I have been on several SSRI's for my "depression" and anxiety issues over the years. Some have helped, but not without a list of undesirable side effects. February, 2010, I was prescribed an SSRI once again. I was also taking Benzodiazepines (Clonazepam) during this time. After only 3 days on that SSRI, I woke up in the morning to find myself thinking of only one thing: I was fully prepared to take my own life. I opened my eyes. I could hear my husband in the kitchen. I could hear my daughter in the family room. I could hear their voices, their noises and I wanted it to end. I remember my husband coming in to our bedroom and looking at me. I know he talked to me but I'm not sure what he said. He then proceeded to call my parents and asked them to drive out to our house...and to come soon...he knew something was wrong. Something was different with me. I asked him this evening, "what were you thinking? Did you think I'd commit suicide?". "Yes...why else wouldn't I go into work until your parents arrived?". He was right. That morning, I curled up in bed and cried. I was exhausted. This new medication had taken away every ounce of joy left in me within a matter of 3 days, and I was ready to end the pain.
This medication...I was physically ill on it...nauseous to the point of being unable to move. Drugged to the point of barely being able to hold my own head up. My dad had taken me for a drive the day before and I remember seeing my face in the side view mirror, and what reflected back at me was just a shell. There was no soul or life in my eyes. My face was pale and I barely had the strength to keep my mouth closed. It almost hung open as my dad drove the country roads. He was hoping to distract me and bring me some much needed relief. I remember just wanting to go home, but also hoping that if we drove just two minutes longer, maybe - just maybe - I'd miraculously come back to life. I thought about life. I was 31 years old. My parents had driven me to appointment after appointment, doctor after doctor, during my teenage years. Now at 31, I was having to be rescued once again. What was this doing to them? I felt worthless. All I did was bring more stress to our family. I remember catching a glimpse of my dad's face that afternoon and I knew he didn't know what else to do. He was a dad. Mom's and dad's want to be able to help their child. That instinct never leaves a parent no matter how old their child is. I wanted to be better FOR my dad. For my family. I hated the "me" I had become.
Back to the following morning...
As I cried, I thought everything through. I knew I'd wait for my daughter to be at school. I wouldn't show up to pick her up at the bell that afternoon and eventually someone would figure out that something was wrong. My husband would be called at work and he'd more than likely come home to find me. I would make sure to go to our main floor bathroom where the door could be locked and there would be no chance in my daughter finding me. I'd leave a note for my husband, a note for my parents and a note for my daughter. I am heavy-chested typing this. My heart is pounding. I don't think I've ever told anyone this chapter in my life with more than simple detail. I wasn't afraid of the pain of dying that morning. I was just ready to have permanent relief. I didn't want to leave my loved ones, but this wasn't a life anyone should have to face...and it wasn't a life I wanted my family to be a part of. They had seen enough suffering. The mental pain I was enduring that morning was unbearable. No one should have to experience it. And this was not "me". This was "Medication-Induced Me". An all too common story. Often with an unfortunate and unnecessary ending
My parents came that morning and I knew my plans had changed. I remember pushing my tired body out of bed and walking to the kitchen counter. I had to make my daughter's lunch for school. I could have asked my mom to make it, but I was determined to do it myself. My mom walked over to me and held me in her arms as I sobbed over my daughter's half-made lunch. My mom called the family doctor and pharmacist, and both told my mom to "have your daughter stop taking the SSRI immediately". I never took another dose and after that horrible and traumatic "Medication-Induced" experience, I became more determined to rid my body of the one and only medication left in me. Clonazepam. It was going to take some work, but I hoped after future therapy I would be able to wean myself off of Benzodiazepines. If only I knew what a journey that would become...if I only knew at that moment what the following two years would hold for me.
This was a difficult post. I have cried a few times and had to return to those feelings...feelings no one should ever experience. It is maddening to me that this all too common problem is widely known in the medical field, and yet (some) doctors continue to give out prescriptions easily and without regret. These are not pills to be played around with. Pills that are often referred to as "happy pills" or "mother's little helper" are hardly either of those things. Instead they can rob you of your own identity and in return give you feelings of insanity, worthlessness and sadness. A sadness so deep and impure, it can only be created by something unnatural...a pill.