When I took myself off of my anti-depressant, I did so because I was curious to experience how I would feel without it. In other words, would the depression be gone? I wanted to see if there was a part of myself that I had been missing that the drug had kept hidden? I have taken them off and on, for fifteen or so years. I’ve been off of them now, for over two months.
I feel porous and raw where I once felt complete and secure. I watch the news, and become frightened. Things that would normally not cause me to be afraid like losing income, getting older, returning a phone call from a friend, now make me freeze up and isolate. In my life, I feel like an imposter, no matter what I have done in my career, it all feels like I’ve been acting! Everyone else, to me, feels like their adults, except me. When I feel like this, I feel the overwhelming helplessness of a child. I notice that I don’t feel like I have any power. I will acquiesce more to others suggestions than I normally would when on my anti-depressant. I don’t care now; it’s just easier not to have a discussion about it. I’m also terrified that people can see this darkness inside of me. I’m angry more often. I think this is how I noticed the change in my mood more. I never got real angry on the medication, now I get indignant, easily offended and have blown up at complete strangers. I swear too much. I don’t like being an angry person. The anger is like venom that once expressed leaves me feeling empty and ashamed.
One therapist told me it’s how I express my loss of power. I get angry then at myself and I express this through self indulgent drug taking and days of reckless sex. I remember when I was younger, in retrospect, I guess I was always running from it (depression), from the jobs I chose, to being overly concerned about my appearance and my need to please everyone.
I don’t drink and I don’t normally take drugs for pleasure, but I do waste a lot of time
now. I wonder how my life would have been different had I not been driven to choosing things, that I now understand, were fueled by my depression, rather than a sense of fearlessness? Depression is such a waste of time.
I don’t want to grow older being angry. There is so much more that I want to do in my life.
The above client has since returned to taking their antidepressant.