I was told recently about a woman who had tried to ween herself off her anti-depressants without consulting her doctor. There were consequences. She slipped back into a dark hole from which it took her a long time to find her way back into the light. She resumed taking her meds, and then discussed it with her physician. Her physician was kind, but blunt. If you were a diabetic would you decide that you felt well enough to discontinue taking your insulin? Some forms of depression are the same. You don’t discontinue something that is working to restore and maintain a chemical balance just because you feel better. That’s the point of the medication; to make you feel better.
I will admit that I personally did something quite similar some time ago; I didn’t like the way a particular drug made me feel when I was coping with the anxiety that was part of the behavioural amplifications after my hemorrhagic stroke, figuring that I could muscle through it on my own. I didn’t do too bad at it, but I did end up having to take another leave of absence from my job months later when things got completely out of balance.
I did find that the drug in question, brand name PRISTIQ, was pretty tough on my system. It is one of those drugs and class of drugs for which I question the manufacturer’s understanding of the holistic impact to a person.
If the patient doesn’t have a decent relationship with their doctor, both the prescriber and their family general practitioner, how can they possibly get the right advice, the right monitoring. I do laugh at the drug commercials on American television. Those commercials give more information than some doctors are reputed to be giving out with a new prescription.
Knowledge is power, and the dissemination of that knowledge is crucial.