Drug Free

For those of you who follow this blog for the cycling alone this is not about doping in the professional peloton. Apologies for any confusion and you can leave now if you wish, though I’d love you to stay of course.

For the last ten days I’ve been drug free. I took the final step to stop taking the anti-depressants a week last Friday and though I had wanted to mark the occasion then and there, my trepidatious nature made me hang fire.  However, so far, so good.  It’s only in hindsight that I’ve realised what a big step it is. And it’s also in hindsight that you see yet again how science is not as clear cut as we are often led to believe.  Let’s start with that first point.  According to the nth GP I’ve spoken to about this the only side effects of coming off Citalopram are sickness and stomach upset and only then should these arise if you withdraw too quickly. Needless to say with the tapered withdraw I have been on this hasn’t happened. However, I have found that I have been feeling light headed, a feeling of being spaced out and almost on a high much the same as drinking too many good espressos. I’d like to say it was pleasurable but it is a little disconcerting.  My GP said that this shouldn’t be the result of the withdrawal but as I haven’t changed my diet or day-to-day regime I can only assume it is connected even if indirectly. If you’ve come off Citalopram and had withdrawal effects I’d really like to hear though needless to say the scientific approach is somewhat flawed and that there is no average person even in a normal distribution of the population.

Going drug free has meant stepping up to the mark psychologically.  When you are on medication most people (including the medical profession) ask if it is working.  The problem is you only know if it is, or should I say was, when you aren’t medicated.  Looking back from here on the experiences in reducing and stopping dosages I can now see some of the changes. I can see when and where being on medication helped. It was the crutch that I’d established it as.  Now I am into the next phase of rehabilitation. The crutch has gone and I have to put the weight back on the break unsupported for the first time.  That is what I mean by it being a big step. But big steps are actually made up of smaller steps. When I feel a wobble, instead of reaching out for the crutch its time to do some exercises and strengthen up, put into practice what I’ve learnt. Sometimes that happens, sometimes it doesn’t. It’s a learning curve. But then life is.  I can’t say much more than that. I’ll keep you posted on how I get on.


4 thoughts on “Drug Free

  1. I have no personal ( ie happened to me ) experience of this but I know of others who have suffered . And it is so very difficult for us outsiders to fully understand as it is outside our knowledge zone. I am convinced however that coming off the drug, and being prepared to discuss it, helps.
    Stay strong, think positive, exercise well..and be careful not to over analyse things

    I will pray for you

  2. Hey, I don’t know how I’ve missed this before but this has been my first visit to your blog. This post is great and it’s incredibly brave of you to write about your experience when I know so many people who hide their experiences of depression. I think it’s brilliant that you’re now drug free and I hope it works for you! Good luck and keep us updated! I have now saved your blog for future reading!!


  3. I’ve slowly been reducing my dose and the spaced out and light-headed thing has happened. Good to read this and I look forward to seeing how you get on, my aim is to be drug-free but last time I did it too fast and ended back on them.

  4. Its a big step finally stopping altogether I guess you’ve been on em a while (I was) I found that a big part of keeping off and continuing heading up the slippery slope was being more open and prepared to talk, not particularly to tell anyone else but to let it out of me, Good on you for blogging about it too, hopefully your experience will reach out and help someone else slogging back up the hill behind you. I found my bike helped a lot too, the physical exertion, a reason for the duvet not to feel like a lead weight each morning and rediscovering the joy of pointing out of the door and just following my front wheel really helped to take me out of myself and the dark cycles (no pun) that can still grab at you.

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