June 4, 2023

Talking about antidepressant withdrawal is positive in some respects. When I started using this Channel to document my use of antidepressants it was to keep myself accountable and to get me through the first 2 weeks without quitting. That was a year ago and since then the Channel has grown beyond my wildest imagination, finding a community of amazing mental health advocates who have seen their own health improve in tandem with mine.

Welcome back to a happy change my name is alex and i don’t take search lean wow when i first started this channel to document my use of antidepressants really it was to keep me in check and make sure i was accountable during those first two weeks because frankly i thought i was going to quit that was a year ago and since then my channel’s grown beyond my wildest

Dreams my wildest imagination and found itself in a community of mental health advocates people that like you who aren’t afraid to talk about what’s going on in their head and how they want to improve and what’s been really great is to see lots of people that started watching a channel a year ago to see their mental health improve in tandem in parallel with my

Own so this video is all about my decision to stop taking sertraline i’ll talk about the reasons for that decision alongside the process of withdrawal and any of the side effects i experienced along the way i’ll also talk about my next steps in improving my own mental health and what the future is for this channel so if you want to skip to those bits as always

In the description you’ll find the chapters you can jump to the bit that interests you most and you don’t have to look at my face for longer than you need to firstly let’s say i still have bad days in fact the last few weeks have thrown up so many bloody challenges that at times i thought i was premature and stopping the medication undoubtedly the thing that’s

Got me through is therapy and i’ve talked about this in the start talking therapy is the single best thing that you can invest in if you want to improve your mental health and i use talkspace it’s all online i use it for a mobile app and it’s amazing it means that i can contact a licensed therapist my own the same licensed therapist 24 hours a day seven days a

Week and as soon as they’re available to they’ll reply to me if you haven’t sorted therapy out please do give it a go there is a link in the description that will save you about half on the first month give it a whirl see if you like it i get a little kickback from that so it supports the channel as well however i do completely fully recommend them as a therapy

Provider it’s been amazing so far and miles better than anything i’ve got free through the nhs as much as i love the nhs this is just a step above it so my reasons for stopping search really were pretty straightforward i felt more in control of like those emotional highs and lows that all humans face increasing my dose from 50 milligrams to 100 milligrams daily

And really helped me get through that kind of bump i was feeling in lockdown and i really have the urge to say like can i cope on my own i am fully aware that curiosity killed the cat but i really wanted to know was all this progress that i’d made was it part of me or was it just a side effect of taking the medication could i separate the medication from myself and

Still feel in a positive space that was the experiment that was my curiosity so with this in my head i had to be really kind to myself if i decided i was going to stop taking it essentially what i had to do was think if i struggle if this doesn’t work and i need to continue to take certainly that is a failure of the experiment not a failure of me it would just mean

Maybe i need more time on the medication and i was okay with that so off i went to see my gp and had a chat with them talk them through where i was at they put me on 100 milligrams a few months before so they were aware that i was having some increased challenges however having spoken to them they were happy to start supporting me with drawing from the medication

Together we looked at a way of reducing over a couple of weeks from 100 milligram through 75 milligram and 50 milligram to zero with opportunities along the way to check in and just make sure that things were going smoothly and it was a relatively straightforward process actually stopping the medication i guess the thing that i didn’t do and i wouldn’t necessarily

Recommend this was i didn’t tell anyone that i was not just lowering my dose but stopping completely i didn’t announce it on the channel i didn’t talk to anyone in the facebook group or anyone close to me because i guess there was a sense to me while i was kind to myself that if i fail i guess inevitably i would have felt some embarrassment if i’d announced i’m

Going search lean free and then find myself needing to start again so i guess there’s always that bit of anxiety inside of me of being a failure but hey i was going to give it a go it was an experiment i was going to see where it took me i didn’t feel any particular side effects from withdrawing from surgery which was great except anxiety worry i was really

Scared that after all of this after a year of medication once that kind of like blanket came off i was going to be exposed that’s a terrible analogy but you know what i mean that once the safety belt was off i was going to go flying through the windscreen and not be able to control it i was really worried about that and that made it quite difficult because i

Wasn’t 100 sure if the anxiety and the worry i was feeling was a side effect of withdrawn from the medication or a genuine concern that any person would have that they wouldn’t be able to cope in a new circumstance so i had to remind myself again if i fail i fail i’ll just start the medication again my gp will be okay with that they’ll understand i i also

Hesitated making this video for some time and that’s why i’ve been a little bit quiet because i didn’t want to make a video that was an announcement about i’m off search lean only in a week or so later to be like it’s day zero again i wanted to be really clear and confident myself that i had a couple of months clear of the circulating and that’s the space i’m

In now it’s been a two to three months that i’ve taken my last dose and things are going okay i’m human so i still suffer from bouts of anxiety or bouts of worry in the same way everyone does that those kind of peaks and troughs aren’t as extreme as they used to be and that’s really key for me that was the worry that would go back into kind of sitting in my car

Crying or or struggling to get out of bed like those things don’t happen anymore the real game changer is combining it with therapy and taking that really seriously so regardless of whether or not you use the talkspace link in the description or you’re working with a therapist face to face or via zoom please make sure that you’ve got talking therapy in place like

That’s made the difference i’ve had some really rough days like i say over the last few weeks um and they’ve been linked to kind of normal human experiences so they’re not things that i think oh i shouldn’t be feeling anxious in this moment they’re things that are rational but actually being able to talk it through with therapists has made more difference to my

Life than um a pill has and i can’t express how great it is to be able to pick up my phone 24 hours a day and message my therapist shout out to deandra and just get feedback at their next available point so what now obviously i’m going to continue with therapy i’m going to be kind and observant around my medication needs if i need to go back on circulating or

Prozac or anything like that at any point then i’ll have that conversation with my gp right now i’m happy to see where therapy takes me and the channel a happy change is going to remain a place that i talk about mental health and i’ll continue to talk about medication just because i’m not in that space right now i know plenty of you guys are so i’m still going

To keep that dialogue open and hopefully continue to provide videos that support that there’s videos already done ready to upload and there’s videos in the pipeline as well that will be uploaded over the next few weeks and months thank you as always for all the love fire the facebook group via instagram it’s amazing you can message me anytime you want to check in

Plenty of people do take me up on that offer and you know it’s been great to chat with so many of you via instagram recently i cannot wait to see what 2021 has in store for you and for me my name is alex this was a happy change i will see you next time peace you

Transcribed from video
My Antidepressant Withdrawal experience (Zoloft | Sertraline) By Alex Robb