This week, Megan talks about her experience with anxiety and insomnia and how that led to her being prescribed an antidepressant. She also talks about her two failed attempts to withdraw and how that meant she approached her tapering more carefully to ensure that she could minimise the withdrawal effects.
In this episode we discuss:
- How Megan had sleep difficulties and how her doctor prescribed an antidepressant for insomnia.
- That Megan didn’t even know what she was taking was an antidepressant.
- After 2 years, Megan started to think about coming off her medication.
- That her doctor at the time advised her to withdraw over 2 weeks after Megan had been taking the antidepressant for 2 years.
- How Megan found the increase in suicidal thinking the most frightening effect of withdrawal but that she did not realise at the time that this was caused by stopping the drug.
- How no one understood that what Megan was experiencing was caused by antidepressant withdrawal.
- How doctors prescribed more medication to try and counter the symptoms of withdrawal.
- How Megan had to go back on her antidepressant and double the dose to remove the withdrawal effects.
- That the prospect of starting a family led Megan to consider stopping again and she then found an entire community of others who were struggling with the drugs themselves.
- How, having realised that her initial attempt to stop was too fast, Megan then decided to change to a different anti-anxiety medication.
- How Megan planned to take four months to withdraw but still found this too fast and she experienced a wide range of withdrawal effects.
- How a doctor prescribed an additional three medications on top of the antidepressant and anti-anxiety medication.
- How those withdrawal effects forced Megan to go back up to 20mg of her antidepressant, meaning that Megan felt trapped.
- How the website survivingantidepressants.org was a major resource that Megan used to help her maker her tapering plan.
- That Megan used a compounding Pharmacy to help her taper but it was expensive.
- How sometimes withdrawal effects can recur years after someone has stopped an antidepressant.
- How people should be very careful to recognise that suicidal thinking can arise from starting, changing dose or stopping an antidepressant.