, 2017. Just over two years later I have managed through grim determination to get down to 25% of my starting dose. The last 755 days represent an almost constant battle with a range of physical and psychological challenges. I wake in the morning feeling utterly exhausted and so fatigued that I can’t think straight, and the day generally goes downhill from that point.
My own mental health challenges were awful for myself and my family. I struggled with anxious thoughts, an intense sense of bleakness and a vomiting phobia and these issues cost me my career, our family home, the loss of friends and colleagues along with my dignity and any self-respect. In retrospect, my withdrawal experience feels far worse than those stark and terror-filled times. My feelings of utter despair or sheer, unreasoning panic were not constant, they abated, at times they were gone completely. Withdrawal does not abate, it is a cloying, near-permanent unwelcome companion that has come to dominate my life and fundamentally affect my family.