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Long term (as in years) AD users - anyone manage to stop and stay off

(11 Posts)
kizzie Tue 02-Apr-13 16:16:12

Ive asked this question before a couple of years ago I think but very interested in views.

I have now been on ad's for almost 14 years shock after anxiety based PND following twins.

Ive tried to come off many times (after the initial disastrous attempts to come off quickly ive since done it very slowly but still outcome is the same after a few weeks -- horrible horrible relapse. i wont bore you with the details but serious enough to need pretty intensive psych help.)

I had no history of any MH issues before the PND - was 29 then.

Anyway so here I am 14 years down the line and Im now on a low dose of a tricyclic (30mg of Clomipramine/anafranil.)

I was on 35mg through 2012 and slowly reduced down to 30 over the last 4 months. I had been planning to keep reducing slowly down to 25mg over the next couple of months or so - and then stay on that for forseeable future (ive been ok on 25mg in the past).

I was originally on SSRI's but drs thought tricyclics might be easier for me to get off - didnt make any difference.

Anyway - Ive had a bit of a dip the last few days so wont reduce any further for the time being - but it has made me think AGAIN - will I ever be able to be medication free again.

Im wondering whether i do need to accept that I will now be on them for life.

Although other part of me wonders how i can be so well on relatively low dose (senior job, happy home life, in control etc etc.) if I really did need to be on it for ever.

Would just appreciate any thoughts. Thanks

OddBoots Tue 02-Apr-13 16:25:16

If you did need to stay on them is that a problem? Is it that side effects are bothering you?

Brain chemistry is just another body chemistry, people need to be on all sorts of medications to change a whole range of chemical factors, anti depressants are just one of them.

kizzie Tue 02-Apr-13 16:36:49

Good question oldboots - I dont particularly want to be on them but other issue is side effects.

Even on quite low dose there are side effects with tricyclics. As I drive a lot for work this can be a problem. But at 25mg side effects seem ok - so Id resolved to try and get down to 25 again and then maybe stay on for even longer term (maybe even until after menopause and then review.)

But im much more accepting of taking them than was a few years ago.

I was convinced they were doing me long term damage. Which they may be - but nothing like the damage that untreated depression/anxiety would do !

I think the fact that Im feeling a bit shaky (and so instantly worry that i might go downhill 'properly) isnt helping my view of being on them.

Fragglewump Tue 02-Apr-13 18:02:47

I was on them for 6 or 7 years and have now been off them for almost three years. To be honest coming off was pure hell and many times I thought I would be sectioned/kill myself or go back on them but I pushed on as I knew I wanted to be unmedicated. There can be light at the end of the tunnel but it wasn't easy. Xx good luck

moggiek Tue 02-Apr-13 20:01:07

kizzie - apart from the duration of three pregnancies, I have been on ADs for 38 years.

kizzie Tue 02-Apr-13 20:17:40

Thanks both
Fraggle that's good to hear - even if it was v difficult

Moggie - thanks for replying. Do you see it as 'for life' thing now? And if so do you feel at ease with that. sorry for all the questions - just really interested.

moggiek Tue 02-Apr-13 20:21:24

Hi Kizzie - yes, I reconciled myself to a life on ADs many years ago. I had a course of ECT when I was a young woman, and have been on a maintenance regime of medication ever since.

kizzie Tue 02-Apr-13 20:39:27

Thanks Moggie - it's really good to hear different perspectives.

kizzie Tue 02-Apr-13 23:45:06

Sorry Moggie - another question if you see this ...

Have you had to adjust your dose over those years (ie go up) or have you been able to stay on the same?

moggiek Wed 03-Apr-13 20:47:25

Hi Kizzie - my dosage has gone down, but during the odd episode when I feel depressed, I simply up the dose for a few weeks. I've outlived the docs who initially prescribed the meds, and the practice have deemed me for many years responsible enough to manage my condition.

kizzie Thu 04-Apr-13 09:38:52

Thanks for reply moggie - similar situation for me too

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