Taking a little pill every day for my mental health is just a part of my daily routine that has become normal over the past 10 months or so. I take one of my Citalopram tablets every morning when I wake up without fail, and usually don't even think about it.
However, recently I have been feeling really well and haven't been suffering with my depression very much, so I've been thinking about my antidepressants. I would love to come off them to prove to myself that I can do without them, but I am scared that I would go right back to square one again.
Last year I came off Citalopram for a couple of months and ended up having a really low period after Easter - however, there were certain things that happened around that time that caused me to feel like that. I went straight back onto antidepressants to help with my mood, but that meant that I was never sure whether it was my circumstances, or coming off my Citalopram, that made me feel down at that point.
The trouble with antidepressants is that they have to be slowly withdrawn, as you can experience severe side-effects such as mood changes and difficulty sleeping if you suddenly stop them. Last year I was on 40mg, so I went down to 20mg, and then 10mg, over a couple of months, before stopping my Citalopram completely. This year I am only on 20mg, so it wouldn't take me as long to dose down.
However, it is recommended that you are well and without mental health problems for at least 6 months before you try to come off antidepressants. I have probably been this well for around 2 months so far, and I have a lot of situations that could be stressful coming up this summer, including my final exams, so I think my doctor would be a bit hesitant to advise me to come off my antidepressants right now.
I have been feeling quite down (but not depressed) about my weight and my appearance recently, and one of the easiest ways to lose weight for me is to be depressed - losing weight is often one of the most obvious signs of me suffering with my depression again. This morning I was feeling particularly bad about myself, and was tempted to not take my Citalopram. I almost wanted to feel down again, just so I could lose some weight - which is a bit messed up.
I gave myself a harsh talking to and took my tablet, but I guess it's a sign that I'm not quite ready to stop taking my antidepressants yet - it could be very easy to slip back into old ways, and I don't want to feel that bad again.
Perhaps after the summer I will try and dose down on my Citalopram, but for now I'm going to continue to look after myself and work on my happiness. It's been working for the past couple of months so far, and my antidepressants are probably helping my mood to stay as level as it has been.
I stopped looking for the light. I decided to become it instead.