Published November 14, 2013 22 Comments
Indigo C. says
November 14, 2013 at 11:05 am
I have gone through this so many times before just resigning myself to taking the drugs for the rest of my life. You can’t just stop taking the drugs because you’d rather not be taking them. it doesn’t work like that.
Emanon N. says
November 15, 2013 at 3:42 pm
I am starting to feel this way too, after having been on and off drugs twice now (though it usually takes me a few months before I reach the last panel).
November 20, 2013 at 12:42 am
Ha This literally just happened to me over the weekend, but seriously, it’s nothing to be ashamed about. When you’re on a certain dosage, it’s actually dangerous to just quit, as it can be a shock to your body. You have to be eased off the medication gradually, it’s naive and frankly stupid to expect this to work, which I also had to find out the hard way. I felt so disappointed in myself and kept saying “WTF man, you’re supposed to be getting better…”, I also cried for a solid 2 hours. The medication WILL help, and don’t dare put yourself down because you’re taking it. Chin up, man.
November 30, 2013 at 9:31 pm
haha oh wow. i’ve just gone through this
there’s something frustrating about the idea that it’s not some kind of personality weakness to overcome and its just a lack of chemicals in your brain. there’s no great self improvement to be made – it’s just the cards you were dealt mean you need a constant supply of fluoxetine in your blood to function correctly. it’s not even good or bad, it’s just a thing
if you find yourself thinking you don’t need the drugs, that means they are working correctly and you very much do.
December 6, 2013 at 1:02 am
This is exactly the reason, why depression medication is to be brought down gradually and only after living 6 months free of symptoms.
January 9, 2014 at 2:48 pm
Indeed. But even that may not work so well for people whose depression is seasonal. :/ -E-
January 9, 2014 at 11:47 am
Well, this hit the nail on the head. Clay, you have done an amazing thing here. Personally, I feel that one of the worst aspects of the illness isn’t the sadness, but the ongoing loneliness and isolation from others who will never be able to relate or understand. Your work continues to remind me that I am not alone in my feelings and struggles. I hope your spirits are lifted by the fact that depression comix helps so many (or at least me) feel a little less isolated and a little less sad. Weird to think that a website about depression has helped me to feel normal. THANK YOU! really.
January 11, 2014 at 8:08 am
Thank you for your kind words. There are many people that suffer similarly, and one of the things I hope people feel is that they’re not alone, and that their feelings are indeed real and not “made up” or just a case of being whiny and selfish as some people would have you believe. There are many who don’t understand but there are many who do, and those latter people are the ones who will cheer you on to survive. Good luck, and you’re not alone.
January 13, 2014 at 7:37 am
As someone who suffers from Migraine/OCD and possible boughts of depression I’ve been waiting on eggshells to see if I’ve been backsliding lately. I’m not titrating down under a doctor’s observation but after five years I’ve missed having a libido so I’m only dropping off the Zoloft a bit. It’s almost as frustrating to be aware of symptoms reemerging as to be back on the full dosage. oh, the drama.
May 17, 2014 at 6:08 am
January 12, 2014 at 6:21 am
I’m taking medication right now and this is my greatest fear and the reason I was so hesitant to begin using it. I feel great right now, it really has helped me reestablish a lucid view of my life and has allowed me to piece things back together, but I am terrified that when I stop everything will come crashing down on top of me again.
April 7, 2014 at 7:14 am
Psycotherapy is a must because the meds will start to be less effective with time. Meds should be a short term solution, a lifeline while you solve your problems with a therapist. Im in the middle of that. Im still feeling awful, im constantly in the edge, but i went from having 2 moods, bad and worst, to having 3, bad, worst and sometimes, no so bad. Little dim light at the end of the tunnel
May 21, 2014 at 12:42 am
I had felt so good that I stopped taking my meds…It took an entire year for me to crash and burn completely, but when I hit bottom it was the worst one yet. My family was affected and I disappointed them and myself. I got back on the meds and will never go off them again. My brain can no longer produce the right chemicals, and maybe that’s from going unmedicated for so long, or maybe it’s partly the medication itself that has changed my brain permanently. All I know is, I don’t want to be at that low point ever again. I am still not happy, but I’m not paralyzed now.
November 11, 2014 at 8:29 pm
Yeah. Then you get this big philosophical consideration of “Is this ME or is this just the effect of drugs because I was depressed and that was normal LONG before anyone invented Efexor, so essentially am I just being a life support system for a chemical effect?”
December 17, 2014 at 7:14 pm
Also like (way too) many strips of this comic, this one is depressingly (…ha!) accurate: http://t.co/j60ZJBxWOV
Elie Hirschman says
February 1, 2015 at 5:37 pm
tears are welling up re-reading this one
November 8, 2015 at 1:52 am
https://t.co/9oHGHNVr0M #triggerwarning #mentalillness #twmentalillness
May 22, 2016 at 1:29 am
My own need for meds was temporary, but I fought with this for many many years and, ironically, was only able to eventually get off them much after being truly okay with the idea that I might need them for the rest of my life. Knowing how it is when you don’t need them anymore, I think I can give one advice when it comes to considering getting off your meds: I you feel good, if you feel great, if you feel just right, you CAN’T go off them. When it’s time to go off them or transition to something ‘lighter’, they’ll start to make you feel off-key in some way. Had this happen twice, one with an SNRI and the other with an SSRI, and for me both times when I took them I felt like I had chugged an immense amount of caffeine, with tremors, palpitations, followed by an energy crash where I HAD to rest. The second time around was a shorter period of need later in life due to workplace bullying, I recovered after fixing the toxic environment and although I did almost attempt suicide, fortunately I managed not sink into clinical depression again – and at least in my specific case, besides having been definitely very lucky for the understanding I got, I have no doubt that having been through clinical depression before helped me recover faster, because I was a lot more able to recognize the signs and willing to get help early before I’d be too ill to do so, had already made peace with the need for meds before, and already knew what not needing meds truly feels like.
This is a process that can’t be forced and rationalizing these ideas won’t work because you only grok them in your own time, but learning to be okay with a chronic condition is key. Learning to treat it as if it were a chronic physical condition where you need a prescription IS key. Recognizing that if you’re staying stable and functional how the fuck ever, no ifs, not buts, no does-not-counts, is goddamn key. And if you do end up finding out it wasn’t chronic, hey, it’s just a pretty nifty perk.
August 10, 2016 at 9:55 am
I made the mistake of doing this once. Now I’m too scared to ever miss a dose.
Sometimes the bear says
March 26, 2017 at 1:33 pm
“Meds should be a short-term solution” is a crock for most sufferers. Depression is a chronic, relapsing illness, as I discovered to my dismay recently. After 7 years without meds, thinking life was going to be just fine, I’m back on them and probably never getting off again, especially since nothing that worked previously was any use this time around. No specific triggering event, just work stress and not enough self-care to keep the damage under control. I still knew and used everything learned from previous therapy, but the monster respawns with more hit dice once you level up. Some of the “theraputic” lessons just became new sticks to beat myself up with.
And now, thanks to more therapy and drugs, I get to figure out how to deal with anger that I wasn’t feeling (or letting myself feel) before. For many things, anger is a more appropriate, energizing emotion than despair, but it’s still not comfortable and has its own risky learning curve.
tl;dr – follow professional advice, find a support group, don’t stop taking your meds just because you feel better. It’s still possible to claw your way out of the deepest darkest pit of despair, even knowing you might stumble back in or have to climb a mountain afterward.
Pat G says
October 10, 2020 at 10:42 am
Makes about as much sense as saying: I can see really well now, I think I’ll take my glasses off and go for a drive.
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