Hello everyone 🙂
In my last post, I mentioned that I have some kind of big news to share. Well, here it is: I’m officially medication free! It took a month, but I finally stopped taking sertraline (aka Zoloft) and my oral contraceptives (aka tri-sprintec) and I have not felt this great in years. I chose to stop medication because I felt it was no longer doing what I wanted it to do. Yes, it took the edge off, but eventually for me the side-effects outweighed any benefit I was experiencing anymore. I am now in a stable work environment with a cozy, daily routine, so my anxiety has been much better than it was when I was in college.
For me, it was just turning into a routine and I didn’t realize how this routine was no longer necessary until I sat down and really considered why I was taking any medication at all and if it was worth it to continue doing so. I am not advocating that everyone quit their medication now, but for me, this was the right choice.
I began taking sertraline in 2012 and started at 25 mg and eventually worked my way up to a 100 mg dosage within a year. My OCD symptoms were getting out of hand and overtaking my life, so that is why I initially decided to try medication. Honestly, it worked great for years and my anxiety was a minimum and I wasn’t thinking about my “triggers” as much as I did before. In the last couple of years or so, I noticed some changed in my body and mind that I was just not comfortable with. I no longer felt like “me.” I was having nightsweats every single night, weird blood sugar spikes and drops, extreme fatigue and general laziness, weight gain, and a general feeling of being unwell and sore. Honestly, I was beginning to feel a lot older than my age. I had not felt beautiful in years and that takes a toll on a 26 year old because I wanted to be young and beautiful and happy still, but I felt at least 10 years older and like everything was gradually moving downhill for me. Also, I was sick and tired of relying on medication to be the best me. I was done with the stresses of going to the pharmacy monthly. Probably the worst thing, however, about me on medication was my personality change. I was numb to other people’s emotions and generally did not care about what other people had to say or what they thought and sometimes I would let those heartless thoughts of mine slip out of my mouth and hurt the ones I love most. This was probably the worst of it. It was honestly time to quit.
I decided to stop taking medication for all the reasons above and probably then some, but I think that’s a pretty good justification if I ever needed one, and I don’t. I did not quit “cold-turkey.” That’s a big no-no with anti-depressants. I cut my last bottle of pills into 75 mg dosages, 50 mg dosages, and 25 mg dosages spread out over a 3 week time period, and 7 days per each dose. I didn’t use any special pill cutter or anything, I just used a sharp knife and went at it, probably didn’t have exact dosages, but it didn’t really affect me. I had headaches a few times and felt irritable during others, but generally the three weeks went well. I made the decision to also stop taking oral contraceptive because it was killing my digestive system and I was constantly nauseated and had heartburn frequently.
I’ve been off medication for almost 3 weeks now. I feel SO good. I forgot what it was like to just be me and to live life without that fog covering my brain. Things I have noticed since quitting these two medications:
- No more nightsweats! I love this so much 😀
- I have tons more energy. I’ve even started going to the gym and no longer require naps in the evenings.
- My blood sugar has seemed to finally level. I no longer feel shaky and weird if I don’t eat every 2 hours.
- I have the motivation to eat healthy and lose weight. I’ve lose nearly 10 pounds in this last month. My doctor told me I was almost overweight.
- On that note, the pounds are just coming off. I think it has to do with a combination of quitting both medications and having that motivation to get healthier.
- I have motivation and energy in general. I’ve gotten back into some of the hobbies I’d lost interest in.
- I have emotions! I cry quite a bit more at random things, but feeling that way makes me feel human again.
- No more rando nausea.
- I just feel much better.
The decision to stop medication was my own. I never consulted a physician, just my mom who walked me through it. While this decision may not be for you, it may be something to consider if the side effects of your medication are starting to disrupt your life like they were me.
Well, that was my big news. It may not be “big” to anyone else, but it is to me.
Thanks for reading 🙂