I’ve struggled with depression ever since I was in high school and it has been quite the uphill battle. After trying out different therapists and and variety of medicinal cocktails, I finally found a regiment that worked specifically for my especially messed up brain. Just as high school was coming to a close and the anticipatory journey of college was shifting into full focus, I found myself gradually getting a handle on my seemingly lifelong emotional instability. While I was not and never have been “cured” of my mood disorder, the daily dose of Prozac, Wellbutrin, and Seroquel really seemed to hit the spot for the most part. That is, until I started experiencing other symptoms and side effects.
About halfway into my sophomore year of college, I was introduced to the demonic entity known as anxiety. I started experiencing racing thoughts, some mild, albeit annoying, paranoia, and paruresis. What on earth is that, you ask? Well, paruresis is the inability to pee due to social anxiety. For me, it started out in public bathrooms. I found it nearly impossible to relieve myself if I wasn’t within the comfort of my own home. Then, my condition escalated to not being able to go while other people were nearby or even simply existing in the same house. After quietly living with this for years, I grew fed up and refused to continue to view this as my new normal.
Finally deciding that enough was enough, I took action. I was on the cusp of moving to a brand new city and felt immensely overwhelmed by the thought of starting my adult life with this inexorable burden. Simply put, I didn’t want to live that way anymore if I could help it. I took a good hard look at both my current and past circumstances surrounding my mental health and found that my anxiety seemed to be a side effect of my medications, although I wasn’t sure whether or not a specific medication was causing my newfound anxiety or it was due to the combination of all three.
After consulting with my doctor, I slowly started weening myself off of my medications at different increments. Technically, I could have started taking anti-anxiety medication, but I was so sick and tired of needing to rely on these pills just to function. I wanted to see if after all these years, I could simply exist without them. My circumstances had changed so much from when I first started taking antidepressants back in high school that I wasn’t sure I really needed them anymore.
It has now been about a month since I have been completely off of my old medications and I feel free to say the least. While living without antidepressants for the first time in a long while has not come without its own complications, my anxiety has significantly lessened. I’m not so in my head about everything all the time anymore. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not cured or perfect or anything of the sort. But I feel better than I have in a while and that’s got to count for something, right?